Saturday, January 16, 2021

Executive Education

Unusual Things You Should Know When Studying in Germany

How easy is it to start your studies in Germany and get used to the country’s culture? Well, you may realize that it is not so easy.

From your first day at the university, you will see awkward things happening that you may not even have thought about. But nothing is impossible, so as time passes you will find yourself handling everything easily. In this article, readers interested in studying in Germany will find some useful information about unusual academic procedures.

  1. Akademisches Klopfen
    Have you ever heard about Akademisches Klopfen? Well, usually students in Germany do not applaud in the class after a significant lecture comes to an end. What are they doing instead?

    They just knock their university table with their fist. The same happens at conferences when organized by academic institutes. Some newcomers in Germany may find this reaction awkward but definitely, they will soon get used to it.

  2. Sie, instead of Herr or Frau
    Students in Germany must call their professors using Herr or Frau. This is a formal manner. However, in some circumstances, you may hear some students refer to their professors by using Sie which means You in the plural.  Some professors may ask you to call them not in a formal manner but using a more friendly approach.
  3. Basic factor the independency
    Students in Germany learn to be totally independent. What does this mean? Well, the academic norm in Germany lies in the fact that students are to a large extent self-active and motivated.

    The meetings with the professors are not so often compared to other countries. Professors don’t keep a close eye on every step that students make. Instead, students must be decisive, organize their own studying schedule and their own way of completing the tasks.

    This process makes the students taking initiative, being creative, and learn to trust their own selves. In the end, students realize that this approach is effective.

  4. Be on time for class
    There are no excuses for being late for class. German professors give great importance to the time students will arrive. Otherwise, you must have a really very good explanation for the delay. For example, only something catastrophic would give you remission. If you don’t want to get in trouble just try to be some minutes earlier for class.
  5. Mensa
    Another awkward word. What is Mensa? Well, if you have just started studying in Germany you may listen to your friends saying See you in Mensa for a lunch break and a little discussion. Mensa is the German word for a coffee shop (café). Students’ mentality in Germany includes this word which is commonly used. So, you must get used to it. Instead of saying let’s have a coffee at the café, you should say see you in Mensa.
  6. The welcome process
    The welcome process that lasts almost five days includes guided tours at the campus in order to receive all the needed information for the university and the way it operates. This is the way the Germans welcome the newcomers at universities. So, be ready to get as much information you can about your studying years. Of course, when these five days come to an end you can meet your new friends and discuss more interesting things instead of talking all the time about the university.
  7. Extra benefits
    It is worth mentioning that in Germany with a small extra fee at the university you can have some more benefits. This extra fee may cover your access to public transportation for a specific period of time and give you some discounts for food, shopping, or entrance to museums, historical sights, and art galleries. We have to admit that this is a very useful allowance that helps students not only to save money but also to visit different places in the country without paying a fortune.
Maria Gourtsilidou
Maria Gourtsilidou is Senior Editor of Research and Data Analytics at the CEOWORLD magazine. She is responsible for driving thought leadership, using data analytics to showcase the company’s products and services, and fostering knowledge sharing between CEOWORLD magazine and client organizations. She studied Public Administration (Economics Of The Public Sector) in Greece and holds a Bachelor’s in Public Administration from the Panteion University of Political & Social Studies. Follow Maria Gourtsilidou on Twitter. Write at