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Moving to Germany: Important Things to Know Before Leaving

by Zurui on Sep 24, 2020
Moving to Germany: Important Things to Know Before Leaving
Germany is an attractive and popular place, so it is no surprise that many people want to move there. However, every country has its own culture and customs. I gathered some tips for you to adapt your life in Germany quickly. 

1. Learning German is the key 

German is the official language. However, it is often ignored, since many Germans can speak English very well and machine translation is also useful, such as google translate. In some situations, such as, in the city hall or in business, German is required. Knowing German also helps you make friends
 
Tip: you should know that you do not need to speak excellent German, but I would advise you to learn the basics, at least you can use it in daily life. 

2. Health insurance is a must 

No matter if you are from EU or non-EU countries, everyone must have health insurance, either public or private. You should also check the coverage carefully to avoid additional fees. Some insurance companies also offer discounts in gyms or for glasses. 
 
Tip: it is recommended to use a German Health Insurance company in order to ensure a safe and convenient experience. 

3. Transportation is punctual

Germany has a reputation for its punctuality, reliability and quality in public transportation. However, these are only stereotypes. Truly, German cities and towns have efficient public-transport systems, such as buses, trams, U-Bahn (subway) trains and S-Bahn (suburban) trains. Most are on time, but sometimes they delay for different reasons, like the construction, mechanical failures etc. 
 
Tip: Germany’s rail system is operated almost entirely by Deutsche Bahn, with a variety of train types serving just about every corner of the country. It is convenient to use the App “DB Navigator” for trains, and local public transport App. Remember to always check the schedule constantly to make sure of the right platform and other information.

4. Germany is bicycle-friendly

German people love riding the bicycle for health, fun, commuting, and also environment-friendly reasons. Bike sharing is a new mode and also popular. You can also transport your bikes on train or subway, but do not forget to buy a ticket for your bike.
 
Tip:  many cities and towns have bicycle lanes, do not walk on them and be careful. If you want to ride a bike in Germany, make sure your bike is equipped with brakes, a bell and lights. The regulations differ from place to place, so check it. 

5. Food is simple? 

German’s favorite food is without any doubt potato. Potato makes up a large part of German diet, no matter if it is soups, fried, or as French chips. There are some German style chips next to currywurst and mayonnaise. What’s more, German people also have a crush on sausages.There are an estimated 1,500 varieties, and they are diversified in regions. One of the famous ones is currywurst: a fast food consisting of fried pork sausage (Bratwurst) with curry ketchup and French fries. Of course, in Germany you find restaurants from worldwide.
 
Tip: try different local food and enjoy it!

6. Waste sorting is difficult 

Waste sorting means to separate wastes into different categories. In Germany, it can vary within different regions, the basic sorts are waste packaging, biocontainer, waste paper, nonrecyclable rubbish, and glass for recycling.
  • Waste packaging is collected in yellow dustbins or in yellow sacks, which you can get from the city hall. 
  • Organic waste, such as fruit peel, egg shell, is collected in brown bins. 
  • Waste paper is collected in green bins. 
  • Non-recyclable rubbish is collected in black bins. 
  • Glass is separated into three different bins: white, brown and green. One special thing: bottles with a deposit (Pfand) can be brought back to stores or supermarkets for a refund, about 8-25 cents. 

7. Sunday is different 

Usually, the weekend is for relaxation, shopping, and activities. However, in Germany, Sunday is a rest day (Ruhetag), on which most shops are closed. Only restaurants are still open, but you should always check the opening time on Sundays, for it is slightly different. 
 
Tip: if you really want to buy something, the shops in train stations are still open.

8. Mask is necessary 

Due to the current situation, it is necessary to wear a mask covering both nose and mouth in public transportations, stores etc, or you will be fined. 
 
Now that you know the helpful tips, enjoy your life in Germany!
 
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