My experience studying abroad in Germany as a 20 something-year-old woman.
Updated: Jul 26, 2019
I completed my undergraduate studies in Toronto, Canada and I was sure I wanted to continue my studies and complete a Master's Degree. Honestly, secondary education in Canada is quite expensive and my parents struggled financially to pay for my undergrad in order for me to avoid having debt after graduation. I took a year off and dealt with family issues and did a tiny amount of traveling in Europe.
After about a year of not doing much, I applied for Master Degree programs in Germany. I was accepted into Goethe University in Frankfurt! Tuition in Germany is much cheaper, about 400 euros per semester in my field. Housing and food can be more expensive so be ready to spend at least another 500 for that.
Getting excepted was very exciting but also scary for me because I didn't speak German. My program was entirely in English, so I didn't have any issues with the language barrier during my 2 years of study. The courses were taught in English, with the odd reference to German humor here and there, which made no sense to me. The professors were nice and very open minded. The workload was lighter than it was for my undergrad. In general, people are fine with international students and I can't say I had any negative experiences. You are always encouraged to learn German though and people will always try to speak to you in German. I can now understand the basics of the language but speaking and having a conversation is still hard.
Socializing was difficult for me because I am such an introvert and I tend to shy away from large social gatherings. I met a few other international students and we talked at uni, but outside of uni I was mostly by myself. I attended some International and Erasmus student group meetings and met people that way. I lived in a bachelor apartment by myself because I couldn't find a spot at the dorms on campus and I was kind of glad I didn't find a spot because this way I could have my own private space.
Living in Frankfurt is expensive. Rents are pretty high compared to other German cities but it's a much more international and multicultural city than many others which is something I really like. There are many cultural events, places to shop, restaurants and bars. Food is affordable and I ate my lunch on campus in the cafeteria, which saved me a lot of money. I would have lunch with my classmates and we all spoke English together which made me feel very comfortable.
Overall, I had a very positive experience and a (relatively) easy time accommodating to Germany and I would recommend studying there. There are many work opportunities and also research opportunities at universities there. My favorite part of studying in Germany was the ability to travel because countries like France are pretty close by. Even taking day trips to nearby cities and towns is accessible. Many universities, including mine, actually cover transportation costs as part of the semester fee and I could travel in by public transportation in all of Hessen (the Land Frankfurt belongs to).
* If you are interested in studying in Frankfurt, read about the city and see what is has to offer! There are many popular city guides available!