Darmstadt is located in the south-west of Germany, and is one of the largest cities in the state of Hesse, behind the state capital Wiesbaden and Frankfurt. It has a population of over 150,000 people, but when considered as part of the larger Darmstadt urban area, this increases to around 400,000.
Although the population is largely made up of native Germans, there is a growing expatriate community located in the city, drawn to Darmstadt by its flourishing industrial and chemical sectors. There is also a significant American presence in Darmstadt, mainly due to the established American military base, as well as a large student population. Although the official language is German, many people will speak at least some English, and fluency is common amongst the students.
Expatriates moving to Darmstadt will need to adjust to a mild climate, which is characterized by moderate rainfall and mild temperatures all year round. The summers are warm and dry, with average temperatures ranging between 23°C (73°F) and 25°C (77°F), but it has been known to reach as high as 35°C (95°F) in July and August, which are by far the hottest months. In winter, the temperature drops to between 1°C (34°F) and 5°C (41°F) on average, and on rare occasions it has been known to fall to −4°C (25°F). The balmy summers are warmest in the southern region of Darmstadt, and as a result, the area is now home to many vineyards and farms.
As Germany is a member of the European Union, EU/EEA and Swiss nationals will not need a visa to move to Darmstadt or to stay for up to 90 days. If they wish to stay for longer than 90 days, they must register with their local administrative office, but this is just a formality.
Non-EU/EEA nationals, and EU nationals from some new member states and Eastern European countries, will need a visa to move to Darmstadt. In some cases, they may even need a visa to enter Germany, and so are advised to check with their local embassy or consulate. Residence visas for Germany are issued on a temporary basis, usually up to one year. In situations where they are applied for alongside work permits, they may be issued for the length of the employment contract.