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The biggest challenges when moving to Germany

Posted: 12/06/2018              Author: Santa Fe Relocation

Last year, the number of expatriates living in Germany reached a record high. With affordable living costs, a vibrant culture scene and cosmopolitan climate, it’s easy to see why so many people decide to move to this iconic country. However, moving abroad isn’t without its challenges. Here at Santa Fe Relocation, we’re taking a closer look at the biggest challenges of moving to Germany, whether it’s Weimar or Berlin.

Finding somewhere to live

For many, moving to Germany is a distant dream. If you’re lucky enough to turn that dream into a reality, be aware that finding somewhere to live can be interesting to say the least. The housing market is competitive in Germany, just like it is in many major cities, so you need to act fast. If you land yourself an apartment, remember to take your contract to a tenants’ association so that you can make sure everything is official before you sign. Obtaining a flat-share is a little easier however, as with a pre-existing contract, all you need to do is hand over your deposit.

Registering with the local authorities

If you’re planning to stay in Germany for three or more months, by law, you’re required to register your address with the local authorities. Even though we’re now living in a digital age, registration must be done in person, and unless you have several hours to spare, we strongly suggest that you book an appointment ahead of time. This is especially true if you plan to stay in Berlin, as you could end up waiting up to a few weeks for an appointment.

Navigating the healthcare system

When you work in Germany, a small percentage will be taken from your monthly wages to allow you to access the country’s state-run healthcare system. However, if you’re a student, a freelancer or are in Germany for fun, you’re required to have your own suitable health insurance in place in order to stay in the country. With this, you’ll be able to request your residence permit, which should then be approved. Regardless, if you’re living abroad whether it’s in Germany or an entirely different continent, it’s always a good idea to obtain private health insurance for additional peace of mind.

Language barrier

Like most languages, German is not an easy language to learn. In fact, the majority of expatriates find that learning German is one of their biggest hurdles when it comes to integrating into the country. Although English may be more widely spoken here than many countries outside of Europe, in order to make the country feel more like home, you should attempt to learn the language. In the initial stages of moving, we understand that you might not have time to learn the language yourself, so heading to a community group each week could be the best option for you. They’re free, fun, and allow you to make new friends, which is important when it comes to settling in to your new home and adjusting to your new life abroad.

For information on how we can support your move to Germany, get in touch with a member of our expert team, today.