Germany is a popular destination for study abroad because of its very low tuition fees, its interesting culture, its quality institutions, and its convenient location in the middle of Europe. But if you have been considering Germany as a destination for your study abroad, there are even more arguments that might convince you.
Germany is also a very welcoming and inclusive destination for international students from all cultures and backgrounds! In fact, 12% of all matriculated students at German universities do not have a German passport, making the universities extremely international. You will have the chance to meet people from all over the world and feel safe at all times – in a country that does not only accept you, but actively welcomes you! In this article we want to share the most important reasons why Germany is a welcoming and inclusive destination for study abroad and why it definitely should be on your list!
Germany is Diverse
Almost a quarter of the inhabitants of Germany have an immigrant background, meaning that either they were born in another country or one of their parents were. Many people have come to Germany in search of work and have stayed long-term, making the country a multicultural environment where you will meet people from Turkey, Russia, Poland, Romania, Vietnam, China, and many other countries. This way, you will not only get to know German culture, but many more at the same time.
Particularly in the bigger cities, this is also reflected in the shops and restaurants where you will find cuisine from all over, and even shops and supermarkets that offer products from other countries. And German is definitely not the only language that you will hear on the streets!
Germany is an LGBTQ+ Friendly Study Abroad Destination
Germany ranks among the top 25 LGBTQ-friendly countries in the entire world. Since 2001, Germany has allowed domestic partnerships, and since 2017 it has legalized marriage equality. Particularly in the bigger cities like Berlin or Cologne, there is a very active queer culture with many bars and cultural centers.
In a 2019 study by Eurobarometer, 88% of Germans stated that gay, lesbian, and bisexual people should have the same rights as heterosexual people. This number shows that Germany is on the right path, making it a friendly choice for queer folks.
Germany is Safe
Generally speaking, Germany is a very safe place to live and study abroad. Germany ranks 22nd according to the Global Peace Index 2019 rankings. The ranking is based on the crime rate of a country, incidences of terrorist attacks and a stable political scene amongst other indicators.
Of course, there are a couple of general rules that should be followed like not walking alone at night in dimly lit areas, and you should always be alert to pickpockets, but there is no reason to constantly watch your back when you study abroad in Germany. Also, for women, it is a safe place to travel alone and to explore during your semester abroad.
German Universities Actively Seek International Students
If you choose to study abroad in Germany, you are not only accepted and welcomed, but actively sought out. DAAD or the German Academic Exchange Service offers a wide variety of scholarships for foreign students and actively tries to attract students. In fact, Germany is the third most popular destination for US students seeking a Master's abroad, meaning you'll be surrounded by similarly-minded peers.
Germans love to study abroad – a third of German students go abroad to study for at least one semester. This is one of the highest rates in the world. And going to a country where many of your fellow students already have experiences abroad has many advantages. You will find like minded people and also friends that understand when you might struggle at some point or need help – because they have been through the same.
Germany is Multilingual
While learning a new language is an important part of every study abroad program, it is also nice to know that you can get around with the English language – even more so when it comes to classes. Almost two thirds of all Germans speak English, or at least understand enough to get around. The numbers among young people are much higher still. Many universities also offer courses in the English language.
Germany Welcomes Refugees
In 2015 in the midst of the refugee crisis, Germany showed the world that it is welcoming towards people fleeing war and hardships. Instead of closing the borders, Chancellor Merkel said “we'll manage this”, and between 2015 and 2019 1.7 million people have applied for asylum here. This makes Germany the country with the fifth highest refugee population in the world.
During the height of the crisis, photos and videos of people welcoming refugees at train stations in Germany spread around the world. While not everything has been easy since then, many people who came in 2015 have become success stories in their new home. Overall, this approach of welcoming people instead of trying to lock them out is considered to be a success.
Germany is a Foodie Paradise
Even though Germany is known for its hearty and meat based traditional cuisine, you don’t have to be an omnivore to study abroad here. In 2016, 8 million Germans said they were vegetarians and 1.3 reported that they were vegans – and these numbers have most likely risen since then. In 2020, Germany was voted the sixth most vegan friendly country in the world – even beating Sweden and the Netherlands. So, you don’t have to worry that the only food you’ll be able to find during your semester abroad is Sauerbraten and Schweinshaxe! In fact, vegan currywurst is a delicacy everyone should try.
So, as you can see, Germany has a lot to offer and is a welcoming and inclusive destination for study abroad. In fact, Germany is such a wonderful place to study that almost 70% of all international students who studied in Germany, stated that they would prefer to stay in Germany after they finish their studies. It’s hard to argue with those numbers! If you decide to study abroad in Germany, you will be welcomed by a very diverse country in the middle of Europe, where you can make your time abroad a truly amazing experience.