Study Abroad in Hamburg

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A Guide to Studying Abroad in Hamburg

Hamburg, better known as “Germany’s gateway to the world,” is famous for having the longest model railway in the world, the largest Japanese garden in Europe, and for being the inspiration behind the name of the good, ol’ hamburger. So, if I haven’t sold you yet on Hamburg, here are a few more tidbits to get your hands itching for your passport…. the legendary nightlife is famous for developing acts such as the Beatles, and the local cuisine is one of Germany’s greatest secrets. So, tell me again why aren’t you studying abroad in Hamburg yet?

What you need to know about studying abroad in Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg may not be the top dog (er, bratwurst) of Germany, but it certainly packs a punch. With beautiful architecture, numerous museums, and numerous parks it is one of the most sought-after cities in Europe to be based in.

Popular subjects to study. Popular subjects to study in Hamburg include German Language, law, and management. In Hamburg, many of the study abroad options are in English, and they cover a range of levels from undergraduate to masters. Hamburg has a range of study abroad options to cover all subjects.  

Short term and summer programs vs. long term programs. Hamburg is an ideal location for both short and long-term programs. A semester or summer in Hamburg will give you a taster of Northern-German culture, while a year program will allow you to immerse yourself fully into life in Germany. Throughout the year,Hamburg has a range of festivals and celebrations such as Hafengeburtstag (Hamburg habor birthday), Alster fair, and a Christmas market. No matter how long you end up staying in Hamburg, there will be some sort of celebration—make sure you don’t miss it.

Attending universities vs. other program type. There are several universities within Hamburg specializing in different subjects. By doing your study abroad in Hamburg at a local university, you will have access to free German language classes and local government benefits such as free entry to local museums. In addition, you will have more opportunity to interact with Germans—great for improving your language skills and learning about German student life. 

There are other study abroad options in Hamburg instead of being based in a local university. You can do short-term or semester-long programs through your university back home, or through a third party provider (like the ones listed here). All program options have their pros and cons, but you can trust that they all want you to have a fantastisch time abroad.

Life in Hamburg for International Students

Hamburg is a city full of surprises. One minute you will be walking between stunning town-houses, and then a short passage will lead you to amazing views along the canal. Seated on the River Elbe between the North and Baltic seas, and with a downtown situated on a lake, makes Hamburg a natural contender for the most beautiful city in Germany.

Countless architectural gems, scoops of cultural diversions, and beautiful parks await you during the day. At night, work your way through the range of restaurants serving Northern German cuisine before heading to listen to the live music venues. Want something more active? Make Reeperbahn your destination—it’s Europe’s longest party street. Can you keep up with Hamburg’s famous party stamina?

If you want to escape the city, then Hamburg is also a great location for exploring Germany, with day trips available to Schwerin, Bremen, and the Wadden sea for starters. Or, head further afield and really get a break from your studies with cheap flights and trains to places in Europe such as Denmark and the Netherlands.

GoAbroad Insider Tips for study abroad students in Hamburg

freiKartE. Being a student can be expensive, but in Hamburg, the council gives all exchange students a card that for a limited period grants free access to museums and even theaters throughout the city! Museums specializing in history, art, spice, submarine, and wax mean you have plenty to see and keep you busy while you study abroad in Hamburg. And, to make the deal even sweeter, the council provides student friendly budget transport deals to make exploring Hamburg even easier. There are really no excuses.

Language Courses. Don’t be a silly and study abroad in Hamburg without picking up a lick of the local language. Every exchange student is given access to German language courses for every level—and you should take advantage of it. Before long, you will be ordering Fischbrötchen, Franzbrötchen, and Bier with ease. Come away from your study abroad experience in Hamburg with great memories, great German language skills, and yes, great taste in beer. 

Bridges. You might not think that Hamburg=bridges, but it in fact does. There are over 2300 bridges in Hamburg—more than Venice and Amsterdam combined. So, if you want to walk, run, waddle, hop, sing, your way across every single one, you had better get started.

Some people argue you can only love Berlin or Hamburg. But they only say that to put you off and keep Hamburg a secret. During your study abroad period, Hamburg will certainly keep you busy, and thanks to its many student friendly initiatives, even your bank balance won’t object to you seizing this opportunity!

Study abroad in Hamburg and let the city steal your heart. Read our comprehensive guide to studying in Germany.

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A Guide To
Studying Abroad in Hamburg


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