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IRC is proud to present our new partner Sprachweiser by Peggy Lindner for language training and translation. We want to be able to offer our clients the best possible support to hit the ground running in every area of their relocation, including the most important aspect of being able to communicate in the German language.

Although you can get by with English in Germany, language is the key to being able to unlock the door to real social and cultural interaction, forming friendships and better work relations. Translation service is also a key area, especially when you need to understand important documentation or present documentation of your own to the authorities. Sprachweiser can help in this department too with their professional translation service.

 

Peggy Lindner is the founder and managing director of SPRACHWEISER. Foreign languages and cultures have always been her passion. Getting people from different backgrounds talking, breaking down their language barriers, and connecting them through communication – she and her team will offer you top-notch service.

Whether you want to learn business English, German as a foreign language, French, Chinese or other foreign languages or even develop your intercultural or business skills – Sprachweiser has a course tailored just for you.

The SPRACHWEISER language school instructor team is made up of qualified native-speaking and bilingual trainers. They form a motivated international team that is more than happy to help you unlock your desired language. Since their trainers only teach in their mother tongue, the cultural characteristics are also incorporated into the lessons. They have experience in a business environment, which is key to incorporating industry-related or subject-specific vocabulary into foreign language training activities.

Sprachweisers project management team truly cares for you and your objectives, and they work especially hard to ensure flexibility in planning their courses. 

For more information see: https://sprachweiser.com/en/

 

 

 

Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf is the former center of West Berlin and is also known as City West.
It is considered a high-end district in terms of living, it offers a fabulous selection of restaurants and shopping and is host to the famous Kurfürstendamm,  the Charlottenburg Palace, and some lovely parks.
Living in this district is highly sought after and can be expensive. The most famous landmark is the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächnis Kirche, situated on the main avenue Kurfürstendamm (Breitscheidplatz), which was damaged in WWII and left as a symbol of remembrance.
Location

This area is what is now known as City-West, the heart of the former West Berlin. From here, it stretches out towards the West with West-end, where you can find the Olympic Stadium and down towards the South-West into Grunewald, which is one of the wealthiest parts of Berlin – home to large scale Villas and many foreign Embassies and Diplomats. Towards the east, it meets up with the lively and bustling Schöneberg.

Rental prices average around 16€ per sq m (2021 – source: https://guthmann.estate/en/market-report/berlin/charlottenburg/)

Housing

Very green (Lietzenpark), Apartment living in the inner city part (Wilmersdorf, Charlottenburg & Schmargendorf) and single-family homes and villas out towards West-end & Grunewald.

Landmarks & scenes

A visit to the Kurfürstendamm, or Ku’damm as Berliners call it, is one of Berlin visitors’ top priorities. The world-famous boulevard in the west of the city is not only a shopping mile – strolling down the Ku’damm is also worthwhile because of architectural and cultural highlights.

The Kurfürstendamm is the lifeline of City-West and is one of the most famous streets in the world, it is 3.5 kilometers long and is located between Breitscheidplatz and Halensee. Berliners and tourists stroll on the wide sidewalks past elegantly decorated shop windows or take a seat in one of the numerous cafés. At the corner of Joachimsthaler Strasse, Berlin shines as a world metropolis – all around the Gedächtniskirche, large department stores, and fashion stores, in the direction of Olivaer Platz, well-known luxury brands showcase have their flagship stores.

  • Charlottenburg Palace – built between 1695-1713 in the Baroque style. Surrounded by a beautifully landscaped park.
  • Olympic Stadion – situated in Berlin-Westend, built between 1934-1936 for the 1936 Olympics.
  • KaDeWe – Berlin’s most famous luxury department store, shopping to your heart’s desire. Situated at Wittenbergplatz.
  • Grunewald Forest – When the Berlin Wall still stood, the Grunewald was the largest forested area in the western part of the city, and often enough, overrun by strollers and bike riders. Today, it has become much quieter in the “Green Forrest”. But it is still beautiful. All through the year, the 3,000-hectare large forest is a relaxing place for walks. To the west, the forest is bounded by the Havel. (Source: https://www.visitberlin.de/en/grunewald)

When you move abroad, it might not only be your family members of the two-legged kind you want to bring – your pet is coming too! Or you want to get a pet while living in Germany, here is what you need to know.

