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Germany is a wealthy and modern 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, especially when walking at night. 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 road signs and menus to television programmes is in German, and not learning the language will make for a poorer overall experience. 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 earn 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 without a job in hand should not bank on securing employment right away, which is why it's a good idea 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.
Good healthcare comes at a price, though. 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. Local governments schools are excellent, but unless expats move to Germany for the long term or with very young children who can pick up the German language, parents usually choose international schools. These allow the students to carry on studying the same curriculum from their home country and there are no language barriers to contend with. Expats will find that all the major cities in Germany will have a variety of international schools.