What it’s like to be Hungarian in Germany

Anna feeding ducks in Berlin, Germany
Written by
Anna Juhász
Published on
May 11, 2023

Living abroad isn’t always easy—especially in a historically homogenous country like Germany. But it can be hard to find some real talk amongst all the dreamy imagery. Introducing What It’s Like, a new content series. Diverse perspectives sharing candid conversations about what it’s like to be ________ in Germany. 

What it’s like to be Hungarian in Germany

Meet Anna, originally from Boston, USA 🇺🇸 and Budapest, Hungary 🇭🇺. Currently living in Berlin.

Tell us a bit about you.

I always have a hard time when people ask me where I am from, technically speaking, it would be from Boston. But my first language wasn't English—it was Hungarian. I didn't grow up in American culture, I grew up very much in Hungarian culture. And growing up, I lived half in the US and half in Budapest.

After I finished university in the US, I lived for a short time in Budapest, then moved to Berlin. I went to school for graphic design, and am currently a freelance designer and art director in Berlin.

Why Germany?

I always had a love for Germany, to be honest. I love the language—the way that written German looks, its letter forms. I especially loved the design scene in Berlin, and really wanted to be a part of it.

Tell us about life in Germany.

I loved Berlin from the minute I got here. I didn't feel any culture shock—I found the people to be way nicer than in Budapest, so I actually felt totally comfortable.

I made a lot of German friends who unfortunately ended up moving away from Berlin later on. Now, I would say that my friend group is a nice mix of Germans and expats.

What has been hard for you, living in Germany?

The Finanzamt. It was a hell on earth before I learned German. I really felt like people went out of their way to be difficult with me. But I found that once I started learning German and tried to meet them halfway, they became way more understanding. I think it always pays off to show that you are trying your best, even if you are not totally comfortable with the language yet.

What do you love about Germany—what makes you stay?

Everyone really can live however they want, there is no judgment. Everyone I have met, especially here in Berlin, is super tolerant and open-minded. I think every city wants to claim that they are this, but I don't think any of them can compare to Berlin. There is such free energy here from people all over the world. It never stops being exciting.

How has it been, being so far away from home?

I miss hearing Hungarian, but luckily I have had the luck to find a small group of Hungarian friends here. And I try and visit Budapest often, it's already comforting to me to know that it's so close.

What's a piece of advice you'd give to other Hungarians thinking of moving here?

Don't stress about not registering your new flat on time. It is literally impossible to do quickly because the appointments are so scarce. Even though they say you need to do it "in two weeks" you will be fine if you don't. 😜 Also, the radio tax is stupid, but just pay it.


Read more of the series here. 🌎 If you’d like to contribute your story and experiences in Germany, we’d love to feature you! Write to us at hello@getworldify.com.

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