Objection, Euer Ehren I got my licence only at the end of last year. At first they issued a temp paper one without a photo. The card came 3 weeks later by mail, I think it's due to some fancy security features.
Yes, it was very nice! I still had Klasse 3 though
But I think in general you're right, Germany might be more bureaucratic than other countries.
I could think of 2 reasons:
Every Gemeinde/Stadt in Germany is proud of it's independency. I used to live in Frankfurt, where it is really ridiculous. Frankfurt, Offenbach, Wiesbaden, Darmstadt, Eschborn (which is rather a suburb) all are independent cities and there is not much collaboration. So if you move from DA->OF (30 km), OF->F (adjacent) F->Eschborn (adjacent, Eschborn belongs to Main- Taunus- Kreis), Eschborn-> WI (40km) every time you change Landkreise and need new plates. Many people from the surrounding area visit the opera, museums etc. in Frankfurt, but Frankfurt gets very little money support from those towns, although it has to subsidize it's cultural institutions with millions every year. There are I don't know how many IHKs, and so on. The small towns argue that they would loose their singularity if they were incorporated into greater units. Which is true on the other hand as the small places can keep their identity. Something in between would be good probably.
And second, public services are chronically underfunded in Germany and in my opinion hostile towards new technology. Why does my Finanzbeamter not have an email-adress? Probably because he doesn't have internet at work due to financial reasons and because the Finanzverwaltung thinks "we don't need that fancy crap". Here the cops have laptops with internet access on their cars, in Germany they don't even have digital radio. My brother in law used to be Kompaniechef (platoon leader) in the Bundeswehr. His budget allowed him to print 50 pages or sth a day with his printer. Then the printer broke, they had no meney to fix it. He had to send someone to the staff building with a USB-stick to have him print there. Then someone screwed sth in the system and they were not allowed to use USB sticks any more. He couldn't send the documents by mail either because such thing doesn't exist in the Bundeswehr...
So they just overwirte the old adress with a sticker or sth? Or do you get a temporary paper licence first and a new card by mail? And you're right, in Germany you need new plates also if you move to another Landkreis, whereas here only if you change provinces.
What I actually wanted to say though was that for me it makes no difference if I have to register with ServiceOntario here or with the Gemeinde/Einwohnermeldeamt in Germany. They get you by the balls either way
ON has a reciprocal agreement with Germany (which doesn't apply to many countries, I was surprised to see: "If you have a driver's licence from another Canadian province or territory, the United States, Japan, Korea, Austria, Australia, Isle of Man, Germany, France, Great Britain, Belgium or Switzerland or Canadian Forces Europe AND you have been driving for two years or more, you may be able to get a full licence without further testing.").
They just wanted my passport, my German licence, which they sent back to Germany, the translation, 75 bucks and I had to pass a vision test, which they did right there. Through the agreement and because my German licence had been valid for more than 2 years at that time I got the full G licence. A drivers abstract was not required.
When I applied for my Ontario driver's licence, I had my German one translated by a sworn in blabla German translator. I had her certificate in English, issued by some translators association in London, England, her certificate from Bavaria in English, everything. Drivetest did not accept it, since it needs to be translated by a translator sworn in in Ontario. So if you show up with a translation done in another province or in let's say England, they send you home.
I went to the hairdresser the other day. The lady that did my hair told me that her Albertian hairdressing diploma was not recognized in Ontario...
And today I went to my former employer, picked up my paycheque, went to the ATM, put it in to "cash" it and now have to wait 5 working days until I can withdraw the money. Direct deposit?? Of course I also could have cashed it right away for $2,90 plus 2.5%.
I know a guy who studied there. You're probably aware that this is a university of the German army= "Bundeswehr". Your costudents will be German, male soldiers basically. They're not required to wear uniform on campus, but it is of course allowed. From what I have heard it is harder than at civil universities because they do the same curriculum there but in a shorter period of time. This may not affect you though as you're not taking any courses, I guess. I wouldn't take it too easy anyways.
Oh yeah, you're right. I in my volunteer function being in charge of finding excuses for German teachers and for the oh so terrible country you're living in did a pretty bad job. LOL I beg your pardon! I can assure you that I have better things to do. What a load of garbage.
Other than that, I agree in advance with everything that will be said on this thread, so that everyone can concentrate on doing what they like best with their fellow native English speakers LOL
I did not want to downplay the bad experiences that any of you or your children have made as due to cultural differences. My goal was to contrast the as usual devastating picture of Germany that is drawn here with sth positive, because the stories are not representative in my humble opinion. ExpatUSA already said this before in his -4 points post lol
I wanted to say something positive also not because I don't like the derogatory tone, in that most people write on this website, I just wanted to make the OP feel a bit better about her move to Munich. You guys do a really great job helping newcomers look forward to their move to Germany and make them feel positive and optimistic.
I myself have no children in a German school right now, but I do have nieces and cousins between 9 and 19 years old. My younger brother is hearing impaired, the grade that the doctors use is "close to deafness". He attended a normal Grundschule, did alright and finished his KFZ-Meister last year at age 24. I could tell about other good and of course also bad experiences. But who cares, you guys have decided, so be it. Obviously you know better than ExpatUSA and I do.
Good luck to the OP anyways. Hopefully this hardly moderated website is not your only source of information.
Considering what I have learned so far about the Anglo-American systems, the German education system requires more self-responsibility. For example, when I was in my first semester at university, there was no mentor or something. We had to figure out by ourselves how things worked. The problem was, that nobody told us that the university wanted us to become active, as this is a part of the education as such. Good thing that you have come to this site and asked for advice.
On the other hand, frankly, as a German living in Canada now, I am often wondering how some people posting on this site can survive in a foreign country (Germany for that matter) being that unable to deal with cultural differences. That applies to all aspects of life. Often, the underlying question is: "how can Germans do this and that in a total different way than that I am used to from home?". My 2 cents: don't rely too much on the information on this website as sometimes the standard of discussions is really pathetic and don't get scared. The German education system has its good and its bads, and I can understand foreigners that sometimes feel worried about their children going to school in Germany as even for German parents it is not easy at times. On the other hand, even though Germany has no natural resources it is not exactly a 3rd world country...
Ya buddy, I guess what you are saying is that you're a little pissed off because if you were at home in Greece you could take a cab for the price of a subway ticket in Germany. And now Ms. Merkel increases prices as cab drivers actually will have to issue receipts and pay at least 5% taxes. 'irony off'
But seriously: were I am from (small town NRW) the streets get ploughed at 5 a.m. because we have a lot of snow almost every year and people were upset if the municipality would try to save money there. So the equipment is there and nobody would think of abolishing the service in order to save money. This is different elsewhere though. You might have heard that money is a bit tight in Germany as well, not only since you guys screwed up the whole continent sorry, oral diarrhea, couldn't hold it any longer
Don't worry about that. You can get the ORIGINAL everywhere in Germany. Just order "Ein heißes Frikadellenbrötchen" in a butcher shop. I cannot guarantee for the juice though. Sometimes they are more like brake pads and only come with either mustard or ketchup
Not to forget: if you have one with a coke, open the windows if you must belch. Danger of lethal gases with a really awful smell