Berlin : The capital of video game development
Why Berlin ?
Our 3rd year student Josefine, during her internship at Google
Unique and lively, Berlin is one of the most interesting cities in Europe. Famous for its underground and alternative culture and booming economy, it attracts a wide variety of profiles, depending on one' s goals: entrepreneurship, creativity, going out, enjoying its green spaces... you probably never thought of coming to Germany, but here's the thing: Berlin is not the Germany you've heard about. Berlin is an international island of freedom and culture, a historic and dynamic metropolis that seeks to reinvent itself every day. It is a city of artists and creative people, who find their place in its streets, its 180 museums, its clubs, its parks…
Berlin is a diverse city with as many faces as there are "Kiez" (districts): walking through the streets of Mitte, Friedrichshain or Tempelhof invites you to experience different atmospheres and experiences. This is one of the things that makes Berlin an ideal destination for students, as there will always be a part of the city that suits you and there is always more to discover!
Berlin is also a young, cosmopolitan and tolerant city that likes to celebrate its diversity and engage in festivals (Karneval der Kulturen, CSD Berlin...) and events (for minorities, the climate...) all year round. Berlin is full of initiatives and events that open doors to gatherings and encourage tolerance.
Beyond its cultural and intercultural richness, Berlin offers excellent opportunities for technology professionals to start their careers with a growing technology sector and countless exciting opportunities, from start-ups to large companies. Regarding Epitech Berlin's specialty, about 270 companies in all areas of the games industry employ about 3,000 people in the region and generate 255 million euros in annual revenues. Berlin has become home to a strong developer scene with many independent studios and industry leaders.
Berlin is a huge city
The German capital is the largest city in Germany with almost 900 km² and is nine times bigger than Paris. It is even bigger than New York with only 3.4 million inhabitants.
20%: that’s the percentage of Berlin’s international population, coming from 170 countries. This means that you will have plenty of opportunities to speak English!
Quality of life
Berlin is one of the cheapest capitals in Western Europe with an affordable cost of living for students and ranks as Germany’s most attractive city to live in.
Excellent public transport system
4,473 km: that is the length of Berlin’s public transport system. It is so long that it actually travels 8.7 times around the planet Earth every day!
Berlin, a great city to live in:
- A vibrant city: shows, openings, restaurants, workshops, conferences, events, open-air festivals! Berlin always has something to offer
- A city of art and history: with 180 museums and an eventful history, the German capital has much to tell.
- A city that never sleeps. 1,000: that's the number of "Späti", grocery shops that are open until very late at night and can be found on almost every street corner in Berlin.
- An eco-friendly city. 25cts: that's the money you get back for every bottle you bring back to the supermarket's recycling machine
- A green city: Did you know that 40% of the city's surface is covered by green spaces? Berlin is full of parks of all sizes, and each one has its own treasures of conviviality, history, entertainment, waterfalls, various activities, and atmosphere, which make them huge playgrounds left to everyone's inventiveness as soon as summer arrives, for any weekend, with friends or family, for a barbecue, a walk, a swim, aperitifs, football, or even nudism! There is something for everyone.
One of the strongest points of Berlin is the high work opportunities it offers. Berlin and generally speaking, Germany offers plenty of opportunities for developers. In fact, you will find that 1 out of 10 jobs in Germany are for software developers/engineers.
The average salary for developers in Germany is very competitive and continues to rise. Currently, this is around €47,000 per annum, making Germany the 7th best paying country in world rankings for the tech sector.
This can be explained perfectly with the city’s notorious and intense startup scene. Young and innovative enterprises particularly like to work with programmers and therefore, it is no surprise that there are a lot of open positions in that field.
Another plus: Berlin is so cosmopolitan that a lot of job offers will be in English.
- Our Tek4 students have the possibility to work part-time for 20 credits: Thursdays and Fridays will always be free of activities to help you with that. If you already found a part-time job or if you are working as a freelancer, please contact the Berlin pedagogical team for its approval (number of hours, proof of working time for freelancers, etc.).
German law states that students are allowed to work part-time for up to 20 hours a week or 120 full days of a year. It is estimated that more than 60% of current international students work part-time while studying in Germany.
