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Moving from the USA to Germany is exciting just as much as it can be confusing! The cultural differences are apparent from the first step you make in Germany after you land. However, there is nothing to be scared of! Learning and adapting to a new culture is a wonderful experience that deeply enriches our lives. Just because you’re used to things operating differently, it doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy living in a new environment once you’re used to it. We are among the highest-rated international movers New York has to offer and we’ve made numerous trips to Germany throughout the history of our company. That’s why we will help you with explaining the biggest differences between the USA and Germany.
Germany is much cheaper than the USA
The average cost of living in Germany is 37% less expensive than in the US. Germany is not a cheap country, but when compared to the US it definitely is. For instance, Germany is ranked 30th on the list of the most expensive countries in the world, while the US is ranked 6th. The average US salary after tax is enough to cover living expenses in Germany for 2 months. If you are going to be employed by your current US company but only relocate to Germany, you should have no trouble getting used to this. If you’ll be living alone, the average one-person rent in Germany is $720, while a family-sized apartment or home would cost you $1340 per month. However, still pay attention to your relocation budget. Get free international moving quotes on our website to calculate the cost of your upcoming move.
Germans are usually much more prude and direct than Americans
This is definitely one of the biggest differences between the USA and Germany. This doesn’t mean people in Germany are rude, not at all! It’s just that they don’t hesitate to speak their minds and tell it as it is. They don’t pay too much attention to the way they sound when conveying information or opinions. On the other hand, people in the US have a different approach to communication, both in the workplace and with strangers on the street. Don’t feel offended or attacked once you start living in Germany and start to interact with them! But we are sure you will get used to it quickly and adapt to their culture. Moving from USA to Germany comes with many challenges, but it is well worth the effort!
Shipping your stuff from Germany to the USA can be quite tiresome
This is probably the most difficult process when moving to Germany from the USA. It can be time-consuming, pricey, and complicated. There are certain rules you have to follow regarding what you can and cannot ship. You will also have to provide a detailed list of everything you are bringing with you. On top of that, some items are subject to taxation! However, the easy way out of this situation is to hire an international moving company. They will deal with all of those formalities in your place. They will obviously need to make the inventory list with you, but they will take care of the rest. Since this type of move can be pricey, make sure your moving budget is on point. Consult with your moving company to gauge how much will the shipping cost. Make sure you use the services of the best international furniture movers you can find!
Health insurance is one of the biggest differences between the USA and Germany
If you are changing jobs and will work for a German company, your employer will automatically enroll you in a health insurance plan. German healthcare is a public one, so you would use the services of their public healthcare facilities. Of course, workers with higher incomes or freelances can purchase private insurance too if they want to. If you are a freelancer, you will be free to choose your own healthcare plan. Explore all options available to you and pick the right one for your needs.
You will need a German residence permit in order to work there
There are two ways to apply for a residence permit. The first one is from the United States, and the second one is in Germany. If you are moving to Germany for employment and would want to work as soon as you arrive, it’s best to apply while still in the US. Go to the German embassy or consulate that is responsible for your state or jurisdiction. They will tell you which documents you will have to bring. The processing time is usually between one and three months, so best to do it sooner than later. If you are moving to Germany only to then find a new job, you can apply for a permit in the first three months of your arrival. Find the nearest immigration service institution and head there to apply.
Public transportation is much more efficient in Germany versus in the US
This is also one of the biggest differences between the USA and Germany. Even though Germans love their cars and own them proudly, they will still use public transportation on a daily basis. It is right on time, it has many lines that connect all parts of any given city, and even if you have to change buses, it is very easy to make your way around the stations and find the right one for your destination. Apart from buses, they also use trams, the subway (U-Bahn), and the overground trains (S-Bahn). As soon as your door to door international movers have left your new residence, you can go out and explore your new city!