The following paragraphs provide information and helpful tips regarding the everyday life in Germany.
Further information about working at Hereon and living in Germany can also be found here:
Hereon: career website
Euraxess Germany: Daily life
At Hereon, online language courses for German and English are offered free of charge at various levels. If you would like to participate in an Hereon-internal language course, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, there are various external providers of language courses, most of which are fee-based, such as local adult education centers, the Goethe Institute or commercial language schools. It is worth researching on the Internet, as free language courses are also offered online time and again, and there are sometimes large differences in price and quality.
List of important vocabulary
Below you find a short list of important vocabulary that can make communication a little easier during your first weeks in Germany.
To ensure that you have the right number ready to call in case of an emergency, we have compiled the following list for you. The first part, which has already been filled in, contains helpful telephone numbers that can be called for free throughout Germany. You can expand the second part with your personal information. It is best if you always carry this list with you so that action can be taken quickly in case of an emergency.
The cost of living can vary within Germany. City living tends to be more expensive than rural living. This is mainly due to the large differences in rental expenses, which often make up the largest amount of monthly expenses. Another point to consider is the cost of public transportation. These vary from city to city and usually have to be paid privately. Sometimes it is worth taking out a subscription for a monthly ticket.
Further information can be found on:
Make it in Germany: employment and earnings
You can send letters, parcels, postcards and much more within Germany and internationally with various logistics companies. Letters may be thrown into a mailbox if they are sufficiently stamped. Packages usually have to be dropped off at a branch or Packstation. The prices of the different services vary depending on which shipping method you choose, how big and how heavy your letter or package is, whether you want tracking and in which country the recipient's address is located. You can often buy stamps and parcel labels online and use them directly. The websites of the various companies provide a good overview of their prices and the associated range of services. Providers of logistics services are for instance the Deutsche Post, DHL, Hermes, UPS and DPD. In larger cities, there are often local providers as well.
The basic rights are anchored in the German Constitution. They apply without restriction to every human being. They guarantee the observance of human rights and other fundamental principles such as the right to freedom of opinion and religion, equality before the law, the inviolability of human dignity and the general right to freedom.
Form of Government
The Federal Republic of Germany is a democracy. The constitution, the sovereignty of the people, the separation of powers, the independence of the courts, the multiparty principle and the equality of opportunity of all political parties are respected unconditionally.
Germany is governed on the national level (federal government) and on the state level (state government). This means, for example, that the federal government lays down laws and the individual states implement them. There are also areas that are the sole responsibility of the states; for example, the education system. Here, federal states are allowed to decide independently how the school system should be organized in their state.
Information on this can also be found at Facts about Germany.de.
Equality for all people is an essential principle in Germany. Regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation or origin, everyone is treated according to the same standards and principles.
Principle at Hereon
Our success is the result of the work of each and every employee at the center! This allows us to contribute to the clarification of major and pressing issues of society, science and business.
Our employees are of different origins and different nationalities. They are of different genders and sexual identities, of different faiths and ages, with or without disabilities. Each and every individual is an important and equal part of the center. This diversity, mutual esteem, and respect make us special and this is something we are proud of.
More information about this you can find on Hereon Career / What is important to us
Freedom of opinion and freedom of the press are also enshrined in the constitution. There are various ways to find out about news. Local newspapers, national daily newspapers (analog and digital), public television stations such as ARD, ZDF and nine state broadcasting stations, with radio stations are examples. In addition, numerous private media and also Internet sites offer detailed information on a wide variety of topics.
Large stores are generally open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm; although opening hours vary. Supermarkets are normally open from 8 am or earlier and sometimes do not close until 10 pm or even later. On Sundays and public holidays, stores in Germany are usually closed. The respective opening hours can often be found on the Internet.
In many places there are weekly markets where mainly fresh and regional products are sold. Flea markets are especially popular in the summer months. They offer a good opportunity to purchase used clothing and household items cheaply.
The public transport network in Germany is well developed.
Generally, you have the possibility to choose between train (S-Bahn, U-Bahn, regional train, ICE/IC), bus, car-sharing offers or traveling by plane. All airports are connected to the respective city by train or bus.
In addition, there is an extensive network of bicycle paths, which means that shorter distances can be easily reached by bike. Many larger cities also offer rental bikes for a fee.
All public transportation providers allow online ticket purchase. In addition, you can buy tickets at counters of the deutsche Bahn. It is also possible to buy tickets directly from the bus driver on local buses. Please note that the ticket must always be purchased before starting the journey. Without a valid ticket, you violate the transport guidelines of the transportation company and have to pay a fine in case of a control.
Timetables can be found online and at the respective stops.
From May 1, 2023, there will be an innovation in Germany: With the Deutschland-Ticket, you will be able to travel on all local and regional public transport. Information on the benefits, conditions and validity can be found here:
Die Bahn - Das Deutschland-Ticket kommt (only in german).
The Deutschland-Ticket is not valid on long-distance trains (IC/ICE). The Deutsche Bahn website or app can be used to display the desired connections, including prices, and to purchase tickets and, if necessary, make seat reservations.
Some apps can help you select the appropriate mode of transport and connection. The apps allow you to get from your current location to your desired destination and show you the different travel options for this. Examples for these apps are:
- DB-App: online ticket purchase also for regional transport associations possible, overview of all connections of the Deutsche Bahn (local and long-distance) and regional transport associations as well as real-time information
- Öffi App (Android)/ ÖPNV Navigator (iOS): overview of all connections and prices of the regional transport associations, stop finder by location determination, real-time information and map view possible
- Moovit: available in 65 countries and in 43 languages, live news, travel options within a city but only available for selected cities
- Hamburg / Geesthacht: Hamburger transport association(HVV)
- Berlin, Brandenburg (inklusive Teltow): Berlin-Brandenburg transport association(VBB)
- München: Münchner transport association(MVV)