Advisory Living in Germany

Ready to Start Life in Germany?

Welcome to Germany, the largest economy in Europe! We might be biased, but we think moving to Germany is an excellent choice. With its diverse job market and high employment rates as well as its excellent education system, it has been an attractive destination for expats and international students for decades now.

German cities offer the perfect combination of urban life, green parks and outdoors, as well as abundant opportunities for multicultural experiences. The metropolitan areas of Berlin and Munich are famous for their highest living standards with strong public transportation and exciting nightlife.

8 Tips for Living in Germany

Moving abroad can be challenging but we have put together the most important facts about life in Germany to help you settle in and make the most of your student life. Exploring the country with all its culture, customs and quirks is sure to be a thrilling experience for you.

Both Munich and Berlin offer great infrastructure and public transportation. The Berlin subway system is even longer than that of London or Paris. All Macromedia campus locations are located in the heart of the city and easily accessible by subway.

In most German cities, students can buy tickets at special rates so be sure to check if you can save a few bucks before hopping on a train.

If you are working a (part-time) job while studying in Germany, you might be subject to German taxes. The German tax system is not that complicated: You pay income taxes throughout the year, usually with the employer automatically deducting tax from each paycheck. If you have filed a tax return, adjustments for possible under- or overpayments are made in the following year.

Even though you are not required by law to carry an ID with you at all times, it can, especially for foreigners, save you a lot of hassle. Unlike in many other countries, German police are, in many situations without any specific reason or suspicion, entitled to stop you and request and verify your personal data.

In practice, this means that the police are entitled to detain you until they can verify that you are whoever you claim to be, if you are not carrying any ID documents. Foreigners can also be detained until the police can verify that you are legally present in Germany.

Health insurance is mandatory for everyone living and working in Germany. The German health care system offers an excellent standard of care and is based on the principle of solidarity between the healthy and the sick.

If you get sick and need to see a doctor you can schedule an appointment either in person or over the telephone. A growing number of practices now also allow patients to book appointments online.

In Germany, there’s a wide selection of telephone, Internet and mobile phone options available and most of the providers offer English-speaking support. But be sure to check the “”fine print”” in German if you’d like to close a contract with one of them.

While water and sewage usually are included in your rental contract, electricity most likely is not. Your first bill will come about a month after you move in and your monthly payments will be based on the previous tenant’s usage. If your usage is lower than your monthly payments, you should receive a refund at the end of the year. If it is over that amount, make sure you put extra money away to be ready for that final settlement.

Although Germans may seem a bit reserved at first, they usually are thrilled to meet new people, especially from an international background. If you’re looking for company, why not join a local sports club or go for a coffee with your fellow students?

Pro tip: Living in a shared flat with roommates can also help you making acquaintances in your new home and explore the city with the help of locals.

Recycling in Germany can seem an unmanageable task. The bins you will encounter usually are color coded: depending on whether the lid is green, blue, yellow, brown or gray, the bin indicates which kind if waste is meant to be put in it.

You can find various guides on how to do it online. It takes a little time to get used to, but managing to figure out the German recycling system is an accomplishment worthy of being featured on your résumé, for sure!

Pfand is the deposit of between 8 and 25 Cents on most glass and plastic bottles and cans. You can collect this deposit by taking empty bottles to the bottle return machine (Leergutautomat) at a supermarket and handing the machine receipt in at the checkout.

By the way: the ‘Pfand gehört daneben’ campaign encourages people to place Pfand-able bottles next to public bins for poor and homeless people to collect.

Renting an apartment in Germany

How does it work?

The German rental market is competitive, especially in urban areas. However, excellent public transport means you can afford to cast your net a little wider than just the city center. Whether you are looking for a flat of your own or a shared apartment, there are plenty of online marketplaces to find accommodation.

How much money do you need to live in Germany?

On average, students in Germany spend around 850 Euros per month on living expenses, the largest portion usually is rent. If you start a part-time job or an internship during your studies, you can earn a little extra money and even gather some qualified working experience for your résumé. Win-win situation!

Where is the best place to live in Germany?

Macromedia has campus locations in two of the most popular cities in Germany: Munich and Berlin. While Berlin is a buzzing intercultural melting pot with a laid-back mentality and great creative minds, Munich boasts the 3rd highest quality of life in cities across the world as well as major global corporations.

Learning German

Can you live in Germany without knowing German?

Admittedly, German is not the easiest language to master. But with patience and enough practice, you will be able to communicate with locals quite quickly. And even if your speaking skills aren’t perfect, Germans will love you for speaking to them in their first language. Find learning programs and apps here.

Online events for international students
Your direct line to the Student Advisory Service

Patricia Carolina Garcia

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