Following comment was posted by Alexander at the blog post – 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Living in Germany.
Alexander is studying (Bachelor of Science) Industiral Engineering with special field in Electronics at the Fachhochschule Landshut.
I am an engineering student from Germany and it was interesting reading your blog and your experiences.
In some points I can say you are absolutely right. Others are new to me and if they really occurred you have my heartfelt sympathy.
- Go here to Study in Germany for International Students for additional info about Higher Education in Germany.
Language Barrier in Germany
Well first of all. The language is quite a big barrier.
A lot of German politicians claim that Germany will learn English and is going to be a bit more of an international country but it is not, and by the current measures it is never going to be.
Fact is the least of the German population knows any English at all. The few who learned it at school have a terrible accent.
Well it is understandable because there is literally no possibility of using the language unless you are planing to work abroad.
So it is a little bit crazy but in my opinion Germany is no country where multi-languages are well accepted.
For instance the Bavarian accent is a little bit discriminated too. I have some friends who got discriminated at school just because they insisted to talk in the Bavarian accent.
At a school in Bavarian. The teachers themselves talked in Bavarian in their leisure time. The teachers are very strict. They wanted the students to talk in high level German language. NO MATTER WHAT… [I still don’t like my former teachers :-p]
I don’t want to be to hard on it. But there is a common distance towards new things in the mentality.
Every one is a little bit for himself an not really open for the world. Especially not for languages.
There is a saying: “Was der Bauer nicht kennt, mag er nicht.” This means “Thing the farmer doesn’t know he will dislike.”
Sadly it is ture. Especially for the area around Munich. (Don’t tell anyone but a high percentage of the population are descendants of farmers – so the saying might apply even a little more).
I don’t want to badmouth Munich and its surrounding area. I myself live in this area, and I must say it is a beautiful place to be.
But the most important thing is you need to know the mentality and why people act how they act. The people are not bad-minded. They are just different. Entirely different than in any other country. And with entirely I mean in many things the complete opposite of French, English, American or even Indian citizens.
For example the food. Germans are used to it. Funny thing is a few of my friends get sick after eating Indian food. (That is why you almost don’t find it here) So I think it happens bilateral.
The cases of robbery, theft and abuses must have happened mainly in Munich itself isn’t it.
There is a high number of juvenile Gangs in Big Cities of Germany. They don’t respect anything. They attack everyone. If you look at them in the wrong way – they are after you. I hate those scumbags.
There have been many stories in the news. For example Mr. Brunner from Ergoldsbach was beaten to death because he stood up against those scumbags, mugging and hitting people. That is why no one is going for help in such cases. It happens again and again. And there is not nearly enough police to protect all the people.
The best advice in such situations is. Keep your mobile phone ready while riding the subway or train. (The gangs are very often at train stations of Bahn or subway – less often in the town centers itself).
Secondly, be very loud. It helps because people will look at it and there are still some people who will help. And who will call the police.
This is a common problem it doesn’t only affect international people but the locals to.
My brother got mugged in Munich several times. And the police is not able to do anything against it. (Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt, Hannover and Ingolstadt are very criminal cities. The crime rates are very high in those cities.)
Better works to drive by car to work. Why do you think most Germans use the CAR ? It is not (only) there is no speed limit on the highway.
Every country has its problems. That is one of Germany.
But it is not all that grim. Ok, given living in Germany is a little bit hard to adapt to the mentality. People are more for themselves. But try to get them in a conversation and they will love you for it and give you an interesting conversation. Ok, granted you will have to start it, but if it is started it runs..
Germans seldom start conversations, because they are frightened to be open to other people.
It is in their education and raising.
Me for instance would love to see more international people in Germany (not only in the bigger cities but the smaller towns too.)
It makes living here more varying and brings fresh ideas.