How to ensure your move to Germany is a success

How to ensure your move to Germany is a success

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How to ensure your move to Germany is a success

Are you thinking of emigrating to Germany, but are not sure if it’s for you, or even where to start? Are you worried about adapting to your new environment? Or perhaps you’ve already moved and are struggling to readjust. Maria Rives, a personal and wellness coach, shares her tips for a happy, safe and successful move.

Moving countries is a daunting prospect for most - but it doesn’t have to be. In this article, I am going to talk about three basic things that you must consider before you leave; principles that I myself found very useful when I first moved to Germany. 

1. Consider why you’re leaving

First things first, before you emigrate, you need to think about why you are leaving. What are your goals? Are they clear? Does Germany provide you with what you are looking for? Perhaps you’re looking for a job, or to learn German? Are you looking for love, better living conditions or a different culture? How long do you want to be away? 

The clearer in your mind your reason (or reasons) for moving are, the easier the migration process becomes, since every step should be a step towards achieving that goal. 

2. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of moving

Migrating, like everything in life, has its advantages and disadvantages. It’s important to weigh these up before making the move. 

The drawbacks are:

  • You will miss many things (your people, your home, your food, your language)
  • You will face loneliness (especially at the beginning)
  • You, your friends and your hometown will change while you're away. You will become less involved and distances may grow
  • You are going to have to face your fears alone, and that can be difficult
  • Sometimes, you will suffer racism

On the other hand, there are many advantages to moving abroad, including:

  • You will improve your CV (whether you work or not, living abroad itself changes your life experience and helps to grow your CV)
  • You will see other ways of doing things
  • You will find new places, meet new people, discover a different language and culture
  • You will meet your limits and learn that you are capable of reaching far beyond them
  • You will live a series of experiences that will enrich you and help you get to know yourself
  • You will expand your knowledge of the world, helping you to reduce mental limits and borders
  • You will learn to value things more, especially the things you had before and the small milestones you achieve

Balancing these factors and deciding whether, for you, the positives offset the negatives, will help you decide whether emigrating is the right decision. If you do decide to move, having this list in the back of your mind can be a source of comfort once you’re there; helping you to remain sure that, however difficult things get, you are doing the right thing. 

3. Get yourself (physically and emotionally) ready for the trip

Now you’ve psyched yourself, it’s time to make the move. You need to prepare yourself in two different ways: practically and emotionally. 

Practical things to prepare

Some practical things you need to think about are:

  • Visas (if you’re not from the EU)
  • Money - How will you cover your expenses, especially at the beginning?
  • Language - It’s a good idea to start learning German in advance, or at least search for schools online
  • CVs - Get your CV prepared. Translate your qualifications and identify which ones need recognition in Germany
  • Health - If you’re from the EU, your European health card covers you at first, but sooner or later everyone has to sort out German health insurance
  • Contacts - Search “[your nationality] in Germany” on Facebook and get asking questions
  • Prepare for bureaucracy - Dig out all the documents you need

Emotional preparation

But, perhaps more importantly, there’s some emotional preparation you need to do as well:

  • Understand why you are moving (we looked at this above). This will be useful if you start feeling blue or experience culture shock
  • Put aside, as much as possible, your stereotypes. This opens possibilities
  • Make a list of your personal and work goals and set up a road map, then fulfil them. But remain flexible. In unfamiliar environments, some things take more effort than you might expect. 
  • Say goodbye to your people, but keep in touch with them, without isolating yourself from locals
  • Find places to practise your hobbies
  • Give yourself time to adjust. You will feel terrible on some days. And that is fine. 

Ready yourself for the move

Whether you are thinking of coming to Germany, or you are already here, preparing yourself emotionally and physically for the move will do you a world of wonders - and make sure your migration is a success.

If you want any support with your move, you can contact Maria to work out a plan at The first session is free. 



Maria Rives

I am Maria Rives, Spanish lady, born in the USA (as the Bruce Springsteen song) due my parents where working there. I grew up in Barcelona. When I was 24...

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drafts 14:27 | 26 May 2020