Living in Vienna to be with my girlfriend, I don't speak German!

Hi, I'm moving to Austria to spend time with my girlfriend. We've been in a long-term relationship for nearly a year and we'd like to take a step forward. I decided I would move to Vienna at the end of May (early June) and do not speak the language very well.

I've been there to see her two times but those were more holidays, I'm going tomorrow for a week and will be searching for work that can be done with little or no German.

I will not take a language course as I don't learn best in a class environment, and would better learn while working and speaking to the locals on a daily basis.

I thought I'd sign up to the ex-pat blog as well, in case there was anyone who'd had similar experiences and could share their stories with me. Also it seems there are jobs advertised on the site that could be a place to start the job hunt before actually moving into the country.

There's my story, what's yours?

Welcome to Expat.com Baris Tosun!

For better visibility, your thread has been moved to Vienna forum.:)

Hope that other members will soon share their experience with you.

Harmonie

Hi Baris!
Good luck with your job hunting in Vienna! There should be a good choice in one of the prettiest capitals in Europe. A good place to start hunting for jobs would be ams.at where everything is listed.
If you have worked for 1 day in Austria, and paid tax/national insurance, you are entitled to claim unemployment benefit. Your are also at an advantage if you are from the EU. AMS run courses for FREE, especially German language courses, either at beginners or advanced levels. They will help you once you have registered. Remember to register for an E Card/National Health Card, and register at a local doctors soonest possible, as well as your local district council. E Card available from your local district health office, which can be found in the phone book.
Rod 604

Hi, I am an Austrian citizen living in Vienna and to find a job with AMS I don't think it's a really good idea. If you have a high job qualification it's better you are looking privat to find a job and if the company really needs you, you will get a german course from them. Companies who search people through AMS don't pay much. Specially in Vienna AMS doesn't have a good reputation.

In Vienna there are many big international companies, search for them and look at their homepage for a job.
What are you looking for?


Good luck

Hi Baris!

If you have European nationality, if your girlfriend is Austrian and she has a place where you can stay with her then why not? Jump in at the deep end and start looking for a job over here.

I did the same about 35 years ago! I didn't speak German but my girlfriend had a flat where we could live together. I was lucky to get a job in a factory where German wasn't required - hard work, low pay but it got me started! The Austrians like English-speaking people but you will still need to learn the language! It took me a year to become conversant (but not fluent by a long way)!

Just get over here and start looking - you will see if doors start to open for you or not. And since you're not going to be a tourist on a long holiday, don't forget to register at the Meldeamt or you'll end up getting a fine like I did!

Good luck and let me know how you get on!

Peter

Thanks for your replies, I'm really grateful!

Gesirone :

What are you looking for?
Good luck

I'm looking for anything really, I do have skills in design, project management, (even a physics degree) but I'm happy to start anywhere at all, especially since I don't yet speak any German.

Peterwilliamross :

Hi Baris!

If you have European nationality, if your girlfriend is Austrian and she has a place where you can stay with her then why not? Jump in at the deep end and start looking for a job over here.

I did the same about 35 years ago! I didn't speak German but my girlfriend had a flat where we could live together. I was lucky to get a job in a factory where German wasn't required - hard work, low pay but it got me started! The Austrians like English-speaking people but you will still need to learn the language! It took me a year to become conversant (but not fluent by a long way)!

Just get over here and start looking - you will see if doors start to open for you or not. And since you're not going to be a tourist on a long holiday, don't forget to register at the Meldeamt or you'll end up getting a fine like I did!

Good luck and let me know how you get on!

Peter

Thanks for the advice, especially the part about the Meldeamt - I plan on registering within 3 months of June, when I officially move to Vienna.

I've begun sending CVs to places like English speaking schools and companies that are predominantly English speaking, so far no luck, but it's very early days yet.

I have lots of catering experience and I my parents are Turkish, so if I have to I don't mind working in one of the many Turkish restaurants I've seen about the place.

I'm a competent web designer, but unless I find clients who speak English I don't imagine I'll find any work locally, but we'll see, I'm optimistic that something right will come up...

Rod604 :

Hi Baris!
Good luck with your job hunting in Vienna!
...AMS run courses for FREE, especially German language courses, either at beginners or advanced levels...

Thanks for the reply, I couldn't find any language courses on the AMS website, could you post a link if you have one please.

Thanks!

Sure, best approach it with optimism!
Sounds promising since you've got a few things going for you- web-design, you speak English and you are prepared to work in catering if necessary. If your strength is web-design then try to stick to it because English is going to be a big plus!

Although I know it's difficult, I think the personal approach, knocking on doors and talking to people is more effective than sending cv's.

If catering is not really your thing then I think you should avoid it until things get really desperate! Once you start in that direction you might get stuck in a rutt.Speaking from experience because I worked as a storeman at the beginning because it was the only job I could get. Later, when I wanted to apply for something better it didn't look good because I only had storeman experience on my cv.

Similarly for you, if you work in a restaurant and then apply for a job in web-design, then......?

Have fun..
Peter

Peterwilliamross :

If catering is not really your thing then I think you should avoid it until things get really desperate! Once you start in that direction you might get stuck in a rutt.Speaking from experience because I worked as a storeman at the beginning because it was the only job I could get. Later, when I wanted to apply for something better it didn't look good because I only had storeman experience on my cv.

Similarly for you, if you work in a restaurant and then apply for a job in web-design, then......?

Have fun..
Peter

Totally agree, it's good as a last resort, but it's not easy to step out of that path once you've taken a few steps...

I'm still putting my portfolio together since I don't have many recent designs. I've done a lot of project management work in the last couple of years which is not easy to transfer to another language or city...

Hi Baris!
They usually give you a course to attend when you apply for unemployment benefit. MOST multi-national or larger Austrian companies would have English speakers amongst their staff, who deal with business every day on the net, where the international language of course is English. You could try either phoning or e mailing your local AMS office in Vienna, who may be able to advise. There have been some negative comments about AMS, and I could tell you my story:
Came to Austria in November 2011, and started to look for jobs on various websites. You could register too ie Job Rapido, Stepstones etc. Could also join LinkedIn, which give loads of possibilities for your skills. I also went to AMS to register unemployed. Got no money until I had worked 3 days at a local Shell service station.
That failed, and since the business has failed too. AMS  sent me on a 12 week part time course PPC Training, where we had a good lecturer who upped our skill base. Still looked for jobs though too. Be aware of the Kollektiv Vertrag - an agreement with the Unions, where the minimum wage in your job are set, AND they have to pay you according to your experience...OK until you realise most companies want to employ the cheapest unskilled labour in favour to your extensive knowledge, so was forced to think again, and decided to use my bi-lingual language skills to become a receptionist. Still had no job at the end of the course, but my enthusiasm was noted by AMS, and they paid me to go on a course to Vienna WIFI campus to re-train. They even paid my rent for the 2.5 months we were there, not far from West Bahnhof 6th district. The day before my exam, I received a job offer, and suddenly found myself working for a 4 star superior hotel not 5 minutes walk away from our flat! SO they DO work and help you best they can!
Good luck again
Rod604

Hi,
How did ur story end up? Job found?

how'd things work out for you?

Hi guys! I am new on this forum - and I saw this threat . I am just like you, intending to relocate in Vienna very soon, not speaking german (yet - but I am optimistic), and looking for any type of job, to start from somwhere!

So - Nice to meet you and I promise to visit you very often, here!

A good day to everyone!

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