Germany Relocation: Mixing Tradition with Family Fun
The settling-in phase of an international assignment comes with its own set of relocation challenges. According to Cartus’ 2015 Biggest Challenges Survey Report, companies and assignees often find that the perceived difficulty in building strong relationships can negatively impact assignments.
A so-called “developed market” like Germany is no exception. At this time of year, Germany offers assignees an excellent opportunity to join the local community and help the family settle in: Christmas markets.
Nearly every German city and village sets up a traditional Christmas market, giving everyone a reason to brave the cold and have fun. Assignees can ride a Ferris wheel, browse through the stands that sell handicrafts, wooden toys, and ceramics, sample the hot mulled wine (glühwein) and hot chestnuts, or just absorb the festive atmosphere. Children will appreciate the winter shows, sparkling decorations, and Santa’s grotto.
Preparing for relocation to Germany
Christmas markets have proven so popular that other countries have started copying this German-Austrian tradition. Employees considering an international assignment to Germany should sample the food culture from their future destination, as this may help allay their concerns and whet their appetites further.
More tips for assignments in Germany
Before leaving their home country, assignees would be well advised to:
- Start learning some basic German
- Ask for advice on dealing with the cultural differences
- Practise segregated rubbish recycling
- Think about appropriate warm clothing, especially for children, as winters in Germany can be a test of endurance
- Seek advice about childminders, as school begins at the age of six
If you’re considering transfers into Germany, read our latest Germany Market Watch.