How Safe Is It to Study a Bachelor's in Germany? - Key Safety Advice

Germany is one of the top study destinations in Europe and worldwide. Tens of thousands of students apply every year from all over the globe to come and get a high-quality international education.

Besides the great academic offer of Bachelor's degrees in Germany, international students trust they will have a rewarding and safe study experience abroad. Some of the most popular Bachelor's programmes in Germany are: 

Now let's look at a few facts about student safety in Germany to confirm that this country is a rewarding study abroad destinations with few safety concerns to worry about.

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Safety statistics in Germany

Overall, safety in Germany is in the European average. However, if you consider international safety data, Germany has very low levels of crime. Numbeo places the safety index of Germany at 67.37 out of a possible maximum of 100 (meaning no crime at all). While crime in Germany exists it is generally quite low and doesn’t offer a cause for concern for international students.

Safest cities in Germany

Here are the safest cities in Germany, considering safety indexes in the country (out of 100 possible total).

Cities with lower safety rankings in Germany

Even if these are not the safest places to study in Germany that does not mean that they provide a risky study environment. It is common for all of Europe that larger cities and capitals tend to attract higher levels of crime than other parts of the country. If you want to avoid all risks you’re better off looking for a degree programme in the countryside. 

However, don’t forget that law enforcement in Germany is determined to ensure safety for both citizens and foreigners. Fast emergency response times from the police ensures that in the case of an emergency you will get the help you need in no time.

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More information about crime in Germany

The most frequent crimes in the cities of Germany are vandalism and theft, but you should be safe from these as well if you take reasonable precautions. Also, football hooliganism has seen an increase in recent years.

Other forms of crime that occur relatively infrequently in Germany include: pick-pocketing, verbal harassment, petty theft, and larceny. You may also run into occasional beggars in some German cities. Bicycle theft is possibly the most widespread type of crime in Germany.

In recent years, the German law enforcement has made good progress in combating the drug trade, preventing muggings, and stopping burglary.

As a general rule, locations in cities close to larger train stations tend to attract more unsavoury characters and are often the areas with the highest rate of crime. Public transport, such as underground trains or buses, isn’t always safe at night.

According to recent statistics in 2015, the wave of refugees coming to Germany has not significantly increased levels of crime in Germany. Refugee crime rates are the same as native Germans.

Tips for avoiding crime as an international student in Germany

Here are some of the most important safety tips to keep in mind while studying in Germany:

  • Try avoiding large crowds, especially those related to football games or political demonstrations. In large groups, it’s always more difficult to assess who is likely to have violent behaviours.
  • Also, be mindful of other large gatherings of festivals like the Oktoberfest. Crowds, lots of younger men, and heavy alcohol consumption provide a degree of risk.
  • Try to stay away from areas in the city with bad lighting or with a higher potential for crime. Follow your common sense and make sure to get informed from your university when exploring the city.
  • If you have to visit more unsafe zones always bring someone trusted along with you, preferably someone with more experience of the city. Don’t spend more time than you have to in zones with higher risk.
  • Licensed taxis are sometimes the best means of transport in German cities.
  • Keep your cell phone and passport or ID at hand for emergency calls or random police checks
  • Make copies of all official documents and put them somewhere safe.
  • Don’t take all your cash and credit cards with you wherever you go, and avoid keeping your official documents in the same place with your money.

Overall Germany is a great place to study abroad with safety being a top priority of law enforcement and universities. Universities provide all the information you need on safety tips and measures through international offices, so feel free to contact them. You can also call the general emergency number for medical, police and fire emergencies – 112, or the number for police emergencies only – 110.

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Ready to do a Bachelor's in Germany? Check German student visa requirements!

If you come from a country that it is not in the EU or the EEA, you will need a visa to study in Germany, Here are some visa requirements based on your nationality: 

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