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The more research you can do before you leave, the better. Go the bookstore and pick up some books on living in Germany. They are often written by British people who have moved to big cities but they do give some excellent advice regarding the famously tedious bureaucratic processes in Germany, such as obtaining a driver's license, for example. They also explain some of the reasons the Germans are the way they are and the cultural differences between the U.S. and Germany. 'Culture Shock: Germany!' is not really recommended, although popular: The author is rather jaded against Germany, and some of the information is out of date as well as negatively biased. 'Understanding Cultural Differences: Germans, French, and Americans' by Edward T. Hall and Mildred Reed Hall is very good, although it may be a bit too theoretical for some. 'Figuring Foreigners Out' by Craig Storti is a good general book about culture differences, with some information on Germany.

Barbara Heller