What you need to know about living and working in Germany
Our big neighbor to the south has a lot to offer, both when it comes to culture and job opportunities. If you dream of changing your everyday life with new experiences and the opportunity to get to know a new country and a new culture, you do not have to travel to the other side of the globe. South of the border is a versatile – and huge – country that offers really good opportunities for Danes looking for jobs abroad.
You will find everything from vibrant city life in cities like Berlin, Hamburg and Munich to landscapes with magnificent forests, mountains and the impressive castles for which Germany is world famous. Here you can read more about working in Germany, about German culture and the cost of living.
Germany: The basic facts
Germany houses the largest population in the EU, as a total of 83 million people live here. inhabitants. The country has an area of 357,500 square meters and is divided into 16 states, so-called Bundesländer, which each have their own capital and extensive autonomy. Germany is Denmark’s most important trading partner and a key player in Europe economically, culturally and politically. Worldwide, Germany is the fourth largest economy.
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and reunification in 1990, the differences between East and West Germany have gradually diminished, but both economically and culturally, there are still differences between the eastern and western parts of the formerly divided country.
A job in Germany gives you insight into German culture and history
German history is familiar to most and contains several gloomy chapters. However, Germany is also known for its way of managing and disseminating history, and i.a. in Berlin you will find many monuments and memorials from World War II, just as many museums deal with the subject. In Berlin’s cityscape, history is constantly present in the form of remnants of the Berlin Wall, “stumbling blocks” of brass in the sidewalk in front of houses where Jewish residents fell victim to the Holocaust and much more.
Culturally, Germany has plenty to offer, and the country is prominent in areas such as philosophy, music and film. The size of the country offers great variations in customs and traditions, and you will have completely different experiences in Northern Germany than in Southern Germany. Northern Germany is generally very similar to Denmark, while in southern Germany you clearly feel that you are closer to southern Europe. This is also where you will find the famous Oktoberfest, which every year attracts guests from all over the world.
German cuisine is more than sauerkraut and schnitzler
In northern German cuisine, you will probably feel at home, because it has many features in common with Danish. Here, especially potatoes and coarse vegetables, sourdough bread, smoked products and even open sandwiches are eaten. In southern Germany, people often eat dumplings instead of potatoes, and soup is a popular eat.
Of course, the Germans are also crazy about schnitzels, sauerkraut and currywurst, but especially in the big cities, the influence from the rest of the world is also noticeable due to the large immigration that has been to Germany over time. It provides a versatile culinary environment, and especially in diverse Berlin, you can try food from around the world if you choose to live and work here.
This is how it is to work in Germany
The Germans are known for their sense of order – “Ordnung muss sein”. This also applies to business purposes where punctuality, courtesy and reliability are highly valued. Prosecution is done with the formal “They”, and negotiating partners will always prosecute each other by last name and possibly. professional title. For a Dane, it will probably feel more bureaucratic to do business with Germans, but it is important to adhere to their procedures and to be punctual and well-prepared when invited to a meeting.
The degree of formality varies, of course, depending on the type of company you are in. A large, traditional company will be more formal than a young start-up, where the environment is often informal and more reminiscent of a Danish work environment. Among the younger Germans, most are good at English, but in negotiations it is always an advantage to be able to act in German to build trust and avoid misunderstandings.
Work in Berlin
Germany is in general high sought for European expats to live in, this is why getting a job, especially in Berlin, might be tiresome, so you need to have patience while looking for job offers in Berlin. However, the IT and healthcare fields tend to be always requesting new employees, so if you specialize in some of these it will be easier for you to land a job in Berlin.
How to find housing and work in Germany
Start from home when you need to find housing in Germany. There are numerous websites and groups where you can start your search – eg the website WG-gesucht, where you can find both apartments and housing associations, where you live with others in a so-called Wohngemeinschaft. Prices vary, depending on which city you choose, but the cost of living is generally a little lower in Germany than in Denmark, just as you pay less in taxes and VAT.
Germany is Denmark’s most important trading partner, and therefore you as a Dane will be able to find jobs for Danish companies in Germany. In the larger cities, there are also international environments with many start-ups and jobs in IT, customer service, marketing, etc.
When you arrive in Germany, you must report your arrival to the citizen service. Here you also get a tax ID, which must be used when you have to pay tax on your income and every time you are in contact with your tax office (Finanzamt).
Taxes in Germany
If you want to stay to work and live in germany, is mandatory to register your address in the local citizens office (Bürgeramt) in order to get and ID and you have to this within the first 14 days after your arrival. Taxes in Germany goes from 0% to 45% of the annual income.
Where to learn German?
If you’re planning to stay longer in Germany, we encourage you to learn the language, this way you can get more into their customs and traditions, plus they will appreciate your efforts to blend in. In this website, you can find affordable alternatives to learn german.
That is why you need to live and find a job in Germany
A stay in Germany is ideal for you who want to expand your cultural horizons without traveling too far. As a Dane, you have many job opportunities, and especially in Berlin, a real big city adventure awaits you in a diverse and interesting city.