Moving to Germany

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tonin
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Moving to Germany

Beitragvon tonin » 3. April 2011 17:23

Hello,

First of all I want to appologiaze writing in English since this is a German forum. :) I currently live in Stockholm and I just received a job offer from Frankfurt. I am neither a German or a Swede. We are a family of four and I was wondering if the move is worth it. I have a good job here is Sweden but the offer form Germany is also good and the perspectives are better. Why I am writing on this forum is because I would like to get some advice from true Germans of what is like living in Germany compared to Sweden. To cut to the chase I want to say that I was offered 60000 euros per year in Frankfurt. Will this be enough to support a family of four? Do you think that the schooling system is better or worse in Germany? My kids are 5 and 1. My 5 year old goes here to kindergarten and she was very welcomed. She started to speak some Swedish after just three months. Will it be harder in Germany for a non German speaking kid to integrate or even be accepted into a state German kindergarten? Right now we speak just basic German. Will it be hard to get by with only English? How is the working environment in Germany? Is it relaxed as in Sweden or is ti more stressfull? I am not afraid of work I am just wondering how is the work-life balance compared to Swede.

Thank you in advance for your answers,
Toni

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Mark
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Re: Moving to Germany

Beitragvon Mark » 3. April 2011 18:20

Hi Toni!

Let me try to answer your questions. The salary sounds decent, depending on your current lifestyle and expectations. A few years ago the overall living costs in Germany were lower than in Sweden, so a corresponding salary should result in same or better finances. When I am in Germany it looks like shopping in supermarkets/restaurants is much cheaper and has more to offer. Education is also good in Germany, my impression is that elementary education is better in Germany and university better in Sweden. The language barrier will probably the biggest problem, unlike Sweden you should not expect people on the street to speak English fluently, English-only will not work in my opinion. So this means kids will probably have to join an international school/kindergarten (if available) or pick up the language quickly. Because Swedish and German language are similar, Swedish speakers should have no problem at all to pick up the basics in a few months.

I would say working conditions are more stressful and the mood is more competitive. Stereotypes are that Germans like to complain and argue, have a gen for engineering and one for bad haircuts. On the plus side the summers in Germany are warm and sunny, lots of outdoor activities, including the national sports: grilling steaks, sausages and drinking beer.

Hälsningar,
Mark

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meckpommbi
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Re: Moving to Germany

Beitragvon meckpommbi » 4. April 2011 15:21

Hej
1, the money is enough I think
2 Child Care in Germany much more difficult and expensive than in Sweden
3, the working climate is certainly not relaxed
I would advise against a total of Germany is not very child friendly and children with 4 drops you at a more negative
apartment search will make it difficult
gruss birgit

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Imrhien
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Re: Moving to Germany

Beitragvon Imrhien » 5. April 2011 09:52

Hej,
Mark already said the most things but I want to share my point of view too.
Two kids is not a problem in Germany, though it will be hard in the beginning because everything is different. The live in Sweden is a little bit more relaxing than it is in Germany. We tend to be stressful in all situations. Like shopping. Have you ever been to a Lidl in Sweden? Now they have the same roller conveyor at the pay desks (what the heck is the English word for this?) as all the Swedish shops have. But before that they only had the shorter version, typical for Germany. We don't need the long roller band for the stuff we .. We are trained to pack away the things just bought as fast as possible for human beings. :) I still have the feeling at Lidl and they always ask me why I'm so fast and stressed while paying.
But that aside, I love Germany and I think it's a nice country to live in. Some things are probably not as easygoing in the beginning but when you know a German better, they can be real friends. Here it's often more open in the beginning. People are friendly and easy. There it takes more time at first. We often seem to bee unfriendly or rude. But not all of us are :)
You have to see beyond the rudeness. I guess we just want to complain a lot. :) That doesn't mean we're really angry or upset. We just tend to talk . things, other than swedes.

Everything we write here depends a lot on where you're going to live. Germany has much more people even though it's much more smaller. Life in the south is not comparable to life in the north. You could think it's a totally different country sometimes.

The salary should be ok for 4 persons. You have to pay more things like kindergarden. But you don't pay as much taxes. In the end this also depends on you and how you live. What does you're wife? Is she working too? That could be a problem. It's not as easy for a woman to get a job with kids that little. Most women stay at home until the kids are three years old and go to kindergarden. You can find places for younger kids which I would recommend because of the language but it's not as typical there as it is here.

School: More stress and harder for the kids. But I think they learn faster and more. If it's better in the end, I don't know. I'm stressed because they're not so fast here and I sometimes compare my son to kids I know in Germany. But that's not good. The system is too different.

