Moving to Berlin and my situation or question is unique

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I lived in Barcelona in the nineties and found it nothing special - basically just a nice looking, busy, commercial city with a large tourist scene.

Berlin is so much better in my opinion. Better atmosphere, easier to meet people, more interesting stuff going on.

 

I agree that the weather here may not be so good as Barcelona's, but is better than England's -winters are dryer, not much darker, and summers are better.

 

It is very easy (too easy) to get by with just English, but if you make the effort then learning German is worth it.

 

I don't think your age is a problem. I know plenty of people your age, mostly single, who don't go much to clubs, but have a good time.

 

What someone suggested about coming for a couple of weeks to check it out first makes sense though.

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Hi guys,

 

Thanks so much for your responses. I am really excited about going to Berlin, will book my flight for a week or so and check it out. When I get there the feeling will tell me if it's for me or not. Ritacska1 I lived in Budapest about 10years ago, first in Buda then in Pest in Podmaninski street. I have never been so bloody cold in all my life, felt like -40 so I know what you are talking about. Beautiful city and nice people though.

 

Firstly I WANT to learn German. I couldn't imagine living in a country and not learning the language especially one I want to learn. At the moment I can only say, 'I love you', 'How are you' and 'please thank you' and 'come here' ( to my dog) which I learned last night, and it's...wait for it... come here with a German accent and yes and broccoli also learnt last night. So I expect those words will come in extremely useful while looking to rent a flat. No seriously will try to get an exchange and/or classes. Where do you look for doing a language exhange?

 

Rick-d you mentioned the lakes. Gosh I am longing for wide open green spaces, a cool breeze and lakes with fresh water and not disgusting beer swilling dirty med beaches full of embarrassing Brits and less embarrassing Germans. Also having a dog, German short haired pointer, my nearest green space is tiny and is full of junkies leaving needles around and I have to go there everyday with my dog. They always bother you for money and cigarettes and can shout and become really aggressive. Luckily the police presence is big. I have read of a dog island in Berlin, my my sounds like dog paradise.

 

gdrifter you are so right about Barcelona, it's beautiful but busy and stressful. It's a concrete jungle with a man made beach, terrible wages and really high rents. I have never been so poor anywhere I have lived before, sometimes I would look at my wages and laugh, thinking after I have paid my rent that will last a week if I am careful. Good side is I have really enjoyed it for 4 years. Have met nice people from all over the world, down side is that it is very transitory and many people come for a couple of years or so and leave. Said goodbye to a good friend Thursday, one of many and I think it's my turn to be going on an adventure. The excitement of walking around a new city and finding new places, also the relaxing atmosphere really appeals to me. Think I have grown out of Barcelona with having a dog and being a bit older my priorities have changed, and it's so close I can always come back and visit. As for the cold winters I have decided that instead of taking a summer holiday I will go every year in January, that solves one of my biggest doubts.

 

If I do come and check it out for 6 months after I visit next week, I was thinking about packing up my car and driving up from Barcelona. The trip should be fun and I can see a lot of Germany on the way up. But what's it like having a car in Berlin? You don't use a car in Barcelona I cycle and walk everywhere but it's great for getting out of the city. Is parking impossible and expensive like it is here?

 

Also are there any places you can study courses in English in Berlin? Like anything of interest but especially homeopathy, alternative medicine. - Don't worry if nothing comes to mind I can look around for myself.

Where would be a good place to stay for a week or two to base myself when I come up soon? Any listings for people who rent out rooms in flats for a week or so which would give me a better idea of living there than staying in a hostel or cheap hotel. People do that a lot here as it gives them extra income.

 

Very excited!

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I have read of a dog island in Berlin, my my sounds like dog paradise.

Id say its certainly dog paradise. Some might say the whole of Berlin is a "dog island" considering the amount of dog muck on the streets! :P

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Doesn't anyone pick up the dog mess? Here if the owners dont' do it the city council hoses down the streets with water everynight, pretty much cleans up everything.

 

Anyway what would be a reasonable rent in Prenzlaur Berg or Lich .. can't spell or Mitte for a nice apartment maybe 70 to 90 metres?

 

Is it grey there at the moment?

