Best Cities in Germany for International Students

Studying in Germany is a wonderful experience for international students. This Western European country is magnificent in its landscapes and academic life. German larger cities (and especially the smaller towns) resemble fairytale sceneries due to the large number of castles situated in Germany and the country’s cobblestone streets and ancient architecture.

Any place you decide to study in Germany will surely provide you with the necessary skill set to succeed and an experience to remember. This is because Germany is known for its excellent universities and a highly developed economy. People go there to study, work and create a new life for themselves, and this is why its popularity will never cease.

Regardless of the astonishing culture and history in all of Germany, we have compiled a list of cities international students tend to always give good reviews to.

Here are the best cities in Germany for international students:

  1. Munich
  2. Berlin
  3. Stuttgart
  4. Frankfurt
  5. Dresden
  6. Aachen
  7. Bonn
  8. Hamburg
  9. Cologne
  10. Leipzig

1. Munich

Munich is the third-largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg, and a marvellous international student hub. It is also a major centre for technology, art, innovation, business and tourism among others. Oktoberfest is one of the most attractive festivities to happen to Munich annually, but it is not the only attraction. International students in Munich enjoy numerous outdoor and indoor activities like hiking, snowboarding, skiing, paragliding, swimming, sailing, and diving among others. It is truly a land of opportunities.

Apart from the wide range of leisure activities, academic expertise in Munich universities is unmatched. In addition to its world-class universities, Munich is also a strong economic centre with famous enterprises from industries in the field of high-tech, electronics, communication, as well as automobile. This means this cosmopolitan city is perfect for working students and graduates since the highly developed economy ensures students get numerous job opportunities in the city that is known for innovation and inventions.

Two of the best universities in Germany are situated in Munich, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and Technical University of Munich, something that gives this city a bonus flair for international students. These universities, but not only, offer numerous opportunities to advance as you are guaranteed an excellent education in this capital city. Some of the greatest minds have gotten their education on Munich’s universities and made use of the life-changing experience it offers.

Related: What’s Studying and Living in Munich Like?

2. Berlin

International students are also attracted to the German capital, Berlin. This is due to the fact that this lively city is an ideal place for people of all ages and backgrounds. In Berlin, you can enjoy many cultural events and international students get to enjoy and learn more about Berlin’s culture and history through a wide variety of war museums and cinema houses. There is basically history in each corner of the city and no one actually leaves Berlin without learning something about its fascinating past.

Students can immerse themselves in the beautiful nature that this city has to offer. Berlin’s many parks provide a place where people can just sit down and relax or simply take a stroll around and enjoy the sound of birds and the wind whispering through the trees. Additionally, compared to other European cities, Berlin tends to be quite affordable. Students with lower sources of income can still make their way around this city. Among the many advantages of living in Berlin, student discounts in galleries, libraries, or retail and department stores are some of the best.

Berlin has five major public universities and around 20 private, professional and technical, ones. Berlin also has some of the world’s top business schools. Students get to choose from a wide range of degree programmes and courses and get their education from some of the best academics in their fields. Another thing that international students tend to love in Berlin is the fact that the student population is quite significant, meaning friendships can easily be created between, both, locals and internationals. With the lovely nature, vibrant nightlife, and its flowing creativity, this city surely is one of a kind.

Related: What’s Studying and Living in Berlin Like?

3. Stuttgart

As one of the strongest industrial regions, this city offers students (especially those in the field of engineering) an ideal environment to study and advance their careers. If you have heard anything related to Stuttgart, it might have been something related to the two global companies whose headquarters are located in this city, Porsche and Daimler. But you have also probably heard about its world-class universities offering the practical and theoretical skills every student needs to succeed.

Another distinctive feature of this southwestern city of Germany is its greenery. Stuttgart is largely known for its zoo and botanic garden, which makes it a perfect place for international students who are particularly fond of nature. But aside from nature, students can also find numerous cultural events in this city as well, such as philharmonic or opera shows, ballet festivals, or travel fairs. Snowboarding, skiing, and hiking are also some of the outdoor activities residents tend to indulge in.

