Comparison of Life in East Germany and West German

Is West really better than the East?

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bmwengineer
God Willing, I am coming to Germany for Masters studies(engineering) in September. I have the option of going to both east germany(cottbus maybe) and West Germany(wuppertal maybe).

Here is what my personal opinion is about both places. It is a product only of googling and looking at online resources available. I have not talked to anyone studying there and i have no idea of the ground realities. These are only my impressions of the places so kindly correct me if i am wrong.
Also, i would be looking for your opinion on which place to choose.

For me, having a good time in Germany is as important as a good career. So i not only want to move to a place where i can enjoy my stay but also where i can progress in my career easily. I am willing to learn German and in fact have already completed level A1, plan to do A2 by September.

My impression:
I think,
1. West is a good place because it has so many other cities around it like dusseldorf, duissburg, bonn, cologne etc and i like travelling...To me it seems that east germany does not have that advantage. I am also not interested in countrysides as i live in one here in my country. I like cities.
2. West Germany has more international people, hence a better community for me to mingle in(and more tolerance of internationals by germnans). Not that i dont want to mingle with germans but i doubt they will be that hospitable to me.
3. West has more industries as compared to East, which means ill have better chances of a job
4. West is near some beautiful countries like holland, switz, austria, france. On the other hand i don't think there is much to see in the eastern countries.
5. I don't know why but west seems to me more like America or England while East always gies me the impression of a torn state with poor people.

I must say here that i intend to go to Germany for studies and then settle there with a job. I have no issues in mingling with the german culture as i believe one should not reject the host country's culture and impose his own.
To what extent are my above observations correct? by the way i am an Asian, Pakistani to be precise.
D_Mike
god doesn't exist in east germany
engelchen
God Willing, I am coming to Germany for Masters studies(engineering) in September. I have the option of going to both east germany(cottbus maybe) and West Germany(wuppertal maybe).
My first question is always, why do you want to come to Germany to study in English? I'd recommend you read a recent thread we had on the subject .

So i not only want to move to a place where i can enjoy my stay but also where i can progress in my career easily. I am willing to learn German and in fact have already completed level A1, plan to do A2 by September.
Speaking fluent German (C1/C2) will greatly improve your job chances. I should, however, warn you that Germany seems to be pursuing a cheap foreign labour economic policy (another great thread).

West Germany has more international people, hence a better community for me to mingle in(and more tolerance of internationals by germnans).
If you spend all your time with other foreigners you are unlikely to learn German.

Not that i dont want to mingle with germans but i doubt they will be that hospitable to me.
With that attitude there is no point in moving here.

West has more industries as compared to East, which means ill have better chances of a job
Finding a part-time job in Cottbus without speaking German is very, very difficult (I've met a few people studying there).

To what extent are my above observations correct? by the way i am an Asian, Pakistani to be precise.
I studied in East Germany and didn't have a problem with racism. On the other hand I already spoke C1 German when I started my masters. Furthermore, I also ended up taking more courses in German than English because I found the quality of instruction in English so poor. If you assume that you'll be not accepted here, I really think you should reconsider moving here.
bmwengineer
Thanks engelchen for your reply...

I want to move to Germany because,
-studies way cheaper than other countries like UK, USA. Can;t afford to pay 15000 Pounds in UK, as compared to 1000 euro MAX in Germany.
-engineers in demand, or at least that's what i heard(and confirmed through reading news).

Regarding cheap work, the starting pay for an engineer in my country is Euro 3500. So the cheap economic labor policy crap doesn't hold in my case. It has more to do with people who come from other EU countries or countries with strong economies.

Make no mistake about my love for languages. I did A1 purely because i wanted to learn the language even though people asked my why are you doing it when you aren't even sure if you will go to Germany or not. I have set my own targets and being fluent in German inside the first year is one of my 'top' priorities and i know i can do that, whether i have an international community around me or not. The reason i mentioned more international students in West was just because i want to have an international community around me too while i am studying. For some reason, i don't know why, Cottbus always seems to me like a place where i would be the only foreigner, lol. I know i am wrong but since you have lived there what do you have to say about the international community there? (Again i am not asking this coz i want to spend 'all my time' with foreign people, as you wrongly assumed)

The part where i said better chances of job, i was referring to after graduation, not part time. I know German is a must for part time jobs. here is another question. If i do my masters from a city where there aren't much opportunities for engineers, is it normal to shift to a better city after graduation 'just for job search'. I am sure people do that, right? or is it that doing graduation from a city with less opportunities will permanently put them at a disadvantage?

And i only assumed i will not be accepted by germans because if i had said why wouldn't the germans be hospitable to me, more people would have replied why the hell do you expect them to be hospitable to you? It has happened before
engelchen
studies way cheaper than other countries like UK, USA. Can;t afford to pay 15000 Pounds in UK, as compared to 1000 euro MAX in Germany.
It is a false economy. First, the quality of programmes taught in English is much better in Canada and the UK (in the US it depends on the school) than the quality taught in English in Germany. Don't forget, "you get what you pay for" (although the quality of engineering programmes taught in German is excellent, foreign students incur the costs of learning German first to be able to attend them). Second, do not underestimate how long it'll take you to learn German. If you want to study in English, you should choose an Anglo-Saxon country.

-engineers in demand, or at least that's what i heard(and confirmed through reading news).
Experienced engineers in certain fields. There are also 20k unemployed engineers in Germany who can't find jobs. Many foreigners who graduate with degrees in engineering end up leaving Germany because they cannot find a job.

