My colleague Leah has been conducting interviews with some of our former assignees about settling in after their relocation.

Leah questions them about their first experiences here, at what point did they feel they had “arrived”, how they adapted to the working environment and their likes and dislikes of life in Germany. Those interviewed had relocated to Germany at least 9 months ago, so enough time had passed to gain a broad impression and these were varied. In summary, we can say that all the assignees were extremely grateful for the relocation service that their employers had assigned for them. The bureaucracy sets hurdles which most professionals cannot navigate without local help. The authorities differ in their working ways, there is more often than not a language barrier at the offices and verification of the submitted documents is also handled differently from authority to authority. Everyone commented on the mass of paper documents that have to be submitted and how confusing the requirements are.

All were unanimous about the work-life balance in Germany and how greatly they appreciate it. Regardless of whether the assigness had relocated from India, Egypt, Russia or the USA, it is so much better here. The health care system was also applauded, but the long waiting times, particularly for paediatricians, is a source of puzzlement and the newcomers are not used to long delays in their home country. Almost everyone interviewed can imagine making their permanent home in Germany because of the excellent standard of living. Excerpts of the interviews will soon be available as a clip for viewing! We look forward to conducting more interviews and hearing more points of view.