Moving to Germany from USA

Shipping Furniture From the USA to Germany

Shipping Furniture From the USA to Germany


American expats are usually left in awe when they hear what it will cost to move their furniture across the ocean and to their new, beautiful German home. It's nice being able to pack up and move everything with you when you make the decision to change your residence. Especially when you're moving to a whole new country rather than across state, it brings a certain comfort knowing that parts of home are still with you. Perhaps you can't part with your furniture because you're more than certain that you won't be able to find pieces that are equally as great anywhere. Maybe your reason for wanting to bring your furniture with you is due to an emotional connection. Or perhaps you're just not sure how much furniture costs in Germany, and you're opting for a cheaper, more efficient way out. Whatever your reason is, be certain that you've taken certain things into consideration and have done thorough research before you go ahead with the process.


Shipping furniture can be exorbitantly expensive. Expats have reported spending over $0,000 US to get a full container from the United States to Germany. Once your furniture has arrived in Germany, you may be subjected to additional costs by customs. And then there's the task of getting the furniture home, where you'll have to hire a truck and spend more money to have things picked up. Expats are usually exempt from custom charges, provided they aren't bringing over a container full of brand new furniture. With these prices, it may be smart to check with your company to see if they will be willing to withstand the costs. If not, be certain that this is a decision that you want to make, as if you are on a short term contract, it may not be worth it, having your furniture shipped to Germany for such a hefty price and then having to pay that price once again when your stay comes to an end.


If there is a piece of furniture, or a couple pieces that you just can't do without in Germany, then consider bringing only these pieces rather than your entire living room and bedroom along with you. You will be able to find furniture in Germany. There are lots of furniture stores with a wide selection of products to choose from. If you'd rather not have to go through the hassle of buying furniture and having to wait extended periods of time for your furniture to be delivered, then consider rental furniture. This option has increased in popularity due to its convenience and hassle free measures. With a rental furniture company, you won't have to worry about picking up the furniture, long waiting times, or having to sell when you're ready to head home. You'll also have a wide selection of both furniture and appliances to choose from and in addition you'll be spending less money, and still be able to beautifully furnish your home.


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Watching US TV Shows in Germany

Moving to a new country is exciting, it's enthralling, and adventurous. You'll get to see new sights, meet amazing people, try out cuisine you otherwise wouldn't and take in all the fascinations of a culture so different than your own. In the beginning things are great, they're absolutely splendid, but then there are the things that you miss about home, and a slight bit of homesickness starts to kick in. This doesn't mean that you want to pack up and head out on the next flight, it just simply means that you'd like to enjoy some of the things you're used to, like watching your favorite television shows. Game of Thrones and Grey's Anatomy, The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother, they are all moving on without you and you just can't stand not knowing what's happening to your favorite characters.

So what do you do?

Streaming on not so safe websites: Well there is of course the illegal way of doing things. You could take the chance of finding a website that offers all your favorite shows, and you can screen them as you when you want, where ever you want, as long as you have an internet connection of course. But this is never the good way to do things. The constant looking over your shoulder, wondering if the internet police will come tapping any time soon. Apart from the fear that doing something illegal will instill in you, there's just nothing like watching your favorite show in great quality and not having to deal with a voice delay, or shaky loading and freezing.

English Shows on German Television

On regular German television you will also be able to watch your favorite shows. This however, isn't a favorable measure for many as the voice overs are just hard to get used to, and if your German isn't up to par, you more than likely will be missing more than a few jokes, important clues and details. Buying DVD's and Your Local Video Store If you are willing to wait until they've come out on DVD, you can of course pick your shows up in the local video store, or buy them once they're out. You will have the option of choosing whether or not you'd like to hear your show in English or German and perhaps even other languages. However, this is a very pricey option and thus one that is indeed not very popular.


AFN is a very popular option amongst expats. You'll need a satellite dish in order for AFN to function, many have, however, complained that the signal is at times rather week. How to get Netflix to work in Germany Netflix is a great option, though many find difficulty in getting it to work in Germany. The reason for this is that you will need a VPN. What the VPN will do is change make it seem as though you are in the United States based on a change in your IP address.