The cost of living in Stuttgart is also quite convenient, making studying in this lovely city a perfect choice. Tourists simply love visiting Stuttgart and its art and car museums, palaces, and markets. University campuses in Stuttgart help international students meet numerous other fellow international students and create global connections. The many extracurricular activities, like workshops, trade fairs, and student clubs, ensure students have the opportunity to socialize and learn while at it.

Related: What’s Studying and Living in Stuttgart Like?

4. Frankfurt

Frankfurt is a great choice of study destination, especially for those who are interested in studying finance or business. It has a large concentration of business and tourism hubs which contribute to the national economy and also make it easier for students to gain the experience and knowledge they need in the world of business. Frankfurt is significantly known for its numerous skyscrapers and unique buildings which makes it look like a futuristic city in all its glory.

This city is home to some of the highly ranked universities in Europe but not only. The quality of education that Frankfurt’s prestigious universities offer is perfect for the ambitious young minds who are eager to learn and make the most of learning. Students in Frankfurt get to experience the beautiful landscapes, sometimes even unconventional, and get to earn their skill sets from some of the most talented professors in the world. Meeting new people is also one of the largest bonuses that come with choosing this study destination.

Some of the tourist attractions you get to live alongside when studying in Frankfurt include a wide, wide range of museums. The German film museum, dedicated to the production of film and technology; the Museum of Modern Art which is something worth visiting every time; the Old Opera House offers an architectural wonder; while the Staedel Museum offers its visitors a collection of works that date back to the 16th century. Everything in this city seems so worthy of your visit!

Related: What’s Studying and Living in Frankfurt Like?

5. Dresden

German cities are full of history, and so is the beautiful Dresden. Everywhere you go in Dresden, you will be studying with a view. The Elbe flowing through the city complements the unmatched beauty of this city to the point where it is oftentimes called the “Florence on the Elbe”. This is one of the most vibrant cities in Germany and people simply love the atmosphere it offers.

Dresden is home to excellent, world-class universities which offer the perfect conditions to learn and advance. In the prestigious Dresden universities, students get to earn their knowledge and practical skills. Through numerous internships, students get to put their skills to good use in the wide range of modern technology companies located in Dresden.

Accommodation in Dresden is relatively affordable and students have different opportunities to find student housing through student organizations like Studentenwerk Dresden. International students in Dresden come face to face with a diverse city full of culture and history. Through joint projects and extracurricular activities, international students socialize with numerous other fellow students like themselves by creating, this way, global friendships.

Related: Beautiful Places to Visit in Germany.

6. Aachen

Aachen is a cultural city thriving in its innovation and technology. It is a small city near Germany’s borders with Belgium and the Netherlands. This city is basically a magnet for international students with numerous attractions and interesting landmarks. For example, Aachen’s cathedral was the first German landmark to be recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.

Aachen universities are recognized for their high academic quality and outstanding education. This city is an important centre for students who are interested in the study of science and technology. One of the most renowned universities, The RWTH Aachen University, is located in Aachen. Students tend to love the welcoming environment matched with the unquestionable expertise they receive from Aachen higher education institutions.

Affordability is also a big plus when it comes to choosing this adorable city to study in. Although things do not come as cheap as one would expect, it is still cheaper than in many other German cities. Belgium and the Netherlands are in pretty close proximity to the city, meaning if you would like a little adventure, you can simply jump on a train and be there. All in all, Aachen is an ideal destination for those who like a cultural city, smaller in size, but still sufficient to offer enough to explore.

Related: What’s Studying and Living in Aachen Like?

7. Bonn

As the home of the famous composer, Ludwig van Beethoven, famous artists, and Carnivals, Bonn has proven to be pretty attractive to international students from all over the world. These students get to enjoy the expertise of Bonn’s universities but also dwell on the marvellous attractions this city has to offer. The Beethoven-House museum in the city centre is definitely one of the main tourist attractions, which takes studying in a cultural city to a whole different level.

