Living in Bavaria
Information About the New Home
What to Expect From Your Accommodations
An obvious difference for most expatriates (Ã¢â‚¬Å“expatsÃ¢â‚¬ÂÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â) will be the size. Americans will often consider German houses rather small, whereas they might seem bigger to someone coming from England, France, or a Scandinavian country. The overall quality of buildings is very high, even though styles may vary and facilities sometimes depend on the age of a property.
Some terminology: The size of a house or an apartment is usually given in Ã¢â‚¬Å“square metresÃ¢â‚¬ÂÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â and number of rooms. If you need two bedrooms plus living and dining space, you will have to look for a 3 to 4-Zimmer (four-room) apartment or house. Kitchen, bathrooms, halls, or basement rooms are not included in the number of rooms. A house with 150sqm of living space (WohnflÃƒÂ¤che) and 80sqm of additional area (NutzflÃƒÂ¤che) will offer 2-3 bedrooms, bathroom(s), kitchen, hall, and additional space, generally storage or hobby rooms in the basement or under the roof. Unfurnished accommodations are literally just that. There are no built-in cabinets, no light fixtures, curtains or curtain rods, and often no fitted kitchens (Einbaukueche or EBK) - at least not in the bigger apartments or houses. Furnished accommodations are easily available in Munich but will be more difficult to find outside bigger towns.
The Health System
The German health service is regarded as a model across the world, as it ensures excellent medical care for all citizens. This care is provided regardless of the patientÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s income. The cities have tight networks of general practitioners, specialists, and dentists. Top medical experts treat the sick in the university clinics and specialist clinics. This comprehensive care is made possible thanks to a separate insurance system. Almost every resident in Germany is a member of a public or private healthcare scheme. All employees with a gross annual income of up to 47,700 Ã¢â€šÂ¬ (2007) must be a member of a public healthcare scheme._Foreign employees and students are also obliged to take out this insurance.
Citizens from other EU states are entitled to free medical treatment if their stay in Germany is short, but must also be insured in Germany if they plan to stay longer. Anyone who earns more than 47,700 Ã¢â€šÂ¬ per year or is self-employed can choose to take out private health insurance. The internet site of the associationof private health insurance companies in Germany (Verband der privaten Krankenversicherungen in Deutschland) offers information in English. The website of the Federal Ministry of Health also provides information on the German health system in several languages. While the contributions for private health insurance are based on the personal risk profile of the policyholder, and are therefore cheaper for younger people and increase with age, the state health insurance is earnings-based and is around 14 % of the gross income. Employer and employee each pay half of this contribution. The advantage of state health insurance for employees is that family members.