Video

Things you NEED to know before moving to Germany

Moving to Germany may seem like a great idea, but there are many different aspects to living and working in Germany you should consider.

For some more details have a look at my full blog post on the topic here: “German living: The good, the bad and the Praktisch“,
and definitely check out Coya’s Expat blog.


Released on Jan. 24, 2021

Video transcript (00:00 to 4:30) – Intro & Working in Germany: 00:00
sometimes you don’t want to take the
00:01
trade and you want to drive because it’s
00:03
nice to have all your own stuff
00:05
and have that control but
00:12
hello everybody welcome back to my
00:14
channel if you don’t already know
00:16
my name is aspen i’m an american living
00:19
in fantastic munich germany
00:21
and i talk about what it’s like living
00:22
abroad but today we’ll discuss a couple
00:24
common pros and cons about living in
00:26
germany first off
00:27
when it comes to working in germany this
00:30
is one aspect
00:31
i definitely really really enjoy and one
00:33
of the biggest reasons that i came and i
00:35
stayed here
00:36
my pro for working in germany would have
00:37
to be the work life balance and the job
00:40
security that’s offered here one of the
00:42
best aspects that i’ve come to
00:43
experience
00:44
is that if you’re an employee in germany
00:45
you have a lot more protection than you
00:47
do in other countries in the us
00:50
most of the time we don’t get paid sick
00:52
days we don’t get
00:53
mandatory yearly holidays there’s this
00:56
sort of mentality that you
00:58
work in work and work until basically
01:01
you can’t anymore
01:02
but in germany everybody has sort of
01:04
this joint mindset that
01:05
a job is a job you are contracted for a
01:08
certain amount of hours a week
01:10
and you should not do any more than this
01:12
everybody really emphasizes that you
01:14
take your breaks and you take your time
01:16
off
01:17
and of course if you’re sick you stay
01:19
home sick because
01:21
one there should be no reason that you
01:23
come into work sick
01:25
and put your colleagues at risk for
01:27
getting it
01:28
as well but also for your own health
01:31
why would you most contracts you have a
01:33
minimum of 20 mandatory
01:35
paid vacation days per year however in
01:38
my experience i’ve found it usually
01:40
ranges more
01:40
from 25 to 30. when it comes to sick
01:43
days this is also really cool which i
01:45
find very nice
01:46
because you get six full weeks of paid
01:49
sick leave
01:50
by your employer and then even after
01:52
that
01:53
what happens is your health insurance
01:56
will take over
01:56
so say for example you have an injury or
01:59
an illness and it ends up being
02:01
a longer time than you thought there’s
02:03
no risk of losing your position there’s
02:05
no risk of losing your income
02:07
because if it’s all documented and the
02:10
process is done all correctly through
02:11
your doctors and everything
02:13
then once your company stops providing
02:14
you with your monthly income
02:16
your insurance will take over and give a
02:19
certain percent of your monthly income
02:21
in lua such a strong emphasis on the
02:24
value of your personal health
02:26
and it’s just yeah these resources
02:29
together i think are amazing in general
02:30
it’s pretty hard for companies in
02:32
germany to fire you
02:34
if there is no super strong ground
02:37
and i know in the us this is often one
02:40
of the risks it’s like if you
02:41
are sick and you miss work then either
02:43
you face
02:45
having no pay for these days or else
02:47
your company
02:48
and your employer will usually say oh
02:50
you’re sick you don’t come into work
02:51
well
02:52
that’s grounds for dismissal but in
02:54
germany no the mentality is much better
02:57
when it comes to the con of working in
02:59
germany i would have to say the biggest
03:01
one
03:02
that i’ve personally faced but also
03:05
heard amongst most foreigners
03:07
is that it’s pretty difficult to climb
03:10
the ladder and advance yourself
03:12
in your careers mainly being because
03:14
there are a bunch of
03:15
very qualified people in this country
03:19
and there is just a lot of competition
03:22
i feel personally as a foreigner this
03:24
gets to be very difficult because
03:26
germans like to focus a lot a lot on
03:29
your cv
03:30
on your previous experience on your
03:32
educational background
03:34
and less on the practical experience
03:37
which i won’t get into now but for me it
03:40
seems
03:41
to be a little bit of a backwards
03:43
concept seeing as
03:44
there is free university in this country
03:47
so definitely everybody has the option
03:48
to get the degree get the education on
03:51
paper
03:52
but i feel they lack a lot of the life
03:55
experience i don’t know
03:58
anyhow as an expat as a foreigner you
04:01
tend to get scrutinized and compared to
04:03
germans and that makes it a bit
04:04
difficult
04:05
to rise in the ranks at work however
04:09
i definitely think if you’re resourceful
04:11
there’s a lot of opportunities to prove
04:13
yourself i wouldn’t say it’s something
04:15
that’s super
04:15
just impossible difficult it’s a little
04:18
bit frustrating
04:19
and of course some cities some countries
04:22
it’s
04:22
much easier but you know there’s always
04:26
two sides to everything
Video transcript (4:27 to 10:48) – Cost of Living & Insurance: 04:27
the next topic would be the cost of
04:28