When moving to Germany from outside the EU, each person is allowed to bring in a maximum of five animals as part of their „personal or household items“. The animals must be your pet and not brought to Germany in order to be sold. Animals brought into Germany do not have to be quarantined if they have the proper vaccinations and if they come from a country on an EU-approved list.

If you are considering going into furnished temporary living upon moving to Germany, you must check with your landlord regarding pets as this can be an issue, or perhaps consider bringing your pet at a later date when you have organized a more permanent arrangement.

The authority responsible for the import of pets is the Zollamt, for more information please click here.

Further information on registering a dog here.

When acquiring a new Pet

If you are looking to add a new ‚four-legged‘ family member to your household, then make sure you keep these points in mind:

  1.  Although there are no official pet-bans, if you are renting, it is very important to let your landlord know about any pets.
  2. If you own a dog,  you must register your dog with the tax office right after moving to Berlin, since there is a dog tax that every owner has to pay in Berlin. Currently, this tax is around 120 euros per year for the first dog and 180 euros for each additional dog. 
  3. In case your pet is involved in an accident or damages property, every owner is required to take out liability insurance.

Auslaufgebiete: 

According to Berlin laws, Dogs must be kept on a leash. However, there are various parks and areas in Berlin, where dogs are allowed to move freely. On the outskirts of the city, you will also find some large wooded areas where your dog is allowed without a leash. In the city center, there are also multiple „Auslaufgebiete“. Check out the following: 

  1. Schlachtensee/Krumme Lanke Auslaufgebiet
  2. Grunewald (Hüttenweg)
  3. Hundeauslaufgebiet Wannsee-Düppel
  4. Hundeauslaufgebiet Jungfernheide
  5. Hundewiese Tempelhofer Feld 
  6. Hundeauslauf im Park am Gleisdreieck 
  7. Hundeauslaufgebiet Stadtpark Spandau

Adoption Process: 

 There are a couple of steps to adopt your pet in Berlin. After confirming your decision, you will be asked to answer multiple questions about your living conditions and to bring with you your ID to undergo the provisional registration. Furthermore,  you will have to pay an adoption fee, which covers the care costs, vaccinations, microchips, and castration. 

Although there are various provisions when it comes to bringing, buying, or adopting your pet, Berlin is a great place for pet owners and their four-legged friends!

Berlin has an exquisite variety when it comes to shops and restaurants but also offers a huge variety of street markets.

From culturally diverse street food and fresh produce markets to individual and sustainable handmade and second-hand shopping markets, one can easily spend some time strolling through these locations.

Below are listed some of our favorites!

Food markets: Markthalle Neun:  this food hall is filled with food stands that offer a variety of different cuisines from your typical pasta stand to American BBQ and also Turkish delights. You can top this food experience by grabbing a delicious ice cream at Rosa Canina’s stand!

Thai-park: If you’re craving some traditional and local Thai food, check out this market happening every Saturday and Sunday at Preußenpark! Individuals familiar with Thai, Vietnamese, and Korean cuisine set up numerous stands offering price-friendly and delicious sweet and savory dishes! 

Mauerpark :   From traditional Berliner sausages to Spanish paella, one has a variety of options to quench your appetite at this street food market located at Mauerpark!

Weekly Markets (fresh produce): 

Markt am Winterfeldtplatz: This market held every Wednesday and Saturday, located by Nollendorfplatz, offers a variety of local produce and food stands- if you’re there around lunchtime grab some delicious tacos at El Mexicano

Marheineke Halle: Open every day besides Sundays, grab your fresh foods at this indoor market hall located by Bergmannstraße. 

 Wochenmarkt am Karl-August Platz: another comprehensive food market offering numerous fresh produce stands, open Wednesdays and Saturdays!  

Kollwitzmarkt: After or before getting your coffee in this gorgeous neighborhood, discover one of Berlin’s notorious local produce markets, offering a variety of fresh goods! Thursdays, this market dedicates its stands to organic-only produce. 

Türkish Market: get mountains of local and delicious produce at this market for reasonable prices! Although less fresh, the prices drop even lower the later you go! 

