Until you are better acquainted with Germany, moving there as a native to the United States you’ll find it complicated at first. Nonetheless, once you figure out your housing, schooling and employment situations, and have begun exploring your new surroundings, meeting the natives and learning of all the great attractions, you’ll feel more at home. As a non-EU national moving to an EU nation, you’ll also be required to have knowledge pertaining to the nation’s economy, laws, culture, medical care, language, and currency system. Knowing about all these things will only make the relocation smoother and more comfortable for you.
Once you relocate to Germany, you may immediately take notice to the picturesque views, clean streets and the German’s quite orderly way of living. You’ll also notice that going out for meals and alcohol are popular ways to socialize in the nation. Try to absorb yourself in the lifestyle and culture as much as you can. The art and culture scene is huge in Germany and many natives embrace the events held in honor of this particular scene and interest. For example, the ever-popular Oktoberfest is held every year in Munich.
There are some neighborhood regulations that will come as a surprise to you. Not all regions of Germany carry these laws but they are relatively common. For instance, some neighborhoods reserve Saturday afternoons for gardening purposes such as weeding and watering the plants. Some communities ban their residents from vacuuming on Sundays and will request that music and entertainment are kept at low volume between noon and 3pm. Although these rules may seem absurd, it won’t take too long to adjust. These types of rules keep the nation clean and orderly, the way they like it.
The Cost of Living in Germany
The cost of living in Germany is actually comparable to that of the United States. Of course, it depends on where you live in the nation seeing as larger cities will cost a little more than its smaller sister regions. Regardless, with steady work or the right financial means set aside, you should find that you are quite comfortable with the cost of living in Germany. Here is a list of what the average cost is for certain services and items in the nation…
- Monthly rent for one bedroom apartment in major city- DEM$680.00
- Basic monthly utility bills for apartment- DEM$212.00
- One gallon of fuel- DEM$5.10
- Meal for two at three course restaurant- DEM$45.00
- Fast food meal- DEM$7.00
- One pint of domestic beer- DEM$3.50
- Cappuccino- DEM$2.50
- One gallon of milk- DEM$2.70
- Dozen eggs- DEM$1.64
- Monthly public transport ticket- DEM$70.00
According to statistics involving the cost of living in Germany, the largest expenses are towards rent and markets (shopping). It is estimated that about 27% of your salary is spent towards rent while 29% of your income is spent on shopping. Obviously it will depend on where you move to in Germany, but the cost of living only varies slightly no matter what, with Munich, Hamburg and Frankfurt being the more expensive cities in the nation.
Join an Expat Community or Program
To make the transition easier and to be around like-minded people, consider joining an expat community or program. Germany offers many of these opportunities for expats so that they can feel comfortable while getting more acquainted with the nation. These communities and programs will help you to make friends easier and feel more comfortable. It’s even very likely that you’ll come in contact with other U.S. natives.
Look online to see what Germany has available for expats. These groups are bound to benefit you greatly after your move to the foreign nation. Many of the programs will offer help and guidance in job hunting, house hunting, and other things related to living in Germany. Take advantage of them if you can.