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Preparing to leave

Guest post by Dana Newman, writer and expat vlogger at Wanted an Adventure


Oh no! It’s time to go? So soon? Well, if you must leave Germany, whether it be after one year or twenty, here’s what you need to do before you give that final wave goodbye and fly off into the sunset.

  • Give written notice to your landlord as soon as possible. If you own property consider whether you want to rent it out or sell.
  • Call as well as send written termination of your utilities. Don’t forget they’ll have to send someone to do a final meter reading before you leave; some places require as much as 90 days notice, so call and write as soon as possible!
  • Notify your telephone (landline as well as mobile) provider and cancel your cable, Internet, and any newspaper and magazine subscriptions.
  • Give written notice to your employer, keeping in mind that most contracts in Germany require you to continue working for at least three months from the end of the calendar month in which you quit, unless you and your employer can reach a different agreement. Don’t forget to ask for a reference letter!
  • Whether publicly or privately ensured, some expats may be eligible to remain in the system even after they’ve left the country; look into whether this would be a good option for you.
  • If you’ve been paying into the German retirement system, consider your options for the future; keep in mind that depending on where you’re moving, that country may have a reciprocal pension agreement with Germany.
  • De-register with the GEZ.
  • If you’ll be moving your possessions overseas, look into booking space in a shipping container. Alternatively, you could go through a relocation company that takes care of everything for you; just make sure to get insurance in case something should go wrong.
  • Visit your bank and talk about your options; you may want to consider keeping at least one account open for a few months after you leave in case you get any bills to pay or any final payments from your employer.
  • Students should speak with their advisor and request a copy of their transcripts.
  • De-register yourself and your family with the local residence office. This can often be done online now!
  • If you’re leaving mid-fiscal year, look into your tax situation and whether or not you should be entitled to getting money back.

And of course, leave in style, inviting all your friends to a bar or beer garden for one last round of drinks. Don’t forget, the party is about you, so it’s customary for you to buy the first round. If you’ve been working in an office, it’s normal for those leaving to bring in food for the office on their last day.

Auf Wiedersehen!


Dana Newman is an expat YouTube vlogger and writer whose debut novel, entitled Found in Prague, is based loosely on her experiences living in the Czech Republic when she first moved to Europe in search of her roots. For the inside scoop on expat life in Germany (such as the truth about the German beer gardens and why the German sauna culture is like mayonnaise) as well as travel videos from around the world, check out and subscribe to her Wanted an Adventure YouTube channel. She can also be found on Twitter @WantedAdventure, sharing her international thoughts and musings in the most concise form the Internet has to offer.


Before you take off

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