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First Impressions on Studying in Berlin

Filippa Nyqvist shares her first impressions of Germany as well as her advice to students interested in studying in Berlin.

Jan 23, 2024
  • Student Tips
  • Study Abroad
Bird's eye view of Berlin

I moved to Berlin almost three months ago now. This transition was the smoothest after moving to four different countries in the past four years. I arrived without any expectations since I had never been to Germany before.

Today I will tell you about my first impressions of Germany and some advice to students interested in studying abroad in Berlin.

Want to learn more about studying in Germany?

Read more about Germany as a study destination here!

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Arriving in Berlin

My first day in Germany was met with some struggle. I, unfortunately, underestimated the importance of bringing cash and could not pay for my taxi with my card. You’ve probably heard this before but I’ll remind you anyway, you do really need cash in Germany, even in the capital city.

Filippa and her friend sipping coffee

Studying in Berlin: First thoughts

Berlin is a truly international city where you meet people who moved here from all over the world. There are many international universities and job opportunities here.

You can feel the city constantly evolving with the people and how much they influence the vibe of the city unlike I’ve seen anywhere else. This is a city with endless stories and opportunities. You will meet people from all over the world who all came here for different reasons. Berlin is one of those cities for me that makes the world feel big.

Another thing that actually caught me by surprise about Berlin was how friendly everyone is here. If you are seen to struggle with anything someone will jump in to help at the first opportunity.

The language barrier was also much smaller than I first anticipated. Even though I studied German during the summer before moving here, my knowledge was limited. At least in Berlin, most people speak English and with the friendly culture, people will translate for you if they see you struggling.

Studying in Berlin - photos

Berlin's beauty was also one of the aspects I didn’t expect. From what I had heard before coming here Berlin was described as a fairly ugly and industrial city. After living here for three months I must say that I do not agree.

There are so many different neighbourhoods in Berlin, each with its own history and aesthetic. There are many breathtaking places in the city that you might not see until you take some time to explore.

Studying in Germany: General insights

While I haven’t had the opportunity of leaving Berlin to see more of Germany yet. But I do have a fair share of German friends who gave me some insights on studying in Germany in general.

  • It's possible to study in Germany in English at most universities, especially the private ones.
  • There are many different student cities in Germany, and the larger ones have big international communities.
  • There are many different architecture styles in Germany and each city has its own history so there is a range of options based on preferences when it comes to picking a city to study in.

The Dos and the Don'ts of studying in Berlin


  • Explore the city, there are so many diverse neighbourhoods in Berlin
  • Learn some basic German phrases, even though many people speak English it is always appreciated.
  • Bring cash!!!
  • Live in the city center (if possible)
  • Plan your shopping ahead since all grocery stores are closed on Sundays


  • Underestimate the bureaucracy: When arriving you will need to register in the area you are living in and this process can be quite tedious
  • Leave finding accommodation to the last minute: Berlin is a pretty popular student city so the cheaper accommodation gets booked fast.

Closing thoughts

After living in Berlin for three months I can really see why Germany attracts so many international students. Life here is both safe and comfortable combined with the lively city and international population. I truly think that Berlin is a city anyone could feel at home in.

Want to learn more?

Read more about Filippa's study abroad experience here:

Filippa Nyqvist


Filippa Nyqvist is an international student with a Bachelor's in politics and international relations, enriched by studies in management, law and design thinking. She shares her study abroad experiences on TikTok.

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