Regarding cheap work, the starting pay for an engineer in my country is Euro 3500. So the cheap economic labor policy crap doesn't hold in my case.
Yes, it does. First of all, the cost of living is also higher here. Second, eventually they'll have to take steps to prevent the immigration of skilled labour at dumping wages.

I have set my own targets and being fluent in German inside the first year is one of my 'top' priorities
On top of a full course load? Not possible.

Cottbus always seems to me like a place where i would be the only foreigner, lol.
I didn't study in Cottbus, however, I know some people who did. There are many foreigners and they all seem to hang out together and most of them don't speak German.

The part where i said better chances of job, i was referring to after graduation, not part time. I know German is a must for part time jobs. here is another question. If i do my masters from a city where there aren't much opportunities for engineers, is it normal to shift to a better city after graduation 'just for job search'.
Many graduates don't manage to find a job in their field in the city in which they studied and have no choice but to move elsewhere.

And i only assumed i will not be accepted by germans because if i had said why wouldn't the germans be hospitable to me, more people would have replied why the hell do you expect them to be hospitable to you? It has happened before
It is better not to make any assumptions.
Serenajean1
5. I don't know why but west seems to me more like America or England while East always gies me the impression of a torn state with poor people.
Germany is Germany it is not like the US regardless of where you are.

And a torn state of poor people, what fucking absurd assumptions.

If you come with such a nasty attitude you will be treated the way you anticipate, you set the tone.
Bipa
My German niece and her German boyfriend are both newly graduated engineers. They've already left Germany, found jobs and settled in together. I don't think they ever even seriously considered looking for a job in Germany in the first place.
SA618
One approach might be to look for the type of job you would want after graduation and see which location is more suitable. I would guess that you could do more networking and meet people currently working in your field in Wuppertal than in Cottbus. It might be worthwhile to look at the placement services and get a feel for the prospects of recent graduates.

@SJ - if you get outside of the core areas of most east German cities, you can see that there is a lot of work to do. East Berlin and Dresden seem to have benefitted from the flow money a bit more than other places.
Serenajean1
I lived in rural east germany. I would not call it a broken nation of poor people.
Mr.G
I'm a foreigner living in Germany ( 40km from the polish border ) in a village with a population of 198 and I'm not the only foreigner here. Broken nation and poor people my ass. Fully agree with SJ1.

With that attitude, I would suggest you study as far in the west as possible.

You are right about one thing

4. West is near some beautiful countries like holland, switz, austria, france. On the other hand i don't think there is much to see in the eastern countries.
Nothing to see here, nothing to do, don't move here.
Oblomov
You shouldn't believe in stereotypes. Many Eastern German cities have come a long way and university facilities may well be more modern than those in many Western universities, particularly so in comparison to those in North-Rhine Westphalia which hasn't exactly poured money into universities over the past two decades. Wuppertal is part of Germany's largest metropolitan area and therefore it offers better travel connections and a larger choice of cultural events etc., yet Wuppertal itself isn't exactly what Germans would consider an architectural gem.
Whether English language courses are less demanding that their German equivalents I don't know, perhaps you should look for a forum of engineering students who may rather be able to give an informed opinion on this question. As to job chances you should keep in mind that the backbone of German industry are mid-sized companies that very often are technological world leaders in their specific markets. Working for those is often more attractive than working for the well known mega-companies. While engineers do tend to earn well they are not the graduates with the highest incomes and they tend to reach their income ceiling rather fast, unless they move on into management. You should also keep in mind that studying in Germany doesn't translate into the right to remain here after graduation.
Oblomov
BTW, the city of Altlandsberg in the Eastern state of Brandenburg had for many years an immensely popular mayor who was an immigrant from India. He then moved on to be an MP in the Brandenburg state parliament.
SA618
@SJ and Mr. G -

The east has great places to visit, but many of the towns in the east have come into disrepair as well as having huge chunks of the population move out due to weak economic conditions.

I'd recommend a visit to Dresden, Leipzig, Görlitz, Zittau, Bad Muskau and even Cottbus. I have visited each of these in the past year, but it would be a stretch to suggest that there is not a lot of work which needs to be done outside of the city centers. As a tourist, the towns in the east are much more interesting than those in the west and Poland is much more interesting than the Netherlands and Belgium, IMHO.

Anyone who rides a bicycle between Fürstenburg and Cottbus or takes the Oder-Neiße Radweg would be amazed at how many small towns are like ghost towns. The people in those towns, even in places like Frankfurt Oder, Schwedt, and Görlitz are very open about the fact that the young people need to go west because there are simply no jobs. Many buildings in Görlitz, which has UNESCO sites and is simply a phenomenal place to visit, are empty.

Things are getting better, but the east has not completely recovered from the economic shock of reunification.
Serenajean1
Absolutely. No one is claiming perfection.

We are saying his attitude sucks. Saying there is progress to be made is far different then saying its a torn state of poor people.

Every single point the OP made was a reason why east Germany is inferior, and if he feels so strongly in these assumptions why even start a thread in the first place his decision should be cut and dry.
Mr.G
@SJ and Mr. G -

The east has great places to visit, but many of the towns in the east have come into disrepair as well as having huge chunks of the population move out due to weak economic conditions.
I was being Ironic - I live here and tbh, I'd rather people with that attitude didn't move here. Clearer now?
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