How to move to Germany
When it comes to living in Germany, there are many benefits to making the move. These range from the country being an easy place to adapt to living in to amazing public transportation. Germany is also becoming a popular place for immigrants. In fact, the country recently saw a record number of people moving in. During 2015, 2.14 million people packed up and moved to Germany, which was a 46 percent increase from 2014. This was mainly due to the country’s acceptance of refugees.
Steps to moving to Germany:
- Moving to an international destination like Germany takes preparation. For instance, you’ll need to decide what belongings you’re taking with you and which ones you’d prefer to store while you’re gone. If you own a home, you’ll need to rent it out or sell it. Also, make sure that you meet the country’s eligibility requirements for moving there. One of the first things you’ll need is a valid passport. Processing time for this document can take a while, so be sure to apply well in advance. In addition, make sure that you’re applying for the proper visa based on why you’re moving. Work visas, job seeker visas and study visas are just a few options.
- Once you make the move to Germany, you will need to purchase health insurance. Most people have insurance through the Government Health Insurance System, but private companies offer it if you want to buy a plan with enhanced coverage. In Germany, it ranges from $115 to more than $1,000 a month.
- Before making the move to Germany, consider the country’s work culture. Most people’s work days end at 4 p.m. However, your new employer will expect you to be efficient. Also, while many salaries in Germany are among the world’s highest, the country has a high tax rate as well, so as much as 50 percent of your earnings could go back to the government.
- If you intend to find work after you move, then search the local classified ads, walk around to search for advertised job openings or head to job fairs. Germany’s cities also have a labor office that can help you find work. To land a job before you move, use the internet or a recruiting agency. You can also contact the chamber of commerce in the city where you’ll be living about employment opportunities.
- Upon arriving in Germany, open a bank account. A big international move also requires you to locate a residence. You’ll have the option of choosing to rent or purchase a home or an apartment. In Germany, few people own property as it's expensive, so unless you have a large nest egg, you should probably plan to rent. Most homes are unfurnished. Be sure to put funds aside to purchase them.
- Once you’ve settled on a place, take some time to familiarize yourself with the area. Walk around to locate the nearest grocery stores, restaurants and doctor’s offices. Take the train or a bus to nearby destinations to make sure that you can get around easily and timely.
- Keep in mind that moving far from home is a challenge. To make the transition easier, be open to meeting new people. Do this by reaching out to others at your new job, volunteer or select one café or pub as your regular hangout spot. New friends will make you feel at home in a foreign city.
Reasons to Move to Germany
Because English is commonly spoken in Germany, the country is one of the easier ones to move to. However, you will enjoy living there more if you learn the language. The country’s major cities are known for their state-of-the-art public transportation that offers good connections and accessibility. Cities like Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Frankfurt have superb public transportation. Even most of Germany’s mid-size towns offer quality public transportation, so you’ll probably be able to avoid purchasing or shipping a car.
Germany is centrally located within Europe. This makes it simple to tour other intriguing parts of Europe like Switzerland, Austria, France and Poland. While living in Germany, you’ll be able to see more of the world.
The country boasts high incomes and free education for residents. Germany offers plenty of shopping as well as access to outdoor activities like skiing, skating and cycling. In fact, like the Netherlands, Germany is a place where people get around by bicycle. The country is safe to live in. It is also clean. Cities like Munich and Berlin are large enough to feature all of the conveniences of a major metropolis without the downside of living in a highly populated area such as frequent traffic congestion.
How Expensive is it to Live in Germany?
Germany’s cost of living is lower than it is in the United States, so you’ll likely pay less for rent, food and entertainment. Rents range from around $1,800 to $3,000 a month while electricity averages out to about $150 a month and internet service is an estimated $50 a month. A nice meal out will run you around $40, and if you go the fast food route, you’ll pay about $9.
Other Reasons to Move to Germany
Along with its affordability, Germany is a country that embraces green energy and recycling. The country’s cities have separate recycling bins for glass, organic waste, paper and electronics. Germany also knows how to keep itself busy. Many places host museum nights, festivals, outdoor films and even rollerblading nights, so while you’re welcome to be a recluse, there’s no need to be if you prefer to socialize. You will find things to do on the weekends.
Embracing a New Country
It’s not easy to pick up and move to a foreign country, but once you get there, you’re sure to appreciate the experience of exploring somewhere new. Not only will you be living in a place that offers many things to see and do, but you will also be in a country that features historical sites and outdoor spectacles. By becoming a temporary or permanent German resident, you’ll have the opportunity for an exciting life adventure.