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Are you a typical expat living in Germany?

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Are you a typical expat living in Germany?
Expats love German schools, but they're not so sure they receive a good welcome. Photo: DPA
13:24 CEST+02:00
A new survey is full of revealing facts about expats in Germany, why they came here, what they love and what they loathe. So how do you measure up?

The study by the global expat network InterNations looked at expats in 64 countries. Here's what it has to say about foreigners living and working in Germany.

You were hard-headed in your decision to move here

It should come as no surprise that 17 percent of you came here because of work – Germany is after all the economic engine of Europe. This figure was five percent above the global average.

But less pragmatic factors were also common. Some 13 percent of expats moved for love, while 12 percent came to Germany because their partner had found a job here.

Meanwhile, 60 percent of Germany's expats are in a relationship, which is close to the global average.

You find getting off the ground in Germany really difficult

Most expats don't get the same red carpet treatment as the Queen did for her state visit in June. Photo: DPA

Germany's rank is shockingly low when it comes to ease of settling in: it ranks 54th of the 64 countries InterNations looked at.

Perhaps that's because the locals aren't seen as the most outgoing of people. Only one in eight expats thought that Germans are “very friendly” and a similarly low number (11 percent) thought Germans are very friendly towards foreign neighbours – way below the global averagely of 24 percent.

It is no surprise then that 51 percent of respondents said making local friends was hard - which might explain why three in five people said they found it hard to learn the language.

And the whole not learning the language thing is something of a predicament, because 52 percent of expats said learning the German language is important to getting by in the Federal Republic.

You are very impressed with your work life

Expats in Germany aren't working late into the night. Photo: DPA

You like the lifestyle  — expats in Germany work an average of 40 hours a week against a global average of 42 hours a week — with 69 percent of you being content with this arrangement.

And 65 percent of expats interviewed by InterNations said they were happy about their career prospects. Meanwhile 95 percent said they were happy with the state of the economy, with three quarters saying they were pleased with their job security.

It is no surprise, considering these impressive figures, that only Luxembourg beat Germany in the Job Security category.

You believe Germany is a great place to be a parent

The German education system puts a smile on expat faces. Photo: DPA

Germany came seventh in the Family Life index globally, a ranking mainly influenced by the perception that education is excellent.

Only seven percent of respondents rated education in Germany negatively, compared to a global figure of 19 percent. Seven out of ten respondents also said that education was easy to afford.

You also make good use of the state services on offer. Slightly under half (44 percent) of all parents send their children to local day care facilities, with 46 percent later sending them to state schools.

Parents also think their kids are relatively safe - 59 percent said they were satisfied with their kids' health and safety, far above a global average of 33 percent.

You enjoy the travel opportunities Germany offers

Your next weekend adventure is just an ICE ticket away. Photo: DPA

Expats in Germany love to travel and many like to take advantage of its place at the heart of Europe, with 93 percent of respondents saying the opportunities for travel are good.

That probably has something to do with excellent infrastructure which over two thirds of expats rated positively.

You think life is low on stress... but you don't really like the weather

The pristine natural environment is a major draw. Photo: DPA

“Healthcare is excellent, according to the vast majority of survey respondents, earning Germany the third rank worldwide as far as the quality of medical care is concerned,” states the report. Over eight in ten expats (85%) rate the quality of healthcare favorably, compared to 60% globally. 

Meanwhile only one percent of respondents had anything negative to say about personal safety, political instability or peacefulness, making Germany the perfect destination for those who like a bit of serenity.

Added to that 89 percent of respondents said they were happy with the state of the natural environment. But there was just one problem... the weather. Three in eight expats complained about it - way above the global average.

And you are pretty happy with your life in Germany

Cheers! Photo: DPA

Around eight in ten expats in Germany (82 percent) are happy with their life in their new home. To break that down, 15 percent said they were "very satisfied", 40 percent said they were "satisfied", and 27 percent said they were "mostly satisfied".

Only 1 percent said they were "not satisfied at all".

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