I decided to expand the list a little and give a bit more detail on each recommendation. So here is a list of 21 invaluable resources to help you if you’re moving to Germany in 2022.
PODCASTS FOR MOVING TO GERMANY
The Germany Experience
Probably the most well-known podcast about life in Germany. The Germany Experience host, Shaun Berens, talks to his guests about their experiences in Germany as foreigners. Featuring challenges, struggles and inspiring stories, this podcast is the perfect way to begin your life in Germany.
Listen to the latest episode here:
The Expat Cast
Nicole is your host for The Expat Cast and she has a friendly rivalry with Shaun and The Germany Experience (don’t worry, they’re pals really…I think!). Guests share their stories about their journey to feeling at home abroad. Hear tips/tricks for living abroad and get honest takes on the best and the worst of expat life.
My namesake, Steph, runs Transcontintenal Overload, a podcast about the adventures of everyone and anyone living abroad. Guests include global adventurers and nomads, trailing spouses, TCKs, and those brave enough to repatriate. Expect stories of extreme highs and deep lows, incredible adventures, and stories of moving abroad and living abroad.
Easy German Podcast
So you know you’re moving to Germany, you’ve started learning the language and decided to immerse yourself a little further. The Easy German Podcast is a great place to start! It’s likely that you’ll have seen the Easy German YouTube channel (below) on your language learning journey and this is an extension of that. The podcast discusses current affairs, cultural events and recounts personal stories.
Die Deutsche und der Ausländer
An extension of The Germany Experience, Shaun and his good friend Nina discuss German news, German culture and German quirks – all in German! Die Deutsche und der Ausländer is a great German-language podcast if you’re moving to Germany and want to listen to the language.
You can find more podcasts about the expat experience in general here.
GERMAN LANGUAGE LEARNING TOOLS
Coffee Break German
Coffee Break German is the perfect podcast to start your German learning experience. If you join their courses, you can also get bonus lessons, video lessons and lesson notes. Best if you’re focused more on speaking German rather than the full German learning experience.
As mentioned above, the Easy German YouTube channel is where many of us will land when we first start searching the web for free ways to learn German. On the channel, you’ll find short video clips on a bunch of various topics, from A1 beginner level right through to advanced C1/C2 level. A great way to make learning German fun!
My personal favourite for online language lessons, because of their affordability and flexibility. There are, of course, other online courses and platforms but for me, italki is one that doesn’t completely strip their tutors of their hard-earned money and isn’t unrealistically expensive.
Choose your price range and availability and away you go!
You’ve all heard of Duolingo so there is really no point in me adding that to the list. But Memrise is also a great app to consider. It features videos and audio clips of various German natives speaking the words/phrases which allows you to get used to different speeds and accents. Memrise is great if you’re moving to Germany and want to get started with speaking straight away.
Your local Vhs
The Volkhochschuhle is Germany’s dedicated hub for vocational courses. It’s also the best place to go for local German classes, especially if you’re short on cash. There’s definitely one in your local city and if you live in a small town, like me, then you’ll also find them dotted around the villages and towns close to you.
And maybe one day, once your German is fluent, you can also take a gardening course with them.
WEBSITES FOR MOVING TO GERMANY
A relatively new website, but astoundingly comprehensive and detailed nonetheless, Simple Germany is your ultimate guide to moving to and living in Germany. Its owners, Jen & Yvonne, have done a superb job of creating intricate guides about LITERALLY every part of life in Germany.
Despite the guides being super detailed, they’re also very easy to navigate and they break everything down into little chapters. Honestly, it’s the place I go to if I have a question about Germany (like when I got my first credit card).
They also have a YouTube channel:
German news, but in English. The Local is largely subscription-based, although they do have some free-to-read articles available. Here, you’ll find all the latest German news, plus opinion pieces, practical tips for living in Germany and travel tips for visiting Germany. The Local has been a great place for me to get up-to-date information on things such as Brexit and Covid travel between UK and Germany.
DW.com is a news and current affairs website focusing largely on news in Germany, but also world events. Aside from their news articles, they also have a “Learn German” section of their website which has one of the most comprehensive FREE German courses I’ve come across so far. They also have a feature where you can listen to the news in German but read at a much slower pace to help your understanding.
I Am Expat
Although not as frequently updated as sites such as DW or The Local, I Am Expat also provides news from Germany in English, as well as “how-to” articles on life in Germany. From education to careers to housing, this website has tips and services recommendations for every part of life in Germany. However, my favourite part about I Am Expat is their monthly articles that set out all changes that will affect Expats/Immigrants in the coming months.
SOCIALISING IN GERMANY
I don’t use Facebook very often, but Facebook groups and group messengers can be a great way to find new people to interact with in your local town/city. While you might not vibe with everyone you come across, I guarantee you’ll find at least one person to hang out with that will make moving/living abroad seem less scary.
If you’re one of the lucky ones who hasn’t been sucked into the Zuckerverse (we all bow to you), then Meetup is also a great choice for finding international events close by.
Girl Gone International is fabulous because it’s a community that aims to provide a safe space for womxn living abroad. A pal I met on Instagram introduced me to our local GGI and through that, I have discovered a local English book club, international board games nights and an English pub quiz.
FINANCES IN GERMANY
The best tool if you want to be self-employed in Germany! Accountable is an app/website that makes becoming a freelancer in Germany a million times easier. Through the app, you can:
- Submit your form to the Finanzamt
- Get help from professional tax advisors
- Write German-compliant invoices
- Scan and upload your expenses
- Automatically determine how much you should put away for tax
- Get reminders for deadlines on your tax return
- Submit your tax return OR get one of their trusted tax advisors to do it for you
AND you can do it ALL in English!!
A purely online bank account that was insanely easy to set up and start using. N26 operates worldwide in several different languages and allows you to set up “spaces” for your savings to go into. I’ve got the business account for my freelance work but they also do personal accounts. Seriously, it’s SO much easier than setting up a standard German bank account (believe me, I’ve done both).
Wise (formerly known as TrasnferWise) has been a life-saver! If you still have outstanding debts in your country of birth (like me) or you travel a lot and move in and out of currency zones frequently, then Wise is the perfect account for you.
You can easily transfer between a bunch of different currencies and it doesn’t charge you absurd amounts for every transaction. Only the current exchange rate and a small transaction fee for Wise (and it really is small, compared to what I was being charged by English banks before).
Submit your German tax return in English with TaxFix! Great if you’re self-employed, if it’s mandatory for you to complete a tax return in Germany or if you feel compelled to submit a personal tax return (I highly recommend you do). They use a great flowing form that is super simple to understand and voila! Tax return submitted in a few easy steps!
As someone who has to submit a mandatory tax return for 2021 due to being on Kurzarbeit, I can also tell you that right now, they’re giving a 50% discount on the tax return submission so go get it!
Got any more resources you’d like to share with this community?
Drop them in the comments below ⬇️ or send me an email 📧 and I’ll include them in a future post!