Moving to Berlin and my situation or question is unique

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I personally think there is a real danger if we just hang out with each other. That said ... at least one-third of the crowd at Hairy Mary's is authentically German and we should probably take advantage of that. What was the name, again, of the cool chick who was part of the Leipzig demonstrations?

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Hi guys, I am moving to berlin in a few months and need some help in finding a job. I currently work as a visual merchandiser for Topshop here in London and I would love to carry on doing this, but dont know how the best way to apply for positions. Ive started emailing some companies that have branches here and in Berlin like H & M, I am willing to just work in the store as sales assistant, are these types of retail jobs as hard to find as others? I've looked up the KaDaWe ond this would be a perfect place, but is it hard to find a job there? Theres alot on this site (and others) about the difficulty in finding a job in Berlin, but is that for all kinds of work or skilled trades? Also ive only just started to learn german I have the hang of the basics so far. I will be living in Germany with a native German so I will hopefully be able to pick up some more quickly, so I need to find something where this wont cause a huge issue. I will be going with two months wages from my current job so I will be able to live for two maybe three months without a job as I will be living with my partner so we will have shared bills and rent. Also, my partner wants us to live in Schöneberg. Is it hard to find nice moderately priced apartments there? How much is the average rent there? Any advice is appreciated guys, sorry if this is all on here elsewhere, i find it a bit confusing looking through all the threads.x

 

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Hi Ashley. Best of luck with your move to Berlin, its a brilliant city to live in, very chillled out. I can only say that it is not easy to find work here, most people I know are kind of doing their own thing to make money or they work part time, and even that can be hard unless you speak perfect German. My wife is German and she has found it very difficult to find work and when she did it was poorly paid. Best thing to do is to learn as much german as possible, the more the better. One of our friends got a job recently and having some basic german really helped to swing it. But don't let this dampen your spirits, its such a great place to live. The other plus is that it is very cheap to live here. I actually live in Schoeneberg and its a really nice place to live and a lot of Berliners live in the area, so its real Berlin. its also pretty close to everything. You can expect to pay from 400-600 euros a month for an apartment up to 50-70 sq metres. Make sure you check whether the rent price is kalt or warm (kalt meaning their is a monthly charge on this called wohngeld/hausgeld) (warm meaning this included in the price quoted). Anway best of luck and enjoy Berlin, you will figure something out when you get here, like the rest of us and I am here over a year. Cheers

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you will most likely find it a challenge to find a job with a department store since you don't speak fluent germany. germans are a bit precious about their language. the city also has a very high unemployment rate --last i read it was 13% but i recently read that 1 in 4 adults in berlin are on social welfare.

 

but you should try continuing to hit up stores anyway, you could get lucky. in terms of finding jobs in this city, unfortunately it's more about luck and less about skill and experience.

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Sort out some evidence of your work before you come here so you can claim unemployment benefit - check it out in the UK first about transfering benefits - think it's good for 3 months. Gives you a chance to get a bit of money, learn German and do a placement in Berlin if you need to get one. This is all fall back stuff. I would learn German in the UK before you come here - it's cheaper there - try the Goethe Insitut.

 

KaDeWe does take on people without amazing German - I know that there are people there who are answering emails and letters in English or some such thing - but they could also speak some German.

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Try the American Apparel shops - they seem to hire a multi-national staff. I agree with the previous poster about getting unemployment benefit from home first to buy you time to set up here. Don't kid yourself, like I did, it's really, really, really difficult to get a job here in Berlin - particularly one that pays for your health insurance (which is illegal not have here and is expensive to get privately) - get one of those European health cards so you can visit doctors here and simply say you are on holiday. You may find you end up doing trial days and week's of work unpaid, only not to get the job and be prepared for companies to take a very long time to respond to your applications, I applied for jobs a month ago and am only now getting replies saying that they are considering my application...could be another month before I even get to interview. In my experience anyway things move very slowly here and after applying it's always worth a follow up call a couple of weeks later so that they don't forget you. Good luck!

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I will be living in Germany with a native German so I will hopefully be able to pick up some more quickly, so I need to find something where this wont cause a huge issue.

The advice I always give newcomers coming to be with a partner is that this partner is the person that ought to be answering these questions and providing solutions for you. It's them that needs to be finding things for you. They should be moving heaven and earth for you, rather than you having to scrape round asking strangers on the internet (which is not to say you are not welcome, of course).

They are the native who know how the nation works and should be finding you a place to live and contacts for work and so on. You will have enough on your plate with moving without trying to hunt down a job and a home entirely on your own, and without being able to speak German you are going to find it hard.

 

Berlin has very high unemployment. It's about 14%. That's a level that those of us who remember the UK c.1980 can remember (and it's not nice) but you youngsters will not be able to conceive of the reality of that, having started out in post-millenium jobs aplenty booming London. So don't expect an easy ride (see Edee: "don't kid yourself") as a non-German speaker amongst the swathes of unemployed looking for any op they can find.

 

Your cheap option on language is the integration course (an intensive course). The c. 1200 Euros I paid for that (to lower intermediate B1 qualification in four months) was undoubtedly way faster and much cheaper than learning in London would have been.

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The c. 1200 Euros I paid for that (to lower intermediate B1 qualification in four months) was undoubtedly way faster and much cheaper than learning in London would have been.

