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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.

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.

 

 

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.

Starting in 2020 IRC is excited to announce, that we will be partnering with Friederike von Denffer and Elisabeth Villalta (IRC Independant Consultant) for Intercultural training to support our assignees and their spouses and children on their relocation journey.

We believe that by creating understanding some of the initial pitfalls of relocation and all this entails can be relieved or avoided altogether. We also want to bring awareness that many issues which arise in the interaction with a new culture are normal and with understanding will get better over time.

The benefits of Intercultural Training is to learn to gain more confidence when dealing with Germans, your colleagues or administration in Germany. Get to know the most important cultural differences. We want to support you in your understanding of your new ‚home‘ and present tried and tested strategies for successful integration.

The intercultural training is designed to help participants deal with a „foreign“ culture and to acquire appropriate behaviour to promote successful cooperation and a pleasant daily life. The trainings are designed as an interactive learning environment. Content is science-based, and inputs are brief and built around participants interests.

For more information, please contact us on: info@irc-berlin.com

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.

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.

Starting on the 17.01.2020 Berlin is home to the International Green Week, a trade fair for food and agriculture including exhibitions from 61 countries around the world. It is an event which caters not only to the food industry, wholesalers, caterers and retailers but also to the general public and is well worth a visit with family and friends!

The Green Week Experience:

  • Comprehensive range of international and domestic foods and beverages
  • The very finest produce
  • Product markets for beer, wine and champagne, meats and sausages, seafood, teas, herbs and spices
  • Agricultural and horticultural machinery and equipment, seeds and greenhouses
  • Gardening supplies, breeding stock, pets and everything relating to hunting and fishing
  • Kitchen appliances, kitchen fixtures and household appliances

Ticket prices range from 10-15€ or 31€ for a family of four.

(source: https://www.gruenewoche.de/en/AboutIGWBerlin/InternationalGreenWeek/ )

Starting in 2020 IRC is excited to announce, that we will be partnering with WEcreation to offer Change Management workshops to support our clients and their staff on their relocation journey.

We have come to realise that relocation is not just the act of physically moving to another place and starting a new position. Integration into a new team can take time, not only for the new member but for all the existing team members and it can be a perfect opportunity to introduce new positive structures. We wanted to find a solution to help support the companies we work with to optimise this process and this can be done using Change Management.

We would like to introduce WEcreation, Nico, Nils and their team.

Christian, Simone, Nico & Henning

WEcreation says ‚Change begins in the mind. Other results can only be achieved sustainably on the basis of a new mindset and attitude. This includes a new kind of cooperation that builds on teamwork, mental flexibility and intrinsic motivation and focuses on people.‘

WEcreation facilitates Change management workshops which are not just about quickly integrating a new team member but it also gives the existing team, structures and company culture a moment to look at ways to improve and optimise and become stronger.

It is our belief that through providing the chance for your employees to enjoy the support of a Change Management workshop, you will integrate your relocated staff in a swifter and happier manner – thus making the workplace a better environment for your entire team.

For more information, please contact us on: info@irc-berlin.com

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.

When Christmas has passed and we have welcomed in a new year – Winter really starts to take hold in Berlin and it can be a time where people start to develop the winter blues. We want to help you to find ways to keep yourself busy and to make this time of year as enjoyable as possible.

1. Winter walks – one of the best ways to keep on top of the winter blues is to stay active and get lots of fresh air. Berlin offers lots of opportunities for nice winter walks and often in winter because the leaves are not on the trees you can see and discover things which are hidden in other months by the foliage. There are so many great parks in Berlin or walking the banks of the Spree or even a stroll down Unter-den-Linden. One tip for a nice afternoon out is a walk around the Grunewald Lake in Dahlem and then stop in for a delicious lunch at 12 Apostoli Restaurant located in the beautiful old building of the Forsthaus Paulsborn .

2. Linie 1 Grips Theater – this is a classic play about Berlin East & West. It first debuted in 1986 and has been performed more than 1800x since then, needless to say, a huge hit. The show is performed in German with English subtitles and is a must-see for anyone living in Berlin. Synopsis: A young girl runs away from her provincial hometown, and ends up at Bahnhof Zoo at 6.14 a.m., searching for her Prince Charming, a rock musician from Berlin. She gets stuck in the underground line 1, known as the Orient Express to Kreuzberg. She encounters a kaleidoscope of urban characters and their fates. Her naivety acts as a catalyst provoking contacts, actions and reactions, which otherwise would not take place. It’s a show, a drama, a musical about living and surviving in a large city, hope and adaptation, courage and self-deceit, to laugh and cry at, to dream, and to think about oneself. (source: http://www.grips-theater.de/programm/spielplan/produktion/1 )

3. Cinema – what better time than cold winter days than to see some of the latest films. The York Kino in Berlin-Schöneberg has a selection of films in the original language. They also offer literary events, live broadcasts of Ballett from Moskau or Opera from London and Queer film nights.

4. Swimming – another great way to stay on top of the winter is swimming. Berlin has various indoor pool facilities including Sauna, swim schools and aqua aerobics.

A very special wellness and sauna experience awaits at Vabali in Berlin Mitte, a Bali-style Sauna retreat which spreads over 20 000sqm, including pools & a good restaurant – please be aware that this is an adults-only facility. They also offer all types of wellness treatments from massages to facials. A great place to spend a few hours or a day!

There are also some great thermal pools in the surrounding Brandenburg if you are looking for a more relaxing weekend activity. To find your local pool check out: Berliner Bäderbetriebe and for thermal pools, we can recommend: Spreewald Therme in Burg, Saarow Therme in Bad Saarow, Stein Therme in Bad Belzig.

5. Book browsing – contrary to many predictions the book is alive and well and Berlin has some excellent book stores you can visit, browse the books, spend some time finding gems and maybe even have a great coffee. Just a few on offer are Dussmann on Friedrichstraße in Mitte, Hugendubel on the Tauentzienstraße in City West, St Georges English Bookstore in Prenzlauer Berg and Lovestory of Berlin in the Helmholzkiez.

About the author

Hi there! I’m Juli, I have 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.

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