In Germany, everything is closed on Sundays, and dogs are allowed to bark only during certain hours! Germany is a historically rich country with strong cultural values that can be shocking for first-time visitors. If you are planning to study in the land of poets and thinkers then here are the 10 biggest cultural shocks that might bowl you over as an international student!
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Stickler for Rules
Germans are extremely particular about social rules and public conduct. They also don’t shy away from correcting people’s behavior in public. There is no tolerance or ignorance for misconduct. Social actions like talking too loudly in public or not tipping the restaurant staff are taken very seriously!
Not Just Clean, But Monica Clean!
Each and every nook of German streets are spotless. The citizens strive to maintain cleanliness and hygiene in their surroundings. Not a single person dares to pollute the environment subconsciously. Even the old lady with her stooped back would clean the street early in the morning while you snooze the alarm and go back to sleep again. People with OCD are the right fit for Germany.
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Germans love their bacon and it’s so common in Germany that it is like religion to the people. Bacon is found in simple dishes and potato salad. Dumplings might also have crumbled bacon as garnish. Bacon is really the vegetable for Germans they enjoy in the morning till evening.
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Total Shutdown on Sunday
It might come as a shock but everything is closed on Sundays. Sundays are a public holiday that’s why all stores and markets are closed on that day. Students and working professionals generally stock up a day before. But it is not a big problem to change your focus to other daily chores. Doing laundry, cleaning accommodation, and preparing next week’s clothes are some of the manageable tasks to keep for Sunday.
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No Customer Service
A big culture shock experience for international students in Germany is the lack of customer service. Germans are self-reliant and they don’t generally focus on customer services. From Wi-Fi installation, waiting for a meal at a restaurant, or any other favour you need, you have to do it on your own. New additional services or special services are provided to any common citizen. Tipping is however a bright choice to get something done.
Germans are Old-Fashioned
The 1980s fashion and traditions are still very trendy in Germany. You might be shocked to watch people wearing acid-washed deleted jeans and bullets. The local carnival and gatherings are based on 1980s themes and showcase it with pride. Germans still love David Hasselhoff from Baywatch for his musical talent and exceptional acting skills.
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Fully Furnished Homes
The previous owners of the home leave behind their kitchen cabinets, electrical appliances, and many other similarly heavy items is a big culture shock for students. This culture shock might be indigestible by new people in the country. It is rare to see someone leaving behind belongings. Also, there are no closets or car garages for the two vehicles.
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No Rules for Queues
This might shock you beyond measure but Germany is lenient about standing in line. Yes! Nobody stands in a long line for their turn. People might brush you aside and walk as if you don’t exist. You have to fight through the crowd to get your chance or remain standing forever. So just storm in and grab your favorite meal before it runs out!
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No Speed Limits
A big culture shock in Germany for non-natives is the lack of speed limit. The German roads are wide open stretches with no speed limits or restrictions. The freeway in Germany is a bad place to hang out with friends. The high-speed vehicles might not look who’s on the road. It is highly likely to be blown off by a high-speed Porsche. So, be extra cautious while traveling on roads and abide by the basic rules.
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Polite and Welcoming
Another culture shock in Germany for international students is how nice Germans can be. Germans are friendly and very welcoming to the newcomers. Your neighbors shall welcome you with kind gestures. Someone might even invite you for dinner without any expectations. They may help in settling down also. So if you become homesick often, the kindness of Germans is to be blamed.
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