Doing a part-time in a company here allows you to get a precious experience in an international work environment and open your job opportunities to the international market! Every year, our interns participate in writing the history of Epitech in Germany for all generations of teks.
The job market is very broad, start-ups and international companies always look for new developers. You’ll find a list of some of the companies that have trusted our students in the next section below.
Re:publica Berlin – one of the biggest conference for the digital world
Our 3rd year student Josefine, during her internship at Google
Here are some of the companies that have trusted our students in previous years:
Become an expert in the field of video games
In the technological field, in addition to your year program, you’ll complete your expertise through subjects specifically dedicated to video games.
Berlin is home to a strong developer scene with numerous indie studios and pioneers in the game industry as well as to international studios. The capital city has more companies than comparable major areas in Germany. The focus is on browser games, online, social games, serious games, mobile games, and virtual worlds. IT Experts see Berlin as one of the leading center in the games sector. Berlin also offers excellent conditions for companies in the emerging field of eSports.
Around 300 companies with more than 3,000 employees generate an annual turnover of more than 250 million euros. These include development studios, publishers, distributors, and service providers for e.g. localization, sound, advertising, payment systems, etc. More and more renowned international games companies are drawn to the Spree. Here they find highly qualified specialists and talent from all over the world, networks, and international industry events (such as International Games Week Berlin, A Maze and numerous eSports events). In addition to game developers, there's a ton of gaming communities, including dedicated studio space for gaming creators.Berlin is also the location of successful companies such as Ubisoft, Wooga, Kolibri Games, Epic Games, Bigpoint, Riot Games and GameDuell.
That being said, if you’re planning to follow a career in the vide games industry put a pin in Berlin as the location of your first international outpost.
Life on Campus
Berlin campus - in the heart of the city
Epitech Berlin is located in the vibrant heart of the city, a few meters from “Zoologischer Garten” (Zoo), one of the biggest transportation hub in Berlin. Next door to the Ubisoft offices, closed to a strong community of start-up, hubs and incubators, you can find our nice, colorful and luminous campus. In our modern Campus we make sure that you can focus on what’s important to you: your projects.
Charlottenburg is a versatile district in Berlin where authentic Berlin lifestyle meets the bustling spirit of the up and coming “City West”. A wide range of restaurants, shops and bars is in walking distance. “Kurfürstendamm”, the heart of West Berlin is just around the corner. Also nearby is the distinctive area of Schöneberg, full of little cafés, bars and Kneipe (german pub). The “Tiergarten” Berlins biggest and most central park provides ample opportunities for outdoor activities.
Activities on our Berlin Campus
Team-building activities are a great tool to help students learn to work together, listen carefully, communicate clearly and think creatively. They also give our students the chance to get to know each other, build trust as a community and, best of all, have fun! In order to do so and engage with the local ecosystem, at Epitech Berlin we organize plenty of fun events throughout the year (Halloween, St. Patricks Day, Oktoberfest, Christmas and many others)
Living in Berlin
Berlin is one of the liveliest and coolest city for students: from street arts to museums and theatres, from bars and clubs to meeting your friends in a parc to share a drink just grabbed at the “Späti” (a small store that sells drinks, snacks and tobacco products that stays open until late and also on Sundays), from the very morning until the end of the night, there is always something to do. Also, for those who prefer to enjoy nature, Berlin offers lots of green areas, lakes or places for climbing, boat rides on the Spree river, wandering, biking, chilling, etc.
Summer in Berlin – chilling on the Spree
World-renowned Berlin’s nightlife
Winter in Berlin, an amazing winter beauty experience here in the Tiergarten Berlin
Epitech Berlin Rooftop View – our students hanging around,
Living in Berlin means diving into the heart of an eclectic capital city, which shines with both its history and its rich culture.
Berlin has a rich and complex history, the traces of which can still be seen throughout the city today. Although the wall came down in 1989, there are almost 30 years of division running through the city and the after-effects of this division are still evident. Studying in Berlin is a great opportunity for you to discover this unique city and its history, visit cultural and historical gems, hear incredible stories and collect unforgettable memories.
The Berlin Wall © Peter Dagartz
Alternative or unexpected
Free walking tours in Berlin on the theme of street art and graffiti SO36, the most popular alternative club in Kreuzberg Reichstag, the German parliament and its dome Dark Matter, interactive, audiovisual and light installations presented in completely dark rooms in a former factory.
