New in Germany? Here are some essential tips for settling in!

Welcome to Germany! We at the International Graduate Center (IGC) are excited to have you here and to help you make your transition into life in this new country as smooth and successful as possible. We understand that settling into a new environment can be daunting. That's why we've put together these essential tips for you to find your way in Germany.

From finding accommodation to navigating local culture and language, these tips will help you get started on the right foot. Read on for more information about how to take advantage of support services available for international students, make connections with locals and other students, explore social, cultural, and leisure opportunities, and much more.

Finding accommodation in Germany

The first step in settling into your new home is finding a place to live. There are many options available when it comes to accommodation in Germany, from renting an apartment or house to living in a shared flat or student residence hall. You can also opt for temporary housing if you're only planning on staying for a short period of time.

When searching for accommodation, consider your budget, location preferences, and any special requirements you may have. It's also important to research different neighborhoods so that you can choose one that best suits your needs. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the rental laws in Germany before signing any contracts. Our International Student Assistance team (ISA) is happy to support you in these and other organizational and bureaucratic matters and can provide you with contacts for accommodation search in Bremen (also check out our accommodation search tips video).

Navigating the local language and culture

While English is widely spoken in Germany, we recommend that you learn German when it comes to integrating into the local culture. Largely influenced by its rich history and partly by the countries that border it, Germany has a wonderful culture. Learning German also increases your job opportunities if you plan to work in Germany. Taking language courses is a great way to gain confidence in speaking German and learn more about the culture at the same time. Did you know that there is a good range of German language courses for students with different language levels in Bremen?

Get in touch with locals

What is typically German? Although there are exceptions to every rule, Germans are generally considered to be very punctual. If you are not punctual, you may find it difficult to make friends with Germans. Germans value hard work and precision. That's why they sometimes seem antisocial at first. But once you get to know them, you'll find that they're actually very friendly and happy to help. Rest assured that there is no need to worry about your comfort as Germans are very welcoming to international students. Would you like to learn more? Read our blog post about typical German idiosyncrasies with a wink.

Making connections with other students and professionals in the area

Making friends is another key part of settling into a new country and developing a sense of belonging in your new home away from home. Joining clubs or societies related to your field of study is a great way to meet like-minded individuals while expanding your knowledge base at the same time. IGC is also well networked with companies in the region, so there are many points of contact in the professional field. Additionally, attending community events such as festivals or art exhibitions hosted by local organizations is another opportunity for making connections with people from all walks of life. 

Another great opportunity for international students to get to know other students is the Café International, which takes place every Friday at Hochschule Bremen. Why not join in? In a relaxed atmosphere you can chat over coffee and cake, play table football and get to know each other.

Exploring social, cultural, and leisure opportunities in Germany

Germany offers countless opportunities for exploration both inside and outside its cities. From visiting historical sites such as castles or churches to taking day trips out into nature or spending an evening at a traditional beer garden – there’s something here for everyone no matter what their tastes may be! In addition, many cities like Bremen have vibrant nightlife scenes offering everything from underground techno clubs to cozy jazz bars – perfect for getting out of your comfort zone and embracing Germany’s diverse music scene.

For those feeling adventurous, there's always the option of traveling further afield; whether it's a road trip across Europe or an epic hiking expedition through one of Germany's stunning national parks like the Harz – there's really no shortage of ways to experience all that this country has to offer.

No need to worry – you can do it

In the beginning, everything may seem challenging, but once you get used to living and studying in a foreign country, you will find that you have nothing to worry about. You will enjoy making new friends and learning new things. Rest assured that many international students have done it before you and you will find plenty of study mates in exactly the same position.