What's best about life in Germany and Berlin?
If you've recently become an expat, what's your favourite aspect of your new surroundings so far?
Britons in France may say the availability of work, expats in the Netherlands (or more specifically Amsterdam) may comment on the impressive safety and security, and many more expats around the globe are likely to appreciate the opportunity to learn a second language (and cherish the fact that they're in the optimum position to do so).
If you were to ask British expats in Germany what they value most about their chosen country, you're bound to get a whole host of varied answers, as stated in a recent poll carried out by The Local Germany.
The digital news publisher presented a poll to its expat readers asking what they loved most about living in Germany. Sensible laws and an open society were rated as top by a third of respondents, with one commenting that "law and order and safety, gender equality and a modern society" all help make Germany "one of the best countries in the world".
Affordable healthcare in Germany was also a popular answer. The public health insurance schemes were particularly praised by one respondent, who mentioned how reassuring it is to know that she won't be put under financial stress if she or a family member falls ill (accessing the right healthcare is easy, too, as we found out in our blog on finding the right doctor as an expat.
Even more pro-Germany factors included an effective transport infrastructure (trams make traversing the larger cities easy while the autobahn system means "driving can be a pleasure in Germany," according to one respondent), the amount of funding the country puts into science, and, of course, the beer.
The chances are that if you are one of the many British expats who is interested in moving to the country in the not-too-distant future, you are likely to pay particular attention to studies and surveys such as this. And, if you do, you may have noticed that the German capital, Berlin, has received a great deal of positive attention recently.
The recent HSBC Expat Explorer Survey ranked Berlin as the world's number one place for culture out of the 52 cities surveyed. Berlin was awarded the top spot after 70 per cent of the expats living there ranked the cultural scene very highly. The verdict may well make sense to anyone who has spent some time in Berlin: the large number of museums and art galleries, excellent nightlife, and many events and festivals all add up to create a culturally rich city.
For much the same reasons, the capital evidently has a favourable reputation with younger professionals looking for a vibrant place to live and work. A survey from apartment search engine Nestpick, covering 110 cities and asking respondents about several factors including housing affordability, immigration tolerance, and personal freedoms, concluded that Berlin was the best city for millennials to move to.
One young UK expat in Berlin, Ryan Barrell, told the Huffington Post that Berlin is "cheaper than London, it's a lot less busy, and things are a lot more relaxed here", adding that "the city is brimming with young, creative people so it's easy to find somewhere to fit in."
Whenever you move abroad, your happiness should become above everything else, so whatever aspects of your expat life in Germany you enjoy the most, you should never let financial worries get in the way.
Blacktower offers expat financial services in Germany to help with a wide range of expat retirement planning and insurance matters so that you can settle into life abroad knowing that your financial security is being looked after.