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Moving to Winnenden summer 2013

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Posted

My husband is accepting a job in Winnenden and we would like to live in an area where I will be happy. Does anyone know if English is spoken in Winnenden , enough for me to be able to shop and get around? We have been looking at Stuttgart, but I'm not opposed to Winnenden. We are making our first trip over in March, meeting with the relocation agent and I'd like to be as informed as I can be before the meeting. Any information and suggestions are welcomed and appreciated.

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Posted

Hi and welcome to TT.

 

Winnenden is a small town (approx. 27,000 inhabitants), so I doubt you will find many expats - and normal small-town life in Germany doesn't offer a lot of opportunities to function in English, TBH. Having said that, there do seem to be several expats in the area (if they're still there).

 

Please use the TT search function to find out more (up top right of the page) - a simple search will give you the threads with your key words in the thread title, and from that results page you can do a Google-powered search, which will give you the threads with your key words anywhere in the thread. Alternatively, at the bottom of the main "Baden-Wuerttemberg" sub-forum page, there is a search field which, when used, will give you all the threads in that sub-forum with your key words in the thread.

 

Using that last-mentioned search option, I found the following threads:

 

* Moving to Winnenden 2012

* Expats between Bad Canstatt - Schorndorf

 

Winnenden is only about 20 minutes by car from the east side of Stuttgart, so you might want to consider living there and your husband doing the commute to Winnenden. However, even Stuttgart - although it's a big city by German standards - is not a lively place, but the quality of life is good, and you will have fewer problems getting along with English in the city. Having said that, you do need to be aware that *only* speaking English will put you at a distinct disadvantage, and even just a bit of German will go a long way toward people being more open and friendly toward you.

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Posted

There are several current threads that might be helpful for you, even though they don't mention the word "Winnenden". ;)

 

* Will I regret moving to Germany from the US?

You don't mention in your profile where you are now, or what nationality you are, but I'm assuming someone calling themself "Hockey27" is going to be Canadian or a US citizen, rather than a Brit.

 

* Difficulties in making German friends

I don't want to put you off, but you should know going in that making German friends is challenging, to say the least.

 

Also have a look at some of the threads noted on this page to find out what other expats love, and hate, about living here.

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Posted

Thanks for the info. I have been doing quite a bit of research and have heard it is difficult to make German friends. I plan to get involved in some of the expat opportunities to try to meet people. Also, I've been learning basic German phrases. I plan to find a tutor in the U.S., before we move and possibly when we are in Germany. I've traveled to quite a few places in the world and completely understand needing to try to speak the language. I'm mostly concerned with living in a safe area ( my husband will be traveling a fair amount), being able to do my shopping, etc. with limited German, having markets and restaurants within walking distance and having train stations within walking distance. We are not planning on having a car... We are very excited to use public transportation!

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Posted

Winnenden is a small, quite provincial town. It's a safe place ,despite that "Winnenden school shooting " 3-4 years back.

 

I would not like to live there without a car, since the public transportation within the town itself is certainly nothing more than some busses running in a 1-hour-pace which can be quite annoying, esp. if you have children which need to go to school ect. Walking distance? That could be a1/2 walk with 2 full shopping bags, unless you don't live in the old center of town.

 

It's no problem to take a train to Stuttgart city center, but if you live a bit on the outskirts of Winnenden it might take longer to get to the station than it takes travelling to Stuttgart.

 

The market and the few restaurants- you will know them all within the first 2 months. And chances that shopkeepers, waiters etc. speak enough English for you to get around and get what you need are low.

 

Frankly, consider moving either to Stuttgart, or, situated inbetween, the bigger town of Waiblingen.

 

How do I know? I grew up there.

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Posted

Sosax, thank you for that information! This is what I needed to know so I don't even need to waste time in Winnenden. My husband is very willing to commute, as long as I'm happy. We were thinking Stuttgart Mitte, West, Süd, or Ost. Any thoughts on those areas? We are in the 45-55 range so we don't need lively nightlife. I'll checkout the town you mentioned, too.

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Posted

Best might be to live along that train line "S-Bahn " which runs from Stuttgart City to Winnenden, to make it easier/shorter for your husband to get to Winnenden. Stuttgart - Bad Cannstatt might be a good option. In- and around Stuttgart there is also way better, faster public transportation with street cars " Strassenbahn".

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Posted

Sounds like you're well equipped to cope with an international move, as it's not the first time you've done it. Please don't worry about "safe areas" - there aren't any unsafe areas here, really.

 

Look out for online resources that can help you learn German - there are some good ones out there. Deutsche Welle comes to mind, they're excellent. Also have a look through some of these threads:

 

* Online German language courses

Bit older thread, but still some good stuff in there - I can't find the more current one at the moment, sorry.

 

* Website for learning German vocabulary

* Websites that clearly explain German grammar

* * Tips for learning to speak German

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Posted

I agree with Sosarx, Stuttgart or Waiblingen would probably suit you better than Winnenden. To make your husband's commute easier, look on the east side of town. Bad Canstatt is the obvious candidate, but Untertürkheim, Killesberg and possibly Fellbach (although this is no longer Stuttgart proper) would be good possibilities. West is a bit more the trendy part of town, with lots of cafés, bars, nightlife etc. Süd is more blue-collar and students, although there are also posher bits - I live in Süd and love it. West and Süd will add to your husband's commute though.

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Posted

Sosarx and The.Frollein, thank you both for all your suggestions. I will do some research and I'm certain I'll have more questions.

