Make yourself at home
Congratulations! You’ve officially moved to Germany. Now that you’ve found the perfect city and moved into your new apartment and have taken care of all the necessary paperwork and such, it’s time to start settling into your new home. Now is the time to start looking for your new job, making new friends in your new city and decorating your apartment to make it feel like home.
Finding a job
If you moved to Germany for a new job, then this is a great time to really get settled before your new job starts. However, if you did not move to Germany with a job, then finding one will probably be one of your top priorities. If you moved to a large city like Berlin, then you don’t necessarily need to worry if you don’t yet speak German, as there are many jobs available that only require English. Looking on online job posting sites is a great first step to find a job. You can also look into expat blogs specifically for finding jobs. These can be especially helpful if you're looking for an English-speaking job. There are now more jobs than ever that are 100% remote. This could be an option for you as well as you look for your first job in Germany.
One of the first things you’ll probably ask yourself is, do I need to learn German and if so, where do I start? If you’re living in a smaller city, then chances are that you will need to German in order to communicate with the people around you. If you’re living in big city like Berlin, then it may not be necessary to speak German, but you likely may want too anyway. Signing up for German classes can be a great way to start. Not only will you begin to learn the local language, but you’ll also have the chance to meet some people who may also be new to your city. This can help you meet people in your community and make new friends. If German classes are too much of a time commitment for you currently, there are still other great options to begin learning German. There are many great apps you can use to help you get started, as well as many videos and pre-recorded classes you can watch. Another way to keep learning German, would be to find a tandem partner. With a tandem partner, you meet up with the person, often at a park or café, and you each help each other learn the other’s native language. This a great opportunity not just for culture and language exchange, but can also help you make friends in your new city.
Meeting new people
In addition to German classes and tandem partners, you can also meet new people by joining a club or group. If you’re a sportier person you could join a local team or take part in a weekly workout group. There are many great opportunities to join workout classes both at local gyms and studios as well as outdoor classes at parks. Outdoor yoga, dance, and other activities can be a great way to get outside and explore a new park with new people, all while exercising. If sports aren’t your thing, then you could join a group that aligns with your hobbies; for example, photography, or just a group where people new to the city get together at a Biergarten or park. There are also pub-trivia nights and expat groups that meet up regularly that you can take part in and make new friends. Online versions of many of these activities are also happening. Keep a look out for virtual trivia nights and virtual happy hours with fellow expats.
Keeping in touch
As you begin to feel more at home in your new city, it is also important keep in touch with family and friends back home. The good thing is that it has never been easier to stay in touch through regular video calls and texts. Even though catching up on video calls are great, you can also try new ways to keep in touch and feel connected to your family and friends, like cooking the same meal while video calling or watching a movie together using a shared movie watching platform.
Making your new apartment feel like home
As you continue to settle in, remember that is normal to feel homesick even if you are happy that you decided to move to Germany. Even though it is normal, when you feel home sick you can do things that remind you of home. You can make some of your favorite foods from your home country, or watch a movie that is an old favorite. Don’t forget when you are decorating your new apartment to add some details that remind you of home along with some things that make you happy to be in your new city. Put up some posters or prints that remind you of home, like a map of your old city or posters of your favorite places. Also having lots of pictures of family and friends around your apartment can truly make it feel like home, especially in a rented apartment.
As our Ultimate Guide to Moving to Germany blog series comes to an end, we hope the tips and information about making Germany your new home help make your move and settling into your new city a smoother transition. As you continue to make Germany your home, remember that in the end all the experiences you have here will make it all worth it.