So you’re thinking about becoming an expat, but where should you move? Germany is one of the world’s leading economies and has a lot to offer for global nomads. As a center for business as well as lifestyle, you’ll find countless professional opportunities and a supportive and fulfilling community. With so many reasons to go, let this guide convince you that moving to Germany is the perfect choice for you.
Moving to Germany as an Expat
Travel in Germany
One of the best perks of living within the European Union is the ease of travel, making it a perfect spot for freelancers and digital nomads. Better yet, Germany is smack dab in the middle of the continent, meaning you can get anywhere from Paris to Prague within a day’s drive. Plus, the rise of budget airlines like RyanAir and EasyJet means you can get basically anywhere on the continent quickly and cheaply. You’ll also be able to explore some of Germany’s top destinations right in your own backyard, with grand cities, fairytale castles, and beautiful scenery.
Infrastructure & Stability in Germany
While this may seem like an odd reason for moving to Germany, the infrastructure in Germany is no joke. In fact, the country’s public transportation is so efficient and accessible, you may not need a car at all, even if you plan to travel long distances. If you do get a car, the Autobahn highway system can shuttle you across the country in no time at all. You may be a global nomad, but you’ll have no trouble getting around. In addition to excellent public transport, Germany is also known for its clean streets and low crime. The government here is orderly, and public programs ensure a high quality of life for every resident, expats included.
With one of Europe’s most robust economies, German companies are always hiring skilled workers, making it a great place for global nomads. Germany is a hotbed for science, engineering and finance, and STEM workers are always in high demand, especially if you can learn German. For English speakers, there are also many opportunities in education and childcare. With a plethora of online job boards and company listings, you should find plenty of opportunities. Here are some tips on how to land a job abroad.
Once you have your job, you can sleep easy knowing that you’ll be treated well. German law stresses protections for workers, with policies limiting hours and ensuring paid leave. The average workweek is 36-40 hours, and the law actually mandates that your workweek doesn’t exceed 48 hours per week or 8 hours per day. Better yet, your overtime must be compensated with extra pay or time off. In addition, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever need to work on Sundays, as it’s considered an important rest day. You’ll also receive at least 20 days of paid vacation, and mandatory paid sick leave, should you need it.
With the excellent work-life balance, it’s no wonder that Germany is a wonderful place to have a family. Women are guaranteed paid maternity leave six weeks before and eight weeks after childbirth, and there is also a robust parental leave program available to both men and women. Parents also receive support from the government, in the form of monthly payments. Childcare services like daycare are also subsidized and affordable. If you have older children, you’ll also be pleased to know that higher education is free of charge, even for the country’s most distinguished universities.
Variety of Locales
What makes moving to Germany such a great option for expats is that it can fit anyone’s lifestyle. Love big cities? Metropolises like Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich offer the perfect experience, with professional opportunities at both start-ups and multinational corporations, as well as large expat communities. There are also dozens of small and mid-sized cities; Nuremberg and Leipzig, among many others, maintain their historical old-world charm while developing hubs for industry and technology. If city life isn’t for you, Germany has breathtaking and varied countryside perfect for digital nomads, with peaceful villages from the mountains to the sea.
Lastly, one of the greatest perks about living in Germany is the healthcare system. Germany has world-class doctors and hospitals that are available to all residents for a minimum contribution rate. Depending on your salary and circumstances, you may also choose to have private health insurance. There are also options for international health insurance geared specifically towards expats, like those offered by Cigna and Allianz, just to name a few. No matter what your needs, you’ll be able to choose a plan that’s perfect for you, and know that you’ll receive top-notch care.