Moving abroad is a very exciting prospect, however, the details of relocation can also be very daunting. Navigating a new system, a new language and dealing with formalities can be a challenge, this is where private relocation support can make all the difference.
Your top priorities when relocating to a new city should be visa (immigration), finding a place to live (home search), employment or educational opportunities and integration. Your relocation consultant can advise you on your options in advance.
Visa/Immigration: the type of visa you are eligible for will largely be linked to your country of origin, employment situation or educational studies. It is very important to know your options for immigration before you plan a move. IRC Berlin has the expert knowledge to guide you through your visa & immigration options.
Home search: knowing the housing market, areas of the city, and ballpark figures for rental costs/utilities is key for a successful home search. It is helpful to have a realistic expectation when you consult with your relocation assistant about what will be most suitable for you. IRC Berlin consultants have extensive knowledge of the city and can advise you as to the perfect match for you regarding area, amenities, public transport needs.
Cultural integration: This is where IRC can help, we offer intercultural training for new arrivals and their families to make their start in the new and foreign environment as easy as possible. Giving an insight into cultural differences, those ‘quirky’ German ways, and just how to navigate the German business landscape.
IRC Berlin is branching out into private relocation offering all the same benefits as we offer to our corporate clients. Our experienced consultants can support and assist every step of the way from visa and immigration, work permits, home search to giving a comprehensive orientation tour upon arrival. We want to make you feel at home in Germany and to make your transition process pleasant and successful, so that all you need to worry about is enjoying your new home!
What do you think of when you hear relocation? We often find that people don’t know what a relocation actually entails and what a relocation company actually does and all the fantastic benefits that come with being supported during a move. Let us explain ….
Companies offer their employees a job or promotion in a new location, this could be across the country or on another continent. Part of this job offer can be a relocation package, whereby the employee is offered support in all areas financial, organisational to a relocation partner at the destination who will work with the employee and their family to ensure a successful transition into their new home.
This can include:
- Visa & Immigration
- Home search (temporary & permanent)
- Property handover
- Registration with the local authorities
- Finding schools/kindergartens
- Registration of utilities
A comprehensive relocation package can ensure that an employee will be able to fully concentrate on their new position and feel supported in their new circumstances.
There are many advantages to working with a relocation company. Starting with their expertise and experience in some of the most fundamental aspects such as immigration and visa requirements. A relocation consultant understands what issues arise during a local or international move and is able to provide tailormade support to each individual client, whether someone is moving with a family, they have specific needs at their new location or they are required to dive straight into work and don’t have time to spend on all the details. The professional support can deal with all the unique challenges each individual relocation brings. A relocation company provides in depth knowledge and current information of the destination, thus giving a great local insight to the assignee.
This is where IRC comes in, we are a comprehensive partner in Germany to support in all aspects of relocation.
That stores are closed on Sundays and on German public holidays. In case of emergencies, you can always go to the airport and use the grocery store there. It is more expensive, but it is open on Sunday! You can also purchase foodstuffs at large gas stations and at main train stations “Hauptbahnhof”.- more info in our ‘Grocery Shopping‘ article.
That you have to bag your own groceries and have to pay for your own grocery bags.
That you may have to weigh fruits and vegetables before you bring them to the check-out in many German grocery stores. There is a number listed for the produce that you have chosen which can be matched with the number on the scale, making it easier for those who do not know the German name for all the fruits and vegetables.
That you shouldn’t touch and select produce offered at the speciality fruit and vegetable stands at the Farmers Market. All you need to do is say what you would like and the quantity and the vendor does the rest for you.
That you need a Euro 1 or 50 cent coin in order to free the shopping cart from its stand at the grocery store. This is the way of making sure that all carts are properly returned without having to hire someone to retrieve them from the street. You’ll get your EURO back when you return the cart to its stand. You can purchase a small ‘shopping cart coin’ in the supermarket for your keychain, this will save a lot of hassle!
That you have to introduce yourself to your neighbours, it isn’t the other way around. In fact, it is very appreciated if you hang a note in the foyer for the neighbours to read, say you are moving in, your name and apologies if there is any disturbance on moving in day. This will make for a good start to the neighbourly relationship.
That you should treat your movers to coffee, soft drinks and sandwiches if you want to keep them happy at your home working – Do not serve beer! And the acceptable tip for your moving crew is Euro 5-10 per person, per day.
That tipping in a German restaurant is up to 10%. A tip is already included in the price of your food in most restaurants and German waiters and waitresses earn a salary. A small tip can be given to taxis by rounding-up to the nearest even number. And a Euro 10 tip (per person) to your garbage men and your mailman at Christmas time is standard practice.
That your German washing machine could take up to 1.5 hours to complete a single wash or even longer! Also, top-loading washing machines are virtually unheard of in Germany.
That people follow the rules, all the time! and if you don’t you will be made aware by complete strangers. It’s not just you, it happens to most ex-pats.
About the author
Hi there! I’m Juli, German roots but I grew up in New Zealand and have been living in Germany since 2004. I love sharing my passion for Berlin and all it has to offer with new ‘Berliners’ and through my work as a freelance Relocation Consultant with IRC I have the opportunity to do so.