Moving to Germany can be a great and exiting journey to grow personally and career wise, for many international expats and students. With that being said, in an expat’s life, challenges and limitations are prone to occur. At Welcome Center Germany, we strive to help expats and students have an easy and hassle-free move. In this article, you can find five of the most common asked questions by expats and students moving to a German city for the first time.
1 – Can you live in a German city without being able to speak German?
For most cities, especially the larger ones, English is well known, and you would be able to communicate throughout your daily life with only English. For business purposes, English is more commonly used than German and most organisations will have fluent English-speaking personnel.
Despite this, we always recommend to at least know the basics of the German language as you will find some locals or other foreigners that do not or barely speak English. The further you get from the main cities, the more the German language becomes dominant.
There are many methods how you can learn German whilst in Germany or even before arriving, including private lessons or online at your own pace. For more options, kindly visit our language section.
2 – How do I choose which city to live in Germany?
The first thing you should do is ample research on the city you are interested in and the general prices on the market. The next step is to set a realistic budget and try and stick to it. Whilst doing so, keep in mind you will be likely asked to pay deposit in advance and separate electricity and water costs.
When choosing a city to live in, it is wise to keep in mind where you will be working or studying and what would be required to get there, with regards to transport and any additional costs. Some people end up renting in the outskirts to pay less in rent, however, end up paying more when it comes to getting there. Whilst working is crucial for your journey’s success, leisure time is also important, so it is recommended so you see the top things you can do whilst in that city.
Ask friends for advices and see reviews before committing.
3 – How do I find an apartment?
There are plenty ways to search for accommodation in Germany. You can search and compare prices on websites whilst seeing a few images of the place, you can contact local agencies or search on newspapers and classifieds.
Start by viewing if your preferred ones and most convenient are within your budget. Once you become interested in a few apartments, we highly recommend that you go and see them personally and meet with the tenant as with pictures, some benefits or disadvantages might be hidden.
4 – How do I get around in Germany?
This is something that you barely have to worry about. The reason being is that public transport in Germany is very efficient and affordable, and you can get from/to any location with the bus, tram, train or underground system. If you have or decide to hire a vehicle, driving in Germany is also another unique experience you can really enjoy. Another benefit with Germany, is that you can easily drive or fly to surrounding destinations for quick holidays.
If you wish, you can also get around most places by bicycle. Germany is equipped with good quality and respected bicycle lanes.
5 – What to do in Germany?
A never-ending topic, in Germany it is almost impossible for one to run out of things to go. No matter where you go, there usually is something for everyone. Discover the top places to go and visit from our lifestyle category on our website for each city.
Apart from our and other guides you can use, one of the best ways to truly experience the city you are living in, is to go out and discover places for yourself. Do not be afraid to get lost or to visit things that you usually do not. As previously mentioned, Germany is well equipped for cycling and you can get to see a lot in a short time period.
Enjoy and welcome to Germany!