Exploring German Culture

Germany is world-renowned for its rich cultural history, festive celebrations, vibrant arts scene, and historic sites. Germany is a front runner in the fields of renewable energy and conservation, stretching from flat farming country in the north, to rolling hills in the center, and the Alps in the south. Germans are famous for their precision and highly value punctuality. They enjoy a high standard of living as well political, cultural, and environmental debates.

Study abroad in Germany Host a German student in the U.S.


German People and Community

Teenagers in Germany

Like anywhere in the world, all families in Germany are different. Most are industrious, thrifty, and organized. Many Germans like to discuss politics, sports, culture, philosophy, or the environment. Deep and wide-ranging intellectual conversations are generally preferred over small talk. In German culture, granting someone their personal space isn’t considered rude, but rather, a sign of respect.

On average, German towns, cities, and families are not very big. The average family only has one or two children. Many families live in rural areas and commute to the city for work, although some families in larger cities live in apartments. Relationships between parents and children are based on mutual trust in German culture. German parents expect to be informed and consulted and in return, children enjoy a lot of freedom. In Germany, household chores are not divided by gender. Authority is also shared between parents.

Language and Communication Styles

Outdoor seating area in Germany

German is the official language of Germany.

Food in Germany

A cake called Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (Black Forest Cake) in Germany

German cuisine is often rich and differs depending on the region. Red meat, poultry, or fish served with potatoes, dumplings, noodles or rice, and vegetables are popular. Germany is famous for its many types of bread and cakes like the Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (Black Forest Cake) and coffee. Before a meal, your host family might say, “Guten Appetit,” which invites you to enjoy your meal. A hot meal is usually served once a day. Meals are served at specific hours, and all family members are expected to dine together and be on time.

The day starts with a rich breakfast: e.g. bread or rolls (the famous “Brötchen”) with Nutella, honey, jam, cheese, or ham. Also, Corn Flakes or “Müsli” (oats, nuts, and seeds with milk) might be served. On Sundays, Germans often have a boiled or fried egg as well.

Lunch is served on one plate, together with vegetables, potatoes, pasta, or rice. On Sundays and sometimes during the week as well people love to have coffee and tea with cake in the afternoon around 3 and 4 pm. This is called Kaffeetrinken and is a cherished tradition in German culture.

The traditional German dinner – Abendbrot, which translates as evening bread – is just that: it consists of slices of bread and cold cuts as well as cheese. There might also be a plate of cut vegetables or some gherkins. The bread can be smeared with butter and you are free to choose from the Wurst and Käse as a topping. Germany is famous for its hundreds of varieties of bread: there is soft white wheat bread, crusty or soft bread from a mixture of rye and wheat or spelt, and heavy and dense black bread. Some are packed and covered with sunflower or pumpkin seeds, or they contain nuts or spices like caraway.

Explore the Programs Available in Germany