Germany is generally a safe country so there’s no reason to be overly worried. Considering the large number of international students that enroll in German universities every year, you should rest assured that you will be quite alright without taking special safety precautions in everyday life situations. Besides, the vast majority of international students prefer to live in Germany and find a job there, after they finish their studies, meaning the satisfaction rate is quite high. However, make sure you go through this Germany safety guide for international students for more information on how to stay safe and comfortable in Germany.
This country is one of the major academic hubs for international students from all over the world. It is home to worldwide ranked universities, and their globally valued degrees promise high employability and a unique student experience. However, one of the major concerns for students is renting in Germany, although living costs are generally affordable, apartments in larger cities can be a bit pricey depending on the location. However, there are options you can consider, such as sharing rent, which tends to be quite budget-friendly.
Is Germany safe?
Well, Germany ranks 22nd, one of the most peaceful among 163 countries in the world, according to the Global Peace Index 2019 rankings. It also ranks 20th according to the Societal Safety and Security domain.
However, in the previous years, the terrorist attacks in Paris, Brussels and Berlin have shown us that Europe might be prone to threats as well. As a result of the two terrorist attacks that took place in the year 2016, there has been an increase in security at transport centres, public buildings, and major events that gather crowds of people.
There are cases of petty crime, with pick-pocketing being the most common offense, and there are rare cases of violent crime. It is important to always stay safe and cautious in crowds and festivals. Large events like Oktoberfest are usually filled with intoxicated people, so one might be prone to any accident, theft, or fight.
You should also be careful in other crowded places like sporting events. Although the police will be there to assist anything, you might be a victim of pick-pocketing. There are also cases of street protests in Germany, like in most countries. However, other than these, Germany is known to be quite safe and peaceful. And tourists love it here!
Safety Tips for International Students in Germany
Everyone needs a bit of advice when travelling to another country, and especially international students who are usually on their own or in Germany for the first time. Let’s go through this bit of advice together so we’re fully prepared for our stay in the land of castles.
The first thing you should know is the emergency numbers. In Germany the emergency number is 112 and it can be dialled from any telephone for free. This number will connect you to Ambulance and Fire Brigade. You can call the police if you dial 110.
Ask help from the police. Police in Germany is reliable and trust-worthy. They patrol German cities by foot, bike, motorcycle, or car. The police themselves recommend people not to hesitate on calling, so make sure to dial their number whenever you need help.
As an international student, you can also contact the embassy or consulate in Germany. This means that if you feel like you have any problems, you can contact an official representative from your home country, and they will try to help you on your issues.
Keep your belongings close. This is especially relevant if you are on public areas such as public transport or other crowded places. Theft and pick-pocketing are a common occurrence everywhere and not simply Germany.
Do not walk around on empty and dark areas on your own. Although people claim to feel quite safe in Germany, it is always better to avoid empty places like certain deserted streets or empty parks during the night.
Be cautious when using an ATM. Simply be attentive and observant at who is around you and whether you notice any strange behaviour. You don’t want people stealing your money.
Don’t get intoxicated while you’re on your own. If you go partying or attend any festival or gathering, make sure you’re accompanied by people you trust. There are usually intoxicated people at clubs, so fights can happen. Make sure you stay safe.
Don’t keep your belongings all in one place. This is especially important when talking about money and credit cards. Place them in different places, since you don’t want to lose your wallet and have nothing left on you.
Is public transport safe in Germany?
Public transport in known to be generally safe, efficient, and comprehensive in Germany. If there are cases when you do not feel safe, simply sit close to other travelers and avoid the empty areas. You can use different modes of public transport in Germany, such as:
The underground transport is super efficient and one of the most prominent modes of transportation in metropolitan cities. During rush hours it can get pretty crowded so you might want to avoid it during that time.
S-Bahn (Suburban Commuter Rail)
The S-Bahn operates within the city center traffic including the suburbs and nearby towns. It runs in big cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and also connects up with the national rail network.
Buses and Trams
A round sign with a green H in a yellow circle is a bus or tram stop. There are even electronic signs at some stops indicating the route number or the arrival time for the next bus. However, you will almost always see a framed timetable at the stop.
Although not officially part of the public transport system, taxis are also a safe alternative. When you need to go somewhere that is not close to a public transport stop, or when you’re travelling with a luggage – a taxi can be a good option. In Germany, taxis are the same cream beige color with a yellow and black “Taxi” sign on top.
Overall, thousands of international students and tourists visit Germany every year. It is generally a peaceful country, ranking 22nd out of 163 countries in the world. However, keep in mind to always apply common sense, be aware of your surroundings, contact the police if you feel unsafe, and well beware of pick-pocketing. Now, go and get that degree!