If as an international student, you have chosen Germany as your study destination, you made a great choice, and I will show you why it’s such a smart move.
Germany has some world-class universities – most of the universities in the country are highly ranked, they have a strong economy, and you have the opportunity for a post-study work visa which allows you to stay back and work in the country after your studies.
How to Survive in Germany as an International Student
But here’s the thing: for you to make the most of your stay in Germany as an international student, you’ve to be well-prepared.
First, you need to know your rights and be ready to adapt to German culture but that’s not all, we have some invaluable tips here to help you survive in Germany as an international student. From what to do and what to avoid to have a trouble-free experience in Germany.
A lot of folks say Germany is an affordable destination for education which is right if you compare the fees with other leading countries of the world, but you still need to plan your finances carefully.
In many universities, tuition fees are relatively low or non-existent but you still need to cover living expenses and leisure. Here’s what you can do to assist yourself.
- Scholarships: You should look for scholarships and grants, lot of them are available to international students in Germany. Scholarships help you pay part or all of your study costs.
- Part-time work: You should check for part-time job opportunities, they are helpful as well, but make sure you check the regulations for international students before taking up any job.
- Budgeting: Create a budget for yourself, it helps you to manage your expenses effectively.
Many German universities offer their courses in English but that’s not enough, you still need to relate with people outside the walls of the university.
You should learn some German. Learning German will not only help you in everyday life, but it will also make it easier for you to interact with locals and find part-time work.
You can take language courses at your university (some universities offer language courses to help international students learn local languages). If you don’t like the idea of taking language courses, you can check online platforms like Duolingo or Babbel, they are helpful.
Health insurance is mandatory for all students in Germany. You can get either public health insurance or you go for private insurance.
Private health insurance is always more expensive. Make sure you arrange your health insurance as soon as you arrive to avoid any issues.
Finding suitable accommodation is not easy, it’s a big challenge that every international student faces, especially in popular student cities like Berlin or Munich.
Once you get your visa, you need to start searching for your accommodation early, you should consider various options like student dormitories, shared apartments (WG), or private rentals. If you don’t know where to start, check websites like WG-Gesucht and Studenten-WG, they can help you.
Germany is known for its bureaucratic procedures, so you have to be very prepared to fill out forms and visit many offices.
- Visa and residence permit: Apply for your student visa and residence permit well in advance.
- Registration: Once you get accommodation, register your address with the local authorities.
- Bank account: Open a local bank account for smoother financial transactions.
Now you are in Germany, you need to embrace German culture, it will greatly enhance your experience.
You should attend local events, try traditional dishes, and learn about German history. It will help you get used to German culture. You can also join student clubs or organizations to meet both locals and fellow international students.
One of the things you will enjoy in Germany is the transport system. Germany has an excellent public transportation system. You need to get a semester ticket; it will offer you unlimited travel within your city.
German universities are known for their rigorous academic schedules. You need to learn how to manage your time effectively. You can use tools like planners and apps to stay organized and meet deadlines.
International students in Germany are allowed to work part-time during their studies. If you are interested in working (you should be interested, it helps you gain work experience), you can look for job opportunities related to your field of study or consider working as a tutor or in the service industry.
While working, make sure you don’t work more than the maximum number of working hours allowed per week.
Germany is a safe country, but you still need to be aware of safety guidelines. Familiarize yourself with emergency numbers and healthcare facilities in your area, they will be helpful in times of trouble.
Germany is a great country to study but surviving here as an international student is not only about academics but also about opening yourself to adapt to the country’s culture and lifestyle. If you follow the advice here, you will be in a better place to enjoy your stay in Germany
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