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South Africans in Germany

Question Information Solution
Will my children adapt to the new school? The school system is very different from those in South Africa.
The school year starts in September
Most parents will tell you that children adapt very fast, and that the schools are very accommodating. This is a very difficult and personal decision. Talk to other parents in similar situations, that’s what our FB page is for.
Look on our blog for more information on schools
Will my children adapt to speaking German Children learn a new language faster that one would expect. Immersion is key
Do I need to speak German? It is not a prerequisite to come to Germany but even if you work in an English environment you will need to speak some German. There are many online options available if you do not have time to attend language classes. Again the key is immersion.
You are living in a new country and learning the language is strongly advised.
Is it a safe country? Any country has hot spots where it is not so safe. Nobody can guarantee your safety. I always answer this question with ” I regularly walk from the train station to home even late at night, without feeling unsafe. We sleep with open windows and sometimes open doors. Our car is parked outside. We dont have an alarm system, and no burglar bars in front of our windows” Again this is my opinion and experience
How do I find a place to live Finding a place to live can be a challenge especially in big cities and if your budget is low
You can find more information on our page
What is the the weather like? In Germany there are actually four seasons 🙂 I come from the Highveld, we have no real Autumn and spring is max two weeks. Summers are long. Here you learn to celebrate each season. The climate in the North is also different from the South West. Freiburg is the city with the most sunshine in a year.
Summer can be hot, winter is cold, wet and dark. It is beautiful when it snows, although it does not snow the whole winter and mostly only in the mountains. The motto here is, there is no bad weather only bad clothes. It rains a lot so you learn to adapt to it. You don’t cancel all your plans just because its raining. Sunshine might be a problem in winter, get out as much as possible, have holidays down South, use special lamps and get your dose of Vit D.
See our blog post for more ideas on getting through winter
Where do I find House cleaning and gardening services   It is very expensive in Germany to hire help in and around the house. If everyone does their bit housework is not a big issue. Get tech to help you where you can and teach the kids to clean up after themselves.
Read more on our Minijobs page
Can I drive with my SA licence? Yes You first need an International Drivers licence that you get at the AA.
You need to convert it within 6 months
Read more on our Licences page
Do fill up my own car at the filling station? Yes you have to do it yourself  
Where will I find SA products   There are many online shops available.
Some are listed here
Can I travel to the UK on a German Visa/Residence permit? No you cannot See more information here
What is the best way to transfer money? It really depends on your personal situation We have two pages with information
Forex – ZAR to EUR
Forex – EUR to ZAR

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