This city is a marvellous destination, especially for students who love to hike. This is because it offers the perfect hiking areas such as around Siebengebirge, an area comprising over 40 hills full of forests and vineyards. The views are spectacular as are the friendships students make along the way. It is always good to know you have the perfect place to go and do what you love.

Bonn is not a large city, but there are numerous things one can do during their free time here. Visiting popular museums, hiking, going out for a walk in the park – all these are relaxing activities where students get to meet people and learn a bit of the city’s history while at it. When the weather is at its best, you will be able to find a lot of fellow students just hanging out at the Hofgarten in front of the university’s main building.

Related: What’s Studying and Living in Bonn Like?

8. Hamburg

In Hamburg, you can find numerous renowned universities which attract thousands of students from all over the world. Basically, whatever your field of interest is, be it social sciences, art, music, engineering, or design, you can find a degree programme in Hamburg. Universities offer state-of-the-art equipment and facilities and students get their skills from outstanding professors and instructors. Although most courses in Hamburg are in German, there are numerous in English as well.

What’s particularly interesting about Hamburg is that it seems to have over 2000 bridges, which is more than Amsterdam and Venice combined. You can also find a wide range of green spaces, used as recreational facilities among the people who live in the area. Hamburg takes pride in its culture and traditions, organizing numerous related events during the year where everyone is welcome to join and enjoy bits and pieces from the German culture.

Hamburg is also known as a city which mixes both, the modern and traditional. Getting bored in this lovely city might just be close to impossible. You can find hundreds of music hubs and numerous museums and theatres where you can spend leisure and quality time. Hamburg’s developed economy and the large number of companies situated in this city offer international students with just the study abroad experience they need.

Related: What’s Studying and Living in Hamburg Like?

9. Cologne

As the largest city in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the fourth largest in Germany, Cologne is also a famous destination for international students. This city has a vibrant and lively atmosphere and it is also known for its numerous musical, cultural, and mediatic trends. This historic city is particularly attractive to international students because it has an affordable living cost, excellent universities, and an outstanding quality of life.

In the Middle Ages, Cologne became a significant centre of art and learning and it still showcases its rich heritage today, despite the fact that the Inner City was completely destroyed during World War II. The city’s village-like feel is its unique and attractive quality, although it has over 1 million inhabitants. International students love Cologne because commuting is simple and efficient and can be done by bike or even foot.

The University of Cologne was the sixth university established in Central Europe, and its academic experience is like no other. All universities in Cologne are equipped with the necessary experience and excellence to create successful graduates. Students get to socialize and learn new things through the many group projects and extracurricular activities, in a diverse and comfortable environment.

Related: What’s Studying and Living in Cologne Like?

10. Leipzig

Leipzig is a wonderful destination for international students to live and study. This city has evolved from a small town to a business and cultural hub known for its picturesque landscapes and its influence on music and art. Life is very active in Leipzig and there is always something students can do to have fun and relax. Its rich culture is what attracts many tourists, but its professionalism and opportunities are what attract international students worldwide.

The famous companies that operate in Leipzig, the likes of Amazon, DHL, BMW and Porsche have brought a cosmopolitan atmosphere to the city while also making it a lot more attractive to ambitious expats. Leipzig’s economy has developed over the years, which means students find this city to be a place where their careers can flourish. This lovely city is known to be the home of scholars, artists, composers, musicians, as well as poets.

Living in Leipzig is pretty simple since commuting and transportation are made easier through the punctual German transport system. Universities here have an outstanding reputation. Numerous famous names like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and poet Goethe and philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche are among the alumni of the University of Leipzig. Life in this city is quite dynamic, with a mixture of both bars and pubs, as well as its fair share of trendy clubs and cafés.

Related: What’s Studying and Living in Leipzig Like?

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