I may be biased because I am, in fact, German, though I don’t currently study in Germany. I was shocked when I found out that not many people know that education in Germany is a lot cheaper (as in, free for EU students and still cheaper than many Canadian universities for international students).
This is not a joke and one of the main reasons you may want to study in Germany, but not the only one. Tuition fees in Germany cover, depending on the University, a maximum of 3000 CAD per year. Plus, the education is of high quality since several of the world’s highest-ranking universities are located in Germany such as the Technical University Munich, the Humboldt University of Berlin, and the University of Tübingen (there’s a city you probably never heard of).
So you are curious about Germany? What city should you go to?
Berlin is the first on the list, not because it is the best city in Germany, but because it is the capital. Generally, it is a city full of history and attractions such as the leftover pieces of the Berlin Wall. Many of my friends want to study there, but if you want to go to Berlin, you need to know what you are getting into. In Germany, Berlin is seen as a bit of a dirty city with a lot of poverty and drugs and crazy people where there is a big going-out scene (a lot of techno). This may sound problematic to you, but a lot of young people love it because of all that. It is a city full of graffiti and stickers. It all looks a bit messy, but it is a vibe. A city full of freedom and people just living their life and expressing themselves. If Berlin were a person, they would be edgy, wearing a leather jacket or coat, maybe some mesh, possibly carrying around a tote bag. They have tattoos, smoke, and maybe should see a therapist, but they are hot as hell.
Munich is the home of Oktoberfest, beer, pretzels, and the two most prestigious universities in Germany. It is more of a fancy city: very clean and close to the Alps and Austria (thereby, not too far away from Italy). If Munich were a person, it would be a business or management student, probably a bit conservative. They like the outdoors, skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer. If it is nice outside, they probably go to the English garden to play volleyball or soccer with friends or even surf on the Eisbachwelle. Eisbach is the name of the river, at parts of which you can surf, located in the English garden in the center of Munich! In the evening, they would go to some fancy bar and treat themselves so some fancy alcohol (or just beer, honestly). Of course, Munich also has its not-so-fancy parts. However, if you prefer a fancy and active, possibly outdoorsy lifestyle, Munich is for you!
3. Colone (aka Köln)
If you are part of the LGBTQ+ community, Colone is for you! Although not necessarily the most beautiful city, Köln is very attractive to young people. It has an abundance of going out opportunities, including the big carnival celebrations in February which Colone is famous for all around the world. Another celebration Colone is famous for is its huge CSD, aka the pride parade in July. Colone is also home to the BOIze bar, a famous lesbian bar that welcomes everyone queer and/or female. Men are generally not as welcome. If Colone were a person, they would mostly wear thrift clothes—very Gen Z! It is also (similar to Berlin) quite multicultural. There are a lot of cafes to study in and the Rhine River that flows through the city (not super clean). If you have not enjoyed a night gazing at the water and the reflection of the city lights, have you really been to Colone?
When I was younger, I wanted to move to Hamburg to study. It is a pretty and kinda fancy city located in the very north of Germany. It is close to the ocean and has a big port and fish market. Even though it is a bit fancier, it is way more liberal than Munich. If Hamburg were a person, this would be their daily routine: They would have some avocado toast for breakfast and then they would grab their umbrella and hurry to work through the rain. For lunch, they would get a falafel wrap or a fish sandwich. In the afternoon, they would stop by a bookstore and buy yet another vinyl record. On weekends, they would go out in St. Pauli, a famous party district or, if they are in a fancier mood and can afford it, they would go to the Elbphilharmonie, a world-famous concert/opera house. If the Elphilharmonie is too fancy, they might also see The Lion King musical live or cook some nice dinner with their roommate, have some delicious wine, and listen to the new vinyl they bought that day.
We hope you were able to get a good idea of which city in Germany fits your vibe the best if you are considering studying abroad any time in the near future!