Erblina in front of the Town Hall in Munich

Your dream is to study in Germany but you still have some open questions and are wondering about what to expect from life in Germany? Don’t worry, other students have been in this position as well and can give you helpful advice. We have asked International School of Management student Erblina Rushiti about her experiences and her tips for international students in Germany. Erblina during her semester abroad in BudapestErblina during her semester abroad in Budapest
Erblina came to Germany in 2020 from Shtime, a small city in Kosovo, to study Strategic Marketing Management. “I remember the first day I came to ISM. From the main train station in Munich until I arrived at ISM, I was very emotional, stressed and happy because my new adventure began and I was asking myself if I am ready for it.” Since then, Erblina has made many friends, collected expert marketing knowledge and has successfully finished her Master’s degree. “Several of my classes, internships and different projects have tied into real world examples for my career. I learned a lot of new things that have prepared me for the future.”
Starting your studies in a foreign country can be a challenge – but a challenge that Erblina welcomed and that has taught her a lot: “I had a lot of people who believed and supported me during the studies and I think I am who I am now because in this life if you are surrounded by positive persons who believe in you, no matter the obstacles you'll have in the road, everything will be easier.”

Erblina’s Top 10 Tips for your studies in Germany

1. Have some knowledge of German before coming here, even if your course is taught in English.

It will help you to orient yourself in day-to-day life and also increases your chances of finding a job later.

2. Check out working opportunities if you want but don’t take on too much.

In Germany, you are allowed to work a total of 120 full days or 240 half days in a year while studying. Typically, these part-time jobs include teaching or research assistants at university, English tutors, support staff/waiters at coffee shops or bars, or assistants in industrial production. Although while working part-time, students get to earn a little extra pocket money and learn more about the culture and lifestyle of a place, they can usually become a bit overwhelmed especially when semesters begin getting tougher.

3. Utilize the healthcare system.

Before coming to Germany, you need to check whether your health insurance is valid in Germany or else get insured with a German health insurance. This will save you from large medical fees in case you fall ill and it is also a requirement in order to get a study visa. The monthly fee for students under 30 years is about 110 Euro.

4. Prepare for the weather conditions.

Germany has four seasons so if you are staying all through the year, you need to pack clothes fit for different kinds of weather. The coldest months of the year are normally December, January and February. In winter, it is usually a few degrees above or below zero. In summer, the daily temperature highs vary from about 15 to 30 degrees but can also go above 30. In general, Germany's climate is moderate and has no longer periods of very cold or very hot weather.

Erblina in a café

5. Give yourself time.

In the beginning, everything might seem challenging. However, after getting used to living and studying in a foreign country, you will find that you had nothing to worry about. You will enjoy making friends and learning new things (many even wish to relive the same experience after they finish their studies).

6. Get accommodation with German people.

You can get to know the German culture first-hand. Also, this can also help you practice your German.

7. As in other countries, Sundays in Germany are considered a day of rest.

In addition, it is a day of peace and quiet, with noisy pursuits reserved for other days of the week. The shops are closed in many places and many people simply spend time with family. As an international student, your friends are your family, so spend time together and relax. After a busy week of classes, you will be ready to enjoy some downtime. Sunday is the ideal time to get out, enjoy the German countryside and breathe in the fresh air.

8. Understand the German transportation system.

It is very practical to live in any large German city or metropolitan area without owning a car. Even medium-sized cities have good public transportation networks that use buses, trams, and rail lines to move people around. In case you want to travel to other German cities, you can also use intercity and local trains. If you take the train frequently, consider purchasing a Bahn Card. The card entitles you to a discount of 25, 50, or 100 % off the normal fare, depending on which card you purchase. There are also many special offers, such as weekend tickets, which allow up to five people to travel on local transport for a whole day at the weekend.

9. Know that you are not alone.

Things like paying rent, or finding your way around Germany might be some of the most difficult challenges you will have to overcome. Nevertheless, rest assured to know that many international students have done this before you and, once you get to Germany, you will find numerous fellow students in the exact same position.

10. The best part about studying in Germany is that you get to meet people from all over the world, learn different cultures, and make friendships, most importantly of all.

Do you also want to start your study adventure abroad? Find out more about the ISM Bachelor's, Master's and MBA programs.

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