For further weekly markets in your neighborhood check out:

https://www.wochenmarkt-deutschland.de/maerkte/berlin/wochenmaerkte-in-berlin/

Vintage market: 

Mauerpark: You can easily spend hours at this flea market every Sunday! Since most attractions and shops are closed on Sunday, this is the place many spend their Sunday morning and afternoon at. You may find various hidden gems ranging from jewelry to outdoor furniture! 

Flohmarkt U Fehrbelliner Platz:  Also open on Saturdays and Sundays, right next to Thaipark, this second-hand market has numerous stands that sell antiques and vintage clothing and goods for reasonable prices! 

 

RAW Gelände: Although the RAW site is known for its nightlife, it also transforms into a culturally diverse flea market on Sunday morning and afternoon!  After strolling through this market, you can have a beer or drink with some delicious burgers or pizza at the beer garden also located on-site! 

Written by Cilia Trendelenburg

 

The multicultural district of Tempelhof-Schöneberg is known for its parks, such as Tempelhofer Feld on a former airport site, the Park am Gleisdreieck, and the Natur-Park Südgelände, both former industrial sites. People from a wide range of social classes and cultures live in Tempelhof-Schöneberg making it wonderfully colorful and diverse.

Situated in the south of the city, it shares borders with Mitte and Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg in the north, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf and Steglitz-Zehlendorf in the west as well as Neukölln in the east.

In the northern part of the district, urban life pulsates around the KaDeWe department store. You’ll find charming galleries, Turkish and Arabic restaurants, and upcoming new restaurants on Potsdamer Strasse. The cafés on Motzstrasse, and the area around Nollendorfplatz, are a little capital for the LGBTQ community.

Schöneberg has a varied and interesting historical and cultural history that continues to influence it to this day. David Bowie, the Comedian Harmonists, Marlene Dietrich, Günter Grass, and Billy Wilder all made the district their home. During the partition of Germany, the historical Rathaus Schöneberg became the town hall of West Berlin and is the famous location where, 50 years ago, John F. Kennedy made his famous speech, proclaiming “Ich bin ein Berliner.”

The highest quality of life offered in the renovated old buildings in Bayerisches Viertel (Bavarian quarter) between Viktoria-Luise-Platz and Bayrischer Platz. The entire neighborhood impresses with cafés, restaurants, and shopping opportunities.

Tempelhof is a mix of housing estates, apartment blocks, parks, industrial sites, and shopping centers. There are many parks and green spaces, particularly since 2008, when the Tempelhof Airport was decommissioned and turned into a public field. Another highlight in Templehof is the Tempelhofer Hafen, a little harbor on the water with restaurants, boats, and a big shopping mall.

Localities of Tempelhof – Schöneberg: Schöneberg, Friedenau,Tempelhof, Mariendorf, Marienfelde, Lichtenrade

 

Moving abroad is a very exciting prospect, however, the details of relocation can also be very daunting. Navigating a new system, a new language and dealing with formalities can be a challenge, this is where private relocation support can make all the difference.

Your top priorities when relocating to a new city should be visa (immigration), finding a place to live (home search), employment or educational opportunities and integration. Your relocation consultant can advise you on your options in advance.

Visa/Immigration: the type of visa you are eligible for will largely be linked to your country of origin, employment situation or educational studies. It is very important to know your options for immigration before you plan a move. IRC Berlin has the expert knowledge to guide you through your visa & immigration options.

Home search: knowing the housing market, areas of the city, and ballpark figures for rental costs/utilities is key for a successful home search. It is helpful to have a realistic expectation when you consult with your relocation assistant about what will be most suitable for you. IRC Berlin consultants have extensive knowledge of the city and can advise you as to the perfect match for you regarding area, amenities, public transport needs.

Cultural integration: This is where IRC can help, we offer intercultural training for new arrivals and their families to make their start in the new and foreign environment as easy as possible. Giving an insight into cultural differences, those ‘quirky’ German ways, and just how to navigate the German business landscape.

