Elfenstar

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About Elfenstar

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  • Location Mannheim
  • Nationality American
  • Hometown Austin
  • Gender Female
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  1. Raising kids as vegetarians in Germany

      Since the OP posted this in 2014 it would be imteresting to see how his child has fared. At least TTers have not changed.
  2.   There are some good threads on that because as it is, a US high school diploma isn’t a sufficient prereq for studying in Germany. We lack that extra year. Assuming many factors such as having had AP calculus and other AP courses, he’ll likely need first to learn German, then probably do Studienkolleg. If he got started now maybe he could start studying fall 2019.    But yeah, get his visa to come over ASAP. Once here it’ll be easy for him to stay to learn German. 
  3. Moving to Munich and my situation is unique

      Sure, geographically Germany is closer to Poland than England, but depending on where you'll go in Poland Munich is still pretty far away. Dresden or Berlin would be better suited.
  4. Raising kids as vegetarians in Germany

      Huh? No, he isn't stopping me, I just now have to get better at meal planning and prep. For example, that night I'd make rice and fish, but no veggies, now I just have to include that in the meal.
  5. Yes, I remember a friend said he did this for his (then) 17-year-old daughter. Parents were divorced, so I cannot remember how complicated or easy it was. But she arrived and stayed, learned German and eventually went on to study.
  6. Raising kids as vegetarians in Germany

      Interesting point and it's very true, many people don't consider fish a meat. So the other day when, looking through my kids "Lightning McQueen" cookbook to pick out recipes (he can't read and so when looking at the pictures he just asks if that "brown thing" there is meat), there was a tasty one for fish. So I suggested we cook that. And my wee one didn't skip a beat - said fish are also alive and if we eat them, then they would died, so he doesn't want to eat any fish either. I was proud that he had with his 5 years, already made a  sound logical argument :-) But disappointed too cause I need to eat more fish (I have thyroid problems) and was hoping this would be one meal I wouldn't have to change or substitute anything for.
  7. Raising kids as vegetarians in Germany

      Ha, ha! We told him he couldm’t eat Gelbwurst and he said “well, only at oma’s house and since we don’t visit her too often, that’s ok, right?”
  8. Raising kids as vegetarians in Germany

    I'm just tagging onto this post...   My son, nearly 6, has decided he no longer wants to eat meat. We're not vegetarians, but I don't like to eat sausage. We eat meat/fish at home 2-3 times a week roughly and he gets meat (sometimes) at kindergarten for lunch. This started about a month ago, right before Christmas. He wasn't consistent at first, but now he knows to ask "is that meat or does that have meat in it". We're not making a big deal out of it, but every couple of days I'll offer him meat and he will decline. Even at kindergarten he declines meat.   So, why this now? He one day said it's mean to kill all the sweet little animals. I don't know what prompted this discussion (something he heard at kindergarten, who knows). So I respect this choice. Still, I'm wondering if it's only a phase? And of course I want to make sure he gets all the nutrients he needs without having to give him supplements. 
  9. I am/was a tech writer. I came into my company via an external agency at a time where it wasn't easy to find people with technical backgrounds who spoke fluent English and could write. I did have to take a  entrance exam before they would hire me. Said I barely passed, but I digress... Anyhow, tekom is the leading tech writing organization in Germany and it certainly doesn't hurt to be a part of it especially if you're looking for a job. I never joined.   That being said, my company has hired many fluent English speakers who haven't studied technical writing per se (the gal who took over my previous job had studied English with a teaching certificate, another German I worked with who started here 2 years ago studied English and political science, I think). Those Germans that are hired, who speak fluent English, are coming more and more with degrees in related fields and coursework/internships in tech writing. There's a lot of pull of students from the nearby University of Applied Sciences in Karlsruhe because they offer a degree in tech writing.    I know I didn't answer your question - personally, if I can word my cover letter and my resume to reflect my knowledge and experience as a tech writing without having a degree, then I'd forgo taking the exam.   
  10. I moved your post to Munich because maybe there are specific places you can enroll. that only the Munich folks are aware of.   That being said, from my experience, if your kid is still in kindergarten (or even Krippe), then you might just be a SOL :-(  My friends with small kids actually put their kids in a Krippe that had few closing days in  a year because they knew that would be an issue. Our Catholic-run kindergarten is closed 6 weeks a year. My husband and I alternate - at Easter I take off/he works, during the fall holiday I work/he takes off. Then we take 3 weeks off together in the summer and try to divide up what ever is left during the Christmas holidays where we stay at home. In a pinch we will take the wee one to his grandparents.   We have holiday programs in the area for kids starting at the age of 5. Last year we made use of one them and despite the initial difficulties (he was so nervous he vomited up his oatmeal), he loved the sport program (they had climbing). Next year we'll do this again at least for 3 days (like last year).    
  11. As I wrote in the PM from you:   It is required by U.S. law that American citizens, when entering or leaving the U.S., do so using their American passport. And since I knew I might be traveling alone with our child (I have a double last name) that it would create problems if we 2 traveled with 2 different passports because as an American citizen, it's pretty obvious I would have passed that citizenship on to the child. So knowing I was embarking on a trip to the US, got my kid the American passport.   We lived in Singapore the first 2 years of my kids life and I was questioned at Singaporean immigration (when I was traveling alone with our kid) why I was traveling with a U.S. passport and our child a German one. I was honest and said our move to Singapore was rather quick and I just didn't have time to get him the U.S. one.   The only con that I could see to having a U.S. passport is that you are required to file an income tax form every year. You don't necessarily pay taxes, but have to claim any income.
  12. Kita and breakfast

