New members of the Germany forum, introduce yourselves here - 2020

Hi all,

Newbie on the Germany forum? Don't know how to start?

This thread is for you ;)

We invite you to introduce yourself on this topic, to share with us your expat story if you are already living in the country, or to tell us more on your expat projects in Germany if you are planning to move there.

It will enable us to help you better but above all to wish you a warm welcome.

Welcome on board!

Greetings everyone.
  I will be moving to Bavaria, Germany in the near future, and starting a job making costumes.  This was an unexpected offer, so I have not had time to learn very much of the language, or gather much information.  Any suggestion on how to begin and how to set up a house on the cheap, would be helpful. 
  As of yet, I have not found a place to live.  So assistance for something that is lightly furnished would be great.
  Is there anything from the states that I must bring with me?  I am having to pay for my own relocation, so I can only bring the necessities.
Thank you for the help, and directions!

There is a lot of information on other threads on this site but not necessarily directly to your question. If you have very specialized tools for your work then I would think you would want to bring them. But I imagine you use mostly sewing machines, something that can be found here as well of course. Otherwise, I don’t think there is anything essential that cannot be bought locally.

One should know that the vast majority of people live in apartments not houses. Looking for a house to rent will likely cut down your options by 95% in an already very tight housing market in most cities. And a whole house of any size is going to be expensive. So don’t get hung up on the idea of a house, try to find a nice apartment but be aware it is not easy, especially for a foreigner. Many landlords are not prejudice per se - they just want security about their tenants. And why should they take you instead of the nice German couple with professional stable jobs…

But once you find accommodation then one can get new furniture and household objects at IKEA for cheap. Or find used things on flea markets or advertised in newspapers or local online sites. Sometimes people are virtually, or even literally, giving away perfectly good things because they have replaced them, have no room to store the old stuff and just want to get rid of them.

Another tip is to see if you manage to get along with public transportation. Many people in the cities are better off without having a car. Single tickets for trains, buses etc. are not cheap but all municipalities will have things like year/month/weekly passes that make it much cheaper if used regularly.  And this then becomes a factor in housing location. What is the proximity to  transport. Sometimes the total distance of a commute is not as important than if one has to change lines and how far the stops are from your starting point and destination. One might just find a place to live that is a bit cheaper but way out of town and then one suddenly needs a car or has a very long and difficult commute to work and thus one might not save anything at all.

Anyway, Ansbach is a small but very pretty city. If you want to connect with other US expats, I think there is still an American Army base nearby because the occasions I’ve had to visit there I always noticed multiple American families on the street.. And if Ansbach feels too provincial at times, Nuremburg is a short train ride anyway.

Thank you for the suggestions.   I will keep them in mind as I begin this quickly approaching transition.

thanks for info :)

Does anyone have a tip on renting a furnished apartment?  I have inquired about two online, but have heard nothing in return.

SyRilla27 :

Does anyone have a tip on renting a furnished apartment?  I have inquired about two online, but have heard nothing in return.

The rental market is very difficult in the more populat German cities. We have discussed this several times on the forum and you are welcome to read those posts.
In short:
- You need to be physically in Germany, able to view the apartment and meet the landlord in person. Contacting any before your arrival is a waste of time!
- Furnished places are rare, especially expensive and particularly sought after. If you intend to stay above six months, better rent empty and buy your own stuff. For shorter stays, cheap hotels or temporary rental agencies (which charge about the same as hotels, but sometimes offer more luxuries) are your best bet.
- The same hotels and temp agencies are also suitable for your initial time from arrival until you find a rental place and move in. This can be weeks if you are lucky, months if you are not.

Like Beppi mentioned, if you rent for more than 6 months then it is usually better to buy your own furniture. Functional cheap things are available at Ikea or used for cheap or even free. There are multiple threads on this site about this subject. But while furnished places were quite rare in the past they have apparently become much more common in recent years. But the reason is that the landlords can have much higher profit margins. This trend hasn’t pushed the prices down as far as I know but say for someone coming for some months it might make finding a place easier in a tight housing market. And if it is for a rather short time rental it will still probably be cheaper than even the cheapest hotel and of course saves the trouble of shopping for furniture that one has to sell or give away when they leave.

Hi,

Do we have a WhatsApp group where we can discuss on Germany visa?

Thanks
Srikar

Hello srikarnikhi and welcome to expat.com.

If you have trouble with the German visa, why don't you have a look at our Visa in Germany article? :)

Also, you are most welcome to post post a new topic if you have any question regarding visas. ;)

Regards.

Loïc

Hi.

I've been in Frankfurt for a year or so now, and been enjoying life in this city.

I'm originally from Pune, in India, so the contrast between Indian and German life is rather huge.

I work in IT, and so do a lot of work for German banks in Frankfurt of course!

Still searching for really authentic curry, so let me know if you find any great places!  Also, I am a regular  cricket player (wicket keeper and ok batsman) so let me know if you play or like to watch this beautiful game!

Hi, I'm Leonie. I have been living in Germany for 20 years. I'm originally from Russia.

Olá.  I'm a Portuguese now in Berlin.  Been in Bordeaux and London before making the switch to Germany.

Hi, I'm Astrid from Duisburg and I'm here because I am interested in languages and in meeting people from all over the globe.
I'd like to do my best to help you get settled in my country and city.
So if you are in Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Essen, Mülheim, Oberhausen and are looking for a language café, a sports club, a playgroup for children...whatever...just ask me and either I already know something or I can figure it out for you.

My name is Uche. I am Nigerian and my husband is German, we moved to Germany from Ireland last year. It's been very challenging for me to adapt or get a job because my German language skill is not so good (taking lessons though). I have a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree in Media Communications.

I'm not sure, but maybe those websites can be useful to find an English language job in Germany:

https://www.make-it-in-germany.com/en/

https://www.toytowngermany.com/

From USA
Wish to enter Germany
early retiree

Thank you.  I will check them out.

Jay198 :

From USA
Wish to enter Germany
early retiree

Good luck with that. Germany is not known for attracting retirees.  Most people look for warmer climates. And one can survive with English but few are happy if they don’t speak the language. They are then dependent on others’ good will to help them out and can feel socially isolated. I think one will have to prove that they have enough retirement income.

The other thing is that one has to get German health insurance when living here. Many Americans have no idea how it works and believe the hype that it is free. It is not. There is universal coverage which means everyone has to get coverage. And most people have a public option that determines cost as a percentage of income. And if one retires while in the public system, then they continue with it. But one cannot join it at retirement age. The only option as far as I know will be private insurance which then is very expensive at that age. There might be other options if one retired from the US military and their coverage will be honored in Germany but I don’t know details about this. There have been many threads on this site about the subject of health insurance so I suggest you go through the site or start by looking at the Wiki page about German health coverage.

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