My Experience Studying at Humboldt – One of the Best Universities in Germany

A bit of context:

I studied Musicology (major) and Russian (minor) in my Bachelor’s at Humboldt University of Berlin (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) from 2017-2021. I have finished High School in Berlin (Grades 8th-12th) and before that I was living in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Most of the courses I had were in German, which is my first foreign language.

According to the QS Ranking from 2021, it is the 4th best ranked University in Germany.

1. The lecturers are very understanding and truly inspiring with their research.

I studied Musicology and this field consists of many different sub departments. Each student could choose a focus easily. I took many Music Psychology courses because they interested me most. The professors I had lectures and (mostly) seminars by were eager to help and didn’t take too long with the grading of papers and exams. You could sense a certain degree of respect and interest towards the student. The lecturers are happy to talk to you about their research and it’s good to keep in mind that they have been where you are now.

2. Writing the final papers can be really stressful, but you get the support you need from other students and lecturers.

Oh, the long hours at the library… We’ve all been there. The Humboldt libraries from many faculties I’ve visited have a great selection of papers, books, articles and other resources. My favourite library has to be the most popular one called the “Jacob-und-Wilhelm-Grimm-Zentrum”.
Go with a friend to take study breaks together and chat. Keeps your social life active and helps keep mental health in check. 10/10 would recommend.

By the way, my favourite platform to check grammar and translations is Reverso Context. Trust me, you’ll probably need it, especially if German is not your native language. It is a great tool to look up words and phrases and how they are used in a larger context.

To sum it up:

3. It’s okay if your degree seems to not have much in common with your future plans.

Although I am pursuing a future in Digital Marketing at the moment, I don’t regret studying Musicology and Russian at Humboldt University one bit. I see my undergraduate degree as THE time I had for emotional and personal development as well as self-discovery. Moreover, you learn how to think critically, which leads me to my next point:

4. The interdisciplinary texts and seminars teach you how to research diverse topics and form your opinion.

The humanities degrees are in my view all similar in a way. They prepare you for being a critical thinker, forming your own opinion, discussing it with others and writing essays. Through group presentations and projects you develop your soft skills and intercultural/interpersonal communication skills. At Humboldt most people were really friendly, sociable, and eager to help, at least in my experience.

5. If you like learning about a certain topic you can normally find a way to connect it your assignments.

Especially when you have to write final essays, there is a lot of creative freedom when it comes to choosing a topic. You can and should try to write about something you find fascinating. The teaching staff will do their best to support you from my experience.

6. Join the choir… I dare you.

The University choirs and orchestras are amazing to participate in to get to know fellow students. I participated in the Philharmonic choir (Humboldts Philharmonischer Chor) and had a blast. You can meet hundreds of students studying different degrees.

Many go to grab 1-Euro-drinks at the famous “Keller” to chat, play table football and relax after a long day at uni.

It is definitely a balancing act when you have uni, maybe a part time job, as well as other hobbies to manage. However I found that if the activity enriches your life, it’s always possible to find the time for it. Even during exam periods, choir was a welcome distraction, keeping us students sane.

Beware that although you can come to the first rehearsal to get to know the choir and see if you want to participate, you’ll have to register for an audition for the choir director to hear if you can read sheet music at least a bit and sing, but he is really friendly and no one expects opera singers, so don’t stress about it;)

7. Affordable language, sports, and career development courses are a thing!

  1. Learn Languages
    – Costs only around 40 EUR per semester
    – You have generally around 4 hours per week
    – You get a paper at the end with your grade and level (A1-C2) after the course
    – All of the language teachers I’ve had were really supportive and wonderful. I did Italian, Spanish and French courses.
  2. Sports
    – You can book Humboldt sports courses through the website. From belly dancing to windsurfing there are a lot of options! I did ballroom dancing and HIIT / bootcamp courses that were a lot of fun!
    – They are very cheap, around 10-20 EUR per semester
  3. Career Development
    – You can find the career centre courses here
    – The courses range from project management, Excel knowledge and conflict management to getting help starting your own StartUp
    – Note that it is possible to miss the deadlines for registration so keep an eye on the website from time to time. However, I believe that the courses are a great opportunity to complement the theoretical knowledge with more practical projects. You just have to be very quick and monitor the career centre website from time to time!

8. There are some delicious and cheap vegan meals at the student cafeteria;)

– You can find the meal plans for all student cafeterias here. I have had some delicious vegan meals and most frequently was at HU Mensa Süd. You can put some money on your student card and pay with it. I definitely miss the Mensa-times, hanging out with friends in the breaks between seminars.
– There are not only vegan options at the cafeterias, but there are a few every day!


If you complement your studies with work experience as a working student or intern and by completing career centre courses, I believe you’ll receive the best education.

It’s a challenging but supportive environment. Everyone is super friendly and wants to help you if you have any questions. The university is as international as Berlin is in general. The teaching staff is great and supportive.

Have a blast! Exams will pass, don’t forget to get to know the amazing people you are studying with as well and enjoy your time as a student!:)

Have more questions? Send me an Email or a message, I’m here to help and answer your questions because I’ve been there! Follow me on Instagram to see more content like this!

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