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Travel Forums Europe Austria/Germany/Switzerland

1. Posted by aquarianna (Budding Member 9 posts) 11y

Hi all,

It's been a while since I was on here, busy busy busy!

Well, I'm hopefully going to a German-speaking country next year as part of my degree, to work as a Teaching Assistant....BUT I am baffled by which regions to go for and can only choose 3 per country!

I know it's a bit vague, but if any of you know of fantastic places you have lived for a while, or visited, I'd appreciate your feedback! eg things to do, places to visit, atmosphere of place etc.



2. Posted by lauretta (Budding Member 3 posts) 11y

hello anna,
berlin is an interesting city, becoming quite modern and it's not too busy. definitely a place to visit.
zurich is also meant to be a really nice city, have never been there though.
if you want to know more details about berlin just ask me. i used to live there and still go there very often.

3. Posted by moscowmetr (Full Member 267 posts) 11y

Ill only speak for La Suisse.

1/ Berne
2/ Luzern
3/ Friborg

pretty much in that order would be my swiss list if I were you.

Good Luck

4. Posted by Julia2005 (Budding Member 11 posts) 11y

Hi you,

If you don't have a problem understanding Swiss-German or the different accents of Austria, then you could go to Switzerland or Austria.
But of course, in Germany they speak the better German ;), so I would recommend you going there....

And maybe in the South, because it is warmer in summer (well colder in winter but with snow!), they are more friendly than in the North (pretty cold people - not all of them of course) and you are closer to Austria, Switzerland and France, the Czech Republic - good for travelling.... :)

Let me know which 3 regions you choose and then I will let you know some more things what to see, to do etc.

Are you teaching English?

Zurich is a very pretty city - close to the lake, maybe better to visit in summertime. Berlin is great as well, lot to see, lot to discover about the German history. Nuremberg as well, the x-mas markets are awesome and the best there!
Vienna, Salzburg are very nice places as well...

Make up your mind and good luck!


5. Posted by stepsdevil (Budding Member 39 posts) 11y

Well I truly think you have to go to Berlin. I'm from the UK, but have spent a hell of a lot of time there, and it is wonderful. Many beautiful museums and galleries and bars, but the people are so friendly and accommodating. I really do think you would make great friends there, and will learn a heap of German. If you have any questions, I too am happy to answer.

I'll also vouch for Hamburg. Some of the suburbs are a bit rough, but the centre is nice. The Alster lake and the town hall are gorgeous and the shopping is wonderful. The people are friendly, and they have a beautiful dialect. If you want to learn the 'purest' German, go to Niedersachsen, but my friends from that area tell me that there are more interesting places to go lol

Good Luck

6. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 11y


I'm German and I live in Magdeburg, which is the capital of Sachsen-Anhalt.

From your post I understand that you are going to be a teacher, and you'll be working at regular schools, right?

If that is correct, I can talk from experience here - from the other side of the teaching table, that is. Let me tell you something:

A few years ago one of my english teachers was an American guy doing a teaching degree in English and German at the University of Texas. He came to our school for one year as an assistant teacher, so that we students could hear a native speaker for once in our lifes. He was my life-saver, because at that time my regular English teacher hadn't ever taught English since she graduated from college 25 years earlier. She got to teach it only after the reunification of Germany. Then her first trip in 1991 was to Wales, where unfortunately she fell in love with the Welsh accent. So she tried to emulate it, but failed spectacularly, because speaking English only brought out her heavy German saxonian accent. Everytime she opened her mouth I wanted to drive a hot poker into my ear.

Unfortunately the situation (lots of imcompetent english teachers who don't really know the language) isn't much better in other schools in the area of the former GDR (the five eastern federal states), so please, I beg you, come to the East of Germany!

There are some great national parks - Sachsen is great for hiking and rock climbing, Brandenburg with the Havelland and the area south of Cottbus (the Spreewald) are great for canoeing, in Sachsen-Anhalt we got the Harz mountains for medivial culture combined with hiking and skiing and the Elberadweg for biking, Thueringen has got Weimar (not to be missed when you study German literature) and great skiing in Thueringer Wald, the north (affectionately called Meck-Pomm) has got the Baltic Sea. None of the regions are too far away from Berlin, especially not Brandenburg or Sachsen-Anhalt.

Besides that, the East the only place to learn about a significant time of German history, the time when Germany was two countries on different sides of the Iron Curtain - GDR and FRG. What was differrent and how it was different is something you can only learn through contact with people who used to live in the GDR!

Feel free to drop me a line if you want to know more.

7. Posted by moscowmetr (Full Member 267 posts) 11y

Quoting Julia2005

Hi you,

If you don't have a problem understanding Swiss-German or the different accents of Austria, then you could go to Switzerland or Austria.
But of course, in Germany they speak the better German ;), so I would recommend you going there..

Wass meinst du genau?.....

8. Posted by tallbird (Respected Member 269 posts) 11y

I was on the Swiss/ Austrian border as part of my year out during my degree. Had the advantage of speaking Swiss-German though, although many other teaching assistants didn't have a problem with it really either.But had a great time in Bregenz.

However, if I was to go again, I would choose Innsbruck or Vienna to go to. Innsbruck for the skiing and community feel (plus easy access to Salzburg) or Vienna for the city atmosphere. We visited other assistants in Innsbruck that we met on the training course and they were having the time of their lives.

9. Posted by tallbird (Respected Member 269 posts) 11y

PS: Let me know if you need any advice on good english language games or topics for your lessons! I learnt a lot about teaching in that year!