Living in Germany

Hi Everyone. !

I am looking at maybe working in Germany with my company , a global service company. And would like to get your advice on what it means to live in Germany with a small family with young kids (family of 4). I am from South Africa. An opportunity is likely to come from Berlin, Stuttgart or Munchen, but I'm not sure at this stage.

I would like to get a general feeling for living costs in Euro? one child in an international primary school and one in kindergarten, we love the country so can live in the outskirts somewhere, small place.

can anyone share some ideas  on doing this with a small family?

thank you. looking forward to exchanging some ideas with you!


Welcome to the forum!
Your question is quite general and not easily answered in a forum post.
I recommend you read the many related discussions on this forum and elsewhere to get a first impression of the specifics of life in Germany and then come back here with more detailed questions.
I myself live in Stuttgart with small kids and can probably give you some hints here.
One word of caution: International schools are very expensive (around EUR1000/month per kid), so if finances are a concern you should consider (free) local schooling (which also has other advantages).

HI Beppi,

subsequent to posting my questions I have read a host of your replies and that of others in the forum,so yes, thank you, I did get some good answers on my questions.

what I could not find an answer to is: my company will arrange my work visa, but what will my wife need? she is an educator at a Waldorf school here in South Africa, does she need to apply for a work permit if she wants to work? - by the way we don't plan for her to work for at least the first 6 months ...and perhaps she will just mind the kids and not work at all- does she just have a visa then?

thanks for all the good information!
Kind regards

Your wife and kids do need a visa of their own - and can easily get a dependent's or family reunion visa (I think your company can apply for that together with your work permit).
To work, your wife also needs a work permit. As a non-EU-citizen this is always a bit challenging, but since there is a huge shortage of experienced child care people, I think she has good chances after learning at least basic German (Although native English speakers are sought after by Kindergartens, German is required for most communication with the kids and colleagues). Please note that child care is NOT a well-paid profession in Germany.

Thanks Beppi,
you have cleared it up for me.
she is actually an educator for primary grades at an English Waldorf school in South Africa. The first Waldorf school ever was opened in Stuttgart in 1919 actually, so it is a German/Austrian founded international school system. But she can do that later on...just wondering your thoughts on that..

Kind Regards

I personally object to Waldorf education beyond Kindergarten, but let's not discuss that here.
To be a teacher in Germany requires an educational degree (check with ANABIN if your wife's is recognised) and very good German language skills (except maybe at international schools). But there is a lack of EU-teachers for some subjects - mainly maths and sciences.

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