How to Travel In Germany While Studying as an Exchange Student

Germany is surely one of the best countries out there not only for traveling and enjoying their unique culture but also for living and studying there. Hardly any student would ever give up the chance to get their degree in a developed country like Germany, which has some of the oldest universities in the world and, most importantly, is known for producing skilled professionals in many fields such as engineering, science or medicine.

As if all that wasn’t enough, all German universities offer free-tuition education!

Yes, you heard me right. Free-tuition!

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That’s why Germany is an ideal place for anyone who is thinking into studying abroad and getting good education. You only get to pay for housing, food and… travel!

That’s what I’m going to be talking about in the rest of this article. I’m going to tell you how easy and awesome it is to explore different places around Germany while, at the same time, not sacrificing your student life. A little bit of fresh air and seeing some new sights can really help you achieve more out of all this experience.

Here are some of my tips:

Plan First

Be sure to plan everything ahead of time, that is to really use your time rationally and in the best way possible. Decide what area or city you wish to explore and look online for anything that might interest you. Try looking for old buildings, monuments, churches, museums, shops… etc.

Stay For The Night

If you decide to travel somewhere far, let’s say you want to visit a different city, the best thing to do is to book a good hostel in order to spend the night there. You can’t fully enjoy any place in just one day. Germany has many cities that require days and days to wander and explore, and you’ll never get bored of it. So keep that in mind.

Tourist Traps. Avoid them!

Many people make the mistake of going around popular places and doing the same thing everyone else is doing. Don’t do that! Avoid places where all tourists go to, because the restaurants never offer good food and there are many pickpockets around. Try exploring more places deep inside and find cafes where locals go to, you’ll be amazed yourself.

Don’t Pack Too Much

A small backpack with only the necessary stuff will do fine. Pack only what you need and any medications if you can’t do without them. Have a few sandwiches and a bottle of water so that you don’t have to think whether you can find a good place to eat or not. Check the weather and get an umbrella just in case, some extra clothes maybe. Try to be as minimalist as possible.

Keep a Journal

It’s great to write anything that you might encounter along the way. Have one of those small notebooks and write on it, before, during and after the trip. Names of roads, addresses, tips, reviews, thoughts or anything else. Keep in it everything that is worth remembering and reading later. You won’t regret this!

Avoid Traveling at Night

Especially if you’re a female, avoid going out at night! You never know what can happen, there are many people who drink at nights and aren’t fully aware of their actions. There isn’t much you can see at nights anyway.

Be Safe

Have everything set up and ready: passport, visa, student permits and especially health insurance! Be sure to get a good plan that covers you in case something happens. Germany requires all people to be insured. But there are many people who pick bad plans and then end up having to pay extra money to treat themselves.  Find out more about Health Insurance in Germany!

Learn German

It’s best that you know at least the basics of the German language. Many people speak English but the locals will respect you more for trying to speak like them and will happily help you out in case you need anything. Many small cafes also have their menus written in German only because they are meant for locals. So knowing the language is a good thing.

That’s pretty much all. Don’t leave your studies behind as that’s the reason why you came to Germany, but be sure to have fun and enjoy your stay as much as you can. Explore and don’t be afraid to get lost, that’s how the best places are found and memories will always be there for you to remember.

Written by: Bettina Kraft.

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