Top tips for life outside of the classroom

While studying German in Munich

So, you’re coming to study German with BWS Germanlingua? Excellent choice. The school in Munich is in such a beautiful location, the teachers are so nice and the classes are super fun (sie machen viel Spaß)! What else is there to think about?

Before I booked my course, I was so excited to sign up for classes BUT I had a few concerns about moving to a big city like Munich (for even just a month!). Can I find delicious, affordable food in such a popular tourist city?… The public transport looks so complicated!… And, of course (the BIG question): Will I be able to get WiFi (WLAN)?!

After my first week, I still have much to learn! Not just about the German language but also how to have a great time as a language student in Germany. Between me and my lovely flatmate (der Mitbewohner, die Mitbewohner), we have made mistakes and learnt a few things that have made our stay here a little bit easier. Below, I´ll be starting off by talking a bit about using mobile phones in Germany. I hope that you find some of the information useful. In the next posts I will share my findings on other topics with you. Therefore I decided to spread this out into several topics and blog posts. Without further ado, here is pretty much everything that I now know about:

Part 1: Phones (das Handy, die Handys) – Basics

If you live in the EU – awesome! Be sure to check out the additional charges for using your phone outside of your country. You might find that there are none! Since May 1st, 2019 telephone operators are now no longer able to charge more than 19 euro cents per minute for calls within Europe!* Many EU countries have zero additional charges for calls, texts (SMS) and roaming data which means that you can use your phone in Germany just as you would at home (so useful for arranging meet ups with new friends from class!).

If you live outside of the EU – still awesome BUT be sure to read the fine print. Many companies offer affordable rates for using your phone abroad, however, be very careful to read the information regarding call limits, text costs, roaming charges and data usage. If you’re worried about coming home to a horrifying bill then ask your provider to put a cap on your usage to limit the damage. Still worried? Don´t be! German SIM card providers are everywhere in the city (see below) and it’s also super easy to keep in touch with friends and family over the internet via Skype, Facebook and WhatsApp. You’ll always be welcome to use the Wifi at BWS.

Getting a German SIM card: If you’re thinking of getting a German SIM card for the duration of your studies, check out the rates at Aldi for prepaid SIM deals. Right now, you can pick up a 4 week SIM plan for €7.99 (currently with a 2GB data allowance). Just remember to bring your I.D. or passport (der Reisepass, die Reisepässe) as well as the address for your accommodation in Germany (such as your hotel or host family address) with you when you purchase your SIM card.


A Quick Note: Okay, let’s talk about WhatsApp. Germans seem to LOVE WhatsApp! So far, I have not received a single message from a German via Facebook, Instagram, or any other platform. I am still getting acquainted with the social media (sozialen Medien) and phone app trends in Germany but for now, it seems clear that WhatsApp is definitely worth installing on your phone. I would bet a million euros that you will need it at some point during your trip! Moreover, it might help you to study German and improve your written skills. There is even a WhatsApp group for your school so be sure to add yourself and also follow the school on Instagram!

And finally, don’t forget your European adapters (der Reisestecker / Reiseadapter)!  Happy roaming!  

Useful phrases in German

Some basic but handy phrases:
– Ich werde dich später anrufen. (I’ll call you later!)
– Gibt es dafür eine mobile App? (Is there a mobile app for that?)
– Ich muss meinen Handy-Akku aufladen… (I need to charge my battery…)
– …Darf ich bitte die Steckdose benutzen? (… May I please use the plug socket?)


by Megan Herbert

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