What Is Life in Germany Like for an International Student?

Germany attracts people from all corners of the world due to its numerous advantages, starting from the quality of life, job opportunities, as well as its interesting culture and traditions. The German economy is also one of the largest in the world, as the labour market has developed and the conditions are stable. This country is where people go to succeed, it is basically a country of hope, success, research, and innovation. The beautiful landscape, numerous castles, and the interesting architecture play their part when it comes to attracting expats.

The picturesque towns are an interesting quality of Germany and for people coming from outside of the EU, visiting Germany is an absolutely magnificent experience. Germany has a wonderful heritage of castles, thousands across Germany. What might have been the homes of kings and emperors before, are now valuable parts of German history serving as cultural objects, museums, and magnificent architectural buildings attracting thousands of visitors from all over the globe. Germany has just so much to offer as a vibrant country with an energetic and innovative population.

Let’s explore what life is like in Germany for international students through a few common questions:

1. What Is the Weather Like in Germany?

As an international student, you will be glad to know that Germany enjoys perfect weather. Although perfect might be subjective, Germany is widely known as the country that enjoys all four seasons throughout the year. So, if you’re planning to stay for a whole year in Germany, you will need all four types of clothes. In general, in Germany, summers are warm, winters are cold, where the temperature can drop below freezing, and spring and fall are often the perfect balance between the two.

During the summer, where temperatures can rise to more than 30 degrees Celsius, Germany has perfect cooling off destinations, like lakes or the beaches. The weather in Germany can be varied, maybe often unpredictable, but you should be sure that you will get to enjoy all four seasons, yearly, while on your study trip to Germany. So, do not forget to bring your hat, scarf, gloves, and a warm jacket but remember to also bring sunglasses, T-shirts, and a bathing suit.

2. Will I Be Able to Afford Things?

An international student in Germany, according to the 2020 estimations, will need around 853 EUR/month in order to meet the necessary living expenses. If you need a visa to enter Germany, you will need to provide proof of financial stability for your visa application (this is usually done through a German blocked account). In general, international students tend to find their way during their studies in Germany, especially while earning a bit of extra income from the many part-time jobs that Germany offers especially for students.

As an international student in Germany, you are allowed to work a total of 120 full days or 240 half days in a year. Typically, these part-time jobs include teaching or research assistants at university, English tutors, support staff/waiters at coffee shops or bars, or assistants in industrial production among others. Although while working part-time, students get to earn a little extra pocket money and learn more about the culture and lifestyle of a place, they can usually become a bit overwhelmed especially when semesters begin getting tougher.

Salary-wise, through part-time jobs students get to earn roughly around 450 per month, with a salary ranging from 5 to 15 EUR/hour. Typically, the wages are higher in the bigger cities, but the living costs are also higher in those cities. Overall, one of the biggest financial issues students tend to face in Germany is rent, however, many students decide to live in shared accommodation, student halls, or find a flat in the outskirts, since rent tends to be more costly in the city centres.

Learn more about the cost of living in Germany.

3. What Is the German Lifestyle Like and What Can I Do for Fun?

Germans place a lot of importance on structure and punctuality, so if you are not punctual, you might have a hard time making friendships with Germans. This country has a wonderful culture, largely influenced by its rich history and partly by the countries that border it. Germans appreciate hard work, perfectionism, and precision, which is why they might seem antisocial at first, but once you get to know them you will find they are actually quite friendly. Germans are very welcoming of international students, so you do not have to worry about the comfort you will be provided with.

Overall, student life in Germany is an authentic experience and will likely be able to meet your expectations. The majority of German cities relish an active nightlife and a wide range of recreational activity options. Larger cities like Munich and Berlin are full of interesting places to visit, but the charm of the smaller towns is unmatched. With numerous student-friendly places, extracurricular activities, and its festivals, Germany is the perfect place where you can balance both study and social life.

The official language of the country in German, with more than 95% of the population speaking it as their first language. Although many speak English, especially in the larger cities, it is always easier if you can actually speak a little, or just the basics, of the German language, while in your stay in Germany. Interacting with locals will help you enhance your German language skills and it’s always safer being able to ask for directions in the language the majority understand here. But even if you cannot speak German, do not worry, you will find your way because Germans are accustomed to internationals.

Germany is also known for its traditional festivals that take place on a yearly basis. One of the most popular festivals, which you have probably heard about is Oktoberfest. Millions of people attend Oktoberfest every year, where they get to socialize with friends and family, enjoy their beer, food, and games, and simply get to know people. The festival usually begins late September and ends in October, lasting for a duration of about two weeks in Munich. This is only one of the many festivals occurring in Germany and international students always make sure to attend Oktoberfest, so you might meet plenty of fellow students.

Learn more about German culture.

4. Will I Be Able to Benefit From the Healthcare System in Germany?

If you want to remain in the country (or even enter the country), you should have health insurance, because it is compulsory in Germany. Germans take health insurance seriously and their healthcare system is one of the best in the world. Health insurance for students in Germany is usually affordable, and depending on whether you have public or private health insurance in Germany, you will get numerous benefits without having to worry about the expenses. However, always make sure you check the benefits and the covered costs before getting health insurance because some health insurance schemes do not cover all expenses.

Learn more about health insurance in Germany.

5. What Is the Best Part About Studying in Germany?

The best part about studying in Germany is that you get to meet people from all over the world, learn different cultures, and make friendships, most importantly of all. Students worldwide have their eyes on Germany as a study destination. This country offers a full authentic package for students. Not only will you be able to get quality education and qualifications which will help you excel in the global job market, but you will also have the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Germany to the fullest.

And the cherry on top? See these interesting facts about Germany!

6. What Is the Most Challenging Part of Studying in Germany?

In the beginning, everything might seem challenging, until you get used to everything. After getting used to living and studying in a foreign country, you will find that you had nothing to worry about in the beginning. You will enjoy making friends and learning new things (many even wish to relive the same experience after they finish their studies). Of course, things like paying rent, juggling study and work, or finding your way around Germany might be some of the most difficult challenges you will have to overcome. Nevertheless, rest assured to know that many international students have done this before you and, once you get to Germany, you will find numerous fellow students in the exact same position.

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