Pay attention to the native language

20/04/2016 - 08:21-2 Comments by | brazil flag

One of the best ways to integrate yourself into a new country, culture and new community is knowing or, at least, trying to learn the native language of the new place you chose to live in.

My first experience abroad was in the Netherlands, around 3 years ago, during my undergraduation. The Netherlands is a curious country, because their official language is Dutch, but, let’s say, 98% of their citizens speak English fluently. In the markets, university, buses, airport, almost everywhere. Then, a foreigner who wishes to live there for studying and/or working, does not need to learn Dutch. English is nicely enough. Even some Dutch people used to suggest me to not worry about learning Dutch. If you know, perfect, otherwise, just enjoy the Land of Windmills in English!

However, it does not happen everywhere. For instance, Germany is quite different compared to the Netherlands. I wondered whether I would experience the same situation here, once Germany is also a rich country which invests a lot in education, science and more recently, has been undergoing a huge internationalization process in several situations, especially, in its universities. Although, I was wrong. Practically, all signs, warnings, info, in- and outside the university are written in German, still. Besides, it is not so easy to see people speaking in English or being able to provide an information or service in English. At least, I feel it is far away from the Dutch reality. The major part of the members of my university community are able to speak very good English, even though it is possible to experience some unexpected situation in a market or train that can become a problem, in case you do not speak German.

Therefore, if you plan to move to Germany, be aware that knowing German is essential to live here without problems. At least a basic level to understand the main info when you need to buy something, health or bank service or ask for directions to somewhere. More than being useful in your regular routine, it will help you to discover new places, meet new people and get a job. There are several courses and language schools around Germany, besides thousands of online courses, tutorials and videos. I am a beginner German speaker, but I am studying because I want to stay in this beautiful country after my master studies. If you want to live here happily, do not complain that Germans might not speak English. Start learning German today!

“Happiness is an individual problem. As well as the courage to study German.” Sigmund Freud 😉

Guilherme Amorim Franchi

Universität Hohenheim

Tags: English Blog Post, Everyday Life, First Steps in Germany, German Language, Society & Culture, Student Life



    Thank you for sharing your experiences, Germany is one of the most popular countries to study. That is a good news for students those who study in German. My brother is studying in German with the help of German Uni Application Center. Thank you keep blogging.

    Comment by Leoni Kappel created 20/04/2016 - 16:23

    Very informative post, thank you. Europe is always a cheaper option for U.S. students, with the possibility to benefit from a top-notch education and amazing student-life. Beyond the States can help you with your application process and getting settled so you will enjoy your university experience. You can check their website here:

    Comment by Andra created 03/05/2016 - 06:07

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