9 things you will face in your next Year-long Program in Germany


In previous blogs we already dealt with in greater detail about why Germany has become one of the top destinations to live and study abroadbut there are many key features of the culture you will deal with as soon as you land that maybe will be shocking and others just speed up the process of falling in love with the German culture. If you are nearing finishing high school and want to taste a little bit of the world, we strongly recommend readying this blog thoroughly to learn more about what you can find in your next adventure in Germany.

Germans speak English, but…

It is true that the majority of Germans speak English and they enjoy showing how well they can do it, but coming from a foreigner living in Germany they also expect your best trying to communicate in German. Learning German could be the most frustrating, demanding but rewarding experiences you have ever undertaken. Don´t worry! If you speak English as a native language or at least you know its grammatical structures you may find it easier to learn German because both evolved from a common ancestral Germanic language and share many similarities in vocabulary and grammar. Our suggestion: Register in a German Language class in Germany, nothing better than learn German in the classroom and find ways to gain practical experience in your daily routine.

Become an Adult

Probably one of the best things that could happen to you is living alone while still counting on your parents support. Living abroad is not just to make new friends (even it is the most memorable). Setting new goals for yourself out of the comfort of your house and without your family for awhile and embarking on a new journey abroad with new people from different cultures is an opportunity for tremendous personal growth. We from IFX Soccer are aware of the complexity of being immersed in a new culture and that is why we support 24/7 our program´s participant while they gain confidence in themselves in their new environment.

  • Germany has a well nourished calendar of activities to offer.
  • Once you arrive Germany, you will be prompt to try Bratwürste which are part of every German barbecue.

König Fußball (king football)

Fußball, Football or Soccer (how it is called in U.S.) is the undisputed champion of German amateur and professional sports in Germany. Thousands of amateur Fußballvereine (soccer clubs) provide the opportunity for Germans to play soccer from a young age. It is typical in Germany that even the smallest of clubs will have their own home including a clubhouse, stadium pitch and practice pitches. Every weekend, families get together around the pitch supporting their children or local team making soccer a cultural asset thus get ready to support your team and be part of the real German experience.

Be on time, all of the time!

One thing that surprises foreigners in Germany, it is that things pretty much go according to plan. Trains and buses are pretty reliable; traffic is manageable; systems are dependable; government rules are clear and enforced more or less consistently. You can probably schedule your entire year on the assumption that your environment is not likely to interfere greatly with your plans. There’s a clear link between this cultural pattern and Germany’s place in history as one of the first countries in the world to become heavily industrialized (If you arrived at work four minutes late, the machine for which you are responsible gets started late, which exacts in a real life is a measurable financial cost).

Sweet 16 – legal age for drinking beer

Beer is a major part of German culture. German beer is brewed according to the Reinheitsgebot, which permits only water, hops, and malt as ingredients and stipulates that beers not exclusively using barley-malt such as wheat beer must be top-fermented. In 2012, Germany ranked third in Europe in terms of per-capita beer consumption, behind the Czech Republic and Austria. If you come from US where the age limit to drink beer is 21 this fact could amaze you and maybe more if you hear that you are allowed to drink beer with your parents from 14. Pay attention! Drinking beer in Germany is more of a cultural thing even in public spaces like parks, campuses or stadiums throughout Germany.

Traditional German Cuisine

Germans are know for their traditional German Cuisine around the world. What many people don’t know is the fact that German Cuisine is so much more than just sausage and meat. Once you arrive Germany, you will be prompt to try Bratwürste which are part of every German barbecue and also differ from area to area. The most famous Bratwürste are for sure the short and thin ones coming from Nürnberg. Other traditional meals we recommend you do not miss out on are: Currywurst, Bratkartoffeln, Schnitzel, Schweinshaxe, Schäufele, Sauerbraten, Maultaschen, Leberkäse and Rouladen.

Heaven of baked rolls

Set your low-carb diet aside for a while. Germany is world-famous not only for its dark bread, but also its good baked goods. To understand better the culture of Germany you need to walk around any city and visit as many bakeries as possible. Take a taste test of different bakeries and try different baked rolls by yourself. Brötchen (bread rolls), Brezel (soft pretzel), Milchbrötchen (milk roll), Käsekuchen (cheese cake), Mohnkuchen (poppy seed cake), Bienenstich (bee sting), Berliner (donut), Puddingbrezel (pudding pretzel), Streuselkuchen (streusel cake) are some examples of delicious German baked goods.

Country of festivals

From Spring Festival in Munich (Frühlingsfestival, the “little sister of Oktoberfest”), the Dresden Music Festival (classical music performances), the Mozartfest in Würzburg, the Carnival of Cultures in Berlin (street parade), the Freiburg Wine Festival, the Kiliani Volksfest in Würzburg (county fair–type folk festival), the Kölner Lichter in Cologne (fireworks and music) to the world-famous Oktoberfest in Munich or the Filmfest in Hamburg, Germany has a well nourished calendar of activities to offer. It should be noted that each region in Germany has their own regional festivals and celebration is always worthwhile to take part in (Christmas markets throughout Germany, particularly in Nürnberg, Munich, Rothenburg, and Freiburg, and Christmas Garden Berlin (light show in Berlin Botanical Gardens).

Recycling Mad

Nowadays plastic has become a real problem. Germany is aware of this fact and a few years ago started to charge for plastic bags at supermarkets, vetoed coffee capsule machines and classifies waste in colors as part of a big plan to encourage recycling of materials. While you are in Germany pay attention to all signs on garbage bins. You will find blue, yellow, brown and black bins. The yellow one can be used for simple home packages of plastic or aluminum. In theory you could put here the plastic bottles too, even though there is a return system at supermarkets for them. The blue is for paper, news and magazines. The brown one is for food residues. Finally, the black one is for others that not match previous categories. The Germans rank second who recycle the most in Europe with 62% surpassed only by Austrians.

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