If you’re going to Germany or considering a move to Germany. There are things you must know.
If you’ve no knowledge about Germany whatsoever. It’s something you should definitely give a read to.
Germans prefer to speak german and they might not talk back to you in English. If you are not in the field of Information Technology. You may face a hard time finding a job without german. You should learn some german at least. You can use Duolingo app for some basics. Although, eventually everyone needs to learn german if they are planning to stay in Germany for longer period of time.
Meldebescheinigung (Registration Certificate)
Once you arrive to Germany. The most important thing you need to get is a Meldebescheinigung (Registration Certificate). To get a Meldebescheinigung you need to get a Wohnungsgeberbestaetigung (Landlord’s confirmation) from your landlord. Once you have that, you can take it to your nearest Bürgeramt (Citizen’s office) along with your identification documents. There, you get the certificate. With this certificate you can open a bank account. Also, you receive your Steuer-id (tax id) in your Briefkasten (letter box). Make sure to ask your landlord to put your name on the letterbox. Otherwise, you might miss that letter.
There are two types of bank you can use in Germany. Online bank and the traditional ones that has a physical office.
List of online banks is as follows:
- Ing Diba
The traditional ones are:
- Deutsche Bank
- Targo Bank
Krankenversicherung (Health Insurance)
In Germany, everyone needs to have a health insurance. Health insurance can be of two types in Germany. Public and Private.
These are the German public insurance companies:
- AOK Baden Württemberg
- TK – Techniker Krankenkasse
- KKH – Kaufmännische Krankenkasse
And here’s a list of private insurance companies:
- Expat Broker
Depending on your needs. You can choose any of those.
Are you searching for an accommodation in Germany? Finding a new job is much easier than looking for an apartment. Though, don’t let it bring your hopes down.
You can look for apartments and shared rooms on these websites:
Haftpflichtversicherung (Liability Insurance)
When moving into your apartment. Your landlord might ask you for a Haftpflichtversicherung (liability insurance). It’s used in case if you cause any damage to the apartment. You can also get a liability insurance for your cycle (because its one of the most stolen items), or your pet. Few of the companies that provide a liability insurance are listed below:
Finding halal/vegan products
Kaufland, Lidl, Penny, Netto, Edeka, Rewe and Aldi are some known supermarkets in Germany. In all supermarkets the ingredients written on the products are in German. You sure won’t be able to understand it in the beginning. To find if a product that you are willing to purchase is something you can consume. You can use the following apps:
Both the apps provide the functionality to scan the barcode present on any product and giving you all the information about it in English.
If you’re looking for halal meat. There are a number of Turkish and Arabic stores across Germany that provide you halal meat. They also carry a halal certificate.
Buying Electronics & Furniture
Looking for a mobile charger? a new laptop? maybe a new light bulb? or any home appliance? You can find it all at Mediamarkt, Saturn and Medimax. You can also use Amazon.
If you find an unfurnished apartment. You’ll surely need to buy everything. For that you can checkout Ikea, Moebel Kraft, home24 and Höffner.
Travelling within the City
When travelling, make Google maps your friend. S-bahn, U-bahn, Bus, and Straßenbahn (Tram) are the main means of transport in big cities like Berlin, Munich, and Frankfurt. S-bahn and U-bahn are trains for long distances whereas, a Bus and Tram are for shorter distances.
Travelling within Europe
Want to travel across Europe? There are two options you have. You can use the Deutsche Bahn which is a train service by the government. It’s a bit expensive. Flixbus is a bus service you can use to travel as well. It’s cost effective but its slow in comparison to Deutsche Bahn for obvious reasons. FlixTrain can be another option that’s also operated by Flixbus.
Omio and Trainline can help you find the means of transport you can use to go to a place. That could either be a Bus, Train or an Airplane. You can also buy tickets from there.
Supermarkets and Shopping malls stay closed on Sunday. Make sure to do all your groceries and shopping by Saturday. If you are in urgent need of something you can try visiting the central train station of your city. If you’re lucky, you may find some shops open there.
Downloading pirated content
DON’T DO THAT!. It may risk you fine of a hefty amount. If you don’t pay it you may receive some legal notices from the government.
Finding a job
Weather in winters can be gloomy and dull. If you’re coming to Germany in winters and are alone. You might get homesick and depressed. Try going out and interacting with people and make some friends. Maybe enroll yourself in a German language course. Stay strong for the summer. You’re gonna love it. It’s best that you also learn to cook as it can be fun way to pass the time.
I hope you find this article helpful in supporting your transition to Germany. Good luck!
I tried covering all the important things here. If you still have some questions please feel free to leave them in the comment section below and I‘ll try to answer.