Germany is one of the most economically influential members of the European Union. Germany has the world’s fifth largest economy. Large companies contributing to the economy are companies like Siemens (industrial conglomerate), Volkswagen Group (automotive), and Fresenius (medical equipment and supplies).
“Travel in Germany is actually super easy. They have a ton of public transportation options like busses, trains, trams, subways and taxis,” said Anna Dobyns (’20). “Also, pretty much everyone there bikes all the time. You have to be careful when you’re walking through the cities because of the amount of bikers on the sidewalk. They even divide the sidewalks into walking lanes and biking lanes in most places.”
Germany also has an expressway-like road called the “Autobahn,” which is known for its lack of a permanent speed limit in a lot of areas. The recommended speed limit is 130 km/h (about 81 m/h).
Another service that you can use to get around the country quickly is the German Intercity-Express (ICE). These trains travel inside Germany and into neighboring countries. The speeds of these trains can reach up to 300 km/h (about 190 m/h).
Eryn Corinth (’20) commented on the food of Germany. “German cuisine is really hardy, there’s a lot of breads and meats.”
Dobyns had a similar experience. “Cuisine there was pretty much what you would expect from Germany. Lots of brats, potatoes, sauerkraut, pretzels, pork and beer. What I loved about their food though was that everything was so fresh. It was a nice break from all of the processed food we’re used to in America.”
Germany is a democracy that has a parliament. One house of parliament, known in German as Bundestag (which translates to “Federal diet”), is much like the United States of America’s House of Representatives. It’s counterpart, the Bundesrat (federal council), is comparable to the Senate.
Germany has some cultural views that differ from ours. “In general, Germans are quieter and more reserved than Americans. For example, after we had landed in Munich and were in customs and immigrations for our passports to be stamped, the building was absolutely quiet, and no one was speaking,” said Corinth.
“There’s a lot of social differences but the one that came to me first is the difference between our views on alcohol. In Germany, they can drink wine and beer starting at 16 and liquor at 18,” said Dobyns. “Due to this, a lot of the alcohol abuse that we see in the US, especially in young adults, isn’t as much of an issue there because they’ve been taught from a younger age how to properly approach drinking.”
When asked what her favorite memory in Germany was, Corinth said, “My favorite experience in Germany was visiting Wartburg Castle and being able to see the room and desk where Martin Luther transcribed the Bible from Hebrew and Greek to the vernacular German”.
Germany is highly recommended for anyone who is going to Europe. If you have any questions ask Corinth or Dobyns.