Tag

Relocation

Browsing

One of the hardest things about moving abroad is leaving behind family and friends. So it’s a great idea to find ways to keep in touch and make sure you keep the support network back home with you in your new home. Communication is key!

Inform yourself on the time difference between your new home and ‚back home‘ – let family and friends know when is a good time to reach you. There are some excellent ways to keep in touch such as a family blog, skype, WhatsApp calls, facetime and emails. Especially if you are on an assignment for a certain amount of time and will be returning back after a year or two, this will help keep the special people in your life close.

Moving abroad is a hugely exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also can lead to people feeling stressed and at times very lonely, especially if you move to a place where the language and culture are not familiar. Keeping your ties to family and friends back home can help alleviate these symptoms. Make sure you let them know how you are feeling and what you are experiencing, even if at times it isn’t all good news.

Resource:

Helpful advice: Things I wish I would have known when I moved to Germany

Writing a blog: https://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Travel-Blog

Moving Abroad: https://www.ring.md/blog/issues-and-depression-after-moving-abroad/

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.

Nothing says Christmas like a beautiful tree lighting up your home. Did you know this tradition stems from Germany and was popularized by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in the mid-1800’s when they were depicted in a drawing standing around a Christmas tree – thus a worldwide trend was started and now we can’t imagine the festive time of year without a twinkling tree.

One of the biggest questions in 2019 is real or fake – which one is better for the environment.

According to the Huffington post ‚The short answer, which may come as a surprise to some, is a real tree. But it’s actually more complicated than that. It ultimately depends on a variety of factors, including how far you drive to get your evergreen and how you dispose of it at the end of the holidays ― and, if you choose an artificial tree, how long you end up using it. ‚ and if you would like to learn more about the arguments for and against please see the article.

FUN FACT – In Berlin used Christmas trees are recycled as food for the elephants at the Berlin Zoo, so your beautiful tree makes a healthy snack!

However you decide, Berlin offers you options for both.

Real Trees – available at all Hardware Stores such as OBI, Toom, Bauhaus, Ikea. You can also rent trees in a pot and have them delivered and picked up again.

Mitte – Weihnachtsurwald

Prenzlauer Berg – Der Tannenmann

Charlottenburg/Wilmersdorf – Tannentraum

Zehlendorf – Werderaner Tannenhof

Fake Trees: Available at all Hardware stores such as OBI, Toom, Bauhaus, Ikea, also at all the big department stores for example Karstadt, Galleria Kaufhof or KaDeWe.



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.



There are many ways to make your way around Berlin if you choose not to own a car. For many reasons shared economy options are a great alternative for transport, good for the environment and far less expensive than the purchase and upkeep of a car. Although the public transport in Berlin is excellent, there are situations where you might want or need a car/bike or scooter. However before you sign-up and use any ride-sharing, make sure you know if you need any third-party liability insurance.

Here are some alternatives for car, bike & e-scooter:

Ride/Car Sharing:

Drive Now – https://www.drive-now.com/de/en

SIXT-share Berlin – https://www.sixt.de/en/share/

Car2go – https://www.car2go.com/DE/en/berlin/

WeShare – https://www.we-share.io/en/

Bikes:

Nextbike – https://www.deezernextbike.de/de/berlin/

DB Call a bike – https://www.callabike-interaktiv.de/

Scooters:

Lime Scooters (& bikes) – https://www.li.me/de/startseite

Circ Scooters – https://www.circ.com/

Carpooling:

BlablaCar – https://www.blablacar.de/

Carpool World – https://www.carpoolworld.com/carpool_GERMANY.html

Disclaimer – when travelling with strangers please always ensure your own personal safety, let a friend or a family member know with whom, when and where you will be travelling.

An English-speaking club can be a terrific way for newcomers to get into the social whirl – or maintain business contacts. There may be no better way for the English-speaking expatriate to get into the swing of German life than to join one of the many clubs and other organizations available to them. Making social contacts is a very important step in being able to call a new place home. It can be hard to gather the courage to go out and join a club but it is a very valuable endeavour.

Women’s clubs perform a large number of services, with sub-groups for all categories of women from „Empty Nesters“ (single income, no kids) to working women.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN CLUBS

1. THE AMERICAN WOMENS CLUB OF BERLIN E.V. – the American Women’s Club of Berlin is open to women of ALL nationalities who “embrace the American spirit!”  

