Moving to a new country is quite an endeavor to take on; however, it does not have to be as scary as it may seem at first. The move to Frankfurt, Germany for an expatriate can go quite smoothly if you do a little bit of research ahead of time. Here are some tips and pointers to get you started.
If your employer is moving you out to Frankfurt, then you should be sure to ask them a lot of questions about your relocation to your new home. You will want to know if they will be financing your move, offering you a relocation allowance, providing you with housing accommodations, or any other details or instructions you may need.
One of the best ways to prepare for your move is to start learning German. There are many people who speak English in Germany; however, there will be many instances in which German is the only language used. It would be infinitely beneficial to you to know the language. There are places that offer German language classes in Frankfurt; simply inquire at work, do an internet search, or you could also try a free online language course such as Duolingo.
The biggest hassle you will come across on your move to Germany will be dealing with all of the legalities, regulations, and paperwork. Once you are in Germany, you will have to register with your local town hall, and then within a couple of weeks you will also need to get your residence permit so that you are allowed to reside in Germany. Of course, there is also paperwork involved for your new residence, and for setting up internet, phone, and television. Whenever you have a lease or a contract to sign in Germany, always read it thoroughly. If it is entirely in German, find a translator. If you do not read a contract thoroughly, you may not get all of the services you thought you were signing up for, and you run the risk of getting hit with hidden fees.
Finding a Residence
If your employer does not set you up with a place to live, or if you wish to change to a different residence, you have many options for places to live in and around Frankfurt. One thing you will want to consider when choosing a residence is your commute. If you live within the limits of Frankfurt, the cost of rent may be somewhat high; however, everything is so centralized that you can take public transportation everywhere. This will save you money on shipping or purchasing a vehicle, commuting to and from work, and the cost of car insurance. On the other hand, if you choose to live outside of town, your options for places to live increases and the cost of renting or buying a home decreases. You and your family have to figure out what will work best for you.
Health insurance is another concern when moving to Germany. Luckily, most employers automatically set you up on a health insurance plan. Most residence stick with public insurance, especially because adding family members to your plan does not add any additional costs. Once you have chosen which plan you prefer, your employer will pay for half of the total cost of the health insurance, and the total cost of your health insurance should add up to about 5 percent of your income. It is compulsory to have health insurance in Germany, so you do have to sign up for it.
Frankfurt is a wonderful city to make your home. Once you have settled in, take the time to explore the area and get to know the locals. You may even fall in love with your new home town.