Student Life in Germany
German automobile sector is well known all over the world. However, the ‘land der Dichter und Denker’ (land of thinkers and poets) is not just about BMW, Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche. It is also a world leader in various other fields. During your stay in Germany you will encounter many facets of Germany that make it a world leader in true sense. Following are some of the things that you would come face to face during your stay in Germany.
Geography and weather:
Germany is located in the heart of Europe. It stretches from the Alps to the Baltic sea. It has the second largest population in Europe after Russia and is the seventh largest in terms of area. The highest mountain is Zugspitze (2,962 meters). The Black forest (Schwarzwald) is located in the south-west of Germany. There are many opportunities for students to go trekking or taking a cycle tour of the countryside on weekends. Germany has a congenial climate. However, the summers can be hot with some days the temperature exceeding 30° C. During winters the temperatures might drop below 20°C. Adjusting to the cold climate can be an ordeal for new comers to the country.
Germany is respected around the world for its quality construction, excellent engineering and efficiency. Their excellence is seen in the amazing infrastructure of Germany. From the 19th century Neuschwanstein Castle to the modern day Magdeburg Bridge, Germany engineering can be seen in every state of the country. During your stay you’ll be able to see some of the architectural wonders in the forms of huge skyscrapers, bridges, techno savvy railways and castles that look as if they have come out of Disney movies.
Germany has 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The latest additions were Hamburg’s Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District. Germany is now one of the top five countries in the world with the most world heritage sites along with Italy (51), China (48), Spain (44) and France (41). The invention of the printing press is credited to Germany and it is one of the best inventions that the world has seen. The inventions and discoveries by world renowned German scientists like Albert Einstein, Wilhelm Röntgen, etc. have made history. Goethe and schiller are two of the best German authors the world has seen after Shakespeare. Germans are proud of their heritage and you’ll see various aspects of this heritage in your day to day life in Germany. Huge libraries that have a hoard of knowledge and history can be seen in many cities.
German is the official and predominantly spoken language in Germany. It is one of 24 official and working languages of the European Union, and one of the three working languages of the European Commission. Danish, Low German, Sorbian, Romany and Frisian are the minority languages in Germany. The most used immigrant languages are Turkish, Kurdish, Polish, the Balkan languages, and Russian. As German is the language of the masses, working knowledge of German is a must for you. You’ll have to communicate with the locals and fellow German students during your stay in Germany. The locals would welcome you with open arms if you talk to them in their language. So even if the language of instruction of your course is English, make sure to learn at least the basics of the German language.
Germany is the second largest music market in Europe, and fourth largest in the world. It hosts many large rock music festivals annually. The Rock am Ring festival is the largest music festival in Germany. The popular music of the 20th and 21st century includes the movements of Pop , Ostrock, Metal/Rock, Punk, etc. Apart from this Germany is also known for its opera. Nearly every town (small and big) has its own opera house. You’ll surely turn into a music lover in this country.
German cinema has made major technical and artistic contributions to film. Few, German movies such as Das Boot (1981), The Never Ending Story (1984), Good Bye, Lenin! (2003), Head On (2004), The White Ribbon (2009), Animals United (2010), Cloud Atlas (2012) also had international success. The German video gaming market is one of the largest in the world. If you are a gaming fanatic, Germany is the place to be. The Gamescom in Cologne is the world’s largest gaming event.
Fashion and design:
Germany is a leading country in the fashion industry. Munich, Hamburg and Düsseldorf are also important design and production hubs of the domestic fashion industry, among smaller towns. Important German brands include Hugo Boss, Escada, Adidas, Puma and Jack Wolfskin. The German supermodels Claudia Schiffer, Heidi Klum, Tatjana Patitz and Nadja Auermann have international fame.