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QUESTION: Dear Janina,

I'm hoping to study in Germany, and so i wanted to ask you which of these towns/cities would you think are the nicest places to live?
The towns/cities i'm currently considering are:

Villingen-Schwenningen,
Nurnberg,
Magdeburg,
Deggendorf

Which of these town/cities have the most friendly environment, natural beauty, good weather, places to visit, low cost of living, etc. I think Villingen-Schwenningen may be the best one, but i don't know anything about any of these places, so i'll be very happy if you can help me :)

Hope you can help(Frohe Weinachten!),

Ryan

ANSWER: Hello Ryan,

thank you for your question, and I am sorry for taking a while to coming back to you.

I will try and give you some helpful info about all of these cities.

Of all the cities you listed, Nürnberg is the largest one with about 500,000 inhabitants and it is the second largest city of Bavaria. It is located in the Northern part of Bavaria which is called Franken (Franconia), and has a very long history. I'd say that this city offers you the broadest offer in cultural life and also shopping opportunities, just because of its size. Nuremberg also has a lot of beautiful old architecture. Just right now, there is the famous Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt,one of Germany's most popular Christmas markets. The cost of living might be a big higher here.
Here are some English websites about Nürnberg, which should be very helpful to you:
http://www.nuernberg.de/internet/portal_e/index.html
http://tourismus.nuernberg.de/en/home.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg

The next biggest city is Magdeburg with about 230,000 people. It is located in Sachsen-Anhalt, which is like Bavaria one of the 16 states of Germany. It is located in the Eatern part of Germany that used to be the GDR until the wall came down in 1989. Even though the city is smaller, it also is a cultural centre for its area. The infrastructure should be very good as a lot of money has been spent on this since the reunification. The price of living might be a bit lower here. Magdeburg also has beutiful architecture and an interesting history.
Here you can find more info about it:
http://www.magdeburg.de/index.php?La=2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magdeburg

The next in line is Villingen-Schweningen, which owes its complicated name to the fact that it was actually put together of two cities in 1972, Villingen and Schweningen. It is located in the state of Baden-Würtemberg, which is located in the South-West of Germany. It is quite close to Bodensee (Lake Constance) and Schwarzwald (Black Forest), and located in a region of Germany that gets a lot of sunshine in the summer. It has 81,000 inhabitants, so it will probably offer a calmer environment than the other two cities. Price of living might be quite high here.
This is the official website of the city, which is only available in English, probably because it's a smaller city:
http://www.villingen-schwenningen.de/
You can find a few information in English here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villingen-Schwenningen

Now, Deggendorf is the smallest with 31,000 inhabitants. It is located in the Eastern part of Bavaria, close to the Bayerischer Wald mountains. Life should be quite calm here, though there might be some skiing tourism.
The town even offers an English website:
http://www.deggendorf.de/index.php?id=140
This website also has a few information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deggendorf

I hope this helps. Finding the best place for living always is a very individual thing, so I hope I could give you some useful information to make a good decision.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Janina,

Again, thank you for your help previously. I really do appreciate your helpful knowledge of Germany :)

Soon, I'm going to apply to study in Germany soon, but unfortunately i'm still unsure if i’ll be eligible to receive the financial aid/student loan i need to fund my studies in Germany. It doesn't seem likely that the British or German government will fund it. :(

I was under the impression that as an EU citizen, I was entitled to everything a German also financially receives. But according to this Wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Student_loans_in_Germany), I won’t be. This British website about university finance says the British government won't fund it either (https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/who-qualifies). I know that there will be no tuition fees, but i will need to spend about £20,000 in living expenses over 4 years (including rent).

Is there any other way to fund my studies apart from the options above? There must be another organisation who will offer me a low-interest student loan/financial help somewhere. I looked on the Bafoeg website (http://www.bafoeg.bmbf.de/) but I'm not sure that they will offer me a loan either. Do you know where i can find a loan to fund my studies in Germany? I really want to go there.

Dank fur das lesen :)

Ryan

Answer
Hello Ryan,

thank you for your follow-up question.

I had a look around the internet and found a few things that might interest you.
Unfortunately, some of the pages are in German only, so I am afraid you will need to struggle with the language a little.

This first website (unfortunately only German, French, Russian, Spanish, Turkish) is about a credit that students can apply for. As far as I see, this credit is also available for EU-citizens if they stay in Germany for three years at least.

https://www.kfw.de/inlandsfoerderung/Privatpersonen/Studieren-Qualifizieren/Finanzierungsangebote/KfW-Studienkredit-%28174%29/?kfwmc=VT.Adwords.Studienkredit2013.StudienkreditGENERIC.StudienFinanzierung#

This second website is about a scholarship, however it is an excellence scholarship. The website is available in English, so you can have a look at it and see if it is helpful fpr you:

www.deutschlandstipendium.de/de/2319.php

This next link opens a pdf file which has information by the Berlin student association ASTA, and has information for international students about financial support. Unfortunately it's also in German.
http://asta-udk-berlin.de/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/F%C3%B6rdermoeglichkeiten_I

I think you should also try and contact the student associations of the cities you want to go to. These associations are either called ASTA or also Studentenwerk. So if you google ASTA Berlin for example, you should be able to find their website and their contact information. I am very sure that you can contact them in English without any problem.

Hope this helps.

Kind regards
Janina

Germany

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Janina

Expertise

I live in Germany, so I am really at the source of politics and culture. You can ask me about entertainment, pop culture, politics of the day, general culture. I am also interested in German history, especially the time after 1945, i.e. the evolution of modern Germany, the division in Western and Eastern Germany, the fall of the Berlin wall. If you're wondering why some things are the way they are in Germany, don't hesitate to ask me, and I will try to give you a helpful answer.

Experience

I was born and spent most of my life in Germany. Right now I am living in Northwestern Germany. I am generally interested in politics and culture. Thus, I feel I should be able to help people from other countries understand Germany and German culture a little better.

Education/Credentials
I studied translation from English and French into German. I've been working as a freelance translator for 5 years now. So, I am able to understand and use the English language.

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