Work: More stress and more to do. No fika and a lot of overtime. Not in all jobs and not everywhere but more common.
But if you have the right colleagues it can be very fulfilling. Bosses tend to be more exact when telling you what to do but they're not used to have so many arguments and meetings like here.

Well. that's it. And there's much more to tell. I lived in Germany for 33 years and I live in Sweden now for three years. I love both countries and I don't know where life is better. Here I sometimes miss Germany but as soon as I would live there I would terribly miss Sweden.
I guess as you're from a nother country, you know the feeling. Every country has ups and downs.

Wish you luck with the decision and a good life wherever it will be.

Best regards
Wiebke

tonin
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Re: Moving to Germany

Beitragvon tonin » 5. April 2011 15:08

Thanks a lot everyone for you answers. You gave me a lot of information which I really appreciate. My job is going to be in Frankfurt. I've been to Germany before but to Munich not Frankfurt and I loved it there. I heard that Frankfurt region is not as lovely as Bavaria. Anyway very hard decision. I do like it in Sweden and I do think that for my kids would be better here when they are really young but I am thinking that it might be better for them in Germany in the long run since they will have more opportunities than in Sweden. Anyway thank you again for all your answers.

Cheers,
Toni

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Re: Moving to Germany

Beitragvon Lussekatt » 5. April 2011 16:02

tonin hat geschrieben: I heard that Frankfurt region is not as lovely as Bavaria.


That is wrong. Who told you that? The Rhine-Main area is just beautiful:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankfurt_Rhine-Main

Bavaria is a Germany-stereotype as especially Americans see it. But there are so many more lovely places, pretty much everywhere in the country. Don't judge from hearsay! :smt064

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Imrhien
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Re: Moving to Germany

Beitragvon Imrhien » 6. April 2011 07:42

Hej,
Frankfurt. Yes. I very nice region. Everybody who tells otherwise hasn't been there. It is loud and full and noisy, yes. Can't argument . that. I mean a lot of people live there. But: Depending on where exactly you're going to work, you can live in the outskirts. There it will also bee green and nice. Frankfurt has really a lot to give. Culture and music and everything. For your kids, they're gonna love it in teens. There is so much to do. And the plus for this region. Everything bad you here . Germans and Germany doesn't apply here just because it's so big. True you'll find everything there but because it's so big, you doesn't have to see it. You always have the possibility to be at a nice place with nice people. You'll find more people able to speak you're language and probably Swedish too. You'll going to have hundreds of schools to choose so the chance is good you'll find one that suits your kids better. You need time there to get accumulated but then it really can be nice. In the greater Frankfurt area there are a lot of smaller towns and these also are nice to live. And you're going to see more festivals than you've ever have, if you want to. In this region almost every town and place has a big party. Whine festival or something like that. In Frankfurt there are a lot of museums and a very famous loppis (can't remember the English equivalent).

http://www.frankfurt-tourismus.de/cms/t ... ffice.html

http://www.hessen-tourismus.de/dynasite.cfm?dssid=164

That's only two but there is a lot more to see.

You see, I know the region, and I love it. I know, it's noisy and probably to full but it's so nice. People are nice there too. I myself wouldn't live in city. I would try to find a smaller town in the region but that depends on a lot and on what you and your family want and need.

I'd recommend a road trip with the family to see the place and then decide. Spring there is nice too :)

Cheers
Wiebke

tonin
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Re: Moving to Germany

Beitragvon tonin » 6. April 2011 12:39

Hej,

Thanks again for all your info. I see that you guys really like that region :) I also believe that is very nice after looking at all the pictures.

By the way, the person who told me that this region is not as lovely as Bavaria is actually is a really good friend of mine who is 100% Bavarian. :) Born and raised in the Munich area. I noticed everytime when I have visited him that Bavarians believe there is Bavaria and the rest :lol: I hope I didn't offend anyone :)

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Mark
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Re: Moving to Germany

Beitragvon Mark » 6. April 2011 13:50

Don't worry, the German identity is regional.

People in Germany identify strongly with their city, dialect, region and people they know... everyone else must be strange. :)

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Imrhien
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Re: Moving to Germany

Beitragvon Imrhien » 6. April 2011 16:12

Yes,
we have a regional identity. And yes, Bavarians tend to see themselves as the better part of Germany. And part of it is true. I mean, Munich is really nice. But then, Munich is not really Bavarian. :) I lived in different parts but mostly south west. And there we always have a lot of festivals (whine or beer festivals). Even with kids it's nice. People drink more often but not as much as here probably. My feeling.

Cheers
Wiebke


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