IRC Berlin is branching out into private relocation offering all the same benefits as we offer to our corporate clients. Our experienced consultants can support and assist every step of the way from visa and immigration, work permits, home search to giving a comprehensive orientation tour upon arrival. We want to make you feel at home in Germany and to make your transition process pleasant and successful so that all you need to worry about is enjoying your new home!

We would like to help you understand how to use a relocation company to assist your employees. What are the benefits for your business and your team in outsourcing this service to new recruits or employees who are taking up a position in a new location?

Whether you are hiring new recruits from abroad or moving existing employees from one office to another office in a different location, there are many administrative tasks and other things which need to be organised to get the person moved, settled in and integrated into their new role.

  • Time is money and if your employee can be efficiently supported then the time it takes to get their move organised can be optimised. By working with a relocation company you won’t need an in-house department and you will draw on people who bring the highest levels of experience and expertise.
  • Providing the option of a supported relocation is good for the company image, it shows that you value your employees, their families and their wellbeing.
  • Being able to offer a professionally supported relocation is a big asset when headhunting, it will give your company an advantage as it gives the employee incentive to move without feeling like a relocation would be too overwhelming.
  • Show your employee that you value their time by letting them avoid the ‚leg‘ work when they partner with a relocation consultant they are relieved of all the big and small organisational tasks related to a move.
  • Supporting not just the employee but also their spouse and/or their family is also hugely beneficial to the overall well being of the employee. 
  • The way an employee feels once they have moved to a new location can be imperative to their productivity. If they feel settled and happy then they will be motivated to start into their new role. They can be present physically and mentally knowing all the formalities of their move have been taken care of.
  • There are many costs, such as hotel costs, which can be avoided if an employee can relocate directly into furnished accommodation or their own apartment/house. Having a relocation partner on the ground makes organising this possible!

At IRC we can provide the support your employees need for a successful relocation. We have experienced staff, who understand the relocation from both a professional and personal point of view and who have the know-how to navigate any challenges which may arise. Let’s begin the relocation journey together!

Contact us now on: www.irc-berlin.com  

E-Mail: info@irc.berlin

Nestorstraße 2, 10711 Berlin

+49 (0)30 89702431

 

At IRC we are a proud ally of all LGBTQI* and the LGBTQI* community. Our ethic and work environment is one of openness, inclusion and anti-discrimination.

Berlin lives and loves diversity, home to a beautiful and vibrant LGBTI* Community. Berlin-Schöneberg was one of the first districts to be famous for its gay culture, starting in the 1920’s it first became the gay capital of the world. CSD pride parade is a highlight of the year, as thousands gather to watch the celebrations down the Ku’damm – Berlin is proud to be rainbow!

We would like to share some helpful links with you.

LGBTQI* Guide for Berlin:

https://www.visitberlin.de/de/lgbti-gay-berlin

https://www.ourtasteforlife.com/gay-lesbian-berlin-guide/

LGBTQI* Families in Berlin: https://berlin.lsvd.de/projekte/regenbogenfamilien-berlin/

Counselling Services: http://www.lsbti-berlin.de/english/

“Hope will never be silent.” -Harvey Milk

 

 

 

Kindergeld (Child allowance) is something every new resident of Germany with children needs to know about. It is a payment made to parents for each child living at home up until the age of 18. It is paid monthly and can be seen as a type of tax relief for families. Read on to get information on how to apply!

Kindergeld is a payment made available to all families regardless of the parent’s income. The amount you receive per child is based on how many children you have:

  • 204€ for each of the first two children
  • 210€ for the third child
  • 235€ for the fourth and each additional child

You are eligible to apply for Kindergeld once you have been officially registered as a resident at the town hall (Anmeldung). You must have an Aufenthaltstitel for at least 2 years. Then you will receive a tax ID number for your child/ren which you will need to also submit for the application.

In order to apply for Kindergeld,  a completed application is sent to the Familienkasse, the Familienkasse for Berlin/Brandenburg is situated in Berlin. Once the application form has been handed in, the processing time can vary but expect at least up to 4 weeks – however, in some cases, the processing time can be much longer sometimes depending on where people have moved from. Once the application has been approved you will also receive a back-payment for the time you have been in registered in Germany.

For more information please see:  How to Germany: Kindergeld

(Source: https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/familie-und-kinder)

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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