Germany

While the official unemployment rate in Germany is at around 4.7% as of November 2015;realistic figures might be much higher since only registered unemployment is counted and many German part-time workers are desperately wishing to work full-time, there are jobs for those with the right qualifications or connections. Non-EU foreigners wishing to work in Germany should make sure they secure the proper permits. Since this can mean extended acts of distinctly German bureaucracy especially for non-EU citizens, it is likely not a good method to help your travelling budget.

Non-EU students are permitted to work on their residence permits, but there is a limitation of 90 full more than four hours worked days per year or 180 half days under 4 hours worked without special authorization. Working through one's university, though, does not require a special permit.

Citizens of some non-EU countries Australia, Canada, Japan, Israel, New Zealand, South Korea and the US can apply for a residence title with a work permit during their 90 day visa-free stay in Germany, however, they may not work without a visa/authorisation. Other nationals require a work visa before entering the country, which they need to exchange into a residence title after entry. For more information, see the 'Entry requirements' subsection of the 'Get in' section above.

Illicit work is still quite common in Germany and virtually the only way to avoid the German bureaucracy. Being caught, however, can mean time in jail, and a criminal conviction. Furthermore, illegal non-EU workers can expect to be legally expelled from the county and registered for refusal to re-entry into any Schengen State - not only Germany, but continental Europe - for at least three years.

If you want to stay in Germany for an extended period of time, but do not speak German, your best bets are large multinational companies in the banking, tourism or high-tech industries. Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich and of course Hamburg and Berlin are likely the best places to start looking. A good knowledge of German is usually expected, but not always a prerequisite. English speakers who are certified teachers in their home countries might be able to secure work at American or British international schools. English teaching without these qualifications is not lucrative in Germany.

During the asparagus season Apr-Jun farmers are usually looking for temporary workers, but this means really hard work and miserable pay. The main advantage of these jobs is that knowledge of German won't be required.

Applying for a job in Germany is different from many other countries. As in nearly every country there are some peculiarities that every applicant should know.

Legal residents and citizens of any EEA nation and Switzerland more than 18 years old are allowed to work as prostitutes, They will, of course, be taxed in the same way as any other worker in Germany.

Goethe-Institut offers German language courses

German Academic Exchange Service

German universities

German universities are amongst the best in the world.

Since the vast majority of universities are state-run, studying in Germany is usually very cheap €50-700 per semester, but keep in mind that the cost of living is quite high eg: in Tübingen rent is around €350-400 per mo for a one room apartment plus living expenses with rent being the major factor. Because of this, most students either share a flat or live in a Hall of Residence. Halls of Residence often offer subsidies to poor residents.

As many German technical universities do a lot of research in partnerships with companies their research results are confidential and may not be published. This means that German engineering universities are often highly under-ranked in international rankings that only count the number of publications in science journals. In the Times Higher Education Ranking it is hard to find German universities in the top 100 for this reason.

Access to universities is easy for EEA nationals, non-EEA foreigners may face some bureaucratic hurdles and may be asked to provide proof that they can cover their own expenses. There are very few scholarships available, work-study jobs rarely exist, and student-loans are rare. In addition, German universities rarely provide the discounted and high quality amenities that other universities do. Some German universities do not have a coherent campus and opening hours can be short so check carefully.

German universities have now changed their traditional course system to Master/Bachelor programmes. In general the courses have become more structured and school-like with a higher workload. Nevertheless more self-initiative is expected at German universities. Help with problems is not "automatic" and newcomers may feel a little left alone in the beginning. The same applies to Fachhochschule describing themselves as "Universities of Applied Science".

Altogether there are over 500 universities universities and universities of applied sciences - public and private, but accredited by the government. In some federal states you can also find universities of co-operative education Berufsakademien, a specific type of education in the tertiary area of education.

In Germany you don't count in years of studies or in terms but in half years of studies - a "semester". The summer semester runs from 1 April to 30 September, the winter semester runs from 1 October to 31 March. In the semester break students have to write thesises; at universities of applied sciences students have tests during this time.

To apply to a German university, you need a university entrance requirement like that one you would need to study in your own country, for example High School Diploma, Matura, A-Levels, Baccalaureate. Check in the database of the minister of education conference if your university entrance requirement is equal to the German one.

Most of the courses of study in Germany start in the winter semester. For courses without admission restrictions the closing date is generally in the middle of September.

Germany offers virtually every activity you can imagine. Most Germans are members of a sports club and visit cultural events less often. Due to the federal structure every region has its own specific activities.

sports

Germany is crazy about football and the German Football Association DFB (http://www.dfb.de/index.p...) is the biggest FA association in the world with 6.35 million members 8% of the German population in more than 25,000 clubs. Every village has a club and the games are the main social event on weekends. Participation is strongly encouraged.

In the winter many people go skiing in the Alps in Bavaria close to Munich.

Almost every middle-size German city has a spa often called Therme with swimming pools, water slides, hot tubs, saunas, steam baths, sun roofs etc. The sauna areas are usually visited by both genders, and people are nude there. Wearing any clothing, this including swimsuits, is considered not hygienic and is therefore not at all permitted.

Cultural events

cultural events
 

Germany has world class opera houses especially Berlin, Bayreuth, and Munich and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (http://www.berliner-philh...) is known as one of the top three orchestras in the world. Germany is considered to have the strongest classical music traditions in Europe, with many famous composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Handel and Wagner originating from Germany. Several theatres in bigger cities play outstanding classical and contemporary plays. Germany prides itself in the wide variety of cultural events and every city works out a cultural agenda.

cultural events
 

Musicals are popular in Germany. Although there are some touring productions from time to time, most shows stay in a specific city for a few years. Most shows belong to the company called "Stage Entertainment". The main 'musical cities' are Hamburg for example The Lion King, Berlin for example Blue Man Group, Oberhausen Wicked, Stuttgart for example Dance of the Vampires, Bochum Starlight Express and Cologne.

cultural events
 

Rather interestingly, William Shakespeare is adored in Germany like almost nowhere else--the Anglosphere included. This can be attributed in large part to Goethe, who fell in love with the Bard's works. If your German is up to it or you can find a English performance, seeing a performance can be very interesting. According to some Germans, Shakespeare is actually improved in translation, as the language used is more contemporary. Judge for yourself.