Living in Germany
Germany is one of the most favoured destinations in Western Europe because of its thriving economy, urban cities and fascinating culture. It has a total of 80.6 million inhabitants, making it the 16th largest country in the world when it comes to population.
From the beginning of the Holocaust in 1933 to the controversial Cold War in 1945, it is for sure that Germany has a long history of grim and twisting past. Though not all wounds caused by those dark times have been healed, the country still managed to rise from the ashes and proved itself to be one of the most resilient and beautiful nations in Western Europe. Today, Germany is an epitome of a homeland where people, regardless of their culture or nationality, enjoy an excellent quality of life, high level of security and tonnes of exciting activities to do during their free time.
German is the official national language of the country and is spoken by 95% of its population. Though there are locals who speak English, especially in the main cities such as Berlin and Munich, most Germans are not fluent in communicating using the universal language. Expats who are on their way to Germany are best to equip themselves even with the basic greetings using the country's mother tongue. Aside from its benefit with daily interaction with the locals, the Germans also sincerely appreciate foreigners who make an extra effort in learning their language.
- Hallo – Hello
- Wie geht es dir? – How are you?
- Ich bin ok– I am fine
- Danke – Thank you
- Entschuldigen Sie – Excuse me
- guten Morgen – Good Morning
- guten Abend – Good Evening
- Wo ist der .. – Where is the..
- Wieviel kostet das? – How much is this?
Food and Dining
Dining is one of the customs practised in all cultures where people share a common ground despite their cultural differences and language barrier. Germans love to eat and treat Frühstück (breakfast) as the most important meal of the day where they usually drink warm beverages such as coffee, cocoa or tea. They eat Brötchen (bread rolls) topped with various types of spread such as butter, honey or marmalade. Little zwischenmahlzeit (snacks) in between meals are also part of their tradition and is being practised even at schools. Students are served Pausenbrot, a sandwich to keep them from being hungry until mittagessen (lunch) which are usually between 12nn and 2 pm.
In late afternoons, expats will find Germans gathered on cafés where they enjoy Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and cake). Some of the favourite pastries are Bienenstich (bee sting cake), Schwarzwälderkirschtorte (black forest cake), Käsekuchen (cheesecake) and Zwetschenkuchen (plum tart).
See and Do
Regardless if an expat relocates to Germany alone or with their children, the inevitable truth is that they will not run out of things to do and sites to visit. The young and young at heart and will find themselves in the right place because the country is famed for its excellent beer and active nightlife where cities have their fair share of bars and clubs. Some of the best places to visit for a drink is Berlin’s home of Berghain, one of the world’s top nightclubs and several party districts.
Those who are looking for a laidback or family-oriented activity can start their weekend by visiting the Tropical Islands Resort , a water theme park and beach located in Krausnick. Expats who love the outdoors will find the jaw-dropping beauty of the Bavarian Alps as the place to be for some skiing and hiking activities. And last but not the least is the Museum Island Berlin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which serves as the home of the country’s five most famous historical and art museums.
- Basics of banking
- Culture Shock
- Applying for a Visa
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- Having a Baby
- Education System
- Activities for Kids
Expat Finance Services in Germany
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Education Services in Germany
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