Germany
Resources
City Guides
JoinSign In
Cigna International Health Insurance

12 Expats Talk about What it's Like Living in Germany

Betsy Burlingame

Summary: Expats talk about living in Germany. From meeting people to adjusting to the German culture, expats offer a glimpse of life in Germany.


With its thriving cities, historic towns and quiet villages, Germany offers something for everyone. German culture can be a challenge for some, but Germans are true and loyal friends once you really get to know them. Expats answered a series of questions about life in Germany and here are some of the highlights:

Deciding Where to Live in Germany

When we asked expats living in Germany to offer newcomers advice about choosing a neighborhood and finding a home, they replied:

"I asked future co-workers who lived in the area then I visited those areas they suggested," said one expat living in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Meeting People in Germany

Expats living in Germany talked about meeting people in Germany and local clubs and organizations:

"Deutsch-Amerikanische Gesellschaft, Volkshochschule (Adult Education classes), Univ of Erfurt (can also sign up as an auditor)," said one expat living in Erfurt, Germany.

"Women clubs, sport clubs, International school: other mothers. Our Relocation agent in Munich was very helpful (Relocation Nanda Leick) in getting accommodated," mentioned another expat in Germany.

"Hamburg Network www.hh-network.de Hamburg English Pages www.englishpages.de There are some relevant links on the above sites. Also try: www.britishday.com," commented one expat who made the move to Germany.

"If a woman, American or other English-speaking, and there is an American women's club in your area, then I would HIGHLY recommend it. See their umbrella organization's - Federation of American Women's Clubs Overseas - website (www.fawco.org) for those clubs (www.fawco.org/fawcoweb/clubs) and links to their websites. Currently over 17,000 members from 76 clubs located in 34 countries worldwide," remarked another expat living in Duesseldorf, Germany.

"German course at the VHS or the university, tandem programme which germans (usually students) use to get to know native speakers and exchange conversation, language skills etc. DAI is also the german american association with a library and courses, lectures etc," added another expat in Germany.

Expat Life in Germany

What is it like living in Germany? Here is what people had to say:

"In Munich: Socializing in Beergardens, in the summer lots of outside activities. Sports: Golf, Mountain biking. Work is important but familly and friends is first priority. Lots of holidays, Maximum working time till 8:00 p.m," said one expat living in Munich, Germany.

"It's a good mix and depends very much on making the effort to learn the language. Once you start making contacts and friends life can be enjoyable. There are many chances to socialise, although a few do not try to mix with the locals and tend to keep to themselves and their own language which can prove to be a mistake. Those that do this tend to start blaming the locals," mentioned another expat in Germany.

"The locals can be quite scarey! Not always open or friendly, tend to think an Asian or African looking person must be a cleaner or factory worker, they don't open their homes easily so takes ages to get to know them, luckily there are lots of foreigners here so best to just leave the locals alone and mix with the rest," commented one expat who made the move to Germany.

What Expats Appreciate about Their New Culture

We asked expats in Germany what they appreciated about their new culture. Here's what they had to say:

"Americans are often fake in friendships. We'll 'friend' anyone and not take it seriously. Germans take longer to establish friendships but they are solid friends. Germans work to live, where Americas live to work. We put job as a high priority, Germans put the holiday as a high priority. You can laugh about the 30 days of vacation, but they have similiar productivity output as the USA," said one expat living in Heidelberg, Germany.

"I found the love of my life and he balances and compliments me 100%. No men in the USA come clsoe to him," mentioned another expat in Germany.

"I know that most people say Germans are not open and friendly, but I have found that most people are willing to give me the chance. Maybe that is because I am married to a German, and therefore have an 'inside contact'? I also LOVE how punctual everyone is," commented one expat who made the move to Germany.

The Most Challenging Aspects of Living in Germany

Then, we asked expats in Germany what was most challenging about their new culture. They replied:

"Finding the right job! It is not the tasks but the people that are making the difference," said one expat living in Frankfurt, Germany.

"Becoming friends with people is seemingly difficult. Also mannerisms and conversation topics are much different and difficult to adjust to," mentioned another expat in Germany.

"All of the regimen especially in regards to education is hard for me. I finished American high school and have then been a working adult for 8 years, and to arrive here in Germany where I am no longer 'qualified' simply because I do not have a degree is rather frustrating," commented one expat who made the move to Germany.

Crime in Germany

"Where we live there is hardly no crime. But in Cologne, which is some 55 Kilometers away, there is quite a bit. In all the big cities here, especially Berlin, there is a large amount of crime. Where there are migrational community, i.e. Turkish, there is a lot," said one expat living in Eifel , Germany.

