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Juli Buchanan

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Meet Sabina!

Sabina Heyn is an Account Manager and Relocation Consultant at IRC. She has been with IRC since 2017 and working with Assignees to start life in their new hometown of Berlin.

In her own words – I am a native German, has been living in Berlin since 1978. Throughout the course of my career as a flight attendant, she has had the chance to travel all over the world. She spent an extensive amount of time in the U.S.A. as well as Indonesia. It is through my travels and my work experience in an international environment that I have developed my intercultural sensitivity. My intercultural competence has been deepened further by specific intercultural training.

Favourite Place in Berlin – Wannsee and all other green neighbourhoods.

A great place to eat in BerlinAux delices Normands (great french cakes, tarts, coffee and bread), usually very nice locations, several branches in Berlin.

A hidden gem in BerlinMutter Fourage, a beautiful cafe and organic shop located in the lake district of Wannsee.

Best day trip from BerlinSpreewald, a really unique area with forests and canals around 2 hours outside of Berlin (South East).

Meet Radha!

Radha Barna Roa is the Chief Technology Officer at IRC. He has been with IRC since the end of 2017 as a freelancer for technical support and at the beginning of 2020, he started the position as CTO. As CTO it is very important to introduce well developed and scalable tools to make the work more effective and easy to use in the mobile world.

Radha speaks German, Spanish and English. He has lived in Germany and Columbia. He enjoys working at IRC to learn to use established tools and adapt them to the conditions of the highly dynamic relocation business. He also supports the IRC team in all things technical/digital related.

Radha on LinkedIn

Favourite Place in Berlin Schloßpark Charlottenburg

A great place to eat in BerlinPanzerotto – Italian easy food

A hidden gem in BerlinRieselfelder Karolinenhöhe, in the 19th century the Gatower Karolinenhöhe, between Potsdamer Chaussee and Gatower Straße, became one of the 20 Rieselfelder in Berlin. Based on the idea of ​​James Hobrecht and Rudolf von Virchow to build a closed water system in Berlin, these fields were used for the biological treatment of wastewater.

You can stroll, ride or cycle through the fields on numerous paths and trails in this protected area. The untouched nature makes you forget that you are still in the capital city of Germany. In the summer you can find a shady spot under trees and picnics overlooking the fields. If you want to experience a bit of culture and history afterwards, it is worth visiting the Military History Museum, Fort Hahneberg or continuing on the Wall Trail.

Best Daytrip from BerlinKönigswald mit Havelseen und Seeburger Agrarlandschaft.

In June 2019 the Mietendeckel (Rent Control) Law came into force. We would like to provide you with a basic overview of the current situation and some links to further articles by local providers.

From when does it apply – The law will then be applied retroactively from June 18th, 2019, which means that any recent rental increases may be deemed as not valid.

Which apartments does it apply to – Apartments built before 2014. This does not apply to newly-built apartments that were ready to be occupied as of January 1, 2014 or social housing. Also not affected are living spaces which were previously uninhabitable or uninhabited – newly built attics, for example.

How should this be handled by tenants? – Tenants are being asked to comply with the law, check rent from June 2019 and then lower your payment – if there is an issue with the landlord, contact authorities. Estimated, one in six Berliner is eligible. It is, however, advisable to SAVE the extra rent money just in case this law is found to be illegal in the coming months and so that you stay on the safe side.

The major impact will be on new contracts, 9 out of 10 advertised flats will be offered at lower prices. Fines for landlords who do not comply can be up to half a million euros.

For more articles on the subject see:

Deutsche Welle: https://www.dw.com/en/germany-berlin-parliament-passes-five-year-rent-freeze/a-52210612

KCRW Berlin: https://kcrwberlin.com/2020/01/in-brief-berlin-passes-the-first-rent-cap-law-in-germany/

The Local.de: https://www.thelocal.de/20200313/berlin-regional-court-considers-rent-price-caps-to-be-unconstitutional

About the author

Hi there! I’m Juli, German roots but I grew up in New Zealand and have been living in Germany since 2004. I love sharing my passion for Berlin and all it has to offer with new ‚Berliners‘ and through my work as a freelance Relocation Consultant with IRC I have the opportunity to do so.

Temporary Precautionary Measures in effect as of Monday. March 16 th 2020

Dear clients, partners, “New Berliner”, staff and those supporting IRC Berlin.

Several weeks ago, everything still felt in order. In the meantime, the WHO has officially declared Coronavirus a global pandemic and the German government has taken stringent measures, also the City State of Berlin. This is what generally happens in cases that involve exponential growth. Coronavirus is one of those cases as all numbers being collected around the world show.

What is important to understand, we need to adjust our daily habits and routines because they directly relate to the speed of the infection spreading — and we need to do so now. We, as a company, are also the ones who are responsible to keep infection numbers down. The health of our client’s employees, our partners and the IRC Consultant’s team and staff is our top priority. With our decision to close our office we are following the recommendation of the Berlin public health officers to avoid people-to-people contacts.

