German Language Blog

Studentenleben in Deutschland – Student life in Germany Posted by on May 10, 2011 in Culture, Traditions

How does student life look like in Germany? How do students reside? What do students do in their leisure time? How can one imagine a daily routine when studying in Germany? In this post I would like to give you an insight into this topic.

When German high school students have taken their Abitur (high-school diploma) they may apply to any German university for one of the 11,000 Studiengänge (degree courses). When you will have obtained the Studienplatz (place at university) you only have to enroll yourself.

Prior to the beginning of a new semester students draw up their Studienpläne (study plans) and select the Vorlesungen (lectures), Seminare (seminars) and other Kurse (classes) they would like to attend to. The exact time of the beginning of the semester and the classes varies among universities and Instituten (departments). Some departments start their classes at 8 a.m. and others only at 9 a.m. and may last until 10 p.m. The Sommersemester (summer semester) begins within the first two weeks of April and the Wintersemester (winter semester) begins with the first two weeks of October.

In the course of the Bologna Process the Magister Artium degree is abondoned bit by bit in favor of more compatible final degrees throughout Europe such as Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts. The Magister Artium (masculine) or Magistra Artium (feminine) is a former German academic degree, which allowed students to pick two Hauptfächer (major subjects) or one major subject plus two Nebenfächer (minor subjects). Students who decided to obtain a Magister degree often combine languages and social sciences. For example, some psossible combinations are political studies and history; German and English studies; English studies, political science, and communication studies; psychology and business studies; etc.

Between 12 and 2 p.m. students break off to the Mensa (canteen) for lunch. In the Mensa they can choose from a wide variety of of meals, desserts and salads. The offer and quality of the food may vary from university to university, but it is always freshly cooked, cheaper than meals in restaurants, and healthier than Fastfood (fast food). At my university in Greifwald there was even a seperate café that belonged to the canteen. Every time I and my friends had finished our meals we went down to the café to drink a cup of coffee or tea and just to sit on the terrace in the sun, talk, and relax. But where students go to after their lunch depends, of course, on the local conditions.

Usually, German students like to ring in the weekend already on Thursday. On this day, there are Studentenpartys (student parties) taking place in Studentenclubs (student clubs). On other days of the week, German students like to go out for a drink in a Cocktailbar (cocktail lounge), for example. My friends and I often met at somebody’s place to cook and eat together.

Students live either in Studentenwohnheimen (dormitories), Wohngemeinschaften (apartment-sharing communities) or have their own. Where and how you want to dwell depends on how much money you can spend on that and whether you like to live with other students or not.

In case, that you are considering to study in Germany I suggest to watch the videos below. Max, a German student makes you aware of what you have to take into account when wish to study in Germany. He also tipps you off how to handle different situations that you could face.


How much does it cost to study in Germany?


How much does it cost to live in Germany?


Living, shopping, meeting people?


das/sein Abitur machen – to take one’s high-school diploma
der Studiengang – degree course
der Studienplatz – place at university
der Studienplan – study plan
die Vorlesung- lecture
das Seminar – seminar
der Kurs – class
das Institut – department
das Sommersemester – summer semester
das Wintersemester – winter semester
das Hauptfach – major subject
das Nebenfach – minor subject
die Mensa – canteen
das Fastfood – fast food
die Studentenparty – student party
der Studentenclub – student club
die Cocktailbar – cocktail lounge
das Studentenwohnheim – dormitory
die WG (Wohngemeinschaft) – apartment-share community
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About the Author: Sandra Rösner

Hello everybody! I studied English and American Studies, Communication Science, and Political Science at the University of Greifswald. Since I have been learning English as a second language myself for almost 20 years now I know how difficult it is to learn a language other than your native one. Thus, I am always willing to keep my explanations about German grammar comprehensible and short. Further, I am inclined to encourage you to speak German in every situation. Regards, Sandra


  1. KEANEN:


  2. Johanna:

    Thank you for the post, it is really helping to understand the German system and the opportunities you have there. I will soon go there and check out the possibilities there and will combine the visit with meeting new people through WECLIC

  3. Abdul Giusto:

    You have to write more!