As with moving to any foreign country, starting a new life in Germany doesn’t come without its challenges. Despite this, the experience of living in Germany can be very rewarding for expats. According to Internation’s 2017 Expat Insider Survey, Germany is rated amongst the top 10 countries for best quality of life, and the country is highly regarded by expats for health standards and job security. 1
Whilst the experience for every expat is unique, the following recommendations can help you to ease the relocation process and settle towards a happy, healthy life in Germany:
- Embrace diversity
As a newcomer in Germany, you will be adding to a population of 82 million residents – a large part of which are migrants. Interestingly, Germany is the country with the second-highest number of international migrants in the world.2
Such a diverse society can open your doors to a wealth of cultural knowledge and rewarding experiences. Keep an open mind and be respectful, so that you can feel welcomed and truly enjoy the benefits of living in a multicultural society.
- Explore your destination
Germany is a beautiful country, with much to offer. Whether you end up living in a big city or a smaller town, there are plenty of places to visit and explore around the country. With a great and modern public transport network connecting the territory, traveling in Germany is generally straightforward.
The most popular cities among expats are Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt, but many other places are full of interesting facts and things to discover. For example, did you know that Hamburg claims the title of the city with the most bridges in the world? 3
- Make sure you have a good health cover
No matter where you are, a health cover for you and your family is essential. Health care standards in Germany are reportedly highly efficient – however, health insurance is mandatory for expatriates living in Germany. If you move to Germany to live and work, you will need to register with a German health insurance fund before you can use the state healthcare system.
The compulsory medical insurance for foreign nationals who travel frequently and require international coverage can be quite expensive.4
- Learn the language, or master the basics!
Learning about German cultural aspects – including the language – can help you settle in Germany with more ease.
Findings from the 2017 Expat Insider Survey revealed that 69% of expats in Germany report difficulties with learning the language, and the language is ranked as one of the top 3 disadvantages for living in Germany.
If you don’t speak German, try learning some basic words and sentences; you will find that there are plenty of tools online that can help you. 2
- Be mindful of cultural differences
Adjusting to a new culture can take time. It’s important to remind yourself that some attitudes and behaviours can be considerably different in Germany in comparison to your home country.
Germany is a country with a rich historical heritage and great diversity. An open-minded approach will help you to fit in and embrace the cultural differences, hopefully contributing to a smoother transition.
- Look after yourself
Moving to a new country can be a tiring and overwhelming process. It’s very important that, however exhausting the process may be, you don’t neglect your health and wellbeing.
Looking after yourself will keep you healthy and mentally strong towards the new changes. Remember to eat well, exercise and get sufficient sleep; this will all help you to manage your sense of wellbeing as you immerse yourself in your new environment.
For more information on Cigna Global Health Options, or to get a quote online, visit www.CignaGlobal.com
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