Germany vs. USA: 7 Different things about Living and Studying in these Countries

Spread the love

Whether it’s to study abroad, go on vacation, or immigrate, Germany and the USA are often compared against each other. The US has the largest economy in the world, while Germany holds the fourth position. But it will interest you to know that the cultures of these two countries are totally different—in some cases, directly opposite. While you will find the ‘go-getting’ attitude in the US, the German culture is more ‘laid back’.

In today’s post, you will learn seven different things about living and studying in the US vs. Germany. This post is brought to you by After School Africa. If you are new to these posts, welcome. We aim for all-round education for young Africans. Consider joining 20000+ others in subscribing to AfterSchoolAfrica on Youtube to continue exploring opportunities and watching videos like the one below:

Get Up to $100,000 Student Loan for Your Master in US or Canada - See if you are eligible

Got Admission to Study in US or Canada? See if you are eligible for international student loan

Let’s begin…

1. Transportation in USA vs. Germany

In the US, not having a car is a huge disadvantage. Its vast geography and lack of good public transport require people to own a car. Also, cheap fuel makes owning a car much cheaper.

In Germany and most of Europe, cities are closely knitted. This means that you can easily walk or bike to the supermarket to buy your groceries. Also, the high cost of insurance and fuel prevents many people from owning a car. The excellent public transport infrastructure lets you get to where you want quickly.

2. Education in the USA vs. Germany

Education in the USA is expensive. While the USA is home to one of the most prominent universities in the world, the cost of tuition can be really high. One can go to a bank for a loan to fund their education. However, repaying a loan is not as easy.

Education is mostly free in Germany. Unless you are looking for an MBA degree, you would pay almost nothing but a minimum contribution every semester. Though many universities do not match up to the infrastructure and marketing of their US counterparts, German universities are by no means less competitive. Universities in Germany are largely focused on research and specialization.

ALSO WATCH: 25 Truths About Tuition-Free Universities You Didn’t Know

3. Healthcare in the USA vs. Germany

There is a lot of debate over healthcare in the USA. A short stay in the hospital can cost you a fortune, even with good health insurance. It is widely believed that big pharmaceutical and insurance companies lobby the government to see that policies are mended in their favor.

The German healthcare system is not perfect either. Yet it is far better than that of the USA. Germany is one of the few countries with universal healthcare. The health insurance companies are largely non-profit and run by the government. More often than not, a trip to the hospital would cost you little money. In some cases, you will be paid ‘Krankengeld’ (sickness fund), which is compensation for loss of income while you are sick.

4. Salary and taxes in USA vs. Germany

This is where the USA takes the baton. Salaries in the USA tend to be pretty high, with lower taxes. The highest sales tax in the USA is under 10% and most US states have lower taxes than that. Also, the cost of living can be relatively lower when compared to similar cities in Germany. Overall, there is more money in the bank at the end of the month.

German salaries are often as much as half of those in the USA. Income taxes and social contributions would bite a huge percentage off your salary. The sales tax is 19%, which is double what you get in the USA. Overall, you get less money in your bank at the end of the month. On the bright side, the well-established social security system will keep you from going bankrupt when things get tough.

5. Homeownership or Renting in USA vs. Germany

As mentioned before, US culture breeds a ‘go-getting’ attitude. The most prominent symbol of being successful is owning a home. A house in the USA can be a bungalow in Germany. It does not come as a surprise that home ownership in the USA is almost 60%. The tax laws favor home ownership and mortgages are easy to obtain. Combine that with high salaries, and it becomes comparatively easier to buy a home in the USA.

Germans prefer renting an apartment over buying one. The homeownership rate in Germany is about 40%. The houses are also usually small when compared to the US. One reason for that is that Germans prefer not to get into debt. In German, the word for debt is ‘Schuld’, which means ‘guilt’. The second reason is that mortgages are more difficult to obtain and require a pretty high down payment. Also, the German tax laws do not favor homeownership.

6. Work ethics, weekends, and vacations

For the most part, Americans take pride in working hard and long. Not taking vacations and working long hours is a sign of dedication to the American Dream. Americans have the lowest paid vacation in any of the modern industrialized nations.

In Germany, working on weekends is often discouraged. Friday afternoon is meant for a beer with colleagues; Saturday is to run errands; and Sunday is family time. Taking time off work is also encouraged, as it is believed that a frustrated worker means lower overall productivity.

7. Freedom and patriotism in USA vs. Germany

In most parts, Americans pride themselves on being a land of freedom, be it freedom of speech or the Second Amendment. Most Americans believe any restriction by the government is a breach of their freedom. Americans are also one of the most patriotic people.

In Germany, the expression of patriotism is often conservative. It is hard to find anything with a German flag on it. If anything, Germans pride themselves on efficiency and productivity as their national identity. The restriction on freedom of expression is felt to be necessary by the people to maintain law and order. A few things that are very common in the USA are unimaginable in Germany. The only time you can see German flags outside houses and on cars is during major football tournaments.

Do you agree with these points? Between the US and Germany, which country would you prefer to live in? Tell us why in the comment section below. If you are yet to subscribe to the After School Africa channel, now is a good time to do so. Until next time; YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS!

Let’s Help You

You are wondering how to go about processing your admission to schools abroad. Don’t worry! We’ve got your back! Enrolling in the top universities in the world can increase your chances with employers. Unfortunately, it can be quite expensive to study abroad due to the current economic crisis. But this shouldn’t limit you, as there are other options you can explore to enhance your career. 

MPower Finance and Prodigy Finance are some of the best student loan providers for international students. They also do not require a cosigner or collateral before an application. At EdXtra Associates, we can help you with your loan application process. We also provide educational consulting services for international students to help make their journey easier and faster. You can reach out to us, as we’d love to guide you through this journey. 

Read Also:

How to Get Canada’s Post-Graduation Work Permit: Important Things You Need to Know 

Top 10 Best Engineering Schools in Canada

3 Proven Steps to Write an Excellent MBA Essay?


  • Ifeoma Chuks is a naturally-skilled writer. She has written and contributed to more than 6000 articles all over the internet that have formed solid experiences for particularly aspiring, young people around the globe.

    Content Manager

Leave a Comment