Membership@AWCBerlin.org

Contact: http://www.awcberlin.org/contact/

2. BERLIN INTERNATIONAL WOMEN`S CLUB

www.biwc.de

Marienstraße 19 / 20
10117 Berlin

Telefon: +49 (30) 28 48 24 50
E-Mail: info@biwc.de

3. THE BERLIN AMERICAN CLUB e.V.

www.berlin-american-club.de

If you want to get into contact with BAC or want further information on the BAC, please send an email to:
info@berlin-american-club.de

The Berlin-American Club e.V. was founded in 1990 by women as a non-profit organization. The goal of the Club is to further friendship, tolerance and understanding among women from the US, Germany and other countries by undertaking projects that benefit people in need.

The Club brings together women of a wide range of nationalities, professions, interests and talents to contribute to the local and worldwide community. We seek to enhance the continuing special relationship between Berlin and the US, while also embracing the international community in Berlin.

The elected board of the BAC is composed of five women; in addition, individual chairpersons are appointed for various committees. As such, the Club is able to respond quickly to local and international needs.

The BAC takes an active approach to fundraising and hands-on projects in support of handicapped and disadvantaged children, senior citizens, international youth programs, schools, women’s shelters, programs for the homeless and worldwide emergency relief, among others.

BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS

American German Business Club Berlin e.V.

The American German Business Club Berlin e.V. (AGBC) is a not-for-profit organization, presently with nine chapters. Its aim is to support German and American commercial relations and act as a forum for social and business networking. Activities include informal leisure time get-togethers, networking evenings, dinners, charity fundraising, sponsorships and events with keynote speakers.

American German Business Club Berlin e.V.
P.O.Box 08 04 27
10004 Berlin
Germany

Email: president@agbc-berlin.de

Tel: +49 30 224 888 96

Amerian Chamber of Commerce in Germany / Berlin Brandenburg Chapter

The Amerian Chamber of Commerce in Germany (AmCham Germany) was founded in 1903, making it one of the oldest bilateral economic organizations in Europe. It has some 3,000 German and American members. It’s mission is to promote unrestricted competition, trade and investment between Germany and the United States. Luncheons with speakers are held regularly in a number of German cities, and there is also a program of seminars, business conferences, New Year’s receptions and tours of member companies and other institutions of interest. For complete information on Chamber activities, visit its website at

http://www.amcham.de/amcham-germany/amcham-germany-regional-chapters/berlin-brandenburg/

Regional Committee Chair: Torsten Oltmanns, Roland Berger GmbH

+49 30 39927-3366 torsten.oltmanns@rolandberger.com

FAMILIES AND CHILDREN

The John-F.-Kennedy Friendship Center is a non-profit organization established by parents and teachers of the John F. Kennedy School in Berlin, though membership is open to the general public. It is dedicated to fostering the German-American community, sponsoring several bilingual daycare centres and offering various activities for the community, including language classes, playgroups, art, dance and drama courses, as well as holiday celebrations at Fasching, Halloween and Thanksgiving. The John F. Kennedy School, part of the Berlin public school system, provides a German-American bicultural, bilingual education.

http://www.rotary-berlin-international.de/

eMail: info (at) rotary-berlin-international.de

“Chartered in November 2009, we are the only Rotary Club dedicated to Berlin’s international community. Our 46 members represent 14 nations. All our meetings are held in English, which makes us the ideal Rotary Club for expatriates living in Berlin as well as visiting Rotarians from around the world.”

INTERNATIONAL UNDERSTANDING

ASPEN INSTITUTE GERMANY E.V.


Friedrichstraße 60
10117 Berlin | Germany
Tel.: +49 (0) 30 804 890 15
Fax : +49 (0) 30 804 890 33
Email: info@aspeninstitute.de

Contact over the website: http://www.aspeninstitute.de/kontakt/?lang=en

www.aspeninstitute.de

The Aspen Institute Germany was founded in 1974 as the first international Aspen affiliate. In keeping with the Aspen mission, Aspen Germany seeks to promote an international dialog on the values, ideals and ideas that are necessary to master the challenges of a globalized world. To this purpose, Aspen Germany invites leading personalities from politics, business and society to participate in conference programs and discussion groups. Aspen Germany is a nonprofit organization financed by the Shepard Stone Foundation, public funding and private donations. It is headquartered in Berlin; an increasing proportion of its events, however, are carried out in key industrial states such as Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria.

