Whether you identify as a globe trotter, world wanderer or have a case of the travel bug, moving to different countries to start a new life is always an exciting experience. New surroundings, new shops, new people. For me, I have a bit of experience moving and living in Germany for a year. As someone who has in the end moved back home to Ireland, I would now like to give a few hints and tips for when moving to this beautiful country.
Accommodation hunting is highly dependent on the area you are moving to. In big cities such as Berlin, Frankfurt and Hamburg, the rental market is understandably more competitive than those in smaller cities or towns. One idea I had when I moved was to rent on the outskirts of Düsseldorf, where it was easier to find a place, and just travel to and from Düsseldorf every day. It didn’t take too long to commute in and out, and it was nice to not constantly be in the hustle and bustle of a big city. Renting was easier where I lived and I didn’t really have any trouble finding a spot. Something to keep in mind when renting is the way Germans differentiate between ‘Warmmiete’ and ‘Kaltmiete’ (Warm and cold rent, respectively). Three months deposit is also the norm, so just be aware of that when looking for a place.
Transport costs a little lower than average compared to countries like Ireland, and if you enroll yourself in the local university, you can get a student pass that allows you to travel as much as you want within a certain area for free. Not a bad deal eh?
Most cities and towns either have universities or some nearby, make sure to do your research before you decide on a place! Students who need financial assistance can apply for the Bafög, which helps students all over Germany afford their rent and living costs.
Germany requires every German citizen to have some sort of insurance cover, and newcomers are no exception. While the first few months for EU Citizens might be covered by the European Health Insurance Card, anyone who plans on staying longer should look into more long term insurance packages. Remember to think about whether you want to go down the private or statutory route.