'Public transportation. Thirty-plus vacation days a year. So much paid paternal leave and because my son is now bilingual and working on becoming trilingual,' were some of her reasons.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on January 3, 2022. It has since been updated.
An American mom who moved to Germany two years ago went viral on social media this month after listing a bunch of reasons why she would never move back to the United States. In a video that has racked up more than 1.7 million views, TikTok user Aly—who goes by @usa.mom.in.germany on the platform—shared 11 benefits of living in Germany that have convinced her to stay. Responding to a request from @v.brittney for Americans living abroad to explain why they wouldn't move back to America, Aly began with two very important factors that helped her make the decision: healthcare and lower crime rates.
"Because I don't have to worry about affording my health insurance," she says in the video. "Because my kids can go outside and play without me having to worry because the crime rates are so much lower. Public transportation. Thirty-plus vacation days a year. So much paid paternal leave. Because my son is now bilingual and working on becoming trilingual. Because I'll save $100,000 in my son's paid university tuition. Because I no longer have to worry about my own student loans. Because even though I live in the most religious state, I'm not shamed for being an atheist."
"Because I can actually afford daycare," Aly continues. "Because my kids don't have to worry about being unalived at school. And because my taxes actually go towards helping other families." The TikTok user—who has over 704.2K followers on the popular platform—often shares videos comparing the differences between Germany and the U.S. One topic that gets a lot of attention is the difference between the two countries' healthcare systems. In one video tackling the subject, Aly busted some myths about Germany's universal healthcare system, including the misconception that there are longer wait times associated with universal healthcare.
"In Germany, wait times are actually shorter than they are in the U.S.," she explained. "The second myth is that the government decides what doctors you see and you could never get a second opinion. But, in Germany, you can choose your doctors and specialists at will. As well as the hospital. And you are entitled to a second opinion. In the U.S., it is much more likely that your insurance company will decide your doctor, hospital and even treatment plan. And they control if you can get a second opinion. The third myth is that the government spends way too much money on healthcare. But the U.S. is spending almost double per person what Germany is on healthcare right now."
"And the last myth is that the quality of care is really bad compared to the U.S. But patients rate the quality of care in Germany and the United States very similarly. And Germany often exceeds the U.S. in many patient care measures," Aly added. In another video, she praised Germany for being extremely generous when it comes to vacation days. "In Germany, if you work five days a week, the minimum amount of time that you have off is 20 days. In the United States, there is no minimum and it's completely up to the employer. There is a standard of around 10 days. And unlike in the United States, where many employers try to get away with giving their employees the bare minimum amount of vacation, in Germany, they often give their employees even more," Aly says in the video. Here are some more videos comparing life in Germany vs life in the U.S.: