Area: 357,021 km ²
Climate: Temperate; winters and summers alike are fairly cool, with snow in the winter and rain the summer; occasional warm winds from the mountains
Population: 82,329,758 (est. from July 2009)
Type of Government: Federal RepublicIndependence Day: October 3, 1990 (Unity Day) GDP: $2,863 million (estimated from 2008) GDP – per capita (PPP): $34,800 (estimated from 2008)
Information for Foreign Students in Germany
In general, the property prices are quite high in the main German cities, especially in the central neighborhoods. Students usually chose between the WG (Wohngemeinschaft) and university housing. Finding a WG is fairly easy as there are many advertisements displayed on billboards located around the university and city. In addition, it is common to find spacious rooms in large apartments located near campus with all-inclusive prices ranging from 200-300€.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Eastern Germany remains lower than in the West, including Berlin, although prices of certain products (primarily services) have long since overtaken those charged in the West. Apart from a rent between 190-207€, month expenses consist of expenses related to the university (30-40€) in addition to about 150€ for shopping and buying books and manuals. In regards to dining, the food is relatively cheap in most categories. A complete meal in a restaurant can vary between 2-3.5€.
It is recommended to open a German bank account at one of the banks that is a member of the Cash Group in order to avoid paying fees at each withdrawal from an ATM. Opening an account is free fairly simple. However, please keep in mind that a number of stores do not accept Visa cards and it will be necessary to pay in cash.
Most students choose to open a contract with a German telecommunications company in order to avoid being charged international fees on their personal portable phone. This is a particularly good idea as when purchasing a contract with a local operator, all of the calls made within an area of four square kilometres around the place of residence are free. Subscription packages are cheap as well, although sometimes termination can be problematic, so it is advised to make sure you choose a company that will meet your needs.
Health RequirementsFor a temporary stay in Germany, it is advised to have a European health insurance card.
The transportation network in Germany is very dense; the Berlinlinien Bus company (www.berlinlinienbus.de) is in partnership with a number of other European companies, allowing connections between 350 cities in Germany and Europe. Germany has one of the best road networks in Europe, but work in the East has slowed the pace considerably. An ideal way of getting around town is by bicycle.