living so okay
04:30
assuming that you don’t live in munich
04:32
we’ll just say
04:33
generally the cost of living in germany
04:36
by comparison to
04:37
say where i’m from hawaii it’s quite
04:40
reasonable i mean for the cost of food
04:43
the cost of transportation
04:45
living utilities like electricity water
04:48
accommodation once again
04:50
this varies definitely based on cities
04:53
or
04:53
parts of germany you live in when it
04:55
comes to grocery shopping this is
04:56
actually
04:57
one point for the cost of living that i
04:59
absolutely love because
05:00
even though i live in a super expensive
05:02
german city i can still
05:05
pay a super super small amount for my
05:07
weekly and my monthly groceries
05:10
but only by bo or organic
05:13
vegetables and produce typically i
05:15
actually
05:16
don’t eat a lot of prepackaged or
05:18
processed foods mainly
05:20
lots and lots of fresh vegetables but
05:22
even still
05:23
i could never afford vegetables
05:26
in general in the quantity that i
05:28
purchased them if i lived in the states
05:30
because
05:31
they are so so expensive but in germany
05:34
you can buy full organic you can
05:37
really just afford so so much
05:41
and i think that’s really cool because
05:43
it goes also with that mentality of you
05:45
know
05:45
taking care of yourself health and
05:47
individual welfare aspect that
05:50
the mentality caters to here but one of
05:52
the downsides which a lot of people
05:54
grumble about and also
05:56
i do as well sometimes
06:00
is the income tax in germany it can get
06:03
pretty steep
06:04
of course it’s based on how much you
06:06
earn
06:07
so if you earn more then a bit more is
06:11
taken out
06:11
if you earn less then of course less is
06:13
taken out but still
06:15
myself i think i earn a pretty moderate
06:19
salary it’s not too little
06:20
not too much looking at my uh
06:23
pay slip it’s always a bit of a
06:26
that’s not the most fun but the thing is
06:29
if you look down
06:30
breakdown of where your taxes goes a lot
06:33
of it goes into these systems that make
06:35
life in germany so good for example free
06:37
education or the health care system the
06:39
next one which is a pretty big one and
06:41
one of the main reasons i came to
06:42
germany is for the health and personal
06:44
insurance systems
06:45
street is actually one that i studied
06:47
and i worked in for quite some time
06:48
i personally am biased because i like it
06:51
a lot for its two-part system
06:53
you have the public or private if you
06:55
qualify for private you can do that
06:57
and it has its benefits however this is
06:59
of course very individually based but
07:01
the public sector
07:03
is also really nice because you know of
07:05
course
07:06
in the us health insurance is really
07:09
mainly for profit but in germany they’ve
07:11
split it up so yes of course
07:14
there’s a lot of money and there’s a lot
07:15
of profit to be made but
07:17
there is this side where you know it’s
07:20
still this basic right and everybody can
07:22
get
07:23
affordable health care and everybody can
07:25
be taken care of
07:26
you always are insured there of course
07:29
is the issue that
07:30
you may be fined for not paying your
07:33
insurance for example you don’t have a
07:34
job or you lose your job you just need
07:36
to register
07:37
with the alberts um do you just need to
07:39
talk to your insurance
07:40
and then the german system the state
07:42
will take over and pay for your
07:43
insurance
07:44
so the only reason you’re getting a fee
07:46
is because they’re giving you this
07:47
option
07:48
where they still support you but you
07:50
just need to work on the processes and
07:52
take care of that
07:53
so if you don’t then it’s like well okay
07:55
that’s the reason unfortunately that
07:56
happened to me in the past i
07:58
was in between jobs and i was not aware
08:01
that i needed to inform my insurance
08:03
and everything to let them know okay
08:05
i’ll have a gap between my jobs because
08:07
usually as an employee
08:09
you know this is all arranged and it’s
08:10
taking on your salary your employer pays
08:12
a portion of your monthly insurance
08:13
costs but i was not aware
08:15
so unfortunately i got a bit of a fee
08:18
and had to pay that off
08:19
wasn’t so nice but now i know and now i
08:22
tell everybody
08:23
because yeah it’s really not so much
08:26
work in comparison to what you’re
08:28
getting out of it which is
08:30
basically never having to worry about
08:32
not having health insurance
08:34
or care in addition to that which i mean
08:37
i think it’s a pro but
08:38
it would also be seen as a con because
08:40
it is a bit tedious and a lot of work
08:43
would be this the mentality of it where
08:45
germans they
08:46
love love love insurances i mean there’s
08:50
so many crazy insurances for everything
08:53
i remember one of my friends
08:55
he was telling me he has this special
08:57
house insurance portion of it was
08:59
if you lock your keys inside of your
09:02
flat and you have to get
09:04
your door broken into or something like
09:06
this then that’s covered too
09:08
which once again this happened to me
09:11
i locked my keys into my flat
09:13
unfortunately on a sunday where
09:15
everything’s closed
09:16
and oh my gosh it was so expensive
09:20
getting my door opened so
09:23
those little details i’m sometimes like
09:26
that’s quite clever
09:28
with this multitude of insurances you
