Inside the Home: Germany vs. USA | German Girl in America

oh that’s my favorite sitcom well that’s just unrealistic that the characters always just walk in through the front door i mean how can they open it without a key oh my god now they’re climbing through the air vents let’s do that too that’s the best prank oh wait we’re in germany we can’t do that why you ask well because german houses and american houses are pretty different [Applause] hello servos and welcome back to my youtube channel my name is felicia i’m originally from munich germany but have been living here in cincinnati ohio on and off since 2016 today i’m going to take you on a little tour through german and american homes for those of you who don’t know this the very first time i ever came to the us was in 2010 so 10 years ago and it was for a high school exchange between the sister cities of munich and cincinnati students from different high schools were selected to participate in this and i got very lucky and together with one other german girl i stayed with an american family for two weeks here in cincinnati and when you arrive in a new country where you’ve never been before after such a long flight you’re totally overwhelmed by the whole situation but i do remember that i noticed a lot of differences about the house that first night and since then i’ve discovered many more things of course and i’ve been wanting to make a video about all of the differences on houses ever since i started this channel but for some reason i haven’t yet so here we go i made a list of 13 things that i’ll go through in this video and of course every house and apartment is different both in germany and the us and people can design it however they want and install different features but these are differences that you’ll see when you compare the majority of german homes to the majority of american homes right when you enter the house you’ll notice a big difference and that’s the front door in germany they’re usually a lot thicker than in the us and have a seal that makes them more soundproof but also helps with insulation and you’ll find those seals at most doors inside the home as well in germany the front doors that i’ve seen in the us so far were rather thin compared to that and never had a seal also and this is what i’ve mentioned in the intro in germany you won’t find a doorknob or handle on the outside of the front door so even if the door is unlocked you won’t be able to open it once it’s shot unless you have the key which brings me to another point and that is that most of the locks i’ve seen here are a little different from the standard locks in germany where i live here in the us we have this kind of lock at the front door but also inside on bedroom doors the key is a little smaller and thinner than the ones in germany and for german locks you usually just turn it around once or several times depending on the lock and then just pull out the key like that but in the us i found that you have to turn the key back before you can pull it out and then in germany since there is no doorknob you turn the key a little further and push the door open at the same time while in the us you can just open it like a normal door once it’s unlocked at least that’s how it is for most doors i know that for some doors in the u.s you can also switch it to being locked automatically once you close it then after you’ve entered you’ll notice the next difference right away in germany the first place you find yourself when you enter a house or an apartment is usually the floor or dile the hallway or foyer that’s usually where you take off your shoes which you should do in germany as i’ve mentioned in another video before and from there you’ll get to the different rooms in the u.s you enter the home right into the living room in most cases so like you open the door and you’re already in the living room the germans among you probably know this from american shows and movies like if you just think of sitcoms like full house or how i met your mother or other sitcoms there’s never a hallway some places do have some kind of entrance area but it’s usually more open than a german floor in general german homes tend to be a little less open than american homes the trend is going more towards open rooms but traditionally the hallway is its own room pretty much with doors to all the other rooms like the kitchen has its own door and is its own room the living room is its own room and so on while in the us it’s pretty common that the kitchen the living room and the dining area if there is one are all open and pretty much one big room now let’s get to heating and cooling in germany it’s very uncommon for normal houses and apartments to have air conditioning we do have it at stores some office buildings and definitely in our cars but i don’t think i’ve ever seen a german home

