Aside from the spelling and weather, there is a huge amazing difference between the Philippines and Germany which are quite outstanding in my part.

It has been almost 3 years since I moved to Berlin, but I didn’t pay much attention to the things a novice like me could have noticed being in a new environment. There are times that I hate to have left my homeland but sometimes feeling assured that I have stepped on different soil.

What exactly am I talking here? It is not about me lovelies, but about the countries which I love, the Philippines and the latter, which I have learned to love, Germany.

Pinterest photo for differences between the Philippines and the Germany

Well, what is the difference between the Philippines and Germany?

We’re going there. Sit back and relax, it’s quite long, while I share to you the unlikeness of these two countries.

• Universities and schools

1.Even simple public elementary schools in the Philippines have men in white uniform standing outside and inside the school grounds. When I once visited some universities in Berlin, I noticed that everyone can really enter the gates and stroll around the schools without somebody asking if I am a student or not. I even researched it on the Internet to support this observation, but I didn’t find anything indicating that schools and universities in Germany are heavily guarded.

Yes, you probably think, of course, the Philippines is a very dangerous country. Having lived in the Philippines for over 20 years, I could answer it without any biased opinion. Yes, it is dangerous but it doesn’t mean every part of the country is dangerous. Amazingly, the Philippines is at the 91st place when it comes to a number of robberies per 100, 000 people, while Germany is at 45th place. The Philippines is known to be a place of robberies, extortion and kidnapping, but you can also enjoy the country without getting hurt too.

2. There are lower or no tuition fees in German universities.

What I find so astonishing in Germany and German universities is that they offer low tuition fees. It ranges from €85-€291 for every semester whereas in the Philippines education is much more expensive which ranges from 50,000 PHP-320,000 PHP for prominent schools in the Philippines or €892-€2000 per semester. I studied Nursing in the Philippines and it has cost 30,000-50,000 PHP per semester, and it is equivalent to €535-€892 per semester. If you are thinking of studying in Germany and you’d like to have a German student’s visa, you can find a useful article here.

3 of the top 10 universities in Germany for international students are even found in Berlin.

When it comes to German language schools, there’s slightly a difference too or maybe a huge difference when we talk about the pricing. I have learned German for almost 7 months in the Philippines, within that period I have attained a B2 Certificate which I needed for my German application. This study has cost more or less 100,000 PHP or €1,785. I have estimated the costs for everything like transportation, boarding house, foods, language school tuition fee, German exam, and other miscellaneous fees. It depends on the school actually, while I was studying German in the Philippines, I have already heard a lot of times that my school is one of the best German learning schools in the Philippines. No, it’s not Goethe Institute. 🙂

I have also researched some schools in the Philippines offering the German language, and I found out that TESDA offers selective languages for free including German.

When it comes to studying the German language in the Philippines, I would say there are advantages and disadvantages same with studying in Germany. Based on my comparison and own experience, studying German in the Philippines is way better when you’re thinking about money. Take this one school, for example, the price starts at €190 or 10,640 PHP and that’s only for a two-week class. I’m not sure if you could already attain and learn a lot in two-weeks’ time.

The only advantage I see if you decide to study German in Germany is you get to interact with the locals already and apply what you have learned in a language school. What about teaching? Well, I would prefer a non-German teacher in teaching German. I’m going to write a separate article on why I prefer non-German teachers to teach German.

3. School system. I have spent 15 years in a school in the Philippines, and the years spent by an individual in a school has changed now ever since the school system K-12 was signed by the former President Aquino last May 13, 2013. My mother was thankful that time my younger sister has already said goodbye from high school. She’s one of the lucky individuals who graduated from and entered college at the age of 15 or almost 16 before K-12 came.

In Germany, there’s a different school system too and different types of school. You can read this article to know more about the school system in Germany since I am quite confused myself in understanding their school system.

• Healthcare and hospitals

German healthcare system and to be insured is an obligation of every individual who is a resident and working in Germany. Germans take it seriously and it’s very important to be insured, public or private. Health insurance in Germany costs 9% of your monthly income, and that also depends on the type of your insurance if you are married or with children already. Check-ups, buying medicines and procedures which are not related to beauty enhancement don’t cost a lot if you are under any health insurance in Germany. Here’s an article for you to read more about the German healthcare system.

The Philippines has its own healthcare system called PhilHealth. I am not really familiar with it since I don’t have it in the first place. But what I commonly heard is it is expensive to get sick in the Philippines. You can get some hint already from that context alone but I have also heard that the healthcare system is getting better since President Duterte started ruling the country. I hope it is true.

Working in medical field

As a nurse, I find it much better working in Germany as a nurse than in the Philippines. A novice nurse, a fresh graduate or newly-passed nurse earns an average of €200-€250 while nurses earn much better in Germany. The workload is even better in Germany, and we don’t exceed above 12-hour of duty as a nurse while in the Philippines, nurses work for 16 hours continuously.

• Transportation

You can buy a normal monthly transportation ticket for €81 and that’s for AB zone in Berlin. You can use this ticket for buses, subways, trains and trams. To understand more about the zones in Berlin, you can visit this site. If you are new in Berlin, you can also use a map which is not that hard to read and it can help you a lot if you’re alone and always on the way. If you buy the ticket on subscription, it would only cost €60/monthly. You get a ticket in a plastic form but in order to get it, you need to have a proof of your German address or Meldebescheinigung.

Example of a difference between the Philippines and Germany
Photo by Claudio Schwarz from Unsplash

The Philippines has its own railway system too but it’s only located in Luzon. I have experienced traveling with MRT and LRT, and I found it to be so stressful to travel with these railway systems. Thankfully I didn’t have to do it every single day. If Germany has trams and trains as a means for transportation, the Philippines has a unique method of transportation like tricycles and jeepneys.

Jeepney as a means of transportation in the Philippines, which shows another difference between Germany and the Philippines
Photo by Rainier Ridao from Unsplash

• Stores and malls

Malls are closed on Sundays in Germany unlike in the Philippines, they are open Mondays-Sundays, and they’re even bigger than the malls in Germany. Since big stores and malls are closed on Sundays here, there are small open-late stores called Späti which is usually open at night. Unfortunately, Sari-sari stores don’t exist in Germany. Sari-sari store is a small convenience store in the neighborhood and sari-sari means varieties.

Now you have a brief overview of both countries and can compare on your own which suits you better. I wouldn’t say this country is better than the other country, it’s up to you to decide which is good and what is bad in the country. If you are an expat in a country, you can also share your experiences and observations in the comments below.

 Are you a Filipino who wants to try living in Germany or a nurse wanting to work in Germany? Just let me know. Are you trying to learn German or you wanted to learn German, you can read my article on how to learn German efficiently.