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Life in Cottbus for a foreigner

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Hello,

 

I have been offered a nice job position at the Cottbus university, but I am worried about the current situation regarding the recent attacks to and from refugees and the right-wing protests that have taken place there. I found a few related posts in this forum but the most recent ones are from 2014. 

 

Could someone share her/his opinion regarding the current atmosphere in Cottbus for expats? is it in general a nice place to live for a non-white foreigner or should I search for something else?

 

Many thanks.

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How well do you speak German?

 

I've met many foreign students from Cottbus and they were all told that they could get by in Cottbus with only English. To say they were shocked after they arrived is an understatement.

 

On the other hand, the foreign students that I've met from Cottbus have not complained about violence (although there have been many complaints about discrimination).

 

 

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13 minutes ago, engelchen said:

How well do you speak German?

 

I've met many foreign students from Cottbus and they were all told that they could get by in Cottbus with only English. To say they were shocked after they arrived is an understatement.

 

On the other hand, the foreign students that I've met from Cottbus have not complained about violence (although there have been many complaints about discrimination).

 

 

Hi Engelchen, thanks for  your reply.

 

I have a B2 level. I can communicate in everyday stuff in German well enough, and I pretend to get private lessons to improve as fast as possible. What kind of discrimination complaints have you heard?

 

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9 minutes ago, catjones said:

Have you taken the time to visit and see for yourself?

 

 

No, not yet. I have searched for info on the internet and it looks like a pretty small town. The university looks nice as well. The city being close to Berlin is a plus, since I love that city. What I am worried about is if I would have to be careful going out during the night, violence against foreigners, racism, and so on.

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Not sure anyone would advise a foreigner, and especially not one of colour to move to Cottbus at the moment.  Do you want to live in a place that treats anyone (foreign or not) like this and where the far right tops the election votes?

 

http://www.dw.com/en/german-city-of-cottbus-grapples-with-violence-between-locals-and-refugees/a-42309934

 

Even if you ask the question about your personal safety, I am sure many people would not want to live in such a toxic culture generally.   On top of that, whatever voting for the far right does for your community, it tends not to bring prospects, joy and happiness, or prosperity.  Much of the rest of the world (local or foreign) steers clear. 

 

Rephrase the question - Should I go and live in a far right oriented city and region?   Why would you do that anyway, but especially in a nation that has many other options.  (Unless your views aligned with those values, of course).  I would advise my family to steer well clear.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Varanor said:

I have a B2 level. I can communicate in everyday stuff in German well enough, and I pretend to get private lessons to improve as fast as possible.

 

B2 should be enough to get by with the university administration (a frequent complaint from foreign students is that many people who work there can't speak English).

 

7 minutes ago, Varanor said:

What kind of discrimination complaints have you heard?

 

 

Difficulty in forming groups with Germans for group projects, disparging remarks from professors, etc.

 

4 minutes ago, Varanor said:

No, not yet.

 

Is there anyway you can spend a few days there before you have to make your decision?

 

4 minutes ago, Varanor said:

I have searched for info on the internet and it looks like a pretty small town. The university looks nice as well. The city being close to Berlin is a plus, since I love that city.

 

Small town, yes. Pretty? Not really.

 

What are you going to be doing in Cottbus? Although it is not that far, I think it is a little too far for a daily commute to Berlin.

 

4 minutes ago, Varanor said:

What I am worried about is if I would have to be careful going out during the night, violence against foreigners, racism, and so on.

 

I have not heard complaints of violence from the students.

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14 minutes ago, engelchen said:

 

B2 should be enough to get by with the university administration (a frequent complaint from foreign students is that many people who work there can't speak English).

 

 

Difficulty in forming groups with Germans for group projects, disparging remarks from professors, etc.

 

 

Is there anyway you can spend a few days there before you have to make your decision?

 

 

Small town, yes. Pretty? Not really.

 

What are you going to be doing in Cottbus? Although it is not that far, I think it is a little too far for a daily commute to Berlin.

 

 

I have not heard complaints of violence from the students.

 

I would be working as a postdoc at the university. I would not commute to Berlin everyday, but it sounds like a good option in which to spend my weekends. 

 

I am comparing job offers right now and a visit to Cottbus might not be possible giving the time frame I have available to decide.

 

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I studied in another city in Brandenburg and the city was not anywhere near as bad as the media made it out to be. I really think you need to go for a visit.

 

Where are your other options?

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17 hours ago, engelchen said:

I studied in another city in Brandenburg and the city was not anywhere near as bad as the media made it out to be. I really think you need to go for a visit.

 

Where are your other options?

 

Hi Engelchen, I have an offer from Aachen and from Oberhausen, but for a much lower salary. Aachen sounds much better, but the salary in Cottbus is very attractive.

 

And yes, it would be ideal to go for a visit. I will try to schedule a trip there.

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On 29/05/2018, 15:48:19, Varanor said:

What I am worried about is if I would have to be careful going out during the night, violence against foreigners, racism, and so on.

 

I would also avoid swimming pools.

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20 minutes ago, RenegadeFurther said:

 

I would also avoid swimming pools.

 

Why? According to his profile he is male. I don't men have to worry about going to the pool.

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11 minutes ago, engelchen said:

 

Why? According to his profile he is male. I don't men have to worry about going to the pool.

Isn't that a bit sexist?

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I detest all unnecessary violence, someonesdaughter , whether of far Left or far Right. I was locked up in a far Right country in a military prison in my youth and, under other circumstances, I could have been locked up in a far Left country by the cops, military, undemocratic system etc historically.

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8 minutes ago, john g. said:

I detest all unnecessary violence, someonesdaughter , whether of far Left or far Right. 

 

Yeah, fine – but this thread is not about the far left but about a poster asking about life in Cottbus. And Cottbus has a very active and violent nazi scene and the local police have a tendency to turn a blind eye. No need for derailing and 'die andern aber auch' ... As I said before, I'd avoid Cottbus and go for Aachen. 

 

 

 

 

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Since you are going for a postdoc, I’d also consider the academic reputation of the institute you’ll be working. Surely Aachen would win there too... Is the other place Fraunhofer? Would also beat Cottbus...

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