Settling in Germany: Basic information – Part 1

Settling in Germany: Basic information – Part 1

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    Getting settled in a new country is a challenge. Have a look below for an overview on what you need to know to make yourself at home in Germany.

    Medical care in Germany

    In Germany, patients with everyday medical issues or ailments first see a Hausarzt (general practitioner). Most people choose a doctor near their residence. There are also many practicing Fachärzte (specialists), and the general practitioner decides whether a patient should be directed to a specialist.

    Opening times vary at doctors’ offices, but most practices are closed on weekends and on Wednesday afternoons. In urgent situations, patients should head to the emergency room at a hospital. 112 is the number to dial in Germany for an ambulance in emergency situations.

    Driving in Germany

    Germany uses a right-hand driving system, so other cars are passed only from the left. The country’s highways are famous for not having sections without speed limits, but a good rule of thumb is not to surpass 130 km/h. If an accident occurs, the police should be notified in order for an insurance company to assume the costs. Those who want to purchase a car here can head to an auto dealer or find numerous offers online and in the classified section of newspapers. After buying the car, it must be registered at the department of transportation, known as the Strassenverkehrsamt. More information can be obtained at the city hall. For those living in Germany, foreign drivers’ licenses are generally valid for six months. After that period of time, the foreign license must be switched over to a German license, unless the driver already possesses an EU license. In some cases, this may be passing the German driving exams.

    German govt, helps immigrants to integrate in German society

    Immigration office in Germany

    Visas for foreigners are handled by the Ausländeramt (Immigration Office). Visa applicants must prove that they are financially stable and will have enough money at their disposal during their stay in Germany. For students, that means having at least 500 euros ($660) on hand each month. Student visas also require presenting a passport, proof of health insurance, three passport-sized headshots, proof of residence from a landlord and, in some cases, a statement from a doctor. Universities’ offices for foreign students can help new students take care of these matters.

    Shopping in Germany

    Shops in smaller towns are typically open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, but in larger cities, opening hours are generally longer. Bakers, butchers and pharmacies often open earlier in the morning. Large supermarkets also open earlier in the morning and stay open longer into the evening. Expect small businesses to close down for lunch in the afternoon – from 1:00 to 3:00 pm, for example.

    On Saturdays, many stores are not open as long as during the week, and nearly all stores close on Sundays. For smaller purchases that need to be made outside of regular business hours, small convenience stores called kiosks and gas stations may be the answer.


    It’s not just a stereotype that Germans appreciate punctuality. But parties are an exception; it’s okay to show up a bit later. Otherwise, Germans have a reputation for being distanced and not very easy-going. Those traits are reflected in the language: An unknown or older person is generally addressed with the formal pronoun Sie. The informal Du can be offered once two people have gotten better acquainted. Young people generally refer to each other as Du right away, though. A peck on the cheek is a typical greeting among friends, but not among strangers. Bowing when meeting someone is not customary, but a handshake is.
    German bakery

    You can find a variety of Breads in Bakeries

    Currency in Germany

    The German currency is the euro. Almost all shops accept debit cards, which you can apply for at a bank. You will also have quick access to his money, for example by way of ATMs. Most banks offer a checking account for students for free. Asking can pay off.

    For Further information Visit:
    Settling in Germany: Basic information – Part 2

    Image & article source: WWW.DW.DE


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