Relocating to Munich from San Francisco; looking for advice

204 posts in this topic

7 hours ago, peterLP said:

...children tend to have very little experience with socialising outside a small group, have almost zero direction from parents about how to welcome new people; and they generally behave in a brutish fashion.

I put a lot down to social incompetence over the years... you can find the same once they are out of school and working. Sadly. :blink:

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12 hours ago, katheliz said:

One thing that's very different about German schooling is that the parents are expected to help with homework, far different from the US. And since you/FrauGoldenLizard aren't going to be up to that, budget for Nachhilfe, or tutoring.

 

This is a great suggestion. I grew up in India, and my parents did try to monitor what I studied till I was in the 5th grade. In the USA, the teachers were great and I never felt the need to check in with my kids. But the Nachhilfe is a good idea; will check how much to budget for 2 kids.

 

12 hours ago, katheliz said:

expect to have your son placed in the same grade he would have completed this year; i.e., go back a grade.

 

Many people have told me this. Maybe I am naive in my evaluation of my son - he is very outgoing, makes friends easily, learns languages easily (he has already started reading German books here), good in sports - but let's see.  

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8 hours ago, mtbiking said:

Do you know where you’re going to live? Gymnasiums are not the same throughout Munich or Bayern. The reputation of the local school paid a big role in our decision to move from east Munich to where we live now. I don’t see a reason nowadays for a family to live in Munich city, as far as I’m concerned several of surrounding towns offer a better quality of living. Specially with children.

 

I would be very interested to get ideas and suggestions from folks on TT. My office will be around Garching, so obviously my colleagues there suggested to live in and around Garching or Unterschleissheim. My wife is in the pharmaceutical space so there are possibilities she lands a job in the city to which she plans to commute by public transport. I personally do not mind driving across half the city if it means the gymnasiums are better in one part of the city. Seems like east of Isar has less public transport connectivity (at least in the north). So I am considering the north west arc - Garching, Unterschleissheim, Schwabing, Felmoching, Moosach down to Pasing as options.

 

But I have no way to overlay "quality of gymnasiums" over these areas. Any suggestions?

 

Regarding type of gymnasiums, my son is the one who will need this first as he is in the 4th grade. He is more inclined to the logical sciences - mathematics, science, language grammar etc. Daughter will reach gymnasium stage after 3 years; she is inclined to creativity - art, writing, imagination etc.

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Seriously, no matter how bright your son is - and I do accept your evaluation - don't fight against repeating a year. He won't be bored: the German curriculum is quite different from the Californian (no mission models in the fourth grade - they're busy grounding themselves in German grammar).
As an enhancement to learning the language, sign your kids up for a Sportverein, a sports club for people from grammar school age to seniors. Fencing, soccer, track and field, gymnastics - they're a rich source for socialization. Everyone is on a per du basis, using the familiar form of address, kiddies and adults. Here your kids will learn even more vocabulary, as well as colloquial speech. If you can find a group that appeals to your entire family, even better.

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I don't want to rain on your parade, but I don't think that you will find a state Gymnasium in/around Munich that is willing to take a pupil who doesn't know German (both spoken and written) to the required (high) Gymnasium standard.

Please contact the State School Advice Bureau (Schulberatung), explain your situation, and see what they will say: https://www.km.bayern.de/ministerium/institutionen/schulberatung/muenchen.html

 

Please also read:

 

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8 hours ago, peterLP said:

My daughter is thinking " I've already been to one school in Australia and 3 schools here - so going to high school with people I already know is sooo easy". and she now knows a LOT more about how to make new friends.  :) 

 

@peterLP This is my son as well. He went to 3 kindergartens and schools in India, then 1 school in the US and now will go to Munich. He makes soooo many friends, most of them through sports.

 

8 hours ago, peterLP said:

Another "trick" is to continue to encourage your kids to hook up with other foreigners too.

 

Are there any groups in different parts of Munich where people meet up? Would be great to explore this as an option. I also liked the idea from @katheliz to enrol in a sports club. My son is hugely into figure skating, soccer, gymnastics and swimming. Hopefully that should be a platform for him to meet friends. The bigger challenge is for the younger kid who is more reserved. 

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8 hours ago, peterLP said:

I am very happy to connect and help in any way I can...i suggest we start with a beer or two. (double thumbs up on that)

 

@peterLP Thanks for the warm welcome. I will surely connect once I land.

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19 minutes ago, GoldenLizard said:

 

@peterLP This is my son as well. He went to 3 kindergartens and schools in India, then 1 school in the US and now will go to Munich. He makes soooo many friends, most of them through sports.

 

 

Are there any groups in different parts of Munich where people meet up? Would be great to explore this as an option. I also liked the idea from @katheliz to enrol in a sports club. My son is hugely into figure skating, soccer, gymnastics and swimming. Hopefully that should be a platform for him to meet friends. The bigger challenge is for the younger kid who is more reserved. 

Use your Indian heritage and get at least one of your kids into a cricket club! ( Don‘t know if there is one in Munich, though!)😂

Huge cricket fan ( moi ), which is useless on this forum!😟

In my business life, I am fortunate enough to have many Indian clients- who actually know when to cut short a Skype chat because so and so is about to bat or bowl!!!🙈😂

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1 minute ago, john g. said:

Use your Indian heritage and get at least one of your kids into a cricket club! ( Don‘t know if there is one in Munich, though!)😂

 

Lol, my son grew up in the US. He is into football, the one which is not round :D

But he also loves soccer, figure skating, gymnastics and swimming. I guess those are the clubs he will be interested in.

 

@john g. Lets catch up when a cricket match is on (preferably a short 20-2-0), though its been a while since I was in India and actively followed cricket.

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Useless at the moment, GoldenLizard! The games between England and Pakistan keep getting rained off!😂 But there is always a future!

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There seems to be a cricket club in Munich - looking at some of the players´names, I suspect they are mostly of Indian or Pakistani background, though I could be wrong.

Take a look here:

http://ccbayern.de/

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Hi Rob! Good to see your sterling work! Can you check if they‘ll take a one-eyed 68 year old based on Crete?

😂

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1 minute ago, john g. said:

Hi Rob! Good to see your sterling work! Can you check if they‘ll take a one-eyed 68 year old based on Crete?

😂

 

Darling, I don´t think you have the strength to hit a ball THAT far! :D

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Might have to bluff and use my dog owner insurance, Rob!😂

Just had an email from someone who wants health insurance for 4 pet rabbits! 😂

GoldenLizard - are you bringing pets over from the US? Main issue- dogs.

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25 minutes ago, john g. said:

Might have to bluff and use my dog owner insurance, Rob!😂

Just had an email from someone who wants health insurance for 4 pet rabbits! 😂

GoldenLizard - are you bringing pets over from the US? Main issue- dogs.

 

Nope! Cant manage pets, though my daughter dreams that one day we shall have a hamster. To her my wife says: Keep Dreaming!

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( I hope your daughter wins the argument!😂)..

I had a pet hamster in my freezing bedroom in England for about one day in c. 1957.

The next day, my dad told me it had died. No reason given.

Roll on c. 50 years later at a family reunion. My sister Pauline admitted she had tried to clean my hamster by flushing it into the toilet and it had then died.

🙁

My next real pet came along 20 years ago when I met my still partner Nicole- a cat I named Hemingway ( RIP)🙏🏻

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10 hours ago, GoldenLizard said:

my daughter dreams that one day we shall have a hamster

She better thinks twice. As a kid I had a hamster and I still remember how horrified I was seeing that she had eaten all her babies. There were only the heads left.

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