      AFAIK, well, at least for my region, this is quite normal for a Kinderkrippe (0-3 years). At 3 years they have to leave the Krippe and move to Kindergarten where they will be placed in a mixed group of 3-6 year olds. My son, because he was external, joined the kindergarten at 2 years 9 months. He was the youngest and in a group with 3 "Vorschule" kids who were 6 1/2. That was nuts! But that's how German kindergarten is. Kids who were in the KInderkrippe at this institution, moved up to kindergarten shortly before or after their 3rd birthday.   I guess NRW has a different system. But if she would move to a new class anyway in a few months, then maybe they can expedite it.
  13.   I mean, in Germany you won't be denied medical treatment if you're in the public scheme. Being in the private scheme certainly has some perks, but you get everything you need in the public scheme. 
  14.   The coverage for publicly insured patients is the same as that of private ones, except you might get faster access to such services if you are privately insured. There are other advantages, but you won't be denied a certain treatment or examination just because you are publicly insured.   Many people, such as myself, have public insured topped off with a private insurance plan to cover things like getting only a 2-bed in a hospital (vs a 3 or 4 bed room which is normal by public standards) or better dental coverage. In any case I'm glad I am in the public system, especially after having my baby. I would have had to continue making all the private insurance payments myself while on Elternzeit. That would have been a huge chunk of money. As it was, both me and my kid were covered under one policy, my husbands family insurance. I looked into switching to private many years ago, but I knew I would have a baby at one point, but as it is, now that I "only" work part-time, I fell under the threshold so any savings would have been minimal if nothing at all.
  15. Kita and breakfast

      I agree, I really wouldn't panic, in fact I think you might be overreacting  by demanding your kid be moved to a new class. That would probably be more traumatic than your kid not getting breakfast on one morning. If that's the only thing, then I would really let it go.That she didn't apologize isn't a surprise either. That's simply German behavior. That she forgot to tell you, is also somewhat understandable. So many things happen in kindergarten, maybe she didn't think it was as necessary to tell as if, for example, your kid tripped and fell and badly bruised their shin or bumped their head. Also, and what's common in our kindergarten, the main teacher might leave early without telling the remaining ones every detail of each kid of the day. It's an unfortunate situation, don't get me wrong, but in the grand scheme of things it's just a breakfast.   BTW, kids at our kindergarten have to bring their own breakfast and an afternoon snack. Ours eats at home and I pack the little one snack for the afternoon.