with air conditioning so how do we keep our places cool well first of all it doesn’t get as hot and humid in germany as it does in a lot of parts of the us but in the summer temperatures do go up to around 35 degrees celsius it’s helpful that our walls are a lot thicker and better insulated than they are at a lot of american homes so the heat doesn’t come inside as quickly but besides that we just suffer and use a combined strategy of fans opening our windows at night and we’ll get to the famous german windows in a second and closing the curtains and blinds during the day in the us however it’s very common for a place to have central air conditioning which means that there’s a thermostat somewhere and there will be these air vents that i mentioned in the intro and through those the cold air will be blown into the different rooms and in the winter it’s simply hot air instead so that’s the cooling system and the heating system at the same time which also means that you won’t see these things in the u.s a lot in germany that’s the main way of heating you’ll usually find these radiators in every room with an individual temperature control i’ve seen a few of these in american homes as well but as i said when they’re central ac with air vents those are usually used for both heating and cooling and places that don’t have central ac often install these little window ac units and i’ve mentioned a few times before that germans often think that americans totally overdo the whole ac game and that it’s often way too cold and i’m going to make a whole video addressing this but yes germans just aren’t a big fan of having air blown into their rooms while americans seem to not be able to live without that and that brings me to the next point and that is ceiling fans these are also pretty standard in the us and i’ve never seen one in germany but i actually think they’re awesome not every place in the us has these but a lot of places do they’re usually connected to the ceiling light with their own on and off switch and they just help make the air circulate a little when it’s hot i love this especially for working out at home and you don’t have to have an extra fan in your room now before we keep talking about the differences between homes let’s talk about what you can do at home for a second and i think this year most of us have realized that that’s quite a long list and it’s the same in germany and the us by the way you can work from home you can work out you can teach from home you can hang out with your friends via facetime you can celebrate easter via zoom you can have meetings from home and so on and you can also learn a lot of new skills at home and that’s why i’d like to introduce today’s sponsor skillshare really quickly i’ve talked about them before but just a reminder skillshare is an online learning community that offers thousands of classes for creative and curious people so there are tons of video classes about things like photography video making interior design marketing or even just lifestyle topics like how to increase your productivity or there’s also things like journaling painting and my favorite dance classes and of course you can also learn a language on there including german which of course i absolutely recommend learning but my mom actually started using the platform when they sponsored me two months ago and she has since then completed two entire levels of a really great spanish class that she found on there which i thought was really impressive the great thing about the classes is that there’s no ad breaks and it’s actually coherent lessons so you don’t have to be like okay so i learned about sentence structure now what do i need next oh here’s another tutorial by someone but he’s using words i’ve never even heard before you know sometimes it’s just good to have something that was actually designed as a whole class now i’m actually working on graphics and future merge for my channel currently and i found this class called design grade stuff how to make merch with draplin taught by aaron draplin and it was super helpful to get some hands-on instructions about how exactly the graphics need to be formatted and delivered to the printing company to make sure it’ll look exactly how you want it now if you’re interested in joining skillshare as well make sure to check out the link in the info box below because the first thousand of my subscribers to click the link will get a two-month free trial of premium membership so you can explore your creativity and even without that offer it’s less than 10 a month with an annual subscription and now let’s get to windows the famous german windows are very different to the ones you’ll find in america because here all you can do is slide your window up and down and they usually have a second slide thing that’s a bug screen but that’s really all you can do and honestly opening these windows doesn’t get a lot of air inside like i often open up both windows in my rooms and there’s still no air circulation really german windows on the other hand are perfect for that germans are also pretty obsessed with

storsliften but german windows are perfect because they usually have three different modes you can open them like a door which lets a lot of air in you can tilt them like this which also let some air in or you can close them and they also usually come with a seal just like the doors but they don’t come with a bug screen which americans like to complain about but you can always install one like i always had one in front of my window as a kid what a lot of german windows do come with though are outdoor blinds or shutters they’re built into the wall and you can close them from the inside like this and not only do they darken the room almost entirely but they also help with the insulation part super handy in my opinion sometimes they’re also electric like this one in my room but at some windows you’ll also just find regular indoor blinds or curtains like you do in the us this one is a pretty big one in everyday life american homes usually have built-in closets in the bedrooms they can have different sizes some of them are walk-in closets but the least you’ll see is usually something like this so you’ll have a door that looks just like a normal room door and then there’s shelves and a clothing rack inside and they’re not taking up any space in your actual room usually because they’re built into the wall this is usually one of the most shocking realizations for americans but those are not a thing in germany our bedrooms are usually just empty rooms when we move in no built-in closet so you’ll have to buy a wardrobe a lot of them are just standalone pieces of furniture in your room but some people also invest in a built-in wardrobe that’s fitted exactly into your room i used to have one of those in my bedroom in germany under the roof this is a small one but when walking through the house you’ll notice that light switches are different as well in the us most light switches look like this while in germany they’re usually much bigger and are either one that you can tilt or that you can press also doors in the u.s usually have door knobs throughout the house while in germany we mainly have door handles some places in the u.s do have handles as well but when they do the handles usually feel very different than the ones in germany so it’s not the same handles okay let’s move into the bathroom if you’ve seen my video about peeing differences you know that i mentioned how different bathrooms are and that i’m going to dedicate a whole video to that topic so i’ll just mention a few things in this one one big one is that in a lot of older homes in germany the bathroom light switch is on the outside of the bathroom this used to be a safety regulation in germany back in the day and you’ll still see this a lot but it’s super annoying really not only because you’ll have to remember to switch the light on before you go in but also because people mess with you and turn the light off while you’re inside now inside the bathrooms let’s talk about showers for a second in the us most showers i’ve seen so far in homes but also in hotels and whether it’s a bathtub with a shower or just a shower have a fixed shower head you can usually adjust the angle a little but you can’t move it which coming from germany i find super annoying because you can’t get water to all parts of the tub or shower which especially sucks if you want to clean it in germany we usually have a handheld shower head that’s detachable which i personally just think is much more practical because you can take the water wherever you need it basically and if you don’t want to get your hair wet you can move it down quite a bit too and then one other difference of many in the bathroom is the toilets american toilets in a lot of cases not every toilet but a lot of them have a lot of water in the bowl so it’s very high while in germany it’s usually really low some old german toilets also have a shelf like this in the toilet which seems to be one of the most popular topics to talk about in the comments but that’s really not all that common anymore and american toilets also usually have this old-fashioned toilet tank and a flushing lever like this i’ve seen this even in pretty new homes while in germany we oftentimes have a button to flush and lots of toilets have a big and a small one depending on how much water you need to flush but also in modern german bathrooms you often don’t even see the toilet tank anymore because it’s built into the wall and all you see is a push button in the wall to flush one last difference in the bathroom that i want to mention in this video is that i feel like even in newer bathrooms in the u.s you hardly ever see just one faucet handle to control the temperature at the sink they’re called mishpateri in german and are very common in germany but in the u.s you usually have a separate hot water and cold water handle so once again it seems a little more old-fashioned than in germany

