Making the decision to move to a new country is huge, with many things to consider. This includes the cost of living, what type of work you will do, and where you are going to live. It is important to do detailed research beforehand.
In 2021, there were approximately 11.82 million international people living in Germany, showing how popular a destination it is for expats from around the globe. From its bustling cities to its amazing scenery, there is lots to explore.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the top reasons to move to Germany for expats.
Germany is known for its efficient transport systems, which is hugely beneficial for those looking to move to the country. As part of its infrastructure, you will find well designed and quick underground networks, overground routes, and trams.
This is advantageous for expats looking to live in any location, with high speed trains servicing both cities and the countryside. This means you can have the best of both worlds, working in a vibrant city, but living in a more peaceful area.
In Germany, you can find lots of wonderful scenery, including the Alps, extensive woodland, and historic castles. If you enjoy traversing different terrains, then moving to Germany could be the right choice for you.
There are many activities you could become involved in here, from skiing in its snowy mountains to swimming in one of its many lakes. In these diverse environments, you can create unforgettable memories with family and friends.
If you work in Germany, you could benefit from a good work life balance, enjoying at least 20 days’ holiday a year. There are also a number of public holidays too, so you can relax and recharge from your busy schedule.
Maintaining a healthy balance between work and personal life can help reduce your stress, meaning you’re more productive during office hours, but can make the most of your time with loved ones when work is finished.
For more information on why work life balance is important for expats, take a look at our blog.
If you’re moving to Germany with a family, this will be an essential consideration for you. This European country has high academic standards, with a selection of great schools and universities to learn from. You have the choice of sending your child to an international or local school; your decision will depend on your individual situation.
Should you be relocating for university, you can earn a degree from an excellent academic facility, while learning many things about the world around you from your experience abroad. This can look good on your CV too, showing a willingness to adapt to unfamiliar surroundings.
Here are some of the potential negatives you could face if you choose to move to Germany.
One thing that could take a little adjusting from life back home is closing times, which tend to be quite early. If you want to buy items from supermarkets or other stores, you should make sure to do this while they are still open.
In addition to this, Sunday is a time where Germans will enjoy downtime with their loved ones. To respect this, it is important that you keep a respectable volume during the day. You could also use this as a time to relax and unwind from the stresses of everyday life.
Both Sunday and Monday will see shops closed, so be aware of this when you first move so you’re not confused when not many places are open.
Tax rates in Germany can be fairly high, with income tax varying between 14% and 45%.  You will also have to pay other taxes, such as the broadcasting tax known as the Rundfunkbeitrag (GEZ). Have a look into this kind of thing before you move so that you are not caught about by these costs.
Income tax contributions will be taken care of by your employer, but you will need to present them with your tax ID number beforehand. For more detail on taxes in Germany and other useful information, take a look at the Federal Central Tax Office’s website.
Other bureaucratic concerns to think about include documentation, such as visas. To obtain a visa to live in Germany, you may first need to purchase an international health insurance policy. This can protect your medical needs when living and working abroad, helping to avoid expensive medical bills.
One aspect of life in Germany you will have adjust to is the language, which can be challenging when you don’t speak it. If you’ve been thinking about a move here for a while, it might be worth enrolling in some language classes to gain some knowledge of the dialect.
Being able to speak the same language as the locals can greatly help you in everyday situations, and make settling into your new life abroad that little bit simpler. In the instance you’re relocating overseas for work, it can be easier to build relationships with colleagues if you speak their native dialect.
Finding the right accommodation in Germany can be difficult, especially if you’re looking to move to a city centre where demand is high. You might find that rental prices in these areas are high as well, with prices becoming more affordable further out in the suburbs.
Another thing you could encounter when searching for somewhere to live is that the apartment is likely to come unfurnished. This means you will have to set aside some money to cover these costs; however, it means you can design the space to your liking and really make it feel like home.
Overseeing your budget overseas can be challenging, from the big expenses involved in getting settled to managing daily living costs.
The busy nature of everyday life can make it difficult to remain healthy, leaving a lack of motivation for activities like exercising and getting an adequate amount of sleep.
Workplace satisfaction is important for retaining employees, with employees wanting to feel looked after by your company.
Making friends in a new country is tough and it can be difficult knowing where to start. But once you have a group of friends you feel comfortable with, you will feel more settled.