Moving to Germany can be an amazing and memorable experience for many expats and students, however, it can also be very challenging, especially for first time expats. You have to literally start a new life and more often than not, you will be met with many barriers and limitations. In order to succeed, you need to overcome such challenges and prosper. However, to do so, you need to plan well in advance and have valid information quickly at hand. Welcome Center Germany provides this and this article’s aim is to make expats and students aware of the main challenges related when moving to Germany and how to overcome them as efficiently as possible.
Finding a place to live
There are many options for finding accommodation in Germany. Firstly, you need to decide whether you want to buy or rent, if you want to live alone or with other members and then also decide on the location. Due to the recent years of growing demand for accommodation in Germany, finding a place to stay can be considered as one of the biggest challenges for newcomers to the country. Rental prices are not exaggerated, however, depending on the city you opt for, prices tend to change quite a lot.
When renting, expect that you will have to pay deposit in advance, therefore, prepare some extra money dedicated for deposit. The amount for the deposit can range from one up to three months of rent to be paid in advance.
We recommend that you start searching for a place to live before you come to Germany and schedule viewings when you can go and visit. Also, if you already found a job, try and move to Germany one or two weeks before you start work, so you will have time to get the first priorities in order without any stress.
View our accommodation section for more information on how to find a place to stay.
Understanding the healthcare system
Another challenge that is perceived as very complex for new expats in Germany. It is always a good idea to have but health insurance in Germany is mandatory for anyone residing or working in Germany. There are two main options you can choose from, which are; public and private insurances. View our insurance section to find a dedicated insurance broker that will help you find the best cover for you depending on your needs, age and interests.
It is also good to know that in order to apply for a residence permit in Germany, you will need to show proof of health insurance, otherwise, your permit will be denied.
The German language is not often renowned for being an easy language to learn. In fact some expats may become discouraged from moving to Germany, due to language barriers. With this being said, moving to Germany without knowing any German is not the craziest idea. The reason being is that many Germans speak English and there is also a relatively large English-speaking expat population, especially in the larger cities.
Despite this, it is still appreciated if you know or try to speak some German. It is recommended to know at least the basics of the language and some words related to your work. This can make it easier for you to be accepted and feel more at home. There are many ways to learn German, such as through aps, online courses and classes.
What might be normal in Germany, might not be normal for you and vice versa. Every country has different cultures and traditions and it can be a challenge to adapt to a totally new culture. Search for the common German traits to know what to expect and be aware of. This will help avoid any unwanted surprises.
See what is accepted in Germany and what is not, and try to abide as much as possible in order to blend in. It is recommended that wherever you go, despite your previous cultural background, try and keep your mind as open as possible and be open for new experiences.
By mentioning the most common challenges met by expats, you will know what to be aware of and if you are ready to be met with such challenges. This will make it easier to accept one you get there and you will be able to make a much smoother transition, allowing you to dedicate your focus on work and quality of life.