It is only when you leave your own country to live in a different one that you fully appreciate how much we humans are not only creatures of habit, but also of culture. Expatriates in Germany, Austria, Switzerland or other countries can suddenly lose many things they once took for granted. The most significant of these are language and daily culture.
Where you once knew how things work – at the bank, while shopping, at work, on the road – now you’re in unfamiliar territory. Where once you knew how to read a menu, now you find strange German dishes you can’t even pronounce. Where once credit cards were taken for granted, now you have to make sure they’ll be accepted—even in a restaurant! Where once you could read package labels at the grocery store, now you can’t.
Step up and down 220 to 110 volts and 110 to 220 volts
But you also gain things you didn’t have before. You not only learn a new language and a new culture, you also learn a lot about yourself and your own culture when you live in a foreign country. Viewed and handled properly, an assignment in German-speaking Europe can be a wonderful experience. And others have gone before you—and not only survived, but thrived. True, some people handle culture shock better than others, but these German Way pages are intended to make it easier for anyone to have a better experience in German-speaking Europe. Knowing what to expect can be a big help, and that’s what you’ll find here: information and resources for Americans and other English-speaking expats in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland.
See more of our resources for expats below…
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