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Living in Germany

This page and sub-pages linked at the bottom are mainly written for students, both undergrad and graduate. However, most of the information is relevant to all people going to Germany for academic reasons.

Germany is situated in the heart of Europe and shares its borders with more neighbouring countries than any European state – namely 9 in total. Indeed, you are sure to notice this when you walk, ride or drive along its streets and roads. People from all the countries of the world live here. Of the 80.5 million or so inhabitants, some 15 million were either born abroad or have at least one parent who was born abroad, i.e. almost 19 per cent of the population have at least partly foreign roots. This has naturally left its mark on the culinary landscape. Italian pizzerias, Spanish bodegas, Greek taverns and Turkish kebab stands, as well as Chinese, Thai and Indian restaurants have become part of everyday city life.Humboldt Universität zu Berlin

Germany is a country blessed with an extremely efficient industry and it possesses an education system which not only needs to meet the requirements of this industry but has ethical commitments, too. The country’s history is varied, thrilling and ever present, the landscape is diverse, and the range and breadth of cultural events unparalleled in Europe. In Western Europe, German is the mother tongue of almost 100 million people. Germany’s very powerful industry and the increasing global activities of German companies are lending more and more weight to the German language, even at an international level. The manifold leisure activities organised at the universities are supplemented by endless possibilities outside the academic sphere. Sports, cultural events, or simply friendly get-togethers — there is always something for everyone.

A humorous take on the Kiwi-German culture clash
The Goethe Institut Wellington and the NZ MFAT have been supporting Life Swap for a while now, a cartoon about two blokes, Duncan from Wellington and Jörg from Münster, exchanging places and skyping about it. It’s a brilliant take on what Kiwis and Germans have in common and where the respective cultures differ. You can find all episodes published so far here.

Getting settled

In today’s world, international relations and academic exchange are more important than ever.

A study visit or research stay in Germany will surely not only push your academic career significantly, but will also change the way you see the world.

However, the decision to live in a foreign country always involves breaking new ground and means being prepared to face the unknown.

In order to help you with your preparations, the ‘Getting settled’ section concentrates on some practical aspects of life in Germany, such as finding accommodation, opening a bank account, how to use public transport etc.:

And further, more general information on Germany for academic travellers from all over the world can be found here: Links to Living in Germany

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