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07 Okt. 2022

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Life in Germany: basic rules for Ukrainian refugees

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Life in Germany: basic rules for Ukrainian refugees

An insurance policy is a guarantee of your safety and peaceful stay outside of Ukraine
An insurance policy is a guarantee of your safety and peaceful stay outside of Ukraine
BUY


Germany is the country that received almost the largest number of Ukrainians fleeing the war. Officially, the German authorities have registered about 890,000 Ukrainian refugees. We talk about German rules that will help you adapt to life in a new country faster.


General rules to remember


In Germany, there is such a phenomenon as the "mode of silence". It operates from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM and from 10:00 PM to 7:00 AM. On Saturday - from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m., and on Sundays and religious holidays, you cannot disturb your neighbors with loud noises at all, because keeping quiet is a mandatory condition throughout the weekend. Noise on the street at night is equated to petty hooliganism.


In Germany, as in many other European countries, garbage sorting has been introduced. Look carefully at the markings on the garbage cans, a different color corresponds to a different type of waste that can be thrown away. Blue is paper and cardboard, yellow or orange is artificial materials and recyclable packaging (plastic packaging, aluminum cans, tetra packs, etc.), green or brown bin is for organic waste, and black or gray is for mixed waste.


Plastic bottles, glass bottles or beverage cans that are marked with special symbols can be handed in at a supermarket or liquor store and receive 8 to 25 cents. This is done either at the store's checkout or through special machines.


24-hour supermarkets are not common in Germany, you can find them only at gas stations and train stations. On weekdays, shops are usually open until 21:00-22:00, and it is almost impossible to find an open shop on Sunday or a holiday.


Behavior on roads and transport


As everywhere, in Germany you have to strictly follow the traffic rules. Drivers should remember that it is not possible to exceed the speed here at all, even speeding up to 10 km/h is punishable by a fine. You should also pay attention to parking rules. By the way, there are several services that will help you park your car correctly in any German city.


Some of the most convenient are parkopedia.de and ParkMe.com. They can calculate the distance to the nearest parking lot, show free spaces and calculate the final cost of parking in real time. There is also gratisparken.de which will show you all the free parking lots in Germany. And the EasyPark application will help not only to find parking zones, but also to pay for a parking space online.


It is also worth paying attention to the fact that bicycle transport is very common in this country, and there are traffic rules for cyclists.


As for using public transport, you should not use buses, trams or trains without a ticket - you can pay a hefty fine for this.


In our material at the link, we explained in detail what not to do in Germany in order not to receive a fine.


Rules for pet owners


Pets in Germany must be vaccinated, have documents and a chip. If your pet does not have this, you need to contact a veterinarian, who will examine the animal and do a microchip.


As soon as you receive the chip number, register your pet in "FINDEFIX" - the German pet registry. It is free. If your pet gets lost in an unfamiliar area, it can be found quickly.


What else should be prepared for?


If you find yourself in Germany, you should be prepared for bureaucracy. Many important documents, decisions, etc. are received here by regular mail. For example, if opening an account in a Ukrainian bank takes a few minutes, then in Germany you have to wait two weeks for a letter with a bank card, and in the next five working days you will receive a pin code. By the way, all papers must be kept for up to three years.


In Germany, they strictly monitor compliance with laws, in particular, compliance with copyright. It is not allowed to download or even watch movies and other visual content through piracy platforms. The same applies to downloading music.


Streaming platforms such as Youtube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple, Sky or Disney Plus are allowed and legal. Also, most German TV channels have their own media libraries where you can watch movies, series and documentaries for free, for example ARD and ZDF, Pro Sieben or RTL.


Where to look for work and housing?


Arbeitsamt and Arbeitsagentur are German state services similar to the Ukrainian labor exchange. Look for service departments in your city and ask about open positions. You can also search for a job on the German sites Indeed and Stepstone. It will not be superfluous to register on LinkedIn and fill out your profile in detail.


Ukrainians looking for housing in Germany can apply to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. Or look for private accommodation on your own on the portals: accommodation-ukraine.de, host4ukraine.com, shelter4ua.com, icanhelp.host, wunderflats.com.


In more detail about finding a job in Germany, education, rules of entry and residence, we talked here.