German Spy Museum, Futurium Museum (interactive exhibitions on major future issues such as climate, housing, food and technology) Berliner Unterwelten (underground museum dedicated to the city's underground history, especially the WWII bunkers) Museum Insel (museum island) and many others.
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (one of the most famous orchestras in the world). If you are a fan of electronic music, the Resident Advisor website reports on all the DJ sets in the Berlin scene. More information on current cultural activities in Berlin can be found here.
Berlin: a place of diversity
Berlin is a very open-minded and safe city. Thanks to its intercultural atmosphere and tolerant people, you will feel at home in Berlin. You can be yourself and live your life to the full without fear of judgement. The diversity of the city is reflected in the international street-food markets where you can try a little bit of everything!
If you are a European student and want to study and live in Germany, you will have the same rights as a German citizen and EU\EFTA citizen regarding free entry, the opportunity to study and work without any additional permits. If you are not however a European citizen and you want to study in Germany, you will have to have a Visa and also get a residency permit to become able to live and move around the country. The residency permit will also allow you to travel visa-free in the whole Schengen Area, which makes for a wonderful opportunity to visit the countries you are interested in within the timeframe.
Berlin is indeed in the center of Europe which makes it really easy to travel around (Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary f.i. that are really close by and cheap to travel to). If you join the activities to promote Epitech offered by the school, you will also be able to travel all around Germany at Epitech’s costs. Travel to the Baltic sea with a direct train connection from Berlin and experience unbelievable sunsets.
Must do activities
The city has no shortage of festive moments: Festival of lights, Oktober Fest, Berlinale (international film festival), Carnival of cultures... Other popular activities for Berliners are: strolling through the flea markets in the various districts of the city at the weekend, walking along the city's canals, in one of its many parks or walking around one of its many lakes.
The capital of Kebab!
Berlin's cuisine is mainly known for kebab, currywurst and Co. Not very glamorous specialities, but not to be missed. There are also other specialities to discover for a very economical snack on the go. In addition, South American mate-based soft drinks are very popular in the capital. They are particularly famous and are standard fare at the end of every evening. And let's not forget the local beer, the "Pils"! You can find more specialities here
Enjoy a breathtaking view from the top of the Television Tower
What to do in Berlin to get a great view of the city? Climb to the top of the famous Fernsehturm, also known as the Television Tower! At 368 metres high, it is the highest building in the German capital. From its observatory, you can enjoy a panoramic view of Berlin's rooftops.
Participate in the Mauerpark's giant karaoke
The park's must-see event takes place every Sunday afternoon at 3pm: the Bear Pit Karaoke, a giant karaoke event that brings together almost 1000 people! You can attend as a spectator, but you can also sing along if you feel like it... As a bonus, the Mauerpark also has a flea market and many areas popular with Sunday sportsmen and women and artists of all kinds, including street artists.
Nightlife: Going out in Berlin
Unlike other German cities, Berlin has no official closing time. There is always something going on in the German capital; every hour of every day of the year: events, entertainment, culture. Berlin is 365 days, 24 hours a day. Find out more about it here. And for more information on what's happening in Berlin in real time, click here! Or here!
Affordable Costs of Living
The cost of living in Berlin is generally quite affordable and cheaper than most European capitals and makes it a very attractive city for students. Rent is the main financial concern you may have to face when studying in Berlin. However, there are many options available to you, such as shared accommodation, which is very common and a good way for students to reduce their rent and get to know each other, as well as student residences, which are accessible and safe.
- Private room in a student residence: 600 - 1000 €/month
- Room in a shared apartment: 350 - 650€ / month
- Studio, 2 rooms: 500 - 1200€ / month
Cost of living
- Public Transport : 80€/ month
- Food: 250€ / month
- Internet : 30€/ month
- Cocktail : 5€
- Beer (0,5 L) : 3€ in Bars & 1€ in säti
- Kebab : 4€
Learn a New Language
Learning German is not a must (most people in Berlin speak English) but could be very useful in building your new life in Berlin, help you break the ice with new friends and colleagues and is certainly a plus on the job market, whether in France or Europe!
If you need any information or advice, we'd be happy to help. In the meantime, here are some links to find the answers you might need before moving to Berlin.