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Germany is a modern, wealthy European state, but expats planning a move to the country will likely still have many questions. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about expat life in Germany.
Is Germany safe?
Germany is exceptionally safe. Healthcare and infrastructure are modern and of an excellent standard and well maintained. Violent crime is rare in Germany, but we'd advise that expats be careful and vigilant in certain sections of larger cities. Petty crime such as pick-pocketing is more common.
Should I learn German?
We recommend that expats learn German, or basic phrases at the least. Germans learn English in school but to varying degrees. Some Germans don't speak English at all. As in most countries, locals will appreciate the attempts of expats to learn their language. Everything from reading signs to menus and television is in German and not knowing the language can often lead expats to unpleasant and isolated overseas experiences. International business is often conducted in English.
What are expat salaries like in Germany?
Salaries in Germany are some of the highest in the world so expats working in Germany can expect to be paid well. Those with qualifications in sought-after fields such as IT, finance and science, in particular, can expect to earn a good salary. However, those moving to Germany and expecting to find a well-paid job after arriving in the country should be aware that unemployment in certain cities, such as Berlin for instance, is high so it is always good to have some savings to fall back on.
What is the standard of healthcare in Germany?
Expats moving to Germany will have access to some excellent public and private healthcare facilities. In major cities, expats will find that doctors speak fluent English and that hospitals, research facilities and medical technology are of a high standard.
However, excellent healthcare comes at a price. The German government has made it compulsory for every expat in Germany to have some form of health insurance.
What schooling options are available for expat children in Germany?
The standard of education and schools in Germany is first class. However, unless expats are moving to Germany for the long term or with very young children who can pick up the German language, it is not wise to choose a public school in Germany. Instead, most expat parents choose to send their children to international schools, which allow the students to carry on studying the same curriculum as they did back home. Expats will find that all the major cities in Germany will have a variety of international schools.