Moving to a country where you are new to the culture, dont speak the language and not knowing anybody can always be challenging. I just moved to Berlin and I’ll be sharing my experiences of how to deal with these challenges.
Life in Berlin sometimes can be easy or tough. Depending on what you need and your current situation, you can either like it or hate it. For example finding an apartment can be almost impossible if you dont have the necessary documents. Germany is a very bureaucratic country and the Germans love to see paperwork. To move into a rental apartment you need 3 things; Schufa (a document that declares you pay your bills on time and have a clean credit), your last 3 months income statement or work contract and a reference letter from your previous landlord. Yeah so it ain’t that easy. Luckily I found an apartment within 10 days and moved in to my new home without providing any of these documents because its a short term lease. Here are a few websites that can help you with the flat hunt;
After you have your rental agreement signed and in your hand, you must register yourself within 2 weeks to the nearest Rathaus (Municipal). This is required by law and if you do not register yourself within the 2 weeks period, expect a hefty penalty fee or a mouth full from the Rathaus employee. Find the closest one to your flat here.
The next step is to get yourself a bank account. Now this is where I hated Berlin lol. After getting rejected by 5 different banks to open a bank account, I gave up. The reason behind it all is that I didn’t speak German and the bank doesn’t open accounts for people who dont speak German. *SIGH*. Although I think I’m the only one who had such a bad experience after asking numerous people and getting there input on this. If you do not want to go into the bank and avoid rejection, most banks do allow you to open an account online and the paperwork will be sent to your house. When it is delivered, you must be home to show your ID to the postman that you are who you are and the details will go back to the bank. After 2-3 weeks your account should be open and bank card will be sent to your house. Not to forget also is that the PIN number will be sent afterwards in a separate letter which could take another week.
Currently I am taking German courses to improve my not used German since I was 11. Back then I was forced to take German courses at school due to my father but now I’m very eager to learn and to converse with other Germans.
Pictures from Berlin