The American Academy in Berlin

The American Academy in Berlin GmbH

Am Sandwerder 17-19

14109 Berlin

Germany

Phone: +49 (30) 804 83 118

Fax: +49 (30) 804 83 111

Email: mailbox@americanacademy.de

To register for an evening lecture: program(at)americanacademy.de

The American Academy in Berlin was established in 1994. Its primary goal is to foster greater understanding and dialogue between the people of the United States and the people of Germany through its presence in Berlin, a city with which the United States should maintain its unique cultural, social, political, and historical links.

EXPAT CLUBS

Club Globals, Home of Berlin Expats

Berlin Office:

Friedrichstr. 191,

10117, Berlin

Managing Director: Mario Paladini

Phone:+49 30 56795499

Email: mail [at] ClubGLOBALS.com

Online contact: http://clubglobals.com/contact/

FROM EXPAT TO LOCAL, Club GLOBALS helps makes international life easier,

by connecting expats with recommended service providers online and at exclusive events.

InterNATIONS

Berlin Expat Community for Berlin expats

Free membership

Online contact: http://www.internations.org/berlin-expats

“Our network enables you to connect with as many of them as possible, both online and face to face. Starting from online forums and all the way to real-life events going on in Berlin on a weekly basis, the opportunities for connecting with global minds are more numerous than ever. You can also use InterNations to join trips to famous German landmarks around Berlin, or simply organize them yourself.”

Stand 10.2018

Author: Ariane Almerood – including edits by Juli Buchanan

„Christmas isn’t just a day, it’s a frame of mind.“ – December is finally upon us, let the spirit fill your heart and enjoy what Berlin has to offer in the most wonderful and cheerful of seasons. (Quote from the motion Picture ‚Miracle on 34th Street‘)

It is one of the most stunning times of the year in Germany, thus also in Berlin and surrounding areas. The 4 weeks before Christmas Eve (Heiligabend) are truly a magical time. Germany is famous for it’s Christmas markets (Weihnachtsmärkte), Mulled wine (Glühwein), roasted Chestnuts (Heiße Maronen) and the many other treats available during the festive season. Take a break from the gloomy weather and indulge in some delicious treats with friends and family under twinkling lights.

Berlin has many Christmas markets to choose from, some of the most beautiful include the ones at the Gendarmenmarkt and at the Schloß Charlottenburg. However, there are many more Christmas markets to discover over the month of December including many internationally-themed markets such as the Swedish Christmas Bazaar or the very British Christmas Market at St Georges Church in Westend. It is even worth venturing out to Potsdam and visiting the Christmas market ‚Blauer Lichterglanz‘ on Brandenburger Straße and/or the romantic Christmas village at the Krongut Bornstedt in all it’s glory.

One more tip, the Botanic Gardens in Dahlem have a Christmas Garden, a walk through a winter wonderland of lights.

For a list of Markets visit: https://www.visitberlin.de/en/christmas-markets-berlin



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.



The BVG (Berlin Transport) has introduced a new ticket for school children. School children now ride all forms of public transport in AB Zones for free. This also includes all children from 6 years, who do not attend school yet – you will need proof: admission notice from the school, the school assignment or the notice of default. This ticket also includes free transport of a bicycle, a dog or a child under 6 years.

The ‚Schülerticket‘ needs to be applied for, this can only be done online. You will need to get a Schülerausweis from your school office, this is proof that the child attends the school.

Order chipcard online – to order the chip card (fahrCard) simply upload the photo and current student ID I *, enter data and order directly online.

Note processing time – Until your fahrCard arrives in the post, you can use your student ID I * to ride the public transport from 1 August until 30 Nov, 2019.

(Source: https://www.bvg.de/de )



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.



It is no secret that moving is stressful, then if you add moving to another country and bringing a family then the idea can seem exciting but at the same time very daunting. Not only will the person being relocated be starting a new job, which in itself is a big change but there will be a lot of other adjustments on a personal level.

A new country may mean new language, new culture and a completely new place to navigate. It is very important to do your research and have some idea of what will be expecting you when you arrive. This will help you to feel a little more secure and confident in this awesome adventure ahead!

Your first port of call, if you have a chance is to connect with colleagues or perhaps even friends or acquaintances who might be able to give you an insight into your new home city. Talk through some of their experiences and ask lots of questions. There are also many blogs & ex-pat groups on Social Media, make use of these, ask other ’new Berliners‘ your specific questions and get advice on topics which will be important to you in your new home. Lastly, your relocation consultant, make use of this fantastic resource, explain where you are coming from and what your needs will be, especially regarding your spouse and children.

