Recently moved to Germany - any advice?

77 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, Narjiz said:

As for language schools I hear VHS is full of unmotivated students (especially the afternoon classes).


The students at the private language school (morning class) I went to were also unmotivated. That did not stop me from learning, and in some ways helped. The teacher noticed I was one of two who actually wanted to be there, and so she spent most of her time working with us. Probably not nice for the others, but it worked out well for me.

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3 hours ago, Narjiz said:

As for language schools I hear VHS is full of unmotivated students

That is location dependent I would say.  Here in Konstanz we have many motivated students, lots even coming over from Switzerland.  We have some top notch teachers too.  The VHS here is excellent.

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17 hours ago, Lukec said:

I moved to Germany (near Braunschweig) 3 weeks ago with my wife (she's German) and our 7 month old daughter from the UK. We have been talking about moving here for a while and thanks to Covid I was made redundant so we decided to give Germany a try before Brexit hits. 

 

Did you bring a PD U2 with you? If you were eligible for unemployment benefits in the UK, you'd be able to claim up to 3 months in Germany.

 

What formal qualifications do you have? You might want to start with the recognition process now.

 

Quote

I'm starting a language course but it doesn't start until February. 

 

Don't wait till February. Buy a book, use online resources, and start learning now. Your wife can help you with pronounciation.

 

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, Lukec said:

Hi, 

 

Apologies if I've posted in the incorrect place and also if you are bored of reading these kinds of posts. Please point me towards a blog or something if easier. 

 

I moved to Germany (near Braunschweig) 3 weeks ago with my wife (she's German) and our 7 month old daughter from the UK. We have been talking about moving here for a while and thanks to Covid I was made redundant so we decided to give Germany a try before Brexit hits. 

 

Luckily with my wife being German she has been able to sort out all the paperwork and get everything sorted for us. I'm starting a language course but it doesn't start until February. 

 

I know this is pretty general query but if anyone has advice on things we might need to help us get up and running that would be appreciated. 

 

Thanks in advance. 

 

Luke

 

Get your application for Kindergeld in as well. The first payment will be backdated to your date of registration.

 

You might need to get some info from HMRC as part of the process to show receipt (or otherwise) of any child benefit in the UK. This part of the process can take several weeks.

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I would say get a driving license.  If you get one it increases your chance of finding a job

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5 hours ago, dstanners said:

As for your driving licence, there's no need for a new test: take your UK licence to the town hall along with a copy of your passport, and see if they will change it for you. If you've got a new"ish" licence (so you're about 40 or under) you should be able to swap quickly. It's more complicated if you passed your test before about 1990.

 


Not sure if I remember correctly... doesn’t one have to have been in Germany for 6 months before being able to exchange UK driving licence for a German licence.  No testing, minimal administrative costs? Lots of other threads covering this topic here on TT.

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6 minutes ago, emkay said:


Not sure if I remember correctly... doesn’t one have to have been in Germany for 6 months before being able to exchange UK driving licence for a German licence.  No testing, minimal administrative costs? Lots of other threads covering this topic here on TT.

Close, you can drive with an international licence for up to 6 months, but then you need to change it. Changing is very easy with a UK one, there was no problem changing my old paper one as it was a straight swap with the categories. 

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54 minutes ago, emkay said:


Not sure if I remember correctly... doesn’t one have to have been in Germany for 6 months before being able to exchange UK driving licence for a German licence.  No testing, minimal administrative costs? Lots of other threads covering this topic here on TT.

Changed ours within a month of registering.  Maybe easier up here- as they   gave me motor bike as well! Said they did not get many requests to change!

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17 hours ago, Lukec said:

 

@RedMidge some good suggestions there, do I need to take a test or anything to exchange driving licence to German? I've driven quite a bit in Germany but I don't understand the right before left logic. Fair enough at a cross section or something but if I'm driving a straight line road why do I have to stop to let someone from the right pull out?! Anyway...

 

Do you have any suggestions with banks? I tried to join DKB today but got rejected for not having a credit history. Are there others that I'd have a better chance of joining? 