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Some owners pick up the piles and there are dog busters from the cleaning company, but there are myriads of dogs... at least in some areas.

 

Prenzlauer Berg and Mitte are the most expensive areas. Are you speaking of rent for a week (vacation) or for a month (living here)? The latter would be around 600 to 1000 euro.

Lich... could be Lichtenberg, Lichtenrade, Lichterfelde.

It's maybe Lichtenberg - the other two are even more outside, a cheap, but in some parts very ugly district with nearly nothing happening and not directly located in the center - don't know why it's in your list? Of course it's cheaper, maybe around 400 to 700 euro...

 

Here is a map of all the districts (Bezirke) and sub-districts (Ortsteile): http://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...=20080710051118

 

At the moment it is - ha ha - dark, it was grey till noon/afternoon but cleared up at the end of the day... kind of a mixed bag.

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It will be a big contrast after Barcelona, which is very much in the latin mold of exciteable lively people, and a sometimes loud, in your face culture. Berlin is northern Europe like the UK, the people might well seem reserved after Spain but that doesn't mean they aren't friendly. It is a sprawling city where everything seems spacious. The standard of living is high if you get a skilled job, the rents are low unless you go for one of the trendy or posh areas. A salary of 2000 Euros a month before tax is considered to be enough for a one bedroom flat in an above average area and enough to go out, and cover clothes, bills etc. If you get a full time job you should get health insurance included. The climate is continental. I happen to prefer the crisp and honest Berlin winters and the warm summers to the all year around drizzle and crap summers in the UK.

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Hi, I meant to say Friedrichshain not Lich getting confused with all the new names. Where would be recommended to live? I don't want pay en extortionate rent but thought that since Berlin is so spread out that living in a nice area with cafes etc would be advisable. I think it might make all the difference as to whether I enjoy Berlin or not. Is Friedrichshain expensive too?

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Yes, being able to live within short walking distance to a great choice of nice cafes is one of Berlin's plus points (e.g. compared to London). but if you live in any of the following areas, this should be the case: Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg, North Neukolln.

These are listed in roughly descending price order, but you can find cheap rent in all these places...

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I'd probably start off with a sublet off somewhere like craigslist or wg-gesucht.de

Or check some noticeboards / magazines when you get here.

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Hi guys

 

I am coming into Berlin on Thursday for a week. It would be great if any of you would like to meet up for a coffee or a beer, show me a nice place I wouldn't have found otherwise. Also I heard there is a meet up on Thursday nights so I might go along to that.

 

I having been looking at prices of flats and it looks very good. Kreuzberg was underlined in the list of neighbourhoods recommended, is that because you considered it the best one for price etc.

 

Looking forward to getting into Berlin. I have about 1 jumper and can't find my jacket (hot here) so I guess I might need to go shopping if it's freezing.

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Kreuzberg was underlined in the list of neighbourhoods recommended, is that because you considered it the best one for price etc.

It was underlined because it's a link - clicking on it takes you to the TT Wiki entry on the neighbourhood.

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Ah duh thanks. Anyway kate if you have lived in Berlin for a while what is your honest opinion of living there?

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I think you will find Berlin a pleasant city. It doesn't have that hustle and bustle type feel as in London or other major cities. It is definetly less exepensive to live here than in major other ciites. There are plenty of great parks and would recommend that you buy or bring along your bike. Walking your dog is a good way to start a conversation with your neighbors. I understand your concern in learning the language. It may be good to enroll in a German course at your local Volkshochschule. People tend not to speak English as much here as in other parts of Germany.

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Topics merged by admin

 

I would like to move to Berlin from Miami, Florida (USA). I'm working toward a TEFL certification, I have vast knowledge of radio and television/movie production, a bit of photographic experience, and a lot of business management and office work. I am working on learning at least basic German phrases and vocabulary.

 

Basically, I would like to know:

 

1) How easy is it to find work with my above mentioned strengths?

 

2) How much does it cost (roughly) for a penthouse in Berlin (Charlottenburg or Prenzlauer Berg) to rent or own

 

3) How easy is it to obtain German citizenship?

 

4) How much does it cost (roughly) for mobile phone service with just calling and SMS (no internet or picture messaging, etc)?

