Moving to Germany is an exciting experience for any international student because this progressive country has a lot to offer. From affordable education to post-education career options, from easy visa rules to immigration policies, Germany offers a friendly environment to international students.
However, moving to a new country is not as easy as it seems. A new language, change in climatic conditions & cultural shift are a few aspects that every student must prepare for before leaving their homeland.
In this blog, we will share suggestions which will make your life in Germany a lot easier.
1. Manage Cost of living in Germany:
2. Medical Insurance:
3. Learn the German language:
4. Make the Most of the Country:
5. Choose a Place for Living in Germany:
6. Choose Private Housing in Germany:
7. Open a Bank Account:
8. Keep your German Visa handy:
9. Know about Germany’s transportation system:
10. Socialize & attend Events in Germany:
11. Get a Part-time Job in Germany:
12. Student Discount Cards:
Manage Cost of living in Germany:
Germany is an affordable country, and this is fantastic news for students! Germany’s cost of living is significantly lower than that of other major European countries such as Ireland, Netherlands, and France.
On average, students pay roughly €800-1000 per month for rent, and working professionals pay around €1200 per month.
For example, the average monthly cost of living for students in Cologne is roughly €934.
Our advice for coping with the cost of living in Germany is to budget and plan ahead of time, so you don’t run out of money once you arrive.
The German healthcare system is one of the greatest in Europe, and all citizens have access to it. European students studying in Germany can get insurance through their European Health Insurance Card, but if you’re a non-EU student, you’ll have to apply for German health insurance.
You’ll be given a health card once you’ve chosen your insurance plan, which you must bring to any doctor’s appointments or hospital visits.
In Germany, doctor’s appointment wait periods can be pretty long, so don’t be shocked if you have to wait up to two months!
Note: Apply for health insurance as soon as possible, as it can lead to a delay in your visa application.
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Learn the German language:
Even when the course of your choice is in English, it is recommended to have some working knowledge of German.
Applications like Duolingo and Babbel are excellent options for learning German and make your life in Germany a lot easier. Also, when you decide to look for work in Germany after graduation, having German language abilities will help you stand out.
Make the Most of the Country:
Here are some more of our best recommendations for making the most of your studies in Germany:
- To meet new individuals, join groups or organizations.
- Arrive on time for your classes – Germans value punctuality!
- Make sure you’re ready for any oral exams.
- In Germany, the connection between professors and students is relatively formal.
- For grades, German institutions employ a points-based system that ranges from 1 (outstanding) to 5 (failure).
Choose a Place for Living in Germany:
If you haven’t chosen where you want to live in Germany yet, don’t worry; there are so many beautiful cities to select from that it’s difficult to go wrong! Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich are also popular study destinations.
You can easily reside in the cities adjacent to your college or university. For example, students pursuing their education at the Cologne campus can keep their accommodation in the suburbs like Düsseldorf, Bonn, and Aachen.
If you want to save money, Bonn, Aachen, and Leipzig are the cheapest German places to live.
You can use the sites like Immobilienscout24, Immowelt, or Immonet to find furnished studios and one-room or multi-room flats.
Choose Private Housing in Germany:
Depending on your choice, you may live in student housing or rent privately. The amount you pay for rent will vary depending on your city, but it will typically fall between €500 and €1000 per month. This amount may be lower or higher depending on your city and accommodations.
Utilities and other bills are examples of ‘Nebenkosten’ – additional costs must be budgeted. Some of these expenses may be paid by your monthly rent or shared if you live with others, but you should still account for them when budgeting. Internet/telephone connections are a few examples of additional costs.
Tenants in Germany typically take everything when they move out, so you may need to consider purchasing furniture. You could buy furniture from IKEA, but we recommend going to local flea markets, thrift stores, Facebook Marketplace, or eBay to save money.
Open a Bank Account:
It’s usually a good idea to register to a German bank account if you expect to stay in Germany for more than a few weeks. It’s crucial as some scholarship and financial aid options only allow money to be transferred to German bank accounts.
If you wish to open a student bank account in Germany, with the following documents:
- ID card or passport
- Enrolment Certificate/Student ID
- The German Resident Registration Office confirms your registration.
Once you open a bank account, you will be provided with a debit card (just like in India), but don’t expect you will not need cash, as several small businesses and cafes in Germany only accept cash.
Keep your German Visa handy:
In comparison to other countries, obtaining a German visa to work or study is quite simple, and some students may not even need to apply. You should check whether you need to apply for a visa before moving to Germany. Most EU students should be fine; however, non-EU students can only stay in Germany on a tourist visa for 90 days.
When you arrive in Germany, the visa process does not necessarily end there; you must also register your residence with the German authorities. Mind it, it is crucial. Within two weeks of your arrival, you must produce verification of your address to local authorities to register.
Know about Germany’s transportation system:
Germany’s public transportation is known for being efficient, clean, on time, and affordable – notably for students who can use public transport for free with their student ID.
In Germany, the following are the main modes of transportation:
- S-Bahn is a German railway system (Schnellbahn or Stadtschnellbahn)
- U-Bahn is a German subway system (Untergrundbahn)
- Regional trains express-regional (RE)
However, we recommend purchasing a bicycle because most German cities are designed with bikers in mind. Most highways have designated cycling lanes, making them a relatively safe and inexpensive mode of transportation.
If you own a car, you should familiarise yourself with the road regulations in Germany, particularly the Autobahn. There are no speed limits on these roadways, and you can only stop in an emergency; it’s even illegal to run out of gas, so you can’t use that as an excuse.
Another suggestion is to use Germany’s outstanding transportation linkages across European countries. Traveling to neighboring cities like France, the Netherlands, or Austria is simple and inexpensive.
Have you taken the GMAT before?
Socialize & attend Events in Germany:
Studying is crucial but making the most of your study abroad experience and meeting new people is also important.
Fortunately, Germans enjoy socializing and going to clubs. You should look for English-speaking groups in your community or your university’s student clubs. Finding like-minded people who speak English should be simple no matter where you go.
Most institutions hold orientation sessions for overseas students; make sure you attend as many as possible. There’s no better way to bond with your classmates than to take advantage of Germany’s bustling nightlife. We hope you enjoy techno music, as it is the most popular in nightclubs.
There are festivals dedicated to just about anything you can think of throughout the year, but don’t miss Oktoberfest, Cologne’s carnival, and Cologne’s Gay Pride, also known as the CSD or Christopher’s Street Day.
Get a Part-time Job in Germany
There are numerous career options throughout Germany for international students, but Cologne, Munich, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, and Berlin offer the best chances of finding work. Each of these places has a good work infrastructure and offers competitive compensation.
Popular portals for finding a part-time job are Stellenanzeigen.de, Stepstone, Snaphunt, Kimeta, and Monster.
Student Discount Cards:
Students in Germany get discounted rates on public transportation, such as buses, subways, trams, and car rentals. The BahnCard, for example, provides discounts of 25 to 50 percent on rail tickets in Germany. Student discounts are common in entertainment venues, movie theatres, libraries, and restaurants in university towns. Students can also save money at museums, theatres, and even zoos in Germany.
Germany is a bustling country with immense opportunities. If you are also interested in exploring your options in Germany, let us help you. Book a free consultation with Jamboree experts and pave your way toward one of the most popular study destinations.