Tips for me, a young Canadian, to better feel at home in Germany

13 posts in this topic

Hello everyone,

This is my first post here but I have visited this site many times.

I just moved here from Canada not too long ago and I'm having a hard time adjusting to the new lifestyle as it's my first time on my own and away from family. I'm looking for some tips on the following:

-finding a job with A 2.1 proficiency 

-best city for young adults

Also if any of you are in the 20-25 year old range I'm open to hearing you experiences since moving here, how was it, how long did it take you to adjust, etc. ?

 

A little background on me, I studied at Goethe Institue for several months but it was only two lessons a week, which is why I'm only at 2.1. I'll be attending more school here because I plan to attend Uni next year. It's hard for me to find a job with my very basic knowledge but I think it's necessary as it would help me learn faster. I've noticed most jobs require at least a bachelors or higher education but I just graduated High School and I didn't attend Uni in my home country.

So my question is what type of jobs would be suitable and what are good areas for young adults ? I currently live in a very small town so I'm looking to move because it's almost impossible to find anything here!

 

Sorry for the long post but I'm just looking for people who may have been in the same or a similar situation and would love to hear any tips or advice.

 

Thanks!

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Try reading more threads on Toytown.  Many will address these things.  Presumably you have some work authorization, insurance, and all legalities are in place. If not, again existing Toytown threads likely have the answers.

 

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26 minutes ago, schon said:

A little background on me, I studied at Goethe Institue for several months but it was only two lessons a week, which is why I'm only at 2.1. I'll be attending more school here because I plan to attend Uni next year. It's hard for me to find a job with my very basic knowledge but I think it's necessary as it would help me learn faster.

 

Sorry to be the bearer of the bad news but – with your very basic language skills and the lack of any other skills that are in demand here the only kind of jobs you can find are temporary jobs for the unskilled. Like working in chip shop, filling shelves in a super market or maybe working as a waiter/waitress. Since you didn't give any details: are you allowed to work at all?

 

26 minutes ago, schon said:

I've noticed most jobs require at least a bachelors or higher education but I just graduated High School and I didn't attend Uni in my home country.

So my question is what type of jobs would be suitable and what are good areas for young adults ? I currently live in a very small town so I'm looking to move because it's almost impossible to find anything here!

 

It's not easier in bigger cities, not with that skill set and rents will be higher in bigger cities too (if you find someone who rents out to someone with no income at all). What Uni is your goal, how are you learning German now, are you aware that you need at least C1 to attend courses in German? 

 

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@someonesdaughter Thanks for your answer! I'm here on a visa to learn the culture and the language and will be applying for my student visa when I get accepted to Uni. I am allowed to work here legally. I'll be attending a language school in a few weeks to come and yes I'm well aware I need C1 level which is why I'm taking the year to attend intensive courses. I guess moving to a small town was a good idea in terms of learning the language because its not common for people to speak English which is what I wanted, but the downside is this town is so small that there's a lot of people who need jobs and there are none available.

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What kind of work are you looking for?  I think one problem you might run into is that many jobs that would be considered in the informal/unskilled market in Canada or the US is considered skilled here and you would have to do a "Berufsausbildung" or the like to get the job.  

 

Not sure where you are living or where you are applying to study?  Assuming you want to stay in Baden-Würtemberg?  I studied at the University of Freiburg and the Studentenwerk had a job board for holiday jobs.  Part time/ temporary of course. Very informal.   I would take one job for a few weeks or even a few days and then move on to the next one.  There always was a next one.  Some required good German and some did not.  Great way to meet people, make a little money, learn German, and fill time until the semester starts.  If you are not near a Studentenwerk, then you might try temping with a temp agency.  

 

BTW, NOT being around English speaking people (total immersion) is the very best way to learn German quickly.  Just make sure you are getting out and practicing your language.  You will learn much faster going out with your German-speaking friends than you will sitting home studying grammar.  

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15 hours ago, schon said:

@someonesdaughter ... I am allowed to work here legally.

 

Unless you have a second passport with EU nationality, you are not allowed to work here.

 

EDIT: @engelchen - You're right, I forgot that Canadians do have the option of a Youth Mobility Permit.

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15 hours ago, schon said:

I'm here on a visa to learn the culture and the language

 

Do you have a Youth Mobility Permit?

 

 

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ironic that I see your post just after reading an article on expats and loneliness in Germany. Part of it is Germans are very slow to warm to new comers, and the (lack of) language doesn't help either. There is a very good reason why expats hang out with other expats! Anyways best thing to do is to look for clubs (expat or German) to join.

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Fellow young Canadian here! I moved here in 2016, also residing in a small town (though the nearest big city is Stuttgart). I also came on the Youth Visa but ended up staying because I married one of the locals ;) 

 

I'm lucky enough that my husband's connections have allowed me to have a job with 30+ hours a week, but finding jobs with limited German skills is going to be tough, especially if you're only here for a year to start with. Right now, focus on your German, because you'll need it for when you go to university here (depending on the university, they'll want to see proof of B1 German, I know Stuttgart does). If you have access to a bigger city or town, try and look for touristy jobs that need a native English speaker, though again, they'll probably want to see German as well. Germany's job market is set up in a way where the papers you have are more important than the experiences under your belt, and B2-C1 German is a must. Sorry to echo everybody's gloomy news, but job prospects aren't good unless you get your German up to scratch.

 

As for the fitting in with friends, well that's something I still struggle with. If you do end up attending university here, you'll have no trouble making friends with lots of other international students, but in the meantime it can be tough. You can meet others in your language school as well. The stereotype about making friends with Germans is something I've found to be true, especially in the small villages and towns here. I still have not adjusted here, and still feel very much like an outsider. There are some who take to Germany and love it, there are others who take 5 or more years to truly feel settled. I'm in the latter category, unfortunately. 

 

Though if you ever want to chat more in depth to a fellow young Canuck, feel free to PM me :) Especially since we're both in B-W! There's not a lot of Canadians around so we gotta stick together.

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@engelchen yes you are right I'm have a Youth Mobility Visa.

@BradinBayern Right now I'm not in Uni, but I'm planning to attend Heidelberg in the coming year. Honestly anything is okay seeing as my German needs a lot of work. And yes you're right, this is why I chose to live in this small town, Lörrach, but because it is small, there aren't many jobs available.

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What about joing some club? There are many, ranging from soccer to history or hiking. It´s a good way to come to know the locals. You´ll find a list of clubs in your area ("Vereinsregister") at the local court.

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Well, depending on your interests, you could enter an apprenticeship program with Carhartt and the Duale Hochschule Baden-Wurtemberg and you would be working in Weil am Rhein near Lörrach.  

https://recruitingapp-2655.de.umantis.com/Vacancies/323/Description/2?lang=eng

 

The study portion would be in Lörrach as well.  The job description is in English and the DHBW also has a page in English for international students, so it seems that they are at least open to speaking to students who are still learning German.  

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