That’s why we as a company are taking these cautionary measures: 1. No more travel. 2. No Conferences/Events;/Team Meetings: Neither host nor participate. We only hold video meetings/trainings / conferences. 3. Only work from home / Only remote consultation 4. Stay away from any public spaces as much as possible. The Berlin authorities are dealing with the situation and have a partial closure. 5. Avoid public transportation 6. Avoid shaking hands

In general, we are very well prepared for the full remote work scenario, as we have had a chance to learn how to work partly remote during the last years. We are facing a situation that we as a company and as a team have never faced before. But we will do everything that is in our hands to navigate the upcoming. Please support us in doing so during the next weeks. If we all change our behaviour and act responsibly we can have a positive impact on the crisis itself. And additionally, if we all together, as a team do our best to navigate this crisis, we are extremely confident that we can come out of this crisis stronger than before.

We are experiencing a more supportive and genuine “WE” feeling in our community and amongst our competitors. This alone has been the most heart-warming experience in this very trying time. We hope you understand our preventive safety measures and we look forward to a brighter and healthier future. Thank you.

In this spirit, act now but stay calm and healthy!

Niklas & Ariane Almerood with the whole IRC Team

What’s almost as famous as beer and bretzeln? The Autobahn! And although Germany has incredibly good public transport you may want to purchase a car and or make use of car-sharing services. In order t do this, you will have to ensure that you have the correct drivers license for driving in Germany.

If you are considering staying longer than 6 months and will ever want to drive, it is important to deal with the drivers license issue as soon as possible, especially since for some license holders time can be of the essence, because when certain deadlines run out you may be required to re-do your license altogether and this is an expensive and lengthy process in Germany.

Non-EU citizens who will be living in Germany longer than a year will need to obtain a ‚Führerschein‚ – German license. It is often as simple as exchanging the existing license for a German one. In some cases, it will be required for people to take an exam, a driving test, or perhaps both.

Licences from the following countries can be exchanged Canada or the U.S. states of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington State, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Licences from Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee or Washington D.C. – licence holders will need to take the written test, but not the driving test.

For people planning to reside in Germany for longer than six months but less than one year, you can obtain a six-month extension to use your existing license. Licenses which were issued by a country which is not in the EU or the EEA, are usable for six months from your date of arrival.

Full LIST here for all countries and USA States.

Happy Driving!

(Source: https://www.adac.de/verkehr/rund-um-den-fuehrerschein/auslaendische-fuehrerscheine/ & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Driving_licence_in_Germany & https://res.cloudinary.com/adacde/image/upload/v1572337531/ADAC-eV/KOR/Text/PDF/staatenliste-nicht-eu-land-umtausch-fuehrerschein_v2ag0f.pdf )

Meet Luisa!

Luisa Haack is an Account Manager and Relocation Consultant at IRC. She has been with IRC since 2017 looking after assignees as they start their new life in Berlin. Luisa is very empathetic, this helps her to understand her client’s wishes and their needs and she aims to go above and beyond to meet these requirements.

Luisa is born and bred in Berlin, she loves to share her hometown with ’new Berliners‘ and show them just what she loves about the city. Luisa speaks German and English.

In her own words:

Favourite place in Berlin – My favourite neighbourhood is around Kurfürstendamm (City West). Apart from the great shops on the main street, you can always find small but awesome cafés on the side streets where you can relax with a cup of coffee and croissant or healthy lunch.

A hidden Gem in Berlin – I’ve discovered a beautiful courtyard bakery in City West – Aera – in Fasanenstraße. You must try the Miso-Sesame Pastry, but don’t tell anyone! 😉

Best day trip from Berlin – I can really recommend discovering the beautiful lakes around Berlin in summer.

Great place to eat – Breakfast/Brunch: ‚Die Stulle‚ in Charlottenburg, ‚Spindler‚ on the Maybachufer. Evening Meal: ‚Mädchenitaliener‚ at Rosa-Luxemburg Platz or ‚Osmans Töchter‚ at Savigny Platz.

About the author

Hi there! My name is Juli Buchanan. I have German roots but I grew up in New Zealand and I have been living in Germany since 2004. I love sharing my passion for Berlin and all it has to offer with new ‚Berliners‘ and through my work as a freelance Relocation Consultant with IRC I have the opportunity to do so.

 

 

If you want to hear a good overview/discussion on the ‚Mietendeckel‘ Rent Control/Rent Freeze which came into effect on the 01.03.2020 – then listen in to this KCRW Podcast: HOW WILL THE ‘MIETENDECKEL’ AFFECT BERLIN RENTERS AND LANDLORDS?

104,1 FM Berlin’s English Language Public Radio Station.

(Source: https://kcrwberlin.com/2020/02/studio-berlin-broadcast-february-29-2020-rent-control-in-berlin/ )

Just a heads up on the actions you can take to keep yourself healthy and safe when dealing with infectious illness such as Covid 19 (Corona Virus). It is important to be aware and if you have reason to believe you may be infected – specifically if you have been to North Italy or China – then you must CALL a doctor or hospital on the phone, do not turn up at the doctor’s practice. You will be advised on the phone how to further proceed. This comes from the press conference given by the Minister of Health on the 27.02.2020.

