liebling

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About liebling

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  • Location Heidelberg
  • Nationality USA
  • Gender Female
  • Interests kids, research, sleep, food, current affairs and a bunch of other stuff I'm too tired to recall just now.

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  1. Owing self-employment tax to the U.S.

      In my understanding, this and the advice above do not contradict each other. Strictly speaking (ideally), you have the Certificate of Coverage (and not the Schedule SE) to submit with your return, but if you need to submit your return by the deadline and have requested but not yet received the Certificate of Coverage, this may suffice as a stop-gap solution (to let them know somewhere/somehow what the situation is) until you get the Certificate of Coverage and can submit it later (whether as soon as you receive it, or upon request, should the IRS contact you).      Did you end up having to pay the $10k in the end, or could you provide a Certificate of Coverage in the end to show that you were exempt?
  2. Shreddies breakfast cereal available in Germany

    This is awful news.  We love Shreddies.
  3. Lots of advice here to select school once OP knows where the family will be living. But what if the OP might be looking to select accommodation based on schools rather than the other way around? (That's the way I would do it, anyway.)  Is there likely to be a palpable difference in what support (etc.) the schools can offer in, say, Mainz versus Frankfurt vs. Darmstadt?  If schooling for 8- and 11-year-old English-speakers with no German were your main priority in choosing a place to live in that broad region, where would folks (with some knowledge of those areas) choose? Or is it too unpredictable and/or specific to the level of the individual school and/or the teachers, so that location doesn't make much of a difference, in the end? 
  4. The fleamarket for babies' and children's clothing, toys, and other gear will take place once again as part of Heidelberg's Lebendiger Neckar celebrations, taking place this year on Sunday, 17 June.  Approx. 40 different (kid!) sellers will have tables/stands along the Uferstrasse at the Neckarwiese in Heidelberg, beginning at the DLRG station (cafe/water playground) and proceeding westward from there.  Of course there will be dozens and dozens of other things going on at the Neckarwiese that day, so come early, stay late, and bring your whole family.    Children's fleamarket stands will be occupied from around 9:30 onwards (I'm guessing - I know the road must be completely clear of delivery traffic by 10am at the latest). See you there?
  5. Your kids don't need high-backed booster seats; backless booster seats will do, too, according to the law. Discount supermarkets (Aldi, Lidl, etc.) often have them on offer in-store and/or online; they're all approved for use but look out for ones with memory foam on the bottom; the others tend to be too hard on little bottoms (say my kids, anyway).  Lidl has two different models available online at the moment: one cheaper and one more expensive. 
  6. Name change after marriage for non-German citizens

