Moving to Germany

A Concise Guide to Move to Germany

FFM skyscrapersGermany has been a popular expat destination for decades and it is not surprising as it is the economic powerhouse of Europe. Fox Moving and Storage has been relocating British expats to Germany since the 1970’s and it does not show any signs of slowing down anytime soon. We take care of all aspects of the move to Germany for you and help you get acclimatised in your new country almost immediately. We know everything there is to know about relocating to Germany from your visa and custom requirements through to the day to day life that you should come to expect once you arrive. Therefore reading this concise guide to a British expats life in Germany is essential if you want to hit the ground running when you step off that plane.

Germany Welcomes Expats

Germany is the most populated country in Europe with a population of 80.62 million people in 2013. Around 10million of these are foreign born residents and Germany has the highest amount of non-EU residents in all of Europe, around 6.5million people. The reason that the country has so many expats living within its borders is down to the Wirtschaftswunder, or the economic miracle, that took place during the 1950’s and 1060’s whereby bilateral recruitment agreements were signed between Germany and many other countries. Countries such as Italy, Portugal, Tunisia, Yugoslavia, Greece, Turkey and Morocco all took part because Germany was suffering from a severe shortage of skilled workers. As a result today Germany has a large Turkish population, all thanks to this agreement that took place years ago.

Business people from all over the world are attracted to moving to Germany because it has the strongest economy in Europe. They are drawn to places such as Frankfurt and Munich because they are the international financial hubs. Once they relocate to Germany they are given the opportunity to further their career and increase their bank balance at the same time.

Fantastic Standard of Living

It is not only business people who want to live in Germany but also thousands of families and retirees also flock heregermany-train-station-bert-kaufmann because the country offers expats such a fantastic standard of living. In 2011 three of Germany’s cities were ranked in the top ten in Mercer’s Quality of Life survey, these were Munich, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt. However there were another four that ranked within the top thirty, they were Hamburg, Berlin, Nurnberg and Stuttgart.

So what do the cities in Germany have to offer that other countries around the world do not? Firstly German cities do not suffer from high levels of congestion like other big cities do and pollution is also low. Many people cycle within the cities and the transport systems are excellent.

Workers in Germany also work on average fewer hours each year than almost any other country in the world, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). One such report in 2011 found that German workers worked around 1,408 hours a year compared to the OECD average of 1,718. However when you compare this to the South Koreans, who work on average 2,193, you can see why living and working in Germany has its attractions. Some might argue that because they work fewer hours that their productivity must be less but this is not the case, in fact German worker’s productivity is far higher than the average.

German Healthcare

Germany has the oldest universal healthcare system in the world and German people receive an excellent level of care. Unlike the UK there are no waiting lists in Germany for treatment and all medical facilities boast having the latest technologies around.

On the downside you have to pay for this, as it is not free like it is back home. Therefore before you move to Germany ensure that you have taken out medical insurance because they understandably have one of the highest costs for medical treatment in the world.

Schooling in Germany

The school system is very good in Germany and your child could expect a high standard of education when you relocate here. In a study in 2010 conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) they looked at 64 separate countries and measured their performance in key subjects such as science, maths and reading. Germany scored 16th for reading, 10th for maths and 9th for science overall, far above the average.

Children do not start school in Germany until they reach the age of six. It is also worth noting that British expats who have school age children tend to relocate to the cities in Germany rather than to more rural areas. The reason that they tend to avoid the countryside is largely due to the fact that the international schools are based within the larger cities. If your child does not speak any German then you will have to enrol your child in one.

German Cities

Although Germany has a high level of foreign born residents they also tend to relocate to the more urban areas of the country. There are expat communities spread all over the country but the cities and the suburbs surrounding them have a higher concentration of immigrants because of the strict immigration laws facing non-EU residents. British expats will not have a problem because the UK is part of the EU but for those expats that are from outside of the EU finding job opportunities are scarce if they live in rural areas.

British expats tend to move to Munich and Frankfurt because they are the economic hubs of the country. Lots of British expats live in Frankfurt due to it being a business centre and in the top ten of best cities to work in the world. For those who do relocate here they also enjoy a great social life, enjoying over thirty museums and a fantastic nightlife. In May 2013 Frankfurt had more millionaires per capita than any other city in the world, according to a survey by Wealth Insight and Munich came second.

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Families tend to relocate to Munich because the quality of life for those with a family is so high here. In fact in 2010 Munich was named the most livable location in the world by Monocle Magazine. The city boasts stunning parks and amazing shopping malls to enjoy.

However Fox Moving and Storage has noticed that in recent years Berlin, the capital of Germany, has also started to become popular as an expat destination for us Brits. Ever since the fall of the Berlin Wall the number of expats has increased with the number of retirees increasing further still. It is hardly surprising why families, retirees and young business people like the thought of moving to Berlin, the city has a rich history behind it but also has so much more to offer. The city has lots of parks and lakes to enjoy, along with shopping and a relaxed way of life.

However even though Berlin has a large retired community of British expats other cities are also very popular with those of retirement age. Wiesbaden, Dusseldorf and Cologne are all British expat hotspots for retirees because they offer them a fantastic quality of life and they are also have great infrastructure and local amenities.

Therefore Germany appeals to all ages as a country to relocate to. Favourable with the young career people, families and retirees, it really has it all in terms of what it can offer a British expat. Below are some fun facts about Germany for you to take on board before you board the plane:

  • During the Second Reich, 1871 to 1918, Germany’s land area was 50% greater than it is today. It included most of Poland and some of Lithuania
  • Only the Czechs beat the Germans as the biggest consumers of beer in the world.
  • Around a quarter of all Americans claim to have some sort of German ancestry.
  • Germans love wind turbines and in 2005 alone they produced 35% of the world’s wind energy.
  • Germany also has the third highest recycling rate in the world, 48% of their waste is recycled. Only their neighbours, the Swiss and the Austrians beat them.

So now that we have completely informed you of what life is going to be like for you when you move to Germany, all you need to do to is enlist the help of a removals and storage company that can complete the job on time and on budget. Fox Moving and Storage is that company. We ensure that all of your removal and storage needs are completely taken care of so that your transition into life in Germany is as smooth as it can possibly be. So when you decide to relocate to Germany then simply give us a call.