Relocating To Berlin: One Candidate’s Experience

While most of us are content to live and work in the country we were born and raised, there are a brave few who want to get out there and see the world. Some seek a higher salary, some are looking for increased opportunity, and some simply relish the adventure. Whatever the reason, relocating abroad for work can be intimidating and exciting in equal measure. One recent GR4 candidate who understands this well is Yedukondola Reddy, who recently relocated from India to Berlin after we secured him a senior software developer position with a thriving tech company. To better prepare others looking to follow in his footsteps, we spoke with him about his experience with relocating to a city on the other side of the world. 

Yedukondola was attracted to relocating to Berlin for work for multiple reasons. He’d heard great things about the culture, people – and of course, the career opportunities. He’s not alone, either; a recent study found that more tech professionals want to relocate to Germany than any other country in the world, followed by the Netherlands and the UK. This is hardly surprising; Germany offers workers a fantastic work/life balance, housing costs are reasonable, it’s fairly simple to obtain a work permit and visa, and healthcare is world-class. 

With a family back home that would shortly be following him to Berlin, Yedukondola’s first challenge was to find suitable accommodation, and get his visa sorted. He tells us, “I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly my visa was processed – everything moved much more swiftly than I expected. This was great for me, as I was keen to make the transition and deal with other practicalities.” When it came to finding somewhere to live, things were slightly trickier. He explains, “There are so many great accommodation options in Berlin, and the prices were very reasonable, too. I did find, however, that there are some scammers out there looking to take advantage of people who don’t understand the system yet. So, for anyone else looking to relocate, that’s something to be mindful of. However, negative experiences for me have been few and far between. Right now, I’m staying in shared rooms while I look for accommodation suitable for my family, but I’m settling in really well and enjoying my time here.”  

Of course, one of the first items on the agenda for any newcomer to Berlin should be exploring the city’s many exciting attractions, and Yedukondola was no exception. He tells us, “I’d heard that Berlin is a really exciting city to live in, so I couldn’t wait to explore. Initially, I was focused on settling down and sorting out my paperwork, but now I’m out and about almost every day doing something different. I love to be in nature, so my favourite attraction is probably Grunewald Forest. I was really surprised to find so much greenery in a major European city, and it’s a great place to visit to relax and unwind. I know my family will love it, too!” Aside from Grunewald, Berlin is also bursting with other attractions that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from its famous zoo, to the natural history museum. It’s hardly a surprise, then, that the city was crowned the most family-friendly city in Europe! Of course, anyone who’s familiar with Berlin will know that the city is also famed for its nightlife. In fact, clubs don’t close at all on the weekends, so it’s possible to party from Friday to Monday if you’ve got the stamina (and can deal with the hangover). Although Yedukondola has heard a lot about the city’s nightlife, he’s yet to sample it for himself, though he’s not ruling it out: “I think my clubbing days might be behind me, but never say never! However, I have been enjoying the local pubs, and was pleasantly surprised to discover that in many, beer is cheaper than water! I’ve also been visiting some of the local restaurants, and the food has been amazing.”

Another aspect of Berlin’s culture that Yedukondola has been relishing since moving is the friendly and welcoming nature of its inhabitants. Yedukondola’s English is excellent, but he’s still in the process of learning the German language. So far, however, he hasn’t found this to be an issue; “Almost everyone in Germany speaks English, and they’re also very kind and patient when I’ve been out and about practising my German. My aim is to become fluent, so this has been really useful.” Yedukondola has also noticed that the German people, contrary to popular stereotypes, are largely happy and friendly. He explains, “Everywhere I go, people seem to be enjoying themselves, having fun and smiling. It’s most certainly a very friendly city, and everyone seems very welcoming of others from different cultural backgrounds. I already feel very at home.”

Asked to sum up his relocation experience and whether he has any advice for others, Yedukondola offered these words of wisdom for other professionals thinking of relocating to Berlin: “Overall, the process has been a lot easier than expected. I love my new job, and I’m really happy I made the move. In terms of advice, I’d say it really pays to do your research beforehand. It’s a great idea to spend some time looking at relocation guides specific to your city, and ensure you’re familiar with the visa application process and how long it will take. Make sure you’re saving money, and budget appropriately – this will involve researching beforehand how much amenities such as food, rent, and accommodation is likely to cost. Look into how you will access healthcare should you need it, along with how to open a bank account, as these processes in particular can be confusing for foreigners at first. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it. Your employer should be willing and able to offer guidance as and when you need it, along with your recruitment agency.”

Are you looking for a career move to Germany, or looking to discuss your international hiring needs? Here at GR4, we’re experienced in placing tech professionals into the German startup market. To discuss our available opportunities, speak with one of our advisors today.

Download a copy of our comprehensive relocation guide here.

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