moving into the kitchen one big difference is the fridge american fridges are usually much bigger than german ones just like a lot of things are bigger in the u.s a lot of them have a water and ice dispenser like this and oftentimes they have a separate door for the freezer sometimes it’s also just like a big thing on top of the fridge german fridges usually don’t have a dispenser like that they’re smaller and the freezer is either a little part inside the fridge or it’s underneath it and it usually comes with drawers which i’ve only seen a couple of times in the us one thing that i find super handy in the us is the garbage disposal a lot of kitchens have one and it’s like a grinder built into the sink i mean i don’t put waste in there on purpose but if food leftovers have found their way into the drain and it’s clogging up i do find it practical then you can just turn on the garbage disposal and the problem is soft and one more thing i want to mention about kitchens is the stove in germany most stoves are regular electric stoves or induction stoves nowadays which do exist in the u.s but a lot of stoves here are either electric coil stoves or gas stoves that’s actually the most common one i’ve seen around here and you hardly ever see that in germany unless the owner is like a really passionate cook or it’s a really old house so that’s quite interesting this one i just want to mention very briefly because in some german apartments you’ll also find the washer in the kitchen which is usually because there’s no space anywhere else in the place you’ll also often find it in the bathroom and especially in apartments there’s oftentimes no dryer that’s because germans mainly air dry their clothes which is why you’ll definitely see drying racks like these in german homes bigger places usually do have a dryer but we don’t use that for our regular clothes a lot so laundry rooms usually always have drying racks or a clothesline rope set up when i first moved here for a longer period of time i was really confused to find a washer and dryer in most places but zero space to hang up my clothes but americans simply don’t do that as much as we do in germany one difference that you’ll notice when you walk through a german or an american home is the floors in american homes you’ll see a lot of carpet which i love personally and in a lot of cases it’s this pretty thick fluffy carpet too you don’t see that in german houses a lot most homes don’t have carpet at all instead we have tiles and wooden floors typically but even when americans have wooden floors they’re usually different than they are in germany where parquet is one of the most common floors or the cheaper fake version laminate floor in the us the hardwood floors usually look a little different like the structure is different and they’re usually much darker than parquet floor and from what i understand they’re also made differently overall i found that americans have a preference for darker wood in their floors and furniture well germans use lighter colored wood for a lot of that and last but not least let’s talk about the exterior really quick this varies a lot in germany and the us of course but when it comes to apartments one main difference is that in germany we always have our full name outside on the doorbell the mailbox and the actual apartment door while in the u.s it’s usually just an apartment number and that’s part of your address when it comes to houses american houses often have the typical front yard and porch and everything is very open while in germany porches aren’t really a thing and we don’t really have those big front yards either instead you’ll see a lot of fences and hedges in germany things typically aren’t really open like they are in the us and overall we just have a lot less space in germany and especially in a lot of german cities housing and just space in general is pretty expensive and people are glad to even have a balcony a yard is really a dream come true but then when they do have one a lot of yards especially in cities are right next to the neighbor’s yard just to give you an idea in munich which is one of the most expensive cities in germany so keep that in mind but in munich i can maybe buy a tiny studio apartment for the same price that i can buy a nice house here in cincinnati with a yard and a porch and everything of course it’s like that in the big american cities as well but the whole density thing and space as luxury is just a little more common in germany of course there are many more differences that i could have mentioned here so if there’s anything important that i missed feel free to share that in the comments below and i’d also like to know which of these features you’d like to have in your house or what you’d like to get rid of for me personally if i could build my own house and mix the features of both countries i think i would definitely have the german windows and doors

american central air and ceiling fans german bathrooms and i think the american setup with a porch and lots of space and the carpet and the dark wood interior design because i really like that thank you so much for watching i hope you guys enjoyed this video this was a little longer again after my random differences mini series with shorter episodes if you liked it make sure to hit that thumbs up button and don’t forget to subscribe to my channel for free to join our intercultural community here and activate the bell to make sure that you don’t miss out on any of my future videos you can also follow me on social media for more behind the scenes content and i hope i’ll see you next time cheers you