Living in Germany

Welcome at SYNERGIE!

We are pleased that you have shown interest in working with us. For questions regarding living and working in Germany please feel free to contact us personally. The first key information you will need you can find below about these subjects:

 

Living in Germany

Living

Housing offers can be found on specialized real estate websites or in the local newspapers. You can either rent or buy a home. When you decide on buying a home, several (financial) requirements have to be fulfilled.  For a temporary residence you can for example stay at a hotel, a youth hostel or with private providers. When you rent a home there are additional costs supplementary to the rent – please consider those.

In small towns and rural areas you pay about 8 euros per square metre. In large cities expect to pay about 14 euros per square metre. It is common that you pay a security deposit to the landlord at the beginning (usually 1 to 3 months rent).  For television, telephone, internet, energy and water there are plenty of separate providers.

Money & banking

For all money transactions (rent, salary, etc.), you will need a bank account.  The currency in Germany is the Euro. It is relatively simple to open a bank account. You need your passport, your certificate of residency, and in some cases a pay statement from your employer (SYNERGIE).

Mobility

In Germany you have many means for transportation available to you: car,  plane, bus, train, bike

  • Car: Before entering your car please ensure that your driving licence is valid in Germany. You are also required to register your car at the car registration office and your car has to pass a general inspection by a certified mechanic. Both are subject to charges.
    Hint: The general inspection has to be repeated regularly.
    Please be sure to always have your driving licence and vehicle registration with you while driving – you may need to show them to the police if you are stopped. And also: Please be aware of the different speed limits in and out of the cities.
  • Plane: For longer trips in or out of the country there are several flight connections you can choose from. Airports near SYNERGIE branches are the Airport Stuttgart, the Baden-Airpark near Baden-Baden / Karlsruhe and the EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg. The biggest German airport and also well accessible from southwestern Germany is the Airport Frankfurt am Main.
  • Public transport (bus, tram, subway): Germany has a well-developed network of Public Transportation ("ÖPNV") available, and is a convenient option for travelling. The stops are usually within walking distance and easy to reach. You can purchase your tickets either from a vending machine at the bus stop, directly from the driver or at a sales outlet of the transport association. If you use public transport frequently, it would be a good idea to purchase weekly, monthly or annual ticket. Children usually pay less. Pupils, students, seniors or handicapped persons usually pay discounted rates.
  • Trains & city-bus: Longer trips to other locations can easily be reached by train. The "Deutsche Bahn" is the biggest provider, though there are also smaller regional providers. Tickets can be purchased at a ticket counter, the vending machine at the station, or online on the internet.
    Alternatively you can use the city-bus which stops at several locations and also offers international connections. They often stop at the main train station or a special stop for busses (ZOB). You can purchase your tickets directly from the driver or online at the homepage of the provider.
  • Bicycle: The bicycle is a very popular means of transportation in Germany. When riding by bike you also have to comply to all traffic regulations.  Also make sure that it is in proper condition (especially its lights).

Social security 

The employment contracts at SYNERGIE are formulated in a way, so you are automatically insured in the social security system (the exception are marginal employment with a salary up to 450 euros). Social security covers illness, unemployment, accidents and the need for long-term care.

Health

We don’t wish this on anybody, but if you are sick you are insured via the social security system. You can find a physician for your needs in the phone book or on the internet – in most cases the website offers a good overall view where you live.

Clubs & courses

Germany offers a wide variety of (sports) clubs for any interest. Here you can make contact with others and find new friends. Some other good opportunities to make contact with others new to Germany are the integration courses or (language) courses at the adult educational centres (Volkshochschule, VHS).

Learning German

If you have any difficulties with the German language in everyday life, there are several courses, which will help you to learn the language. There is also the possibility to receive promotion. You can take courses from private providers as well as adult educational centres (Volkshochschule, VHS), which offer such courses.

We recommend visiting an integrational course, where you learn in addition to the language, many things about the German culture and where you can also socialize with others. Talk to us: We will help you to find the appropriate course for you.

>> online language cours "ich-will-deutsch-lernen" of "Volkshochschule" and Federal Ministry of Education and Research (cost-free)
>> German language courses at the Goethe-Institut (in Germany and 92 countries all over the world)

Schools & child care

You can find information on child care and education on the website of your town or community. There you will get a first overview of the offerings as well as contact information.

Nursery schools (0-3 years) & preschools (3-6 years)

If necessary your child can visit a nursery school or a preschool ("Kindergarten") where they can play with children of the same age, have meals and learn the first things about nature and technology. They are supervised by trained educators, who help and support your children with their first (learning) steps. Nursery schools are run by private and public agencies as well as churches. Prices may vary considerably depending on the region you live in.

School (from 6 years)

Children 6 years and older are required to go to school as the attendance is mandatory in Germany (in some cases you can start school with 5 years). Education is a responsibility of the federal states, so subject matter and textbooks may vary.

The first four years your children will visit the primary school. At the end of the fourth year teachers and parents decide together which secondary school is the best choice for your child:

  • Hauptschule: non-academic secondary school for grades five through nine or ten,
  • Realschule: mid-level secondary school for grades five through ten,
  • Gymnasium: academic secondary school for grades five through twelve/thirteen.

For some years now there is also the new form of  community schools (Gemeinschaftsschule). Another point to note: The school system in Rhineland-Palatinate is similar to the one in Baden-Württemberg but differs in some points.

Find further information on the topic "living in Germany":

 

>> Learn more about "The Southwest of Germany"

<< Learn more about "Working in Germany"

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