Traveling to Germany Soon? 8 Things to Keep in Mind Before and After Traveling

Published by flag- María López Bernal — one month ago

Blog: ¡Colabora!
Tags: Erasmus tips

When traveling to a new country, whether you go there to study, work, travel, or if you are planning to move, it is important to know a bit (if not a lot) about the country you are visiting. Below, you can find important things to keep in mind if your next destination is Germany.

Here are 8 things to keep in mind before and after traveling to Germany!

1. Learn Some German

Although Germany is quite an international country, you should not limit yourself to one language only. Learning some German before entering the country will give you the opportunity to communicate with locals. It will also be helpful if you are going to stay in smaller towns or villages where international languages might not be spoken. Remember that you can keep learning German even after you enter the country. And, what better way to do so than among locals with whom you can communicate and practice your German language skills. You can also learn the language through various German language courses that are offered in different places across Germany.

Germany becomes a favorite destination of many who love visiting castles, museums, Germany’s countryside and not only. You will find lovely old cathedrals, medieval old Towns that are still intact, historical cities, and natural beauties that wait to be explored. The capital of Germany, Berlin, is the cultural heart of Germany and one that must be visited.

Apart from Berlin, German cities that attract thousands of tourists every year include Heidelberg, Freiburg, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich, etc. Your stay in Germany will not be complete if you do not explore the gems of the country. Practically, everyone can find something they enjoy in Germany — the country is everyone’s cup of tea (or everyone’s mineral water, since it is the most consumed and purchased beverage in Germany!)

3. Health Insurance Is a Big Deal in Germany

Worldwide, Germany is known for having an excellent healthcare system. Each person that is residing in Germany is obliged to have health insurance including international students. And, although healthcare is not free in Germany, it is quite affordable even for international students residing in the country.

On top of having one of the best healthcare systems in the world, according to Germany-Visa.org, the country offers plenty of health insurance options which makes it easier for international students to choose the most convenient policy. In other words, take health insurance seriously! You never know when you might need it, and it’s always best to be safe than sorry.

4. Cash Is Widely Used in Germany

Germany’s currency is Euro. And, by international standards, cash remains a very popular means of payment in Germany. You will need cash to pay for many public transport options, tourist attractions, bars or small shops. When in Germany, you can take money out at an ATM since it is a cheaper option, but make sure your bank does not charge ATM fees.

Note that credit cards are accepted in many places in Germany. However, they are not universal yet. Considering that not every place accepts credit cards, it is best you keep cash at hand just in case you run in a cash-only situation. Note that places do not have signs at the entrance letting you know whether or not you can use your card.

5. Germany Has World-Class (And Nearly Free) Education

Germany is known for many things, one of them being its excellent higher education system. Out of many countries in Europe, Germany offers nearly free education for both national and international students. If you are given the chance to study at a German university, know that the potential is endless. Excellence thrives from German universities!

German universities rank quite high in international rankings. Especially in the business field! The country makes a great business hub and many of the business universities in Germany have gained a global reputation, not to mention other disciplines such as physics, chemistry, medicine, etc., that have brought Germany over 100 Nobel Prizes. So, make use of every bit of German education you are offered. Who knows, you could be the next Nobel laureate!

6. Know Who to Contact in Cases of Emergency

Emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere. While abroad, people usually do not know what to do or who to seek help from. This is why it is important to know who to contact in case of an emergency. Most of the time you can find help and answers from the embassy of your home country in Germany.

While you are in Germany you should memorize numbers 112 and 110. The first (112) gets you through to the fire department and ambulance services, while the second (110) gets you through to the police. Hopefully, you will not have to use any of them throughout your stay. Make sure you are aware of potential problems you may encounter and prepare beforehand!

7. Five Minutes Early Is German Punctuality

Germans love rules and order. And, although they did not invent the clock, they are incredibly punctual. Being punctual is a requirement that the locals expect everyone to fulfill. So, if you are a person that tends to procrastinate, being in Germany will definitely enforce the culture of punctuality on you.

As a person who plans on traveling to Germany (and, who does not want to miss trains, buses, or public transport) you must be aware of this social behavior. Although it is nearly impossible to be always on time, being punctual is something that both the locals and you will appreciate.

8. Transportation Is as Punctual as Its Locals

Punctual as its locals are the trains, buses and different means of transportation in Germany. This is one of the reasons why many people opt to use public transportation in the country. Do not be surprised if you encounter people who live in large cities that do not have a car, since it is quite practical to live in these areas without owning one.

The cost of public transport in Germany varies. Monthly travel cards can cost up to €90, while one-way tickets are cheaper. Note that if you get tempted to skip buying a ticket and you get caught, you will have to pay a fine on the spot — even if you are a tourist. Germans use the word "Schwarzfahrer" about the people who ride public transport without a ticket. Avoid becoming a "Schwarzfahrer"!



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