New in Germany
Things to do when you are new in Germany
We tried to summarize all the important points: What you have to do and know if you are new to Germany – this page will support you.
- When you got your flat, you have to register yourself. This is done at an office called “KVR” or “Bürgerbüro” in a city or „Gemeinde“ if it’s a village.
- Every flat has got some specific rules. It is important to know them, they are called “Hausordnung”. Usually, you find this Hausordnung at the corridor / entrance of the house. It conatains important rules and also important hotlines.
- German public television is something, everyone has to pay. The authority for that is called “Beitragsservice”. Good news: you can join online.
2. Important: how 45 € can safe you millions
The absolutly must have in Germany
Imagine: You cross the street, typing on your smartphone. You don’t see that driving car that has to avoid because of you. It crashes into parking cars – damage is 20.000 EUR because of you. Are you able to pay that?
If people get hurt, the claim might reach millions and German “Haftpflichtversicherung” covers the risk. It can protect you from millions of payments – but it costs not even 45 EUR a year. Please find here a website, where you can compare and select the best German Hafpflichtversicherung for your needs. It’s the most important thing you have to do, when you are new in Germany and stay here for a while.
3. Get a German bank account
Bank account in Germany
Of course, you also need a bank account if you are new in Germany. It is good to choose an international one like HypoVereinsbank as they have branches all over europe. There are also small ones like Sparkasse and VR-Bank which only act local. It’s your choice so choose a bank that fits to your needs.
4. Find friends
How to make new friends in Germany
If you are new in Germany you might look for some friends. People in middle Europe are restrained but if you make friends there you can realy trust them. Friends will help you, show you arround and make your life more easy – specially when you’re new in Germany
To find friends in Germany that’s why Freunde.one is here! Now you can make new friends in Germany effortlessly. Best of all: Freunde.one is 100% free!
5. Get online
Connect – Get online
The internet is called “DSL” and if it is the fast one “Glasfaser”. There are large and expensive providers like Telekom and Vodaphone but also excellent local providers like M-Net. The contract usually is for 2 years and includes the router as hardware and a service number for support.
6. Behavior in Germany
Behavior in Germany is more or less a “treat others as you would like to be treated yourself”. So for everyone who is new in Germany this basic principle might help.
Furthermore there are some rules you should know. Like good and bad conversation topics for all kinds of conversations with Germans.
- don’t listen loud music in public
- don’t do loud phone calls in public
- don’t be agressive
- don’t ask private things in office
- be quiet and attentive
- keep the door open for people behind you
- ask others, how they feel. Be open and emphatically
- act with respect and always polite
- use the polite “Sie” speech for new contacts
- try to learn German. Start with some words.
7. Healthcare in Germany
About healthcare in Germany
Everyone who lives in Germany has to have a healthcare insurance. If you don’t have one, you aren’t insured and there are high penalties. Therefore it’s realy important to care about this topic when you are new in Germany.
- The “public” healthcare system is covering costs for doctors, dentists, hospitals and the medicine you need. The contribution is 14.6% of your salary and your employer is paying another 14% to the insurance company. The amount is automatically withdrawn from your salary. Although the statutory benefits are identical, it is worth comparing services.
- The “private” healthcare system is covering the same costs but offers a better service, better treatments, faster appointments and you get access to specialists. The contribution is rising from year to year. It is not linked to the salary and most important to know: you can not switch from “private” to “public” system.
8. Income in Germany
Income in Germany
Most people who come to Germany come because of the high income. To be honest: the income is higher than in other countries but sametime the tax is incredible hight. In fact, Germany has the second highest tax in the world. What does that mean for you?
- The average income for high educated people is 35.000 € per year. So let’s focus on this number in this example. If you earn 35.000 € per year, you have to pay tax plus a lot of social costs. In total that’s about 10.000 € per year. This amount covers also health insurance and ritirement insurance and it is transfered directly by your employee to German government. You can calculate your netto income here.
- The „netto“ is the amount you get transfered to your bank account. If you buy goods, you have to pay „Umsatzsteuer“ which is 7% for food and 19% for anything else. In total, the tax in Germany is 49,7% which is more than anywhere else in the EU (source). Many people complain because of high taxes and high payments for the appartment. A small appartment costs about 800 Euro (Berlin) and up to 1.200 EUR (Munich) per month.
- Once a year, you have to do „Steuererklärung“. This means filling out a lot of forms. Sometimes you get a tax refund of some hundret Euros, sometimes you have to pay additional taxes. If you are not able to fill out these forms, a „Lohnsteuerhilfeverein“ might help you. Their service is not for free but it is affordable and helpfull.
Well, we hope that this overview is helpful for you. Beeing new to Germany is not easy but it’s also a lot of fun. You can make new friends easily, learn a lot and have great time here.
If you’d like to add something to this list, let us know. Write your thoughts in the comments and share your ideas with us. Peace ♥︎