Moving to Frankfurt and my situation is unique

157 posts in this topic

@Alfalfa, thank you for your reply.

 

When you say that it's possible to get by on far less than EUR 2100 plus benefits, after rent, does this also apply for a family of 4 ? I don't want to have enough money just to survive from month to month, but to be able to have a decent or fair life style while keeping the expenses on control.

 

I made the following calculation of monthly expenses (please correct me if I'm wrong):

 

-rent for apartment(Gesamtmiete)- EUR 1000

-rent for garage - EUR 50

-electrical bill - EUR 60

-internet+ cable TV + 2 mobile phone contracts - EUR 70

-transportation with train/undergorund EUR 150

-public kindergarten for one child EUR 210

-groceries from supermarket EUR 500

-car insurance EUR 100

-diesel fuel for the car EUR 50 (I plan to commute to work with the train/underground)

-clothes EUR 100 (as an average, I won't buy chlothes every month)

-car tax EUR 25 (I understood it's EUR 300 per year for a diesel car like mine)

-Fitness or swimming pool monthly pass: EUR 60

 

This gives me a total of EUR 2375 including rent. Of course this does not include occasional expenses like medicines or car repairs.

 

Is this calculation realistic for a family of 4 living in a small city around Frankfurt? Should I expect some other monthly expenses?

 

I will have another discussion tomorrow with a manager from the company. I really hope to be able to get more than 55k gross salary per year.

 

Thanks.

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Well, before you said you had 2100 Euros per month at your disposal after rent, and now you're factoring rent back into your monthly expenditure, so I'm a bit confused...

Anyhow, I hope your salary negotiation went well.

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Hello,

 

Yes, I have made a full list of my estimated monthly expenses, including rent. But the situation is the same: at 55k gross salary per year I will have 2100 EUROS per month after rent.

 

The salary negotiation are not done yet. I asked for a bigger salary, so I will have to pass another technical interview today.

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Hi all: I'm hoping to relocate, at least temporarily to Germany in early 2015. Yes, I'm doing the necessary homework...reading up on work permits and residency requirements for non-EU citizens, figuring out health insurance, etc. But I'm still feeling on very unfamiliar terrain and hope some feedback from some experienced English-speaking expats in Germany can keep me headed in the right direction and/or let me know if I'm seriously off-base on something.

 

Here's the quick and dirty. I'll be 61 when I retire from my job as an editor in the U.S. at the end of this year, single with one adult son. I plan to enroll in the CELTA (Cambridge Certificate of English Languish Teaching for foreign learners) course in Frankfurt next March. It's an intensive one-month course, and my goal is simply to get some experience and training in the teaching side of English and some qualifications in the hope of nabbing some part-time, freelancing work. I'll have a good retirement income, but want to offset, if possible some of the cost of renting an apartment in Germany, while maintaining my home in the U.S. and to have some productive activity to occupy me in my "semi-retirement".

 

My exposure to Germany and German so far: 2 long-ago years of college German language classes and a current crash Rosetta Stone course. I'm hoping to have at least a rudimentary grasp of the language when I arrive, then to take classes there...after I finish the intensive English language teaching course. I've spent several 2 week vacations in Germany in recent years and have become good friends with a family that live near Mainz. As a high-school exchange student, their son spent a year living with me and my son in the U.S. 8 years ago. Since then, he has returned to the U.S. for college and now for graduate school, so our two families have become quite close. The mom works at a local university and told me recently that she had a very encouraging conversation with the woman at the university who arranges English classes for employees and students; apparently they do hire part-time freelancers for the job, mostly by word of mouth, are often in need of someone and I sound "perfect" for the job. No guarantee, of course...but encouraging that such possibilities apparently do exist.

 

I know I can come to Germany on a tourist visa to take the one-month class and then see if something works out in terms of part-time employment. If it seems promising, I will apply for longer-term residency and a work permit. In terms of health insurance, my plan is to stick with my US-based insurance for the first month, while in the class, and apply for either German based or international health insurance once the class is over, if it appears that I will be able to stay on beyond 90 days. I'll be living during the class with my friends in Heidesheim, so can use their address for my residency permit, but will seek a short-term lease on a small apartment in Mainz, Wiesbaden or FRankfurt, if I can arrange some work.

