Either for a whole studies or just for Erasmus placement, Germany is among the most attractive study destinations in Europe. You can find your Masters at some of the many good German universities at the Masters Study Fairs!
Besides the education itself, there are many other important aspects of the student life. If you are among the thousands of young people who want to apply in Germany, then you're probably asking yourself what's like to spend some time there. You are maybe even more curious, after you have already heard so many clichés about the Germans and their lifestyle.
If you do, it's great! Like in every other country, knowing the local language opens many doors. You would have the chance to get to know the German culture better and feel more integrated in the society. However, if you don't speak German, it wouldn't be a problem at the university, because you can study in English.
Your concerns should rather be about communicating with people in your everyday life. Younger Germans are usually very well educated, which nowadays includes a good command of English. In the smaller towns, though, you might have some difficulties. In general, Germany is among the countries, where English is widely spoken and it's not hard to be understood.
However, you should and definitely will learn some German words. "Mensa" is one of them and it means “canteen”. It is very popular and also cheap to eat there. For about 5€ or even less, you can get a starter, a main dish and a desert. And yes, you will have the chance to have a typical German meal there - sausage with potatoes (as the clichés says)! Vegans and vegetarians shouldn't worry, because the modern cuisine also finds place in the student canteen. Usually, the daily menu includes a vegetarian meal and one with meat...
Besides being easy, fast and affordable, the "Mensa" is also a very social place - students meet there by chance or even arrange meetings. It is very typical for students to have lunch in the mensa and dinner - at home. And how would you recognize the student's dinner? That's right - when you see the noodles in your plate! If you add a glass of sparkling water, you have definitely got used to the German taste.
Let's continue with the German words... WG comes from a long one - Wohnungsgemeinschaft and it is also very important for students. The literal translation is "residential community" and it's used to describe the common student way of living - an apartment where everyone has an own room and shares the bathroom and the kitchen with the others.
Whether it is a university building or a private one, this shared way of living is very popular among students. It is also affordable as you will share all the expenses with your roommates. Of course, you can always look for a small apartment to live on your own, but you should have in mind, that it wouldn’t be very cheap and it is harder to find, especially for a short period of time.
Furthermore, students relocate quite often and you can find a room in a WG quite fast. If you have a contract for the two years of your study, but you decide to go somewhere else for one semester in the meantime, you can always let your room to someone, who is coming for Erasmus at that time.
One of the greatest benefits for all students in Germany is this ticket for public transportation, which applies for the whole state or area. You receive it for free from the university after paying your semester fee (at almost all public universities).
As the public transportation in Germany isn’t cheap, you save a lot of money on it with your student card. This is very important for students who live and study (or work) in different cities or towns and need to travel almost every day. However, for those who are in the big cities, the ticket is also a relief, as getting around is more complicated there than in the small towns where you can go by foot or bike.
Of course, everyone enjoys travelling and getting to know the area, so that owners of semester tickets often make day trips to nice places nearby.
Especially when you are new at some place, this is the most convenient way to socialize and make friends. You will be lucky in Germany, because there are many student associations, clubs and active students who organize something – from movie evenings through sport events to sightseeing tours and trips. There are plenty of choices for everyone’s interests! And the best part is that you can meet so many different people – in Germany there are many students from diverse nationalities. You will have the chance to enrich you knowledge on other cultures and maybe even try their national cuisine!
A very German thing is to organize a “Stammtisch” (regulars’ table) – a regular meeting, which takes place at a certain place and hour (for example: every second Thursday of the month). The aim of these events is to bring together people with similar interests on a regular basis and give them the chance to develop some kind of a relationship.
Although you might have heard that Germans are boring with their punctuality, we advise you not to pay attention to clichés and to see it yourself! There are many more great advantages of being a student in Germany that you could experience. If you would like to find the appropriate university and study programme, you can check our search or visit one of the Masters Study Fairs!