For the sports fanatics, SKY is always a good option. If you're not keen on purchasing a package then you can always check the sports bars in your area to see what they are showing and when.

Amazon's Lovefilm

Another option is Lovefilm which you can either have mailed to you by adding shows to your online queue, or you can stream your favorite shows online.[...]

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Exchanging a U.S. Driver’s Licenses For a German License

Driving in Germany can be exciting with the cities and beautiful landscapes. However, proper driving licenses are still required but may be simpler to acquire than previously thought.

Exchanging a Driver’s License

A driver’s license already acquired in one of the nations in the European Union is already accepted as a driver’s license in Germany. There is no need to exchange it for a German driver’s license. However, if a license was issued outside of the European Union then it is only valid for six months as of the date of arrival in Germany. This provision can be extended for only six months if the planned visit is over six months but less than one year.

An immigrant from a country outside of the European Union who plans on residing in Germany for longer than 2 months will need to acquire a German license known as Fuhrerschein in German. Depending on which country the immigrant is from, it can be as easy as exchanging their license for a German one to taking a written exam and/or a driving test.

Canadian & United States Immigrants

For those immigrants from Canada and the Unites States, it as simple as exchanging a Canadian or USA license for a German one as a general rule. If the USA immigrant is from any of these states it is a simple exchange:

·         Alabama

·         Maryland

·         Arkansas

·         Colorado

·         Illinois

·         Delaware

·         Idaho

·         Iowa

·         Kansas

·         Arizona

·         Kentucky

·         Louisiana 

·         Massachusetts

·         Michigan

·         New Mexico

·         Ohio

·         Oklahoma

·         Pennsylvania

·         Puerto Rico

·         South Carolina

·         South Dakota

·         Texas

·         Utah

·         Washington State

·         West Virginia

·         Wisconsin

·         Virginia

·         Wyoming

However, the residents from these USA states must take a written exam:

·         Florida

·         Minnesota

·         Tennessee

·         Mississippi

·         North Carolina

·         Connecticut

·         Missouri

·         Nebraska

·         Oregon

·         Indiana

·         Washington D.C


All residents from Canadian provinces can simply exchange their license for a German one. For all other states both the written exam and driver’s test will most likely be required. For a smooth transaction, the USA license must have been issues for at least six months previous to arriving in Germany. Proof may be required by German officials.

Other Immigrants

For those immigrants from South Africa, a written exam and a driving test will be required. New Zealanders may be required to take the written exam dependent upon which classification they hold or which they wish to obtain in Germany. Australians will most likely be able to exchange their current license for a German one but may require a vision test dependent upon which territory initially issued the license.

Driver’s Test & Written Exam


The best place to find the requirements necessary to obtain a German license is to contact the local authority when you arrive in Germany. Be forewarned that the German written driving test is somewhat difficult with nearly 30% of drivers failing to pass the exam on the first try. Plenty of materials are available in English as well as taking the exam in English, as the exam is available in a variety of languages. Driving schools also offer classes and driving practice as Germany has nearly a six-hour driving requirement to be met for driving on the Autobahn, country roads and within the city. Some driving schools can be highly priced but there are many with competitive rates for all types of drivers.


Once the German license is secure then the license will be valid for 5 years, as of 203. [...]

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Will I regret moving to Germany from the U.S.?

Germany is a very beautiful country with a lot to do and see. Granted, there is a difference between vacationing somewhere and moving there. Whether or not you will be happy moving to Germany is dependent on many factors that come into play. The United States is a lot different from Germany in some ways and quite similar in others. The streets, the houses, the city centres, and most of all the language. You’ll know once you wake up each morning that you’re no longer in the United States. This however, isn’t a bad thing at all, it’s just different, which is expected. That’s a part of the thrill that comes with moving to the other side of the world, there’s so much to see, so much you haven’t seen before, so much that’s different and intriguing.

So what are the main things that will ultimately determine if you like Germany or not?

