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In this page: Communities of Expatriates | Ranking of Cities | Renting an Apartment | School System | Health System | Tourism and Culture | Individual and Civic Freedoms | Religion


Communities of Expatriates

The Number of Expatriates
Expats in Germany make up 10% of the total population. They come mainly from European countries (50%) or Turkey (28%). Asians (10%), Africans (4%) and Americans (3%) are the expatriate minorities in Germany.
Immigration Authority
Landesamt - Ausländerbehörde
Transportation Companies For Moving/Removals
Robben & Wientjes

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Ranking of Cities

Cost of Living
Most German cities, while offering high standards of living, are cheaper than their European counterparts. Mercer's Cost of Living Survey ranks Munich 77th, followed by Frankfurt (88th) and Berlin (100th)
Quality of Life
Many German cities are ranked among the best cities in the world in terms of quality of life. Mercer's 2017 Quality of Living Survey ranks Munich 4th out of 231, followed closely by Dusseldorf (6th), Frankfurt (7th) and Berlin (13th)
Sanitary Conditions
No great difference between cities. Sanitary conditions are good.
For Further Information
Quality of Living Worldwide City Rankings –Survey - Mercer
Cost of Living Worldwide City Rankings –Survey - Mercer

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Renting an Apartment

Description of apartments
In large cities, you will have a choice between the old (Altbau) or the new (Neubau). In adverts, the monthly rent is given before maintenance/service charges and these charges are given separately NK (Nebenkosten). There may be central heating (Zentralheizung) or heating on each floor (Gasetageheizung).
Normal Lease Term
1 year renewable by tacit agreement. 3 months' notice.
Rental Costs
Guarantee deposit: equivalent of 3 months' rent without charges. When the key is given back, the deposit is entirely recovered if the state of the apartment is as it was, or partially recovered if there has been damage.
Agencies or Private Rentals
If you are in a hurry, you can go through an agency (Makler) which will charge you 1.5 x monthly rent. Otherwise, you can find an apartment through adverts in the newspapers. The Saturday papers are the best or the real estate page on the websites of the bigger papers.
Rental Agency Websites
Short term furnished apartment agency
Private Rentals Announcements Online
Immobilien scout 24 - private individuals' adverts
Adverts of the regional newspaper Berliner Zeitung
Adverts of the regional newspaper Tagesspiegel
Adverts of the national newspaper FAZ
Other Possibilities For Accommodation
Furnished apartments for rent by monthly or hotel-apartments.
For Further Information

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School System

School Level
After Kindergarten (nursery school), children go to Grundschule (primary school) at age 6 and it lasts for 4 years. Then the performing pupils go to Gymnasium (secondary school) at age 10, which leads to the A - levels (Abitur). The pupils who perform less well are oriented towards shorter schooling (Realschule or Hauptschule). For further information about the level of German schools, consult the results of the PISA comparative test.

After the baccalaureate, the Universities (Universitäten) offer all subjects. Note the existence of Fachhochschulen (professional institutes, higher schools of technology) which are shorter, 3 year courses and very oriented towards professional practice.

International Schools
Lycée français de Berlin
Collège Voltaire
The American John F. Kennedy School
The British School
The Japanese school
For Further Information
List of international schools in Berlin
The international schools of Berlin

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Health System

Quality of Healthcare
The healthcare system offers high quality care. The public system or the private system are accessible according to the type of health insurance.
International Hospitals
In general you can communicate in English in German hospitals (in Berlin, for example, the university hospital La Charité).
Health Insurance
Accessibility of the Health Insurance Network to Foreigners
Health Ministry
The Ministry of Health website

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Tourism and Culture

Different Forms of Tourism

There are many places for tourists to visit:
- historic city centres: Regensburg, Würzburg, Goerlitz;
- museums: Pinakothek in Munich, museum island in Berlin;
- palaces : Sans-Souci at Potsdam, Charlottenburg in Berlin;
- cathedrals : Cologne, Berlin, Aachen;
- the banks of the Elbe;
- the remains of the Berlin wall.
Operas, concert halls, theaters, festivals, museums, art galleries, open air cinema, etc.
Castles, parks and gardens

Near Berlin, at Potsdam, the park of Sans-Souci palace covers nearly 300 hectares. Also worth visiting is the zoological garden (Zoologischer Garten) in Berlin, the park of the palace of Nymphenburg in Munich and the Herrenhausen royal gardens in Hanover.

Nature parks

Altmühltal, Eifel, Saar Hunsrück, Schiefergebirge, the Swabian and Franconian forest, Schwalm-Nette, the Black Forest Center/North, Südeifel, the island of Usedom.

National Parks

Eifel, Kellerwald-Edersee, Lakes of Schleswig-Holstein, Lakes of Hamburg, Lakes of Lower Saxony, Jasmund, Western Pomeranian Bodden Landscape Park, Müritz, Unteres Odertal, Harz, Hainich, Saxony Switzerland, Bavarian forest, Berchtesgaden.

Aachen, Cologne Cathedral, Berliner Dom.
Aquatic parks, health resorts and spas.
Many lakes, including: Constance, Müritzsee, Chiemsee, Schwerin and Starnberg.

Big rivers, including: Rhine, Danube, Main, Weser and Elbe.

Canals, including: Brandenburg and in Mecklenburg.

Additionally, there is access to the Baltic and North Sea coasts.
Winter Sports
The Bavarian Alps, Allgäu, Black Forest, Harz, Thuringe forest, and Saxony are have skiing areas. The highest summit is the Zugspitze (2962 m) in the Bavarian Alps.
Outdoor Activities
Cycling, walking, canoeing, climbing, rollerblading.
The biggest store in Germany is in Berlin: KaDeWe Kaufhaus of the West. Friedrichstrasse, also in Berlin, is unmissable.

All large cities in Germany have pedestrian areas which offer a wide choice of stores.

Cultural Organizations
Ministry of Culture

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Individual and Civic Freedoms

Political Freedom
Civil Liberty
World Ranking of Freedom of the Press According to "Reporters sans Frontières", 2021 report : 13/180
Free Access to the Internet
Rule of Law
Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights
Women's Condition
Equality of status and freedom for women is written into the fundamental law. 54% of those enrolled at university are women. Between 65% and 73% of women work, depending on the region, but they often work part time and for a salary which is lower than that of men.

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Degree of Freedom
Bible, Koran or Talmud. German fundamental law guarantees freedom of religion.
Christian 62.5% (Catholic 31.4%, Protestant 31.1%), Muslim 4%, Jewish 0.2%.
Role of Religion in Society
Religion has little influence on everyday life and business. However, in some regions like Bavaria, religion is more present.

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Latest Update: June 2023