Expats in Germany, especially newcomers, may face some difficulties when adapting to their host country. No worries — with a bit of good will and positivity, you will surely thrive in your expat project in Germany! Here are a few pieces of advice to quickly adapt to your host country.
1 – Learn the language
German may seem a difficult language to learn, but it’s definitely worth it if you intend to live in the country. Take classes, watch TV or listen to the radio, read newspapers and books in German — you will improve your language skills and this will greatly help you in your everyday life.
2 – Meet new people
Don’t be shy and try to meet new people whenever you have the opportunity. It’s not easy to talk to strangers, but it will pay off. It can be at your German classes for instance, or through online expat networks, such as Expat.com. Don’t just hang out with expats — make local friends as well. Germans may seem reserved at first glance, and hard to get closer to, but it will pay off — once they start a friendship, they are sincere and fair!
3 – Learn about the country
Do your homework and learn as much as you can about the country. This will help you to understand better its culture and the way things work here. Try to learn and adapt to the local customs to avoid cultural misunderstandings.
4 – Be open minded
Go out of your comfort zone. Try new things — expatriation is all about new experiences. Discover new places, try local dishes, etc.. And do not think of how things were done in your home country — it’s not better or worse, it’s just a different way of doing things, so try always to be understanding and seeing the bright side of an unfamiliar situation.
5 – Keep your hobby
Germans are fond of clubs, called Vereine. They may have one for each kind of hobby, sports, reading books, singing, etc.. You will surely find the one made for you! Join in! It will be a great opportunity to meet new people with the same interest and to integrate into the local culture.