 

Well, what do you think? Am I overlooking something crucial? Overly optimistic about the difficulties? Delusional about the likelihood of my enjoying life in Germany? I should say, I've always had an interest in the country and my friendship with this family has only deepened it. I love the idea of city life...greengrocers, butcher shops and bakeries within walking distance, museums, parks and shopping, nearby; where the pace will be slower (largely because I'll be semi-retired, not because it is naturally); where history and old architecture abound; and where I can easily travel to other places in Europe. But though I've hosted 7 (yep 7 and all boys) foreign exchange students from all over the world for periods of 10-11 months each, I've never lived abroad myself.

 

All comments and advise, gratefully welcomed.

 

Melissa

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Hi, Melissa -- what an adventure you are about to embark on! It sounds like you have a good support network within the university, and that will help you with the pure logistics quite a bit. What you haven't mentioned that you may find critical is a community of others in a similar position with whom you can gripe, vent, and complain to about how nothing has gone as expected. ;-)

 

Everything takes at least twice as long as it should, and often more. What should be a simple trip to take care of some paperwork can turn into three trips, because you weren't told what paperwork was needed, or were given conflicting or simply incorrect information by someone in a position of authority who should have known better -- even though you asked for clarification twice.

 

That may not sound so bad, but when it happens to you in everything you try to do (even registering to volunteer for something!), you can easily get frustrated. This doesn't mean you made a bad decision, but only that you need to find others whom you can share your frustration with safely. Because you will be entering as a retired person, you won't have the same colleagues as, say, someone in an American company working with other ex-pats. And because you are going to try freelancing by teaching English, the others who are doing the same thing will either 1) view you as competition, and thus be surprisingly hostile towards you, rather than mutually supportive, or 2) young students trying to make some cash, undercutting your rates, and then delivering poor service because they are not well-trained, giving your entire profession a bad rap. And in any case, the younger folks wouldn't understand your cultural background, as they've got parents who can bail them out of trouble, while you're (presumably!) in a more responsible phase of life.

 

So my advice in a nutshell: find some like-minded friends you can unload frustrations on, as quickly as you can. Then, none of the unpleasant surprises will be too much for you to overcome.

 

Oh, and the trial period you're giving yourself is really too short -- don't expect that it will be representative of what will follow, either good or bad. It's like the joke about the guy who moved to Minnesota in the summer, having no clue what winter is like there. This isn't to say you shouldn't do it, but just that you should know that your past experiences won't (can't possibly) have prepared you for your next one.

 

One last word of advice -- there's plenty of help available from nice members in this forum on all topics, but it always helps to preface your questions with telling us what you've already searched for and found (as you already did in this post). Nothing more annoying than seeing questions which have been answered multiple times in previous threads.

 

Good luck with the preparations and the move!

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Hey Guys,

i know that probably this topic was opened million times.

im relocing from israel to germany (im christian btw) im gonna work at FrankFurt Airport and my salary is 1900-2400 depends on how much im gonna work. ( +- 2000-2100 a month )

my question is:

1) where should i look for apartment to make it easier for me. i also checked a lot of apartments that suited only for 1 person and im coming with my GF we are not smoking but 2 person needed.

what is the prices for furnished and note furnished.

2) how much cost German classes? i have to learn german in 1year and maybe + - more few month.

3) how much cost the farnuture in frankfurt? Tv/Bed/Kitchen

and if u can link me some more info i really dont mind to read ive been cheking for hours didnt found really usefull topic or anything. ive checked many shops and topics in forums and the prices for example on apartments are between 400-800 and Farnuture 100-500 difference are too big i would like to know the exactly price or at least + -

 

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Hi and welcome,

 

as a newcomer, you'll benefit from the information and the links in post #45 and 46 of this thread. The most popular site for rentals is immoscout24.de

 

Since you'll work at the airport and you are going to use public transport to get there (?), it would be practical if you could find an apartment near the S8 or S9 (S-Bahn = suburban train) line. See the RMV website for connections. The lines go via Frankfurt-Niederrad – a not to expensive neighbourhood in Frankfurt. Of course you can also live elsewhere in Frankfurt and get to a S8/S9 stop by bus or underground train (U-Bahn). Or you could choose one of the towns west of Frankfurt airport, i.e. Kelsterbach, Raunheim, Rüsselsheim (but beware that they are affected by airport noise). Those towns are not too exciting; Mainz would be better, but a good deal further away from the airport.