·         Language: This is perhaps the biggest challenge a lot of Americans have when moving to Germany. The language isn’t the easiest one to learn, in fact, most people find it rather challenging at first. To solve this problem, go in with an open mind and try. Learning a new language can be fun. In Germany there are quite a large number of language schools where you can enroll to start your German learning quest. You’ll meet nice, welcoming people, make new friends, go on trips, and begin putting sentences together until you’ve finally got it and can have normal conversations with the locals. Because a large number of Germans speak English, the transition into the German Language culture may be a lot simpler for English natives than natives of other languages. What you don’t want to do, is sit home and frown about not knowing the language rather than trying to learn it. The beginning steps may be hard, but it’s definitely worth it in the end.

·         Food: Depending on where you are located in Germany, food may be the least of your problems. The possibility is there to get all the delicious treats that you were used to having in the United States as well as to make some new favorite dishes based on German cuisine. Pizza, Mc Donalds, Starbucks, whatever it is that you felt you couldn’t leave behind at home, you should be able to find it here.

·         Friends: So you’re planning on moving to Germany and the ideal situation would be to pack up all your friends and family in a carry on or two, but that’s just simply not possible. Come with an open mind and an open heart. Be willing to join groups online, chat with the neighbors and make new friends that you can share experiences with. Websites such as have lots of forums where native English speakers arrange regular meet-ups to enjoy a coffee or a night out on the town.


Germany is a great place, and your experience here will depend on your willingness to accept change. [...]

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U.S. Expatriates Face Harder Time to get Financial Advice

There is a lot of confusion and there are a lot of questions when it comes to financial dealings for expatriates. The problem lies in the amount of risk involved when looking into investing in Germany. It is quite possible and plausible to invest while living in Germany, the key is to be extremely cautious and to stay well-informed.



The reason investing is such a risk in Germany is because of the lack of laws protecting the rights of investors and consumers. It is easy to be lied to or swindled, especially when the investor is ignorant or uninformed, and there is little an investor can do about it. So, proceed with caution and be armed with information to leave little room to be cheated.

Investment Options and Products

The first thing to consider when choosing an investment plan is making sure that the platform chosen is willing to make the necessary reports and file the necessary paperwork with the IRS. Not all platforms are willing to do this, but enough are willing, so there are still a variety of options.

It is important to figure out the amount of risk you want to take with your money when choosing an investment plan. Logically, it pays to be financially conservative. While high risk plans may promise high rewards, they also have a high possibility of losing money—be wary of promises of reward with high risk plans; if it sounds too good to be true, it is.

The least risky options include a cash savings plan or bank deposit with a bank that is covered by the government guarantee scheme. Another low risk option is a guaranteed pension plan or a deposit with an insurance company—after that, you have investment funds and mutual funds, which range on a scale from Risk Category , which is low risk, to Risk Category 5, which is very high risk. The remaining higher risk options include closed-ended funds, direct investments in government subsidized long-term projects, investments in residential property, zertifikate, which are investments or certificates which use derivatives to reflect movements in markets or indices; and hedge funds or private equity investments.

Tips for Making Investments in Germany

One of the most common ways people invest in Germany is through their banks; however, that is not always the best or safest route. Typically, a bank employee will earn promotions and raises based on the volume of their sales, and with the minimal consumer protection laws, this leaves the potential investor subject too much risk as the bank employee will be focused on the sale and not on educating, advising, or informing the customer.

Independent advisers can be helpful. Make sure to request all of the information they are offering in writing, so that options can be researched and mulled over before making decision. If the adviser is not willing to give the information in writing, then it is time to look into a different adviser.

One of the best options when investing is to go with a platform. Platforms may cost a little bit annually, but they tend to be simpler and more efficient.

Keep in mind that Riester-Rente or Rürup-Rente plans are private pension plans, which means that the funds will not be available until the customer reaches age 60, and receiving the money becomes more complicated should the customer decide to leave Germany.

Lastly, tax laws change over time, so it is ideal to consult a tax specialist before making any decisions. Tax specialists will not give any advice about the investment, they will simply offer the tax information related to the investment.


While financial advice and investing is by no means simple, it is a smart way to handle money. In Germany, while it may be advisable to proceed with extreme caution, it is completely plausible to invest while living in the country.[...]

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