Here are 5 major differences that I have noticed since living here in Germany, after growing up in Canada 🙂
1) Public Transportation
In Köln, the underground train map covers pretty much every single part of the city… there are countless lines that go in multiple directions (which always come very frequently)- making it extremely easy to travel around. This is compared to the LRT system from back home in Edmonton… which is essentially a straight line going North to South. Haha. So I guess that could be one reason why less people need to use their cars in Europe!
**Here is a picture of Köln’s U Bahn Map:
In Germany (and many other places in Europe), post secondary education is FREE. No joke. People here don’t have to pay any sort of tuition or administrative fees to enrol in University classes. And the quality of education is very high…. (A part of me now actually wishes I could stay longer and study here :P) But in Canada it is possible to get scholarships, which are not offered in Germany.
Now I definitely understand why North America is referred to by many people as “The New World” … because it is so true. Here in Germany for example, the city I live in was founded by the Romans in the 1st century! I only have to walk a couple blocks at most just to see one of the countless churches built several hundreds of years ago (and to put that in perspective…a church built around 400yrs ago isn’t even considered that “old”), or see the ancient remains of the city’s fortress wall (pictured on the left), not to mention the Koelner Dom Cathedral -which dates back to the 1200s! So incredible.
4) European Street Style
This is not even an exaggeration! Here if you walk down any busy street, you are not likely to see anyone dressed in sweats, or looking visually ‘unpresentable.’ Here, it seems people put a lot more effort into to creating their own personal style and appearance, and i’ve noticed this especially with young girls & women- many of whom dress up really fashionable, with their hair and makeup looking flawless, regardless of the occasion. Now I’m not saying that all people in Canada dress bad, because they don’t! But in Europe, there is a lot more uniqueness, and people aren’t as afraid to experiment with different styles, and lots of them clearly have a genuine desire to always look their best.
5) The Partying!
Going to a nightclub in Canada, it is considered late to be out past 2 am when the bars close… but here, people usually don’t arrive until wayyyy later. All of the pubs/bars/clubs here are open for literally the entire night, and it is considered normal to be out partying until 6 or 7am !! The prices of drinks here are also significantly cheaper, and nobody ever is expected to give tips either…. Which is the complete opposite of how it is in Canada.
So these are just some of the major differences I’ve noticed since living in here Germany 7 weeks ago. There are plenty more I could mention, but then this list would never end…. 😛 But anyways, I don’t want this post to sound like I prefer living in one place vs. the other, because they are both so different and special in their own way. ❤