Tips for Germans Moving to America
I often publish articles with tips or helps for people who are moving from America to Germany… but this time, we will flip the situation. Hans Goldstein from The Student Movers in Costa Mesa, CA has been involved in quite a few International moves, and he offers some tips for Germans Moving to America.
It’s true… people do drive more here in America (and we don’t have an Ampelman!). What do you think of his tips for Germans moving to America? And what other advice would you give?
What Germans Need to Know When Moving to America
Every year hundreds of German move to America looking for a new life for even just a short while. Some move for studies, some look for a job, and some looking for a fresh start in search of “the American Dream.” Certainly, for Germans moving to America, it is like stepping into a whole new world. From culture to currency, they will feel the differences in everything small and big, the whole thing might seem a little daunting. So getting accustomed to the local lifestyle may take a while.
1. Walking v/s driving:
America holds a culture of getting in the car and driving to their destination. Being a pedestrian is a bit challenging for Americans. The reason behind is that most of the towns and cities in America are too spread out for walking. Also, public transportations like buses and taxis have a lot of disparity, and therefore, public transportation is not a favorable choice for the people.
For Germans, living without a car is a practical alternative they are fine with walking or taking public transportation, whereas in America, living without a car is distress. So this might be something that Germans should be expecting when they move to America.
2. Medications and health care:
See in Germany selling medicine without the prescription is illicit even if it a simple painkiller such as aspirin. However, in America, you can go to the local drug store and ask for painkillers without any prescription. Also in America, one has to pay to be taken away in an ambulance in and the rides costs ranging from $500 to $1500. So this might take some getting used to.
3. Inherently, you have to tip every time:
In Germany people don’t fuzz about the tips; there the service charge is involuntary. However, in America, everybody tips whether it is a five-star hotel, small café or a salon, people tip. And that too goes from 15% to 25%. Under the federal law, the minimum wage for employees like bartenders and waitresses is just $2.15 per hour, so if you don’t tend to tip them, things won’t go well. Don’t be surprised if the staff chases you out in the alley demanding an explanation for not tipping.
4. Tax Rates:
photo courtesy of ptmoney.com from Flickr Creative commons.
A German will be truly surprised when he/she gets to know that Americans have no clue about the high taxes. In fact, Americans will go pale seeing a German paying the taxes. This is due to the factor that the highest sales tax in America is below 10 percent and lower as compared to Germany’s 19 percent and above.
5. Communication in America:
photo courtesy of Robin from Flickr Creative commons
In America, things like ‘how are you?’ are not necessarily meant to be answered. Just nodding of the head is an acceptable reply. But for Germans, it might feel like being rude or ignoring someone. So, all the Germans out there, whenever you are in America, and someone does not answer to these basic questions, don’t take it as their impudent behavior. For Americans, it is more of a mode of communication than one’s character.
What do YOU think about these Tips?
Thanks again to Hans for sharing these tips! Remember, Student Movers can help Germans move in California. Hans, the outreach director even speaks some German. He can help work out what Germans, new to American culture need to bring before a big move. Student Movers are also able to answer any questions on appropriate gear, shipping, and logistical scenarios in and from Germany to California. Contact Hans at The Student Movers in Costa Mesa if you have any questions!
Hans Kristian Goldstein- firstname.lastname@example.org And let him know Karen sent you….