Language – Berlin is very international and most germans speak reasonable English, however, it is very important for your integration to learn some german. It will help with integration in all areas but especially for meeting new people and community – which in turn is crucial to feeling at home longterm in a new place. Spouses and children should also do a german course if possible. Let people you meet know you don’t speak the language but you are willing to learn, this always help break the ice.

Culture – there is no doubt you will experience all kinds of cultural differences. Be open, be willing to learn and you can read about some of those quirky german ways here…. Germans are generally open and interested in people from other places. Berlin is very multi-cultural and there is a good chance you will also have plenty of opportunity to connect with people from your home country if you would like, this often helps to alleviate homesickness.

Weather – this seems like it wouldn’t be important but it is. If you are coming from a much warmer or sunnier climate then you will find that you should make yourself familiar with what to expect in Berlin. Spring is the awakening after what can be a very long, cold and dark Winter. Summer is usually good and it can be very hot at times, up to 35-39 degrees Celcius. Fall is usually mild with a good mix of rain and shine, golden and a very beautiful time of year and then from mid to late October Winter can appear again and last through to March or even April. Winters can be extremely cold, temperatures plummeting to -10 degrees Celcius at times – a good winter wardrobe is required for all the family, especially children, as in Kindergarten and school the children will spend time playing outside no matter what the weather.

Children: Schools/Kindergarten – It is vital that you do your research regarding how your children will be integrated in your new home town. If you have kindergarten or school-age children, it is important to have an idea what is on offer and particularly if your children have any special needs – how/if these can/will be catered to. International schools may offer a familiar environment but if you are thinking of entering the german school system then it is advisable to understand the basics of how the system is set up and what will be required especially if your children are not yet speaking the language.

A move with children is a big upheaval, but the great news is, children especially those attending school and kindergarten tend to integrate the fastest due to their open nature and quick ability to pick up on language.

The success of a relocation with a family is ensuring every family member is well taken care of and happy. Moving to a new place is such a fantastic experience which will teach life long lessons and make precious memories for life.

Some resources below:

www.berlinforallthefamily.com

www.toytowngermany.com

www.thelocal.de/20170814/how-living-in-berlin-has-changed-me-for-life

www.german-way.com/tag/raising-children-in-germany/

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.

This classic Opera debuted in 1791 shortly before Mozart’s untimely death and is still fascinating until this day. The Magic Flute gets a fantastical make-over by Australian director Barry Kosky at the Komsiche Oper Berlin in the form of a silent movie-style stage production. This unusual version of the opera has been shown around the world to almost half a million people and highly praised – Fiona Maddocks of The Guardian says ‚ Kosky has delivered a quixotic enterprise that buzzes and whirrs and spins with manic energy and joy. It is a tour de force.‘ And The Los Angeles Times said »A dazzling live-action cartoon far too adorable to offend.«

The Opera is sung in German but you can have a translation in various languages which is shown on the seat in front of you.

The Magic Flute appears to give rise to more questions and mysteries rather than provide answers. At the end the immense fantasy of this magical opera defies all logic and reason. Its secret lies in deeper layers of fundamental human experiences for which the fairytale appears simply to be the most adequate form of expression and only music finds the appropriate language. It is with good reason that the „eponymous hero“ of the opera is an instrument, or quite simply: music.

(Source: https://www.komische-oper-berlin.de/en/whats-on/a-z/magic-flute/ )

You can see a snippet of what awaits you on this youtube clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNY-IjS6ssQ

Tickets are available from 12€ – 100€ online https://www.komische-oper-berlin.de/en/ or at the Komische Oper Berlin Behrenstraße 55-57, 10117 Berlin .

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.



https://www.komische-oper-berlin.de/en/whats-on/a-z/magic-flute/

That stores are closed on Sundays and on German public holidays. In case of emergencies, you can always go to the airport and use the grocery store there. It is more expensive, but it is open on Sunday! You can also purchase foodstuffs at large gas stations and at main train stations “Hauptbahnhof”.- more info in our ‚Grocery Shopping‚ article.

That you have to bag your own groceries and have to pay for your own grocery bags.

That you may have to weigh fruits and vegetables before you bring them to the check-out in many German grocery stores. There is a number listed for the produce that you have chosen which can be matched with the number on the scale, making it easier for those who do not know the German name for all the fruits and vegetables.

That you shouldn’t touch and select produce offered at the speciality fruit and vegetable stands at the Farmers Market. All you need to do is say what you would like and the quantity and the vendor does the rest for you.