 

As to rent levels: These vary a lot, I would say you would be lucky to find something for 400 € cold (i.e. without utilities) which is suitable for 2 persons. Expect to pay more like 700 minimum, utilities included, I'd say. Electricity and telecom are usually paid extra.

 

Furnished apartments are significantly more expensive and there are not that many. For short stays they are useful, but if you plan on staying here longer, an unfurnished one makes more sense IMO. You should however make sure that the apartment has a fitted kitchen (Einbauküche, EBK). For furniture at affordable prices, you have Ikea in Frankfurt and second-hand websites, like Ebay Kleinanzeigen, quoka.de, markt.de. Also keep an eye on the adverts on this forum, Items for sale; there are always offers from users who relocate.

 

As for the costs of language classes, the Volkshochschule, see e.g. VHS Frankfurt, is the cheapest. The speed of learning is quite slow in regular courses, maybe look for intensive courses.

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im relocing from israel to germany (im christian btw) im gonna work at FrankFurt Airport and my salary is 1900-2400 depends on how much im gonna work. ( +- 2000-2100 a month )

 

Wait until you receive your work permit, before you make any concrete plans to move here.

 

 

im coming with my GF

 

Since you are not married, your girlfriend will require her own permit.

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I would like to know the experience of moving to Frankfurt in a skilled job, such as IT, Telecom or Banking, only speaking English, with the family.

 

I always hear that there are lots of foreigners, most of them don't speak German. I know at workplaces using English only is fine. But what about daily life, out of office? What about kids in school, going to the doctor/GP, servicing your car, tradesmen, neighbours, etc?

 

How difficult was to find another job competing with native Germans? Is there IT skills shortage in Frankfurt?

 

I would like to know the pros and cons of that move and how did you or your family adapted, learnt German, etc.

 

Cheers!

 

[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

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Most workplaces will expect you to learn at least some German - communication between colleagues will always be mixed German and English, and you lose out on a lot of what goes on in the office if you can't speak any German.

 

Daily life - well, what would life be like for someone that moved to Spain without speaking any Spanish? Trying to rent a place to live, open a bank account, visit the doctor, sign a mobile phone contract, go food shopping, have children who are of school age... you get the picture, I assume.

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We moved to Frankfurt with no German at all. My husband has not needed it for work at all. I have learned the basics as we have gone along, and it really is true that most people in Frankfurt speak some English. I now use German on a daily basis for basic interactions, making appointments, going to the supermarket or restaurant, talking with my children's peers. Still, I am limited to doctors that speak English, for example, as I can't have complicated conversations in German, only simple ones. We would have been lost on arrival though without German if my husband's company hadn't help take care of things like apartment, bank account, registration, etc. My kids arrived with no German, and both picked it up very quickly, but they were 3 and 6.

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I'll be 61 when I retire from my job as an editor in the U.S. at the end of this year, single with one adult son. I plan to enroll in the CELTA (Cambridge Certificate of English Languish Teaching for foreign learners) course in Frankfurt next March. It's an intensive one-month course, and my goal is simply to get some experience and training in the teaching side of English and some qualifications in the hope of nabbing some part-time, freelancing work. I'll have a good retirement income, but want to offset, if possible some of the cost of renting an apartment in Germany, while maintaining my home in the U.S. and to have some productive activity to occupy me in my "semi-retirement".

 

 

 

Well, what do you think? Am I overlooking something crucial? Overly optimistic about the difficulties?

 

I think you have not done enough research on health insurance. If you cannot obtain health insurance, you have no chance at a freelance permit. Contact either John.G or Starshollow (TT's insurance experts) for advice. If they can't come up with a solution for you, your plan won't work.

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I'm an EU citizen, IT contractor (consultant) working in the finance sector in London for 5 years. Just bought my first property in London commuter belt.

 

In general, I am not happy with the long commuting times, smelly old trains and the tiny old houses available in the market within the range I was expecting, £350k, even earning a reasonable £500/day rate. I mean, moneywise is ok, but not happy with what I can get in terms of life quality. I don't mean expensive goods, cars or houses. I mean more open spaces, smaller population, better infrastructure, commuting times, etc. I had the impression that Germany tops the UK in all of these aspects. Now, coming back from my first trip to Germany (Berlin) now I am even more unhappy with my situation!

 

I am starting to consider a move to Germany, but Frankfurt, as I think it would be the Germany's London equivalent in terms of finance sector, number of IT jobs and cultural diversity.