    There are other threads on this topic but I haven't time too google them now.  For US citizens, Standesamt in Leipzig won't be able to offer any info. They can't change your name for you as you fall under different naming laws outside of their jurisdiction.    IIRC, I did get my name changed at Frankfurt US consulate after I got married, just by filling out a form there and ordering a new passport reflecting the name I actually wanted to have.  I don't remember whether it was a separate name-change form or just a new-passport-reflecting-name-change form, but either way it was one-stop shop.  I took my marriage license (which reflected my "before" name and a German-approved "after" name which I wasn't happy with) and my old passport and maybe my birth cert, too (the consulate/embassy or their website can tell you in advance what you'll need).  I just told them I got married and changed my name.  The name I gave for the passport is the name I wanted, and it was not the same as the birth name and not the same as the German-approved married name.  That's it.  Once I had the new passport, I used that with all US and German authorities to get my info changed in their systems (Anmeldung, driver's license, visa-related details connected to the passport, etc.) A valid US passport by definition must be accepted as documentation of its holder's identity, so whatever's on there is what they have to accept (even if they make a claim that their software rejects it or whatever -- I've heard it all!).  This way you get whatever name you want (American law being super flexible) and then you just let everyone know that you've got this new name.   Good luck.    
  7. Based on my own experience, your health insurance category would be that of any regular domestically (i.e. Germany-based) employed insured person.  If you wanted to be publicly insured and were eligible (on basis of income, for example) you could be "freiwillig versichert" - voluntarily insured - with a German public health insurer, and your UK employer should pay the (German) employer portion of that insurance coverage.  If you want to be privately insured like your husband, you would be insured just like him, basically, and your UK employer should pay the (German) employer portion of that coverage, too (if any - I'm not knowledgeable about private coverage, but @Starshallow surely knows all).  
  8. You'll need to be insured in Germany (and should also pay German social insurance contributions, etc.) as long as you're not actually seconded to Germany by your UK employer.  If it's your choice to work remotely, what's decisive is not where your employer is - nor where your salary gets paid - but where you are physically present for most of the time you do the work. If your bottom is seated in Germany while you are working, you are working in Germany and need to follow all the regulations that apply thereto.  You should get German health insurance (whether private like your husband or public - on a voluntary basis - if your salary and other criteria are suitable for that). For as long as UK is still EU, EU rules about cross-border workers apply, which means your UK employer should be covering German benefits (employer contributions, that is) at the German rate.  It may be a battle to get them to do it, though.  (As you can guess, allowing a worker to work remotely like this has real costs for employers, though they save on having to provide e.g. office space in the UK for that same worker.) Something to sort out before the move, for sure.     No idea about any 1000 Euro threshold.  Good luck!
  9. Thanks, swimmer and DJ_Jay.    I'd be flying to Heathrow given my West London destination; other airports wouldn't really help.   I hadn't even thought about the impact of changes to border controls... and didn't know about the fast train service on the horizon. I've done the 7.5 hr-trip by rail and found it fine as it was, but not sure I would want to do it on a regular basis.  Five hrs by rail FRA to St Pancras would be a huge boon if it ever comes to fruition.     
  10. Eight years on from this earlier discussion, and I'm wondering if there's anybody out there who commutes regularly from Frankfurt to London nowadays (by plane, rail or some other means) - if so, how do you do it?  Do you have any hacks to make the trip work for you with a minimum of fuss and/or expense?  Doesn't have to be any particular rhythm of travel (whether Mon-Fri, or once a month or whatever) - just looking for general experiences and trying to figure out how do-able it would be should I find myself in a position to need that kind of commute.
  11. There is no nationally-coordinated scheme for the recognition of foreign credentials in the USA. Ask at the Californian university in question what they'll recognize and for what purpose. (It may be actual credits, may be accepted for prereq purposes as you suggest, or may be none of the above.)  If they don't have  precedents to draw from, they'll probably direct you to one of the many credential-recognition companies, such as World Education Services . The applicant (your daughter) pays them and they issue a certificate as to how the level of education already earned equates in the US context. With that, it's still up to the university to decide whether/how they credit the (prospective) student for that attainment. It might vary from major to major as well, depending on the actual subjects the student pursued in the Abi. Good luck! 
  12. I'm with Acton. There's no reason to expect kids to have fun together on a swing (or anywhere else), esp. if they don't know each other, are different ages/have different motor skills and relationships to risk (seeking or aversion), for example.  Turntaking is the way to go, whether it's the swing, the slide, or any other part of the playground.  If they happen to find their way to playing together and enjoy it, that's great. But no need to push it, esp. if some of the kids are clearly not interested.  Keep an eye out to make sure no kid/group of kids monopolizes any particular piece of playground equipment to the exclusion of others for more than, say, 5-10 minutes  if others are waiting, but then those waiting for a specific piece of equipment need to queue up and wait (which is a drag but demonstrates their commitment) or at least verbally negotiate who is next with the monopolizing party.  (This kind of negotiation is standard for playgrounds I've been to and helps to make sure everybody knows who is waiting for what, and that kids using equipment realize they need to move on before getting in the literal/figurative queue again to take another turn. Occasionally kids or parents don't follow this procedure, but usually somebody else sorts them out.)
  13. Hi Precious.  What about working in a daycare center or preschool?  There is a major shortage of preschool staff and a big market for English-speaking staff (though bilingual English-German is even better,  so it's good that you're working on German). It may be possible to get your (US-based?) degree recognized (once you complete it) in order for you to work in a bilingual Kindergarten with kids aged 3-6.   Given the general staff shortage it may not even be necessary to get your degree recognized; you may find a position even without that.  This would still leave you with the challenge of getting a work permit as a non-EU citizen, but if the job description for a bilingual English-German kindergartens specifically mentions English native speaker you may well be able to convince the authorities that there isn't an EU-based English native speaker available for whatever specific job it is. It might be a stretch, but may be worth a shot all the same. Good luck!
  14.   I believe HPC (Heidelberger Privatschulcentrum) is another name for the F+U lunablabla mentioned. I don't have direct experience of the F+U but have heard many negative things about it -- at least when it comes to their primary school.  You understand correctly about the Int'l Gesamtschule Heidelberg: it is not bilingual.
  15. We're due to visit the area between Neustadt and Hohwacht during Baden-Württemberg's upcoming Pentecost school holidays and I wonder whether anybody in the area has tips for things to do and places to visit with our primary-school-aged kids.  Of course we've been looking at Tripadvisor and the like, and we've been to points south of there along Lübeck Bay on past (summer) holidays (including Sierksdorf, though amusement parks are generally not our cup of tea), but if anyone who knows the area well has an insider tip or two, I'd love to hear it. We don't need accommodation advice but would be grateful for recommendations for restaurants and/or points of local historical/cultural interest and/or days out in general.