That you need a Euro 1 or 50 cent coin in order to free the shopping cart from its stand at the grocery store. This is the way of making sure that all carts are properly returned without having to hire someone to retrieve them from the street. You’ll get your EURO back when you return the cart to its stand. You can purchase a small ’shopping cart coin‘ in the supermarket for your keychain, this will save a lot of hassle!

That you have to introduce yourself to your neighbours, it isn’t the other way around. In fact, it is very appreciated if you hang a note in the foyer for the neighbours to read, say you are moving in, your name and apologies if there is any disturbance on moving in day. This will make for a good start to the neighbourly relationship.

That you should treat your movers to coffee, soft drinks and sandwiches if you want to keep them happy at your home working – Do not serve beer! And the acceptable tip for your moving crew is Euro 5-10 per person, per day.

That tipping in a German restaurant is up to 10%. A tip is already included in the price of your food in most restaurants and German waiters and waitresses earn a salary. A small tip can be given to taxis by rounding-up to the nearest even number. And a Euro 10 tip (per person) to your garbage men and your mailman at Christmas time is standard practice.

That your German washing machine could take up to 1.5 hours to complete a single wash or even longer! Also, top-loading washing machines are virtually unheard of in Germany.

That people follow the rules, all the time! and if you don’t you will be made aware by complete strangers. It’s not just you, it happens to most ex-pats.

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.



Welcome to Germany, what do you know about life in Germany? Is it all oompah music, steins of beer, Lederhosen and large portions of Meat & Potatoes? Well yes, there is that too but there is so much more to learn about those quirky german ways and soon enough you’ll be following the rules whilst wearing lederhosen, dancing to oompah music with a beer in your hand!

  1. What do you mean there is no kitchen?! It’s no joke, many german apartments/houses come without an inbuilt kitchen. This will appear as a shock to most ex-pats as a kitchen would seemingly be just part and parcel of a rental. But in Germany, this is most often not the case. The theory is, it stems from the fact that germans rent for longterm, meaning for the rest of their lives (well not always but sometimes!) and therefore they want to pick a kitchen which is theirs and consistent with their own style. So you may find yourself having to purchase a kitchen – however, it has become more common in the past 10 years for there to be a kitchen already installed.
  2. Introductions, where do you begin? When being introduced to someone, it is common to shake hands as a greeting and to introduce yourself by saying your last name. Germans will feel embarrassed if you introduce yourself with your first name. It is also common to shake hands when saying good-bye. When being introduced to a mixed crowd, always shake the hand of the woman first – erst die Dame – Ladies first. And be careful not to cross your arm over another couple shaking hands – this is bad luck in Germany!
  3. Introductions continued! – Always address Germans formally with Frau (Mrs./Ms.) and Herr (Mr.), or should the person have a title such as Dr. be sure to use it. The formal “Sie” and the informal “Du” (as in French vous and tu) sometimes cause confusion. Germans are very careful with offering someone the “Du” form, and the offering is always done by the older person. Adult women are always addressed as “Frau” whether married or not. The term “Fräulein” is out and is never used.
  4. Prost! A toast to your new life in Germany – be careful, a possible faux pas is lurking – When toasting, be sure to look the person with whom you are toasting directly in the eye, otherwise, it is 7 years of bad luck, and bad manners. “Zum Wohl” means “cheers” or more literally “to your health”.
  5. Sundays are for rest. There is a multitude of things you are not supposed to do on a Sunday, mow the lawn, vacuum, any kind of handyman jobs and you are not allowed to hang your laundry outside on a Sunday – historically to keep churchgoers who walk to church from being exposed to this unpleasant sight!. This can be expanded into the topic of „Ruhezeiten”, or quiet times in Germany, are every day from 13.00 – 15.00, including Saturdays, all day on Sundays, and every day after 22.00. You are not allowed to “make noise” during this time (e.g. mow your lawn). However, you are allowed to have a party (i.e. make noise) once a month!! It is customary to announce your intentions to make noise to your immediate neighbours or better yet, invite them to your party!.
  6. Happy Birthday! …. Now that you know how to say cheers and when you may party, the next important point is: Birthday celebrations, in Germany it is the responsibility of the birthday boy/girl (this also applies to adults!) to organise the celebrations. This means you give (i.e., pay) for your own birthday party/dinner. Often times, the one celebrating a birthday will bring cake and drinks into the office to share with colleagues.

Now, of course, all of these points are general and it will depend where you are living in Germany. Often Berlin is thought of as much more liberal than say a small town in the South but it’s always good to know the general rule.

Pin It