Servus and selamat datang: it's easy to feel at home in Bavaria

Lively intercultural exchange creates a very vibrant scene in Bavaria, while the great range of international communities helps expatriates to fit in quickly. The welcome centres also provide helpful guidance for those taking their first steps here...

Servus and selamat datang: it's easy to feel at home in Bavaria

People from almost every nation play a role in Bavaria's economic life. Many of them have been here for years, others for just a few weeks or months. This spirit of colourful togetherness can be seen in the communities of cities and municipalities, of companies and sector networks. They are a place for compatriots and like-minded people to come together so that their culture becomes part of daily life in a foreign country – and being able to converse in the mother tongue makes things a lot easier.

Gruetzi, merhaba, dobrodosli: welcome home!
Whether it is when making a career move to Bavaria or bringing family members over to join them later, foreign businesspeople and specialist staff are faced with a range of challenges time and again: from the renewal of residency permits and the recognition of qualifications and driving licences, to searching for accommodation and much more. Luckily, a lot has already been done to establish a welcoming culture for foreigners. The welcome centres in cities and municipalities provide support in all questions regarding day-to-day life, preparing paperwork for the authorities and brokering contacts.

International communities in Bavaria and Munich
Many communities and platforms are actively used, both for help in taking the first steps and for intensive exchange. Expatriates who live in Germany meet each other on internations.org, expatexchange.com and other international communities. Important tips when looking for accommodation are listed on justlanded.com, while toytowngermany.com is an English-speaking community in Germany. The Munich Xing Community is also a large and very diverse community with almost 100,000 members. You can find a good overview of the international groups in Munich as well as the communities of selected countries here: www.invest-in-bavaria.com/en/info-centre/communities.html

Networking catches on: Bavaria and the People's Republic of China
Chinaforum Bayern is another good example of how intercultural exchange benefits both sides. Public seminars and talks on current topics related to China are regularly held. For instance the "China Breakfast Club", a breakfast for entrepreneurs, is very popular. Trips are also organised: in January 2014, there were tours to north-eastern China, the industrial heart of the People's Republic, including visits to the car-making cities of Changchun and Shenyang, amongst others. On 12th February 2014, over 500 guests celebrated the Bavarian-Chinese Spring Festival, ringing in the Chinese year of the horse in Munich.

Building bridges across over 9,000 kilometres as the crow flies
Feeling at home when a long way away is that easy: with around 7,000 Japanese people in Bavaria, the Japanese community here is a key centre for Germany's Japanese expatriates. Around 250 Japanese companies have branches in Bavaria, benefiting from an outstanding infrastructure for their compatriots in the state: Japanese and international schools, Japanese restaurants, Japanese grocery stores etc. all contribute significantly to Bavaria's widespread appeal amongst the Japanese.

Welcome to Bavaria
Not only at Oktoberfest: the world comes together in Bavaria and Munich. And everyone benefits from it – both domestic and foreign companies and their staff.