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Life of German Teens: Differences Between Teenage Culture and Social Life in Midwest America and Northwest Germany (Explained)

Life of German Teens: Differences Between Teenage Culture and Social Life in Midwest America and Northwest Germany (Explained)

Teenagers in different countries have different lives depending on their economic, social, and political backgrounds. 

There are some countries where teenage life is the best and there are somewhere it is the worst. According to the data collected from OECD, America ranks 34th on the list of best and is considered the worst country for raising a family.

Based on this ranking, teenagers are unlikely to find the U.S. to be an ideal place to live. On the other hand, Germany is ranked 7 on the list, indicating that it is a considerably better country for teenagers.  

Comparing the teen’s life in America vs Germany, here’s what I’ve discovered:

The first difference is that school activities differ in both countries. The second difference is that the legal age for drinking in Germany is 16, while that’s not the case in the U.S. And the list goes on. 

If you’re interested in learning about these and other differences in detail, stick around and keep on reading. I’ll also give you an overview of teenagers’ lives in other countries as well. 

So, let’s dive into it.

American Teen Life

An average teenager’s life in the U.S. goes about like this:

  • American teenagers have to be early birds because they have to wake up at 6 a.m. to get ready for school.
  • Lunchtime starts at 11 a.m. and students have 30 to 40 minutes to eat.
  • School ends at 2 o’clock, and this is when teens leave for home.
  • On their way home, they either go to Starbucks or any of their favorite places to have snacks. 
  • The curfew time for American teenagers is usually 10 to 11. Normally, they go to bed at 10 or 11 p.m.
What is it like to be a teenager in Germany?
Due to its rich history, skating is very popular among teenagers in Germany

What Is It Like To Be A Teenager In Germany?

Being a teenager in Germany is a different experience than it could be in any country. 

  • You can get a motorcycle after turning 16, whereas you have to wait until 18 to be able to drive a car. 
  • Smoking habits in teens are very common in Germany. Therefore, the country comes in third on the list of high smoking rates. You’ll also find them having water pipes (shisha) occasionally, though it’s more prevalent in boys than in girls. 
  • Germans can drink alcohol from the age of 16. 
  • Since schools do not have sports clubs, most teens participate in such activities outside of school. 
  • The Germans have a rich skating culture, so there are many skate parks in the country.

Difference Between Teenager’s Life in the U.S. and Germany

Here’s how teens’ lives in the U.S. and Germany differ.

Teenage Life in the U.S.Teenage Life in Germany 
Educational institutions hold proms and homecomings for different stages of school and university. There’s no concept of prom or homecoming in Germany. They rather hold “Abi-Ball” right after the completion of graduation. 
School sports are on the rise in America. Interestingly, there are 7.6 million students, which make up half of the schools, who participate in sports. Teens don’t participate in sports in schools or colleges as there are no schools or collegial sports teams. 
In America, sixteen is the legal age to drive a car. Though some states allow 14 years, while some permit 18 years old to get a driving license. While in Germany, the legal age to get a driving license is 18. Even though you’ve got a license in your home country at the age of 16, it won’t be valid in Germany until you turn 18. 
The minimum legal drinking age in the U.S is 21. It is to avoid motor vehicle crashes and minimize other social issues like drug dependence. Since the alcohol laws differ in both countries, the minimum age to be able to drink alcohol is 16 in Germany. 
Comparing Teenager’s Life in America Vs. Germany

Teenage Life In Some Other Countries

Since we are already on the topic, let’s know about some other parts of the world from a teen’s eyes.

What Is Life Like For Teenagers In Italy?

Italian teenagers’ social lives are different in general since it’s difficult to make friends in school if they don’t come from your village. Therefore, they don’t really get along with their schoolmates.

What is life like for teenagers in Italy?
Italian Pizzeria

School life is only limited to studying as there are no sports clubs at schools. In Rome, an Italian city with several historical sites, teens tend to connect with art and culture. It’s therefore possible to see a reflection of art in their clothing.

The bar life is also different in the country, and you can find a wide range of snacks there. Bars are also different from U.S. bars in that cappuccinos, coffee, snacks, and alcohol are all available in the same place. Unlike in the U.S., only fifty percent of teens do part-time jobs.

Life in South Korea As a Teenager

As natives enter this phase of their lives, they begin to take relationships more seriously. The best way to spot Korean couples is by their matching clothes since teenagers don’t get intimate in public.

Like in other Asian countries, in South Korea, men pay bills for the food at restaurants. Teenagers don’t get to enjoy clubbing as much as Americans due to their hectic study schedules. These years of life involve preparing for an entrance test to get into the best university possible. They also have to attend school, even on vacation. 

Teenagers attend academies after school for studies as well. The weekend time of teenagers in South Korea is usually spent watching K-dramas or anime. 

Rather than going to the gym, Korean teens prefer going to yoga classes. Teenagers between the ages of 15 and 18 are allowed to work part-time but not more than 7 hours a day.

Life in South Korea As a Teenager
South Korean Flag

Challenges Faced By Teens All Over The World

The following are the challenges teenagers face these days:

  • There’s so much pressure on them when it comes to making the right career choice.
  • They don’t know how to keep a check on their alcoholic habits.
  • Having no idea how to deal with bullying makes it difficult for them to cope.
  • They depend so much on social media.
  • Having depression or anxiety but aren’t sure how to handle it
  • Lack of energy is one of the most common issues found in teenagers nowadays.
  • Having less confidence in themselves, they try to be someone else.
Want to learn the way to stop bullying? Here’s a great video that might help you in this regard


  • In this article, I compared teens’ lives in America and Germany.
  • The first difference you might notice when moving to German schools from America is the absence of sports clubs. 
  • In Germany, you’re legally able to get your biking license at the age of 16, and to drive a car legally you have to wait for your 18th birthday. While the rules in some states of America let you drive even at 14.
  • Another major difference is smoking habits in both countries. Teenagers living in Germany are so addicted to cigarettes, and that’s not the case in America. 

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