 

5) How much does it cost (roughly) for landline phone service?

 

6) How bad are taxes in Berlin if one works at a company? What about if I'd like to freelance + work at a company?

 

7) Is it difficult to file taxes in Germany? Who are some good accountants that speak English?

 

and finally...

 

8) Is it difficult to form a busienss in Germany? Must I need to rent space to open a business, or could I use my flat to run my business? (Nature of business: English tutoring, tennis coaching, internet radio station management, website development, etc)

 

If someone could answer all or at least some of the questions above that would be wonderful. Thanks in advanced for all of your help!

 

Oh, also, does anyone in Berlin that used to live in Miami have any tips? Thanks again!

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Hey you won't get alot of answers until you trim down your questions. (Or at least nice answers anyway :D )

 

There is a wealth of information on the pages here at TT. It took me awhile to realise how much is here and how to find it. Up in the corner is a search box type in every word variation you can think of for all your questions. You will get back more info than you even thought you needed, it is great and valuable.

 

Then come back and ask what you can't find. The people here know everything (at least they think they do ;) ). Most will help you find it if they don't. And last but not least don't be put off by the fun yet somewhat... sarcastic atmosphere.

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Buy some sweaters. Shop before you go; they're very expensive in Germany.

 

You do know that Munich is the center of movie and TV production in Germany? Your existing skills will probably get you further there.

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Are you a US citizen? If so are you married to a EU citizen? If not, then you won't get a work permit. Just like a EU citizen cannot just turn up in the USA and get a work permit, non-EU citizens cannot simply arrive in Germany (or other EU citizens) and expect to get a work permit.

 

So let's assume that you are entitled to EU residency, with a work permit. For starters, finding a job is not likely to be easy unless you have special skills or experience - including very good German language skills (i.e. the ability to communicate reasonably fluently, and depending in the job, also to be ale to write professionally in the German language). So your basic phrases and vocabulary will probably not be any good.

 

What do you mean by "how bad is tax ..." There is nothing bad about taxation, what is bad is how governments spend tax earnings. One thing I don't understand is why do people expect to come to Germany, expect to earn loads of money, and not want to pay tax - but, then also want to know what child benefits are available, what unemployment benefits are available etc. Who do they expect will fund the benefits? It's a bit like expecting ordinary folks to cough up their own hard earned money to rescue the jobs of bank workers when the criminal activities of their employers means they loose their jobs - you can't expect things like this to happen - can you?

 

Compared to the USA it is likely that you will a lot more tax - whether employed by a company, or self employed. There is compulsory health insurance. If you come to Germany and don't have work, then there are no benefits available, unless you are a EU citizen, in which case, minimal social help is possible. So don't expect to come here to look for work and be supported - you will need your own funds until you get work.

 

There is a great education system, with very cheap kindergarten, universal health care (i.e. in general, everybody is treated more or less the same, with people paying more for both childcare and health insurance if they earn more money - so there is an element of socialism still existing here (thank god), believe it or not.

 

As for accommodation, your email does not give enough information. For penthouse, do you mean 200 square meter with 6 rooms, jacuzzi and butler, or just an apartment under the roof? If the latter, how many rooms, square meters etc? For a 100 square meter apartment with three rooms (plus kitchen and bathroom) in Prenzlauer Berg, expect to pay 1000 Euros+.

 

Berlin is a fantastic city in which to live, if you have the right attitude - i.e. you are reasonably free and easy and sociable. It is very multi-cultural - no other city in Germany like it for it's diverse population and culture. In my opinion, there is probably no other city in Europe better to bring up children, given the education system here, and the fact that kids get to mix with so many people from other cultures.

 

If a valid EU resident, setting up a business and filing taxes are not complicated - again assuming you have good German language skills. There are lots of tax advisers (Steuerberater), many speaking English. Setting up a company involves having some cash up front (depending on the company structure), and it does not matter if it is from home or via an office. Note that there is no real concept of "unlimited liability". If you are a director of a company here, and the company goes bust, then people can (and will) come after you personally for any debts (even if a GmbH, which is as close as you can get to a "Limited Company").

 

Hope this helps,

 

Colin

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