That's not entirely true - firstly because it's not that expensive in London and secondly because of the recent exchange rate changes. Like I said The Goethe Institut in London is very good and it is subsidised by the German government (which means it is way cheaper than the Goethe in Berlin or maybe the integration course though it's probably less contact hours)- plus it's learning in your own country which is a good start before the big leap. It also has a very good name - which can be good if you are trying to impress high brow department stores like KaDeWe and they have excellent teachers. I would advise you to start at the Goethe. I did it and it was great.

 

http://www.goethe.de/ins/gb/lon/lrn/ein/prs/enindex.htm

 

Registration, Dates and Prices: Price Overview

 

General Language Courses

once a week £310

Immersion £345

twice a week £310

three a week £450

Superintensive Courses

five a week £450

Special Language Courses

51 TU* in 17 weeks £325

34 TU* in 17 weeks £255

18 TU* in 6 weeks £150

16 TU* in 8 weeks £130

Blended Learning

18 TU* in 9 weeks £185

 

*TU= Teaching Unit of 45 minutes

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So the equivalent of my four months "superintensive" is 1800 GBP ( 4 * 450) which is 2000 Euro? How is that cheaper my 1200 Eur (before tax deduction)? It's 60% more. Which is what you'd expect in one of the most expensive cities in the world. A German company can't provide German prices in London - overheads are much higher - even with subsidy.

 

Bear in mind that the integration course is vastly subsidised too and that EU migrants can usually get a reduction on price of the full six months (I simply didn't want to go down the "engaging with state" route). Then it costs only 600 Eur. Sorry but there's really no contest on price. The integration course is one of the world's great language learning bargains from what I can see (even at my "private rate") presuming you have the luxury of the time to commit :) .

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Only one small thing, I am not really sure but I think you can't just arrive to Germany and enroll in the integration course, I think you have to stay first one year in Germany and then you can do it.

 

Anyway, 1 Euro per class, pretty cheap.

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I have a quick question. Will travel insurance that covers medical costs up to $500,000 for one full year be sufficient to obtain a residence permit or will I need to obtain German health insurance?

 

Thanks in advance, and thank you for the brilliant thread. It's been very helpful!

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Hi,I'm looking at moving over in April from Dublin(EU),being reading the pages the last while trying to gather info.But I have a few specific questions for you.Firstly I'm coming over for a week in March to scout around and check out areas...

Is to possible to register with the Bürgeramt during this week in March?(I have rented an apartment for this period).The reason I ask this is cos I want to move my cash from home over from bank to bank,and would like to have a bank a/c beforehand if possible.I'm not mad on internet banking and just want a basic current a/c with atm card.Just passport and residence letter needed,no utilities ect?My friend in Germany says Postbank are pretty good,but what's your experience?

Finally,I would be looking to rent 300-400 p/m.Is is possible to rent kalt for a month or so to see what the bills are like and change to a warm rate.Or is it generally your experience that warm always works out better?

When I'm over for the week where am I most likely to find 300-400 apts?I've been reading Moabit and Neukolln seem to be cheapest and multicultural.Also I'm not mad on rental agencies(only as a last resort),while looking at Craigslist,is there any other option for freelance apartment hunting?

Thanks for any advice in advance!

 

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ciao

I confirm that opening an account at Postbank is very quick. Get an EC card, you won't be able to buy furniture with a credit card, EC use is much more widespread than credit card. The other advantage is that you can go to the bank also on Saturdays.

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Finally,I would be looking to rent 300-400 p/m.Is is possible to rent kalt for a month or so to see what the bills are like and change to a warm rate.Or is it generally your experience that warm always works out better?

When I'm over for the week where am I most likely to find 300-400 apts?I've been reading Moabit and Neukolln seem to be cheapest and multicultural.Also I'm not mad on rental agencies(only as a last resort),while looking at Craigslist,is there any other option for freelance apartment hunting?

 

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Here is a good place to find an apartment: http://www.wg-gesucht.de/

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It is indeed a part of Lichtenberg, but it's of course also an area on it's own. Berlin-Friedrichsfelde (Wikipedia). In general it's not a beautiful area, due to it's many gdr buildings built in the 70s and a rather boring area without much "kiez"life (bars, cafes or restaurants). But it is also not that bad as there is the U5 and two S-Bahn stops to get fast into town and there is some green and the Tierpark (east berlin zoo).

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Check out the student boards, am not familiar with the names but do a search on here as I think it has been covered somewhere. There are plenty of students who sublet, some places are furnished and you don't need to worry about agents.

 

The thing about registering with the Burgeramt, you are suppose to let them know when you are leaving your rented address. Actually, you are suppose to let them know even if you move into another apartment in the same building. Not sure how that would affect your setting up a bank account.

 

regards,

 

CM

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Hartnackshule in Nollendorfplatz is terrible!!! NOT the place to go to learn German or anything for that matter. I'd suggest doing a trade of English/German with a native speaker. That way its one on one and believe me, German is not an easy language to learn so take it easy on yourself. Ich bin Die Strasse Her untergegangen = I was walking down the street but if you look at it. you're saying "Iam the street was going down.

 

Everybody speaks English in Berlin except people that work in supermarket and the little hitlers that check tickets in trains

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Dear all,

 

We've just been offered an apartment off Schoenhauser Allee (practically next to the Schoenhauser Allee S-Bahn stop), after months of searching for a place in Berlin. In reading this forum, I remember seeing just one note about the area (that spots around Schoenhauser Allee were "ghetto"), and before giving the final yes, does anyone have any experiences of this area, good or bad?

 

Just for the record, too- would you consider an EG apartment to be less safe than one that's on an upper floor? This particular place is 1. EG (Vorderhaus), but we're also weighing it against other options.

 

Much appreciated!

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