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Posted

Okay, another question: how is Stuttgart Ost?

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Posted

I live in Winnenden *and I am American, so there is a small expat community here :D* , it is a great small town with a country side that beats anything Stuttgart (my relatives came to visit and couldn't stop remarking at how beautiful it is here) could even hope to provide.

 

The buses perhaps used to be running once every hour when sosarx was a child but like any normal german town they run at every 20 minutes or so. And depending where you live you might be in walking distance to the Train station as well.

 

Winnenden also has plenty of Markets, LIDL, ALDI, EDEKA, Mueller etc within walking distance.

 

In regards to your English question, just about everyone in Germany who has gone through German school has some English knowledge whether or not they wish to use it is more the question. I arrived in Germany in July 2010 with just a few lines of German, my conversations went something like this:

"Guten Tag, verstehen Sie ein bisschen Englisch?"

"Nein."

"Do you know where the post office is?"

"Yes, 200 meters down this road to the right."

"Danke sehr! Aber kein Englisch?"

"Ja! Kein Englisch!"

 

The point is if you try to use whatever German you have and are friendly, the German people are polite and for the most part helpful and you will get by no problem.

 

All in all, don't give up on the small towns, you might be pleasantly surprised.

 

If you need assistance in finding housing, I am a Realtor by profession and can find you housing wherever you and your husband end up choosing to live, and if by chance we end up neighbors all the better, we might change Winnenden into the new expat hotspot! My business contacts are 0049 (0)1577 326 2233 eMail g.crossman@killesundbenz.de

 

At your service,

 

Gabe Crossman

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Posted

 

I live in Winnenden *and I am American, so there is a small expat community here * , it is a great small town with a country side that beats anything Stuttgart (my relatives came to visit and couldn't stop remarking at how beautiful it is here) could even hope to provide.

 

Well that is certainly a matter of personal preference. For some people, it's the pretty country side that they want, for others it's having stores (other than Edeka and Aldi), cafes, libraries, museums, bars and restaurants within walking (or at least easy-to-get-to by public transport) distance. People have different priorities.

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Posted

True, just showing the other side of the coin. Stuttgart is not the all in all of BaWu :D Like I said in my last paragraph the choice is unequivocally hers and her husbands. And as no one was sounding the horn for the little towns, I thought I give it a short blast...

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Posted

I live in a Village with one shop 2 bakers and NO pub and I would not swap it for the world! The people are great and they just love it when you talk to them .

I have lived in Germany since 1970 Demob and I still have a massive British Accent and the locals love it! In fact I was walking in the woods yesterday (I am on rehabilitation after a total new knee OP) and asked a women who was Jogging if I was on the right rout for a certain Place Ja!!! she said and and told me the way ... 20 Mins later the lady jogged up to me again stopped and said! "Where are you from ?" England I said this happens often they also love to try out there English

ENJOY Germany and Go for the Villages they are Cheaper and Quieter

Stu

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Posted

Hello,

 

My wife, three kids and I moved to Winnenden August 2012. I worked for Karcher in the US and transferred here. Might you be with Karcher as well? I assume this because it is obviously the biggest industry in little old Winnenden. I can tell you that there are many English speakers here but not as many as I thought. We came here knowing no German but we are slowly learning. I have found thought that it is not as bad as you might think. A bit scary yes but we are getting by. Stuttgart is nice and yes more English speakers there but honestly just trying to speak German here is better than asking them to speak English. We have only been here 6 months and we can get along fine. Shopping dining, that kind of thing. I travel all over the world for work so my wife takes care of things here and does pretty well. You will find times where you just crave English speaking as every simple chore now becomes a challenge. Don't let me scare you though, I have no regrets coming here. We lived in a large city in the US and Winnenden is by no means a large city but we are loving its quaintness and such. Also, Stuttgart is 20 minutes by train if you need a big city. We also found that Stuttgart is soooo expensive. Just a few thoughts I had. Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions you might have. I suggest to ask a lot of questions. Also, if you are with Karcher, I am in Outlook :)

 

Sincerely,

Ron Cropsey

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Posted

Hello.

I am the wife of the Karcher employee that posted already.

I can tell you that Winnenden is a small town of 28,000. We moved from a town of close to 500,000. Yes, that was a total adjustment! However, everything and anything by train or by car is accessible in minutes. Stuttgart is around 20 minutes by car. We came with no knowledge of the German language but are learning it as we go. There are English speakers in the area, but not as much as expected. If you need a stronger English speaking area, then yes, Stuttgart would be where you need to be. There is a military base just South of Stuttgart. We came with the intent of not needing a vehicle and using the train. However, we have 3 children. We learned quickly that as a safety, it is best to have a vehicle. Yes, we do use it, but about 85% of the time, it is in the garage. The community in Winnenden is quiet and friendly. We have easy access to the larger towns when we need a 'city' fix even though a European ' city' fix is not the same as a USA 'city' fix. lol. We have been here for a few months now, the kids have adjusted nicely, I have met a core group of people and am glad I made the move to Winnenden. We wanted the convenience of our home being close to school and work and I couldn't ask for anything better! We are in the heart of Winnenden. I had originally looked at housing as far as Fellbach. I am glad that we did not end up outside of Winnenden. I look forward to talking with you more, and when you get to town, hopefully my husband and I could have dinner with you and the family if Karcher doesn't keep you too busy on your visitation trip. Feel free to contact me privately with any and all questions: jacropsey5@msn.com

Kind Regards,

From one Karcher wife to another

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