When moving to Germany from India, there are a lot of things to take care of. I am telling you this based on my experience of shifting abroad as an Indian and living in Germany. One common question that I come across is “How to move to Germany from India and what is it like living in Germany? “. I have divided this post in two major categories based on experiences of Expats and yes mine as well. I hope these 5 Free Tips help you in your new journey to Live in Germany.
5 Must Things to Know When Moving to Germany from India
Consider the following points as 5 Free Tips from an Indian Abroad in Germany and you can thank me in the comment box below. When moving to Germany from India, it’s always good to have a reality check of the new country where you will be living. Then only you can plan your life in Germany accordingly in a planned manner without undergoing any cultural shock.
1) Life in Germany | Adjusting in a New Country
Adjusting to a new country is very difficult, and it will take some time for you to get used to your new environment. There are many things to consider when moving to another country. Most of the population immigrating to Germany comes either on a student visa or a work visa. Thus, I will majorly focus on things related to daily lives and what should be kept in mind while settling in Germany.
Moving to a new country is an experience that most people will have to go through at some point in their lives. It can be difficult, and it’s important to remember that it will take for you to get used to your new environment. My life in Germany has been very different when I compare it with India and I think most of the other Indians Abroad would are in Germany are going to agree with me.
On one hand, after living in Germany, I find it more peaceful because of the work-life balance that I get here in Germany. On the other hand, students who are studying here have to cope up a lot because they are studying and working (part-time). This is the time when their expectation doesn’t meet reality. Settling abroad without family is difficult. hence, adjusting in a new country, a new culture is time taking.
2) Administrative work (Paperwork) is hectic
When you come to a new country and start your life there, one of the first things you need to do is find an apartment. It can be a long and difficult process, but it’s important to find the right place to live in. Finding an Apartment in Germany should be a task which you should start working on when you are in India. Please beware of scammers in Germany!!
After living in Germany for more than a year, I would recommend that if you’re starting your life in a new city, one of the first things on your agenda should be finding an apartment because the administrative work will not start until you have a home, and you get yourself registered in the city.
Even if you have found a house, there is a series of paperwork to be done after that related to insurance, bank account, ARD tax and many more. Buckle up to tackle this in the initial days and you will be able to adjust. Don’t forget to make various folders to arrange the letters from government offices and mails received in your mailbox.
Looking forward to buying some folders? Either you can order it online on Amazon.de or offline from Tedi or Woolworth store. As an Indian Abroad in Germany, now I have 5 different folders to arrange my payslips also known as salary slips, medical prescriptions and reports, health insurance-related documents, ARD tax, and notices or news releases from the government offices.
3) Get your German language skills up-to-date
There are many reasons why one would want to learn the German language. For example, it is the native tongue of some of the most influential people in history such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Albert Einstein. It is also one of the six official languages of the European Union. If you are looking to immigrate, understanding German will make your transition into a new culture much easier.
As an Indian Abroad in Germany, in addition to abiding by the rules and regulations in Germany, knowing German is always beneficial to book appointments at doctors, government offices, banks or make an order at a local cafe. I realised this after landing here because I didn’t know the German language in the beginning. After a year of living in Germany, I geared up and enrolled myself in German classes.
There can be a case, where you would not need German proficiency in order to enter the country, however, for a long term stay, applying for a Permanent Residency or Citizenship, you need to have eligibility criteria to showcase German certification.
For starters, you can try Duolingo to give you a gist about the German Language.
4) Learn about German culture
German culture is often considered to be complex. It is influenced by the region inhabited, leading to a diverse culture in Germany. German culture is also influenced by neighbouring cultures, such as those of France, Italy, and Austria. Even though the culture of Germany can seem totally different from India, people are really nice and helpful.
I know you might have somewhere that Germans are rude, I think they are straightforward. They speak up their mind in front of you. I have been knowing my landlord for a year now and both the couple have been very helpful to me. With regards to local german culture, sharing information about the weather, giving me suggestions about grocery, and whatnot. Both have been very helpful. I have been taking my lessons related to German Culture from them, books and youtube videos and found all the information beneficial to make my living in Germany more convenient and stress-free.
If you need any information or help about your living environment, contact your local council office. They have all the necessary information for immigrants. You can either reach the information centre in your city, in my case, it’s in Rathaus (Municipality Office) or Ausländerbehörde (Visa Office).
Moving back to my initial topic, you should learn more about German culture so that you don’t say or do anything wrong or illegal.
5) How is a day in Germany outside your apartment
- There are many grocery stores and supermarket (including malls) in Germany, but most of them close early so it’s best to go shopping before 8 pm.
- Sunday is closed, you wont find any super market, stores, salon open on Sunday. It will be great to buy groceries and necessary items by Saturday.
- On Sundays, only few shops will be open at Petrol Stations, let me tell you, they are very expensive.
- Smoking is extremely common in Germany. You will be amazed to see so many people smoking around you.
- You wont find free water to drink in Germany. I havent seen any such fountain or tap. Generally I carry my water bottle else I buy in the market.
- Cycling is very common in Germany, many cyclists take along their cycles/bike on local trains and busses to travel from one region to another within or outside the city.
- Its very cold during winters and it snows a lot during winters in the snowing region.
- Beer and alcohol is very common in Germany. They are very cheap when compared to India.
- It gets dark at 10:00 pm in the night during summers and 4:30 pm during winters.
- Dilemma of Tax Class system and Tax deduction which is around 40% for sure from your salary.
I will keep on adding more points in this list as soon as I am able to recall or experience something new in my daily life.
The Hidden Costs for Indians Living in Germany
The number of Indians in Germany has increased in recent years, with the Indian Embassy estimating that about 50,000 Indians are living and working in Germany. Expats living in Western countries enjoy a higher standard of living compared to those back home. But what are the costs for this lifestyle?
The reality is the cost of life in Germany is considered to be one of the highest in Europe. One can expect to pay more for items like rent, food, transportation and other services.
These are some of the hidden costs for Indians who live and work in Germany:
1. International schools can be expensive as well as challenging to get into because they go through a rigorous process to accept students from different cultures and backgrounds.
2. With families spread across the globe, reuniting with family members can be difficult since there is a high chance that they might not be living near you.
3. The cost of living is often higher than expected. As a result of the rising cost of living, many Indians are choosing to move back home. About 27% of Indians in Germany have already migrated back to India.
On a whole, a lot of Indians Abroad in Germany are making a conscious decision to move back to India because it is cheaper there and they have better prospects for their future. The cost of living for an Indian in Germany is higher than the average European citizen.
Rent is one of the most expensive items in an Indian’s budget. With a lack of quality housing available and increased demand, Indians have to pay more than they would back home for a property. Transportation is also another issue because it is not as cheap or accessible as it would be back home. The price for transportation in Germany is higher than what Indians are used to paying at home. Along with food expenses which also cost more, this can lead to difficulties for Indian families living abroad.
These were all the details which you should know about Indian Life in Germany as an ex-pat.
Please let me know if you have any requests by Contacting me on Contact Page. That was all about my thoughts about living in Germany for a year as an Expat.
Do check out some other posts.
- Is your educational qualification valid in Germany?
- What if my university is not listed in Anabin?
- Buying Bike in Germany
- Is Complete Course for Studying in Germany Worth It?