09:30
still are like well
09:31
as a foreigner what do i need what
09:34
should i get
09:35
also what are the fine print what are
09:38
the details how do i choose the best
09:40
price
09:40
this part can be a bit tricky i think
09:42
luckily over the past years
09:44
a lot of companies recognize this so
09:46
health insurance providers different
09:48
liability insurances as well that offer
09:50
great support and resources in english
09:52
so a while back i made a video about
09:54
dogs in germany and that culture
09:55
and one of the interesting insurances
09:57
they have here and of course
09:59
oftentimes you need to have them our
10:02
insurance is for your dogs
10:03
now of course a lot of you if you come
10:05
here with dogs or if you get dogs and
10:07
you don’t speak german
10:08
trying to figure out these details super
10:10
super frustrating one great resource
10:11
which i can recommend would be koya
10:13
they’re this personal liability company
10:15
that is actually founded and created by
10:17
expats for expats
10:18
first off just in general they have this
10:21
really great blog
10:22
which i will link below that has a bunch
10:24
of really helpful articles and
10:26
information
10:27
but additionally they do have a lot of
10:29
great products
10:30
if that’s what you’re looking for they
10:32
have personal liability they have
10:34
multitude of dog insurances they have
10:37
bike theft insurance you know these
10:39
little tiny things that you never really
10:41
think about
10:41
and then all of a sudden realize you
10:44
might actually need it
10:46
there are the resources there and
10:48
they’re one great example
Video transcript: (10:49 to 14:19) – Transportation and Conclusion: 10:49
last point which i will get to would be
10:53
about transportation in germany because
10:56
this one again biased coming from
10:58
somebody who’s lived one in hawaii
11:00
but also in california where it’s really
11:03
strongly
11:04
focused on you have your car you drive
11:06
yourself public transportation
11:08
oftentimes
11:10
does not really exist or it’s really
11:13
just not so much a part of our culture
11:16
but in germany the public transportation
11:18
is actually really good i think it’s
11:20
pretty well regulated typically your
11:21
city specific transportation is very
11:23
nice
11:24
in munich i really like ours with them
11:26
foggy they have
11:27
this really really cool app over the
11:29
last years they’ve updated it to where
11:31
it’s like
11:32
super super modern for german standards
11:34
and it’s really helpful
11:36
i mean you can go in and you can fully
11:38
buy your tickets there now
11:40
but also it’ll tell you what connections
11:42
to take you can choose if you want to go
11:44
by
11:45
tram by train by bus whatever
11:47
combination it shows you multiple routes
11:50
it even shows you about bike rental
11:52
options too which is super cool
11:54
and additionally that’s also a thing is
11:56
a lot of cities in germany are super
11:58
bike
11:59
and pedestrian friendly so this is also
12:02
nice
12:02
because it can be very low cost if you
12:05
want to get around a city
12:06
or there’s just a lot of options however
12:09
i do have to say
12:10
i really miss driving a car i have not
12:13
for a very long time
12:15
and sometimes you don’t want to take the
12:17
train and you want to drive because
12:19
it’s nice to have all your own stuff and
12:21
have that
12:23
but this would be the con in this list
12:27
because owning a car getting a german
12:29
driver’s license
12:30
and driving in general is very tedious
12:34
can be a lot of work and can cost quite
12:36
a bit in germany
12:38
first off with the german driver’s
12:39
license
12:41
of course this varies because some
12:43
people can hand in and exchange their
12:45
previous driver’s license for a german
12:46
one
12:47
and there’s little to no cost or you can
12:50
just take the
12:51
theory exam but sometimes
12:54
if you’re like me the states
12:57
in america you come from are not
12:59
recognized in germany so
13:01
if you want to get a driver’s license
13:03
you have to do all the hours in driving
13:06
school you have to do the theory exam
13:08
and
13:08
all this business and it’s around 2 000
13:11
euros
13:12
and a lot a lot of time so
13:15
that part’s tricky parking can be very
13:18
frustrating as well in munich this is
13:20
the grumble from all of my friends
13:22
because when
13:23
it’s almost impossible to find a parking
13:25
spot driving in the city just
13:28
forget about it most of the times with
13:29
your flat you don’t get a parking space
13:31
so there’s always sort of this rush to
13:33
try to find
13:34
something to rent or a place to keep
13:36
your car store your car
13:38
and that definitely adds to the tedious
13:40
aspect of course i can add in about the
13:42
pros and cons of lifestyle and pros and
13:44
cons of culture socks
13:46
but i feel like that’s sort of majority
13:48
of the content i already create so if
13:50
these things interest you feel free to
13:51
check out some more videos
13:52
like this one that would help explain
13:55
things a bit more but if you have any
13:57
specific questions
13:58
feel free to definitely write them below
14:00
let’s get discussing
14:01
i believe that is all for now overall i
14:03
hope you found this video pretty helpful
14:05
i hope you’re having a great day
14:06
and i will talk to you guys next time
14:10
[Music]
14:14
ciao
14:19
[Music]