Year Abroad Country Profile: Germany

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Why should people choose the destination?

You may not think of Germany but it really is a wonderful country. Not only is it the home of beer and the dazzling Christmas markets, it’s full of wonderful places to visit. Many people believe the Germans are very hard-lined. However I found that if you just ask for help, they can be really generous.

Travel / cultural highlights?

Almost too many to choose from! My trip to Stuttgart for Volksfest (a beer festival, like Oktoberfest) was pretty spectacular. Everyone was clad out in traditional German dress and happily singing songs whilst stood on tables and brandishing massive tankards. Amazing!

The Christmas markets aren’t to be missed either though with their cute little huts, which really made winter seem a lot less bleak.

How was the process of adjusting after being in the UK?

Luckily the Germans aren’t too dissimilar from us so adjusting culturally was okay. However there is the whole language situation. I was based in Saxony, where not many people speak English but if you live in a big city like Berlin, then getting around with not much German should be no problem.

How expensive is it to live there?

My accommodation was very cheap, as I wasn’t anywhere touristy. So my rent was as little as £150 a month, with bills included – every student’s dream! However if you go to places, like Berlin, you could be paying £420 a month. It really does vary. Otherwise things aren’t priced too dissimilarly from here. The beer is cheap though. So you needn’t worry there!

Best piece of advice?

Discover the wonders of FlixBus! FlixBus is like our National Express but 10 times better! It’s cheap and goes to most places in Germany, and other countries too! Plus it has free wifi – what’s not love!

If you’re looking for accommodation, use WG-gesucht.de online. That’s where I found my flat and couldn’t have stumbled upon nicer people to live with.

Study abroad options available? (Check uni site)

The university has lots of exchange partners for studying in Germany, like Hamburg, Munich and Berlin. This is available for most disciplines. A lot of German universities lead their lectures in English too. So that should help! If you’re studying German, you can also teach in a school with the British council (like I did!), or find a work placement.

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Travel, Lifestyle and Opinions Writer. I am an English Literature and German student at Southampton with a sense of adventure and desire to discover new places, literature and culture. Adventure is out there!

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