One of the things that can be most isolating when moving to Germany is not being able to speak the language. Although learning a new language is easiest when you immerse yourself in it, you can give yourself a head start by learning some German before you move. Here are some ways you can get a grasp on the language before relocating to Germany:
• Teach Yourself
Prior to moving to Berlin, Munich or anywhere else in Germany, teach yourself as much of the language as you can. Read a few beginners books and listen to some audio to give you an idea of pronunciation and intonation. You should also try to learn some grammar as this will help you to structure sentences.
• Take Some Classes
Before you move, aim to take some German classes, both one-on-one and as part of a group. One-on-one classes will enable your tutor to focus on aspects of the language that you need to, or areas that you may be struggling with. Group classes will give you a feel of real world German conversations and knowing other learners will help to keep you motivated.
• Befriend a Native
Only by talking to a native speaker will you get an indication of how the language is used in the real world. Use the internet to get in contact with native German speakers, and aim to converse via email or via Skype before you move. This will give you a chance to practice your German in a low-pressure environment.