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Discovering Germany

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If you wish to move to Germany, here is what you need to know about its geography, economy, politics, climate, etc.

The Federal Republic of Germany, which is found in Central Europe and commonly known as Germany, is one of the world's most popular expat destinations. Over the years, it has attracted thousands of young students, professionals, as well as retirees due to its economic prosperity as well as for its rich historical and cultural heritage. Moreover, its cities offer a pleasant atmosphere and lifestyle. You will have no trouble in adapting there, especially if you come from a European Union country and know some German which is the country's official language.

Geography and demography

Stretching over some 357.021 km2, Germany is bordered by the North Sea and the Baltic Sea in the North and surrounded by Poland, Denmark, Switzerland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Austria and the Czech Republic. Germany is deemed to be the European Union's most densely populated country, its population amounting to more than 80.62 million inhabitants in early 2014. Berlin, its capital city, has more than 3.5 million inhabitants. Its main cities are Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, etc.

 Good to know:

Although German is the country's official language, others regional or minority languages such as the Low German, Danish, Frisian, Romany and Sorbian are also spoken.

Expatriation

Most German cities have a high concentration of expatriates from around the world, but mainly from neighboring countries. Among them, you are likely to find French, Belgians, Dutch, Swiss, and British, etc. Note that many foreign companies have also set up subsidiaries in the country.

Economy

Germany is considered as the world's fourth biggest and most powerful economy after the US, Japan and China. It is also deemed to be the European Union's largest economy, followed by France and England. Moreover, the German Gross Domestic Product (GDP) amounted to around 3.876 billion US$ in 2014 according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) figures. These have also estimated continuous economic growth due to efforts made by various national mechanisms.

The German economy is based on several pillars such as trade through industry. In fact, the automotive, mechanical, electrical, chemical industry, trade, finance, information and communication technology fields are the country's main job creators and income generators. Tourism, agriculture, hospitality, catering, etc., also make a significant contribution to the country's economy. Note that Germany hosts many world-famous companies such as Siemens, Volkswagen, Bosch, Bayer, Audi, BMW, General Motors, Porsche and many others.

Politics

Germany is a federal republic which consists of 16 “Landers” or regions. Berlin is known to be the country's federal capital city, hosting the German Parliament's headquarters as well as the Constitutional Court which is found in Karlsruhe. The German parliament consists of two chambers: the Bundestag which is elected every four years in a mixed system, and the Bundestrat that is the Federal Council. The Bundestrat includes 68 regional government representatives.

The President of the Federal Republic, currently Joachim Gauck, is indirectly elected for a five years period which is renewable once. The Chancellor, meanwhile, is elected for a four years period and serves as the Head of the Government. The current German Chancellor is Angela Markel who has been re-elected in September 2013.

Climate

Germany enjoys a temperate continental climate due to its geographical position. It is, in fact, in the Northern hemisphere's temperate zone. In winter, you are likely to experience cold air waves from Siberia, mist in the South and humidity in the North. Meanwhile, spring accelerates the melting of snow. Summer usually lasts from May to October with rather high temperatures in the North and South.

 Useful links:

Expat.com - Destination Germany 
Germany - Germany Tourism Portal www.germany.travel

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