Concrete actions, to protect yourself and others from infection:

  • Keep a distance from the sick (one to two meters)
  • Regular, frequent and careful handwashing (at least 20 seconds with soap, up to the
    Wrist)
  • wear gloves if necessary (wash after daily change)
  • Shake hands and hug by replacing elbows (so-called „Ebola handshake“)
  • Touch faces less
  • Do not touch mucous membranes on the face (mouth, eyes, nose) with your fingers
  • Do not sneeze in the hand, but in the crook of the arm
  • Dispose of used tissues quickly
  • Breathing masks offer little protection to healthy people, and the mask is moistened by condensed breathing air
    removes the barrier protection after only 20 minutes [2], masks should be used by medical personnel
  • Develop other protective habits: for example, pressing elevator buttons with ankles
    instead of fingertip
  • Avoid busy places and events, prioritise where you need to go

Source: https://www.sciencemediacenter.de/fileadmin/user_upload/Fact_Sheets_PDF/FS_Pandemie_Verhalten_CoV.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1lFME5ZqwP9__I_YPO2xqdv93JVwdDP6Ui5zGjEobtTUn7qmljIzMrJcY

Meet Anja!

Anja Kunzke is an Account Manager & Senior Consultant at IRC. She has been with IRC since 2013 and she is very experienced in the relocation business. Anja loves working with people and is passionate about Berlin.

Anja spends her day’s boots on the ground with Assignees, supporting with immigration matters, home & school searches and accompanying families & individuals in all their relocation needs. Her favourite part of the job is spending time with people and ensuring that their relocation to Berlin is not only smooth but showing what a great new ‚Home‘ Berlin will be.

Anja is originally from Frankfurt, she has been living in Berlin since 2009. She also spent 9 years living abroad in the USA with her family, so she knows what a relocation feels like and what the most important aspects are of finding comfort in your new surroundings. Anja speaks German, English, Spanish and a little French. She enjoys travelling and spending time getting to know new cultures. She has a wonderful warm nature and she is a huge asset to our team and all the assignees she works with.

Favourite place in Berlin: The lake district of Wannsee and the surrounding area, the water and forests provide a beautiful balance of tranquillity to the urban jungle in the centre of Berlin. The hidden beaches perfect for summer swimming along the shores of the Wannsee are a top tip!

A great place to eat in Berlin: Cafe Jacques on the Maybach Ufer in Kreuzberg or the Night Kitchen in Mitte.

A hidden gem in Berlin: Roaming around the ‚Hinterhöfe‘ (Courtyards) in Mitte, especially in the Galerienviertel (Gallery & Art Quarter) of Berlin around Oranienburger Str – finding wonderful little galleries and cafes hidden behind the main facades, worth a day of exploration.

Best day trip from Berlin: The incredible Heilstätten Beelitz, a former Tuberculosis which was built over 100 years ago by Architect Heino Schmieden and offered a place for Berliners to recover in beautifully designed buildings and forest surroundings. However, the hospital was left to nature decades ago and is now overgrown and offers a fascinating journey into the past. There is a walkway which has been built above the treetops and for children & families, there is a ‚barefoot‘ path through the forest which offers some wonderful experiences.

Beelitz Heilstätten Treetop Path

About the author

Hi there! My name is Juli Buchanan. I have German roots but I grew up in New Zealand and I have been living in Germany since 2004. I love sharing my passion for Berlin and all it has to offer with new ‚Berliners‘ and through my work as a freelance Relocation Consultant with IRC I have the opportunity to do so.

On Thursday the 20th of February, the 70th annual Berlinale will open with a glittering Gala in the Berlinale Palast. The Jury this year includes actor Jeremy Irons (United Kingdom), actress Bérénice Bejo (Argentina / France), Producer Bettina Brokemper (Germany) and director Annemarie Jacir (Palestine). The Berlinale runs from the 20.02 – 01.03.2020.

The Berlinale was founded in 1951 in West Berlin and is one of the worldwide big 3 film festivals along with Venice and Cannes. The Golden Bear (Goldene Bär) is the highest honour at the festival awarded for best film, past winners include ‚Rain Man‘ (1989), ‚In the name of the Father‘ (1994) ‚Magnolia‘ (2000).

If you would like to get tickets to see a film, please follow this link to purchase available tickets: https://www.berlinale.de/en/home.html

(Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin_International_Film_Festival & https://www.berlinale.de/en/home.html )

About the author

Hi there! My name is Juli Buchanan. I have German roots but I grew up in New Zealand and I have been living in Germany since 2004. I love sharing my passion for Berlin and all it has to offer with new ‚Berliners‘ and through my work as a freelance Relocation Consultant with IRC I have the opportunity to do so.

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