Germany has been a parliamentary federal democracy since 1949. State holiday is on 3rd October.
With 82.5 million inhabitants Germany has the largest population of all EU member states. Around 7.3 million foreigners live in Germany (8.8 percent of the total population).
With 231 inhabitants per square kilometer, Germany is one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. The German constitution guarantees freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. There is no state religion. Information about church services in Berlin can be found here.
Germany’s climate is temperate. Extreme temperature lows and highs are rare. Winter temperatures vary from west to east, with around freezing temperatures in the west and well below freezing in the east of Germany. Summer temperatures typically move between 20°C and 30°C with more rainfall during the summer months. Frequent changes of weather make forecasting difficult. To be on the safe side, bring warm clothes for the winter months as well as rain resistant clothing with you. For weather in Berlin check here.
Studying in Germany is comparatively expensive as the cost of living is high, although this varies regionally.
The following monthly costs must be expected:
Rent (in dormitory, in private halls, rooms or flats) amounts up to € 350 per month; health insurance for doctoral candidates is about € 140 per month. A meal in a students’ dining hall costs about € 3. Depending on lifestyle, approximately € 180 per month can be expected to be spent on food. So, the cost of living amounts to a minimum of € 800 monthly.
After your arrival in Germany, you will need some cash for the first days. An unlimited amount of German currency (Euro, €) or foreign currency can be brought to Germany, but please consider the exchange regulations in your home country.
Exchange bureaus in Germany are also open in the evening and on the weekend. You will find them in or next to the train station or at the airport. It is recommended to change some of your Travelers Cheques or Euro-Banknotes into small change, because you need some coins for the bus or taxi you may take the first days.
Here you can find some tools for converting different currencies.