Want to move to Berlin from UK, Advice Needed

9 posts in this topic

Hello

 

Im in my 30s, single mum to a teenage boy. I currently work as a front end website developer so I am capable of supporting myself financially. I have been to Berlin this year, and really liked the atmosphere and culture.  

 

I have started to learn some basic German, but am in no way fluent at the moment, but I am willing to learn as much as I can.

 

I really want to leave the UK with my son, to give him a better education and an improved way of life. I also need a fresh start in my life, and for some reason after visiting Berlin I was drawn to the area.

 

I needed some advice if someone would be kind enough to help me out please. 

 

1. Where is a reasonably priced area to live that is outside of Berlin? I need to be a close distance for commuting.

2. Is it possible to find a decent paying job for front end website development work as an English speaker, learning German?

3. Are there any agencies that I can sign up to?

4. Are there bilingual schools for teenagers around Berlin?

 

Thanks in advance

 

Sarah 

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Oh dear, comparing a holiday to living in Berlin is like trying to compare apples and oranges, the 2 just don't go.

 

Here's a couple of things you need to first be aware of, there's no NHS here and you are legally required to have Health Insurance, you cannot use your EHIC card if you are registered as living here.

 

Regardless of your financial situation you will find it almost impossible to rent a flat anywhere without a job.

 

What makes you think your son will get a better education if you don't even know there are bilingual schools in Berlin, to answer that question, yes there are.

 

Personally, I'd advise you to use the search function top right as all and every question you will have has most definitely been asked on this forum. 

 

Last but not least there's still the issue of Brexit, have you given any thought as to how that might affect you.

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1 hour ago, catsarecute said:

I really want to leave the UK with my son, to give him a better education and an improved way of life. I also need a fresh start in my life, and for some reason after visiting Berlin I was drawn to the area.

 

If you want to give your son a better education, don't move to Germany and especially not Berlin. 

 

Teenagers who can't speak German don't have many options in the German public system and private schools are expensive. 

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Thank you for the advice. I was aware of the health insurance aspect and would look for work in programming before moving.

 

 

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What does your teenager feel about this plan?  It is not a holiday , but move to a foreign country, does said teen speak any German?, has he/she thought about moving away from friends, sports clubs, music scene etc. ?

Any family/ friends in Germany?

As SirP has mentioned- Brexit will change all rights of movement in the EU, requiring visas.

I understand that you feel a new start is desirable. Have you thought about Canada?

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I spent a year in Munich when I was 15 (together with parents & younger brother).

No friends, foreign language - for me it was a waste of time.

 

20 years or so later I was back (near Hamburg) & have been for 37 years. 

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I have researched into brexit, and am aware of the requirement of a visa. I still would like to remain in Europe rather than Canada.

 

My son has said he would like to move, we live in a rural part of the UK at the moment and there are not many opportunities for him as he gets older here. I don't plan on staying in the UK, the quality of life is deteriorating here. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Sir Percy B said:

yes there are

 - bilingual schools in Berlin,  just to give the context, having chosen such a tiny quotation.

 

Is a teenager likely to get a spot in a real bilingual school? Or are they filled up with spare slots as rare as hen's teeth?

 

Also, are there many truly bilingual schools such as a non-German speaking kid would need? We have Europaschulen here, which are bilingual on paper, but without German you would only be able to participate in English lessons and bili-Geschichte or Erdkunde, and the rest would be incomprehensible. 

 

OP it is a nice idea, but the reality for your son is going to need really careful management. Life is in many ways more ordered and pleasant here than in the UK, and a city rather than a rural setting will of course offer more options, but please don't underestimate the language issue. People speak German day to day here, which sounds obvious, but I think some people sort of hope that enough English is spoken that everything will be OK. An adult arriving with a job in an English speaking environment will get through, for sure, but for the teenager, not so easy.

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@kiplette

 

In total we have 32 Europa-Schule, 4 of which are English/Deutsch.

2 are Grundschule, 1 an Integriete Sekundarschule and the other a Gymnasium. These are state funded schools which are part of the SESB, Staatliche Europa Schule Berlin.

 

Speaking with my son who's at the Gymnasium he says it's not possible for a teenager with no knowledge of the German language to get into an SESB school, maths for example is taught in German as are other subjects like Physics, chemistry and art just to name a few.

 

The only option the op would have is a private school which for a teenager would cost upwards of 15,000euro per annum.

 

Personally, I think it's a stupid idea to uproot a teenager in what is the most important years of their lives, my advice to the op is wait until he's finished with his schooling and then reconsider a move. 

 

1 hour ago, catsarecute said:

My son has said he would like to move, we live in a rural part of the UK at the moment and there are not many opportunities for him as he gets older here. I don't plan on staying in the UK, the quality of life is deteriorating here. 

 

Seriously, it doesn't matter if you live in London or on the Welsh mountains, the opportunities for your son will be far fewer here without having no knowledge of the language and the culture. 

This isn't like moving from South England to the North or Scotland, it's totally different.

 

Here's what I would suggest you do, rent a self catering apartment and try spend 2 weeks here well away from the tourist attractions, use those 2 weeks as if you lived here and had to do every day things like shopping, a famers market, going to the post office, visiting a bank or for that matter any government building like the local Bezirksamt, try asking them for information on registering for example.

 

If you can get through those 2 weeks then you might have a chance but please don't think holidaying is the same as living here, it's not.

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