Settling in Germany: Basic information – Part 2

Settling in Germany: Basic information – Part 2

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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.

    Equality in Germany

    In Germany, men and women are held equal. That means, for example, that both men and women may vote and that women are not to be discriminated against in the workplace. Large companies, institutions and universities have employees whose tasks include making sure that women aren’t disadvantaged in job postings. Some companies have established quotas for women. In that case, a job posting will often bear disclaimers like: “Among candidates with comparable qualifications, women and those with disabilities will be given preference.” People also cannot be discriminated against based on their religion.

    Internet in Germany

    Germany has a wide range of options for Internet service. Be sure to compare the rates and conditions of various Internet service providers before selecting one. Flat-rate Internet service is generally the most cost-effective option. For students who come to Germany without their own computer, the Internet cafes usually located throughout the student districts are an option.

    Doctor and stethoscope

    Health insurance is a requirement for German residents

    Health insurance in Germany

    German residents are required to have health insurance. Both private and public insurance providers exist. International students are generally insured by public insurance providers unless arrangements are made otherwise, and special rates are available for students. Treatment by a doctor is provided without charge, and prescribed medicines are given either for free or at a reduced cost.

    Costs of living in Germany

    Statistically speaking, students should plan on spending around 700 euros a month. Since the cost of living in Germany is relatively high, newcomers may want to find a relatively cheap living arrangement to start out with. For students, the most inexpensive options are dormitories or shared apartments. The latter are called Wohngemeinschaften – WGs for short.

    On the other hand, students often receive discounts by presenting their student ID cards anywhere from museums to concerts to the theater. Students can also save when traveling by taking advantage of special student offers and rates.

    For those who encounter financial difficulties in Germany, student service unions may be able to offer some help. It’s also worth checking in with church-sponsored associations that are housed on campus.

    Housing in Germany

    An especially popular way to find shared apartments among students is a website called There, both apartment seekers and those looking for a roommate can place ads, send messages and browse what’s available. It’s worth noting, though, that the website works best once the apartment seeker has made it to Germany. Most people will want to meet their prospective roommates in person before offering the lease.

    Of course, there are the classic ways of looking for an apartment, too – scouring university bulletin boards or the ads placed in daily and weekly newspapers. Students from abroad may also be able to find some held at the foreign students’ office on campus when it comes to finding living arrangements.

    Rent in Germany runs fairly high but differs substantially from city to city. Munich is currently the most expensive, while Leipzig offers some of the cheapest apartments.

    Waste separation in Germany

    “Waste separation” may sound odd, but it’s a typical German phenomenon. Garbage and organic waste are separated at home before being disposed of. There are designated containers for paper, packaging, glass and so-called Restmüll – that is, everything that doesn’t fit into the other categories. Waste disposal differs from city to city. In some cities, public containers for glass, paper and recyclable packaging are located around town. In others, each household is given individual receptacles. No matter where you live, though, the color codes remain relatively constant: brown for organic waste, yellow for recyclable packaging materials, blue for paper and green for Restmüll.

    It’s also worth noting that many containers come with what’s called a Pfand, or deposit. It signifies that if you return the empty containers to the store, you’ll receive a small amount of money back.


    For Further information Visit:
    Settling in Germany: Basic information – Part 1

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