Are you thinking of moving to Germany? If so, you’re in for a treat – the country is full of culture, history, and natural beauty. But before you make the first step, consider ways to make your transition as smooth and comfortable as possible. This seems hard to believe, but many expats have difficulty immersing themselves in the local culture and making friends. Here are some tips for adapting to life in Germany to avoid some of these pitfalls.
Learn Some German
You don’t need to become fluent before you arrive (although it is a good idea), but knowing at least some basic German before moving is a good idea. This will make it much easier to interact with locals, understand your surroundings and make new friends. There are plenty of great language learning resources online that can help you pick up the basics quickly, so be sure to check them out.
You can alternatively find a local language partner online or join a language exchange group in your area. This will allow you to speak with German speakers and practice your skills, making learning easier.
Think of Insurance
Moving to a new country means that you are starting over from scratch. New home, new job – and now it’s time to consider your insurance options. Health insurance is compulsory in Germany, whether you work or not. But as an expat, you might also need life insurance and disability coverage.
When seeking insurance solutions as an expat, you may come across many different concepts and ideas that are new to you. That’s why you should compare the options and find a company that is right for your needs. After finding a reliable private health insurance company, go through their website to learn more about their services. A competent firm will have the best plans for different types of customers. Look also at the pricing of their plans, the various options, and supplemental coverage.
Get Involved in Local Activities
In many ways, getting involved with community events is one of the best ways to meet new people, learn about your new home, and feel more at ease in your surroundings. Look for local festivals, fairs, or other events that might be happening in your area, and get out there to attend some of them. You can also join a club or group in your community – this is a great way to meet like-minded people interested in the same things you are.
This also allows you to learn the local culture and customs – after all, locals will be more than happy to share their culture with you if you show interest and enthusiasm. Therefore, be sure to put yourself out there and get involved in your new community.
Understand the Basic Laws and Customs
Living in Germany can be a bit different than living back home – there are some laws, customs, and cultural norms that you should familiarize yourself with before your move. For example, many aspects of daily life are pretty formal in Germany – for example, the language used for addressing people is generally more polite and respectful than what you might be used to.
Also, Germans have a greater appreciation for rules and order than many other cultures. You will likely notice this in your interactions with locals – they are generally more direct in their communications and often expect you to do the same. Therefore, understand the fundamental laws, customs, and cultural norms before making the big move.
Always Carry Your Identification Documents
This means that you should always carry an ID card or a passport on your person – this is especially important if you are out and about and using public transport.
If you don’t have these documents with you, for whatever reason, it can be challenging to get around and do the things you need to do. Therefore, be sure that you always have your ID card or passport on you – this will make it easier for you to travel and go about your day-to-day activities in Germany.
Know the Transport System
You might have heard that Germany is a very pedestrian-friendly place – and this is true. The country has an excellent transport system, particularly in major cities like Berlin. Cities are designed with pedestrians, so you can find sidewalks and crosswalks everywhere. This makes it easy to get around on foot, making your commute more pleasant.
If you’re coming from a city without an excellent public transport system or want to avoid crowds and traffic, it may make sense to invest in a bike. Germany has an excellent network of cycle paths, so this is a great option for commuting. Another option is driving your car or using a ride-sharing service.
Living in a new country can be an exciting experience – but it does require some effort and preparation on your part. If you are relocating to Germany, you need to know plenty of things before making your big move.