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Got yourself a placement in Germany? Here are 7 top tips I wish I had known before moving abroad. Caution – There will be stereotyping in this blog post.


Things to know before moving abroad

1. Always travel Meinfernbus

Whether you are visiting different cities or going for a weekend somewhere in Europe, Meinfernbus is usually by far the cheapest way to travel. Basically the German equivalent to national express buses.

2. Know about Pfand

Quite literally it means deposit. When you buy anything in a plastic or glass bottle with the Pfand sticker  you will be charged around 25 cent extra each time. Bring your bottles back to the supermarket you get your Pfand money back (save up a bag full and you feel like you have won the lottery).

Getting a drink at a club? You’re likely to be charged an extra euro Pfand and be given a little token till you bring your bottle back to the bar… Which of course you’re always sober enough to remember to do (cough cough).

3. Tip like a German

This means don’t leave your money on the table. Germans tip as they pay rather than afterwards and they give a tip by rounding up the bill. Your meal came to €8.10 – then say to the waiter €9? The plus side is you usually only end up tipping between 50 cent €1.

4. Say Cheers

This will be your most used word on night out. “Prost” with every beer! Remember to look a German in the eye when you say cheers or its 7 years bad luck!

5. Get the right bank

Why? Because you can only take cash out at your own banks cash points free of charge! Therefore, make sure you join a bank close to you ! Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank are the 2 biggest in Germany so probably your safest bet.

6. Download Hola

This genius free add on for Google chrome tricks your computer into thinking its back in the UK! It’s a life saver….You don’t have to miss watching the Great Brisish Bake off  (yay!)

7. Always wear a coat

That thing called a cloakroom – the Germans actually use it on a night out! Standing in your heels and short dress shivering in the queue to the club is not German style. Make sure you bring a coat or you will be the only one without!  In fact, you will probably be the only one in heels and a dress too (nights out tend to be super casual).


Do you have any life hacks for living in Germany? Share them in the comments!

If you want to read more about placement year in Germany check out my blog!

Post Author: hannah

I am an IBAM student currently on a split placement. Working for 6 months in online marketing & communication in Germany & studying for 6 months in Vienna