Diversity in Germany

We asked expats about diversity in Germany and whether locals are accepting of differences. They said:

"Slowly, as above they don't tend to expect an Asian Indian for example to be a doctor as in the UK, and if you don't speak German they are often very impatient although there are a lot of academics here so it is not as bad as out in the surrounding villages," said one expat living in Tubingen, Germany.

"Cologne, for German standards, is culturally and racially very diverse. About 10% of the student population is from abroad and the city's permanent residents are perhaps even more diverse," mentioned another expat in Germany.

International Schools in Germany

"Follow the life of the Website and do not hesitate to ask questions, make one or several appointments for visits and visit the school with your children," said one expat whose children attend International School of Duesseldorf in Duesseldorf.

Expats living in Germany interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. Get a Quote

Expats living in Germany interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.

Read Next

Culture-Shock-in-FrankfurtAn Expat Talks about Culture Shock & Living in Frankfurt, Germany

An expat in Germany talks about the living in Germany. Although he's from France, he had trouble adjusting to the German culture - the lack of politeness, thriftiness and difficulty making friendships.

Living in Germany

This article highlights some of the tremendous contributions that expats in Germany have made on Expat Exchange. We thank all of you who have gotten involved in the Germany forum and/or posted a report about living in Germany.

10 Tips for Living in Germany

Should you learn German before you move to Germany? What type of apartments are typical in Germany? Expats offer advice and share 10 tips for living in Germany.

5 Tips for Living in Frankfurt

Expats often move to Frankfurt for jobs in finance and IT. Frankfurt is continental Europe's largest financial center and has a population of approximately 2.5 million in the city and surrounding urban area. Towns in the Taunus area north of Frankfurt and Wiesbaden and Mainz to the west are popular among expats. There are many international and bi-lingual schools to choose from and lots of expat clubs in the Frankfurt area.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 6 Best Places to Live in Costa Rica, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and 7 Tips for Obtaining Residence in Italy. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

Cigna International Health Insurance

Write a Comment about this Article

Sign In to post a comment.
addacomment

First Published: Jan 19, 2018

Cigna Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Germany from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

Culture-Shock-in-HannoverAn Expat Talks about Culture Shock & Living in Hannover, Germany

Do you need to learn German before moving to Hannover? What are Germans like? An expat talks about living in Hannover, the cultural stereotype about German people being rude, healthcare in Germany and more.

Do you need to learn German before moving to Hannover? What are Germans like? An expat talks about living in Hannover, the cultural stereotype about German people being rude, healthcare in Germany a...

Advice-from-Expats-in-Germany-about-Living,-Working-and-Moving-to-GermanyLiving in Germany

This article highlights some of the tremendous contributions that expats in Germany have made on Expat Exchange. We thank all of you who have gotten involved in the Germany forum and/or posted a report about living in Germany.

This article highlights some of the tremendous contributions that expats in Germany have made on Expat Exchange. We thank all of you who have gotten involved in the Germany forum and/or posted a repo...

10-Tips-for-Living-in-Germany10 Tips for Living in Germany

Should you learn German before you move to Germany? What type of apartments are typical in Germany? Expats offer advice and share 10 tips for living in Germany.

Should you learn German before you move to Germany? What type of apartments are typical in Germany? Expats offer advice and share 10 tips for living in Germany....

5-Tips-for-Living-in-Frankfurt5 Tips for Living in Frankfurt

Expats often move to Frankfurt for jobs in finance and IT. Frankfurt is continental Europe's largest financial center and has a population of approximately 2.5 million in the city and surrounding urban area. Towns in the Taunus area north of Frankfurt and Wiesbaden and Mainz to the west are popular among expats. There are many international and bi-lingual schools to choose from and lots of expat clubs in the Frankfurt area.

Expats often move to Frankfurt for jobs in finance and IT. Frankfurt is continental Europe's largest financial center and has a population of approximately 2.5 million in the city and surrounding urb...

12-Expats-Talk-about-What-its-Like-Living-in-Germany12 Expats Talk about What it's Like Living in Germany

Expats talk about living in Germany. From meeting people to adjusting to the German culture, expats offer a glimpse of life in Germany.
Expats talk about living in Germany. From meeting people to adjusting to the German culture, expats offer a glimpse of life in Germany. ...

Germany Guide
Other Links
Our Story Our Team Contact Us Submit an Article Advertising Travel Warnings

Copyright 1997-2020 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal