Nestled in the Ruhr Valley in western Germany, it is hardly surprising to learn that Hagen is nicknamed “The City With the Largest University”, when more than a third of its population is made up of students! You can be sure that if you want a city with a vibrant, youthful energy, then living in Hagen is for you. Using InterNations’ unique platform to communicate with other expatriates in Hagen or Germany will no doubt help you, too. You could even organize a social event to welcome newcomers to the area. Being located on the western side of the Ruhr, Hagen is in an excellent location for expats who wish travel to other areas, both in Germany and across Europe. Nearby are the historic cities of Essen, Cologne, Dortmund and Dusseldorf; each with something unique to offer, and it is only a few hours by train to the Netherlands and Brussels. You can utilize InterNations to connect with other global minds living there as well.
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If you’re an expat moving to Hagen and don’t yet speak the language, it may be a good idea to use a real estate agent to ensure you don’t accidentally end up paying hidden rental costs. It’s worth weighing this up against the fact that German real estate agents are usually quite expensive and often require a hefty payment for their services – sometimes as much as two months’ rent; if not more. Alternatively, housing websites can be an effective option if you’re looking to relocate to Hagen, but the InterNations community forums would also be a good place to find information on how best to approach moving here. Bear in mind that accommodation does not always include furnishing for bath and kitchen, so you may want to prepare yourself to spend a little extra when you arrive. Shared buildings often share maintenance responsibilities too, i.e. keeping the hallways clean, so make sure you check with your real estate agent before signing anything when moving to Hagen.
Of course the university is a key source of employment in Hagen, but this wasn’t always the case. One of the city’s key attraction is the Hagen Open-air Museum, where the historic industrial activities of the area are re-enacted. Trades such as milling, brewing beer, printing and blacksmithing were all key to Hagen’s historical economy, and are now portrayed as participatory activities in which visitors can either take part or simply observe. Hagen is also home to the Werdringen moated castle; an excellent blend of stoic German architecture from the 13th century to the modern day. InterNations' Expat Magazine can help you find general topics of support in moving to a foreign country and how to find work abroad. It also provides information on insurance, finance, living abroad and socializing. If you’re already working in Hagen, you could also use the InterNations platform to organize local get-togethers with other expats living Hagen or the surrounding area, or to learn how best to adjust to life in Germany.