 

I mean, is it any harder to buy a property (even if it is a flat) in the first years? I know most of Germans rent. Would I likely to spend 3 hours a day commuting (both ways) and live in a tiny old flat as well?

 

Considering my wife and my 4 years old child and myself do not speak German, but very willing to do so once we're there, do you think it is a non-sense or a no-brainer move?

 

Danke

 

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If you can always go back to the same work in the UK, and have a place to live there, it would probably not hurt to try Germany; however, I would wait several years to buy property i.e., until you're sure that you want to stay and have your kid schooled here. Your and your wife might decide that you don't like it here, either.

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I am starting to consider a move to Germany, but Frankfurt, as I think it would be the Germany's London equivalent in terms of finance sector, number of IT jobs and cultural diversity.

 

I mean, is it any harder to buy a property (even if it is a flat) in the first years? I know most of Germans rent. Would I likely to spend 3 hours a day commuting (both ways) and live in a tiny old flat as well?

 

Considering my wife and my 4 years old child and myself do not speak German, but very willing to do so once we're there, do you think it is a non-sense or a no-brainer move?

 

Danke

 

[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

 

First off I can't give you much advice on the real estate market in Frankfurt since I am a renter, but I can give you a little bit of perspective in terms of quality of life. I wanted to get in on this before the rampant TT Debbie Downers get in and start busting your chops about all your failures before you've even started. (Very German thing to do, lol.)

 

Anyway, my husband and I are Canadian and before moving to Frankfurt we lived in Paris... Similarly we had a small flat and an expensive cost of living. We now rent a flat in a great neighbourhood that is twice as large as our Paris one, but moreover it has quality facilities and accessories. No more compromising small things (like cruddy floors or awkward baths) for the sake of location. The green space available in Frankfurt is wonderful - specifically around the river.

 

My husband works for a German company, at the global/international level, and neither of us speak German. Frankfurt is diverse enough that after a few clumsy situations while out and about I can manage just fine in the day-to-day. I think perhaps one of the differences you may encounter from London (and us similarly in Paris) is that it is much more common to drive here. I haven't had any issue with the UBahn personally (though I've heard other people's horror stories), so as far as I have experienced it is a reasonable option to count on if you don't want a car. My husband presently drives to work, it is about a 40 minute commute each way just past Mainz. He doesn't often run into traffic issues (I think if your previous driving experience is compared to London or Paris then you'd easily find the Autobahn and commuting a breeze here.)

 

Frankfurt is a more financial/marketing/overall business hub than other areas in Germany, so it is more expensive than other cities as well though I have found it to be comparable to places back home like Toronto so it is certainly 'do-able.' If you are considering a more long term future here then learning German is definitely advisable - simply for practicality and courtesy sake. :) It isn't an unreasonable endeavour at all, if you ask me, but it will take a bit of adjusting (probably a year of frustration and confusion) before you settle in and start to feel more "normal." Good luck. :)

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When someone has, or will have, a child in the local schools, they really should have a good knowledge of German to keep up with what their child is doing academically and to be able to speak to the child's teachers. I also think your interactions at the doctor's office will go more smoothly when you have to bring your kid there.

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I'm also in the situation of a potential relocation from Romania to Frankfurt for an IT job. I will relocate with my wife and 2 kids (4 years old and 1 year old). Currently I speak just very basic German, a few basic words and sentences.

 

@Conquistador, I totally agree with you. But until we get to learn some German, in general are there any English speaking doctors in the public health system in Frankfurt? I'm interested mostly in GPs and pediatricians as kids usually get sick more often than adults.

 

Thanks.

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You should have no problem finding an English-speaking pediatrician in Frankfurt - using the Arztsuche of the KV Hessen (search tool of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians), I got a list of 50 pediatricians in Frankfurt that speak English.

 

However, please note that there is no "public health system" in Germany - there is public and private health insurance, both involves becoming a member and making monthly payments. As a family, you will presumably be much better off opting for public.

 

More info on insurance on this TT Wiki page.

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We use to go to Doris Conrad in Westend when we needed a pediatrician. Initially she can come across as a bit short but once you have come a few times she relaxes more. Most importantly she is very competent and speaks good English.

 

I would just like to re-iterate that if you have children in the German public school system and you are going to be here for Grade 4 and beyond then you will need good German or have to get very very lucky.

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