Cape Town and Table Mountain at dusk

Carnival in Cologne – 11th November

1st Koln1Do you want to experience an important part of German culture and one of the country’s most incredible festivals? In that case you definitely shouldn’t miss the November Carnival in Cologne!

The traditions connected to this 5000- year old festival are just as diverse as the places where it is celebrated and even within Germany you will find numerous different customs surrounding the February carnival week that marks the beginning of Lent. However, there is no region where carnival is as firmly anchored in the local culture as in Cologne – experiencing the celebrations in the German ‘capital of carnival’ is something you will never forget!

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German Christmas and New Year

German XmasAs we get closer to Christmas the conversation in our office keeps coming back to how we each celebrate over the festive season and the family traditions we have.  We are very lucky here to be able to work in an office with so much contact with different nationalities. It’s always nice to hear about Christmas elsewhere, but it’s even nicer to be able to experience Christmas fully immersed a different country!

Below you can read about how Dominik, our German translator, spends Christmas and New Year:

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Stuttgart – The heart of Baden-Württemberg

1st stuttgart3Stuttgart, capital of the state Baden-Württemberg and Germany’s sixth largest city, definitely knows how to combine good old German traditions with a modern sophisticated life style!

Experience party life and tranquillity in a city where cultures clash. Stuttgart, with about 600.000 inhabitants, is a very international city with people from over 180 countries living and working here. You will find traces of multicultural life everywhere in Stuttgart.

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Berlin – Prenzlauer Berg

1st BerlinPrenz1Berlin is not only the capital of Germany but also the capital of arts and culture! Since Berlin has, due its history, no real city centre, there are lots of places all over the city where you will find the true Berlin experience.

One of those places is Prenzlauer Berg. Prenzlauer Berg (which means ‘hill of Prenzlau’) is a quarter of Berlin that is especially popular among students, young people and artists. Forget London’s Soho or New York’s Brooklyn – Prenzlauer Berg is where young aspiring artists live and work!

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German language exams

When completing a language course at any of our schools you will normally receive a certificate of attendance with details of the level you have reached. This is sufficient for most students but some will require a more formal and recognised qualification. If you are planning to attend a German university or apply for a job in Germany, you may find that you need to pass an official exam, such as the TestDAF, Goethe Institute and Telc exams.

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Romantic, historic Heidelberg!

Heidelberg - Breathtaking viewsI have been in Heildelberg for six months and I found this city wonderful not only during the spring but also during the winter! Heidelberg has been labelled a “Romantic town” and if you come here, you will understand why! You will also be impressed by the breathtaking views of the river valley and the Heidelberg Castle – truly amazing!

The best starting point for exploring Heidelberg’s historic heart is “Bismarckplatz”, right next to Heidelberg’s main pedestrian street and not far from the school . Heidelberg’s historical city centre, the “Altstadt” (Old Town) is lively with its stylish cafés, good restaurant and nice shops.There are a lot of attractions that you can’t miss: Heidelberg’s “Alte Brücke” (Old Bridge), the Town Hall, the Old University and historic buildings.

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A bird’s eye view of Cologne!

After recently returning from a German course in Cologne, I am happy to tell you how surprising and fascinating this city was!

As a person who travels a lot and been to Germany several times, I have been round various castles, churches and cathedrals, both in Germany and at home in Spain. But,  I’ve NEVER climbed up any historical building with a  view which can compare with the one you get from the Cologne Cathedral!

Going to the top of the Cathedral really is worth it – the stunning views you have from the top are amazing, though climbing the hundreds of winding stairs can be a bit of a challenge! You have to go up 509 steps of the spiral staircase, and the same for down! 😉

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Live music in Hamburg

If you love live music, you will certainly enjoy a stay in Hamburg! Naturally, big cities are always more frequently visited by musicians on tour, and the north German metropolis is one of the cities in Germany where they usually stop. But there are also some things that are special about Hamburg’s music culture and I’d like to share some of my experiences here.

As far as genres are concerned, there is really something for every taste. Of course, Hamburg is famous as a host to several award-winning musicals and it’s actually the third biggest musical location in the world, only outdone by New York and London. As for classical music, you have the Music hall Hamburg (Laeiszhalle) where both the Philharmoniker Hamburg and the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra play regularly. The Elbphilharmonie Hamburg is still under construction at the time of writing. This massive concert hall located at the harbour in central Hamburg calls itself “Europe’s largest cultural construction site”.

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Discovering Münster

Compared to cities like Berlin or Munich, the German city of Münster has certainly been more of an insider tip for tourists. We Germans, however, know that “Westphalia’s capital” is well worth a visit!

The University City combines the old and the new and is something for everyone who likes a city that is laid-back and safe, but at the same time very cultural and stylish.

Münster has always been one of Germany’s most popular cities for students so it’s no wonder that the city is also one of the youngest in terms of its population.

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Picturesque Heidelberg

The city has a great cultural programme. Every day over 50 different events ranging from festivals, music, theatre, dance and art exhibitions take place across the city.

The castle illuminations which take place each summer, the medieval autumn fair and Christmas market are particularly worth a look!

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