No test needed- take passport, UK licence, photos, ( photography places know what size), money to office. remember to take a copy/scan of your UK licence for your records.

Re Banks- we use TargoBank.  Took Anmeldung, passport, copy of UK bank,  and no problem. 

Others have suggested  some banks.

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The appointment I made last week for the Führersheinstelle (where you go to exchange your licence) is for the 3rd Feb. That's obviously because of Corona, and it may be better where you are, but it might be worth finding out sooner rather than later.

 

Re: banks. I had no problem getting an account with Noris Bank when I arrived and did it all by post-ident. 

 

Did anyone mention phones? I found myself in a bit of a catch-22 because the online applications for banks wanted a German phone number, and to get a German phone contract or even "pre pay" you needed to fill out a Lastschrift (standing order) from a German bank... But then I found Lebara who let you pay with PayPal. By law in Germany you have to go through an identification process.

 

 

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47 minutes ago, Dembo said:

By law in Germany you have to go through an identification process

Oh yeah, that's a good one. Don't forget to take ID with you when you buy a mobile phone (or even just a SIM). That surprised me.

Personally, I like to use a dual sim phone too, so I don't have to carry two phones.

 

 

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1 hour ago, RedMidge said:

they   gave me motor bike as well!

 Wow - they are generous in Northen Schleswig-Holstein.  A motor bike eh?

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1 hour ago, Dembo said:

... or even "pre pay" you needed to fill out a Lastschrift (standing order) from a German bank...

 

My wife & I both use ALDI Talk Paket S for 7,99 Eur each month.  No Lastschrift - we buy 30 Euro coupons at the checkout desk.

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Another suggestion for jump starting your language learning is to go to a Kiosk and get a copy of Deutsch Perfekt which is printed by the Zeit Gruppe and has articles on all sorts of topics in different language learning levels. I have a monthly subscription to this magazine and find that it's really good to lean new vocabulary, practice grammar exercises, etc.  

 

For banks, I know people have posted suggestions. I found that the only way I could get an account with DKB was for me to first get a joint account with my German husband. He had no problem even though he had moved away for 15 years before returning. DKB is only in German, as a side note. Other have mentioned N26, but I had a terrible time with them trying to get my cards and account activated and gave up in the end. Sounds like others have had better luck.  

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10 hours ago, jill_ said:

Other have mentioned N26, but I had a terrible time with them trying to get my cards and account activated and gave up in the end. Sounds like others have had better luck.

I´m not sure I´d like to have to rely on luck when dealing with my bank.

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1 hour ago, jeba said:

I´m not sure I´d like to have to rely on luck when dealing with my bank.

Perhaps these newer ones like N26 are not to be used as main accounts with main income going in. 

We have been using N26 for a couple of years and have had no problems so far. But main income doesn't go in there, as we are still wary. 

Like a lot of people we had massive problems with Revolut however and won't go near them now.

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I signed up with N26 for my first account here several years ago.  I had no problems at all with the signup, and my experience with N26 has been positive.  I use my N26 account regularly.

 

However, I ended up also opening an account with a "traditional" German bank afterwards.  The primary reason:  the card provided by N26 is a Mastercard debit card, not an EC card.  There are still lots of business establishments in Germany that won't take Mastercard/Visa - only EC cards.

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21 hours ago, MollyWolly said:


The students at the private language school (morning class) I went to were also unmotivated. That did not stop me from learning, and in some ways helped. The teacher noticed I was one of two who actually wanted to be there, and so she spent most of her time working with us. Probably not nice for the others, but it worked out well for me.

 

I guess I worded my post wrong and made sweeping statements. I am in Frankfurt and that was solely my experience and the experience of some friends here. In my case the teachers at the private school were extremely motivated. And of course it all depends on your own motivation. I had an end goal when I entered language classes and kept this goal in mind all the time. This helped keep me motivated when I at times felt like I wanted to give up because learning a language is hard. Being away from the place you called home is hard. Homesickness is real. The homesickness hit me hard around the 3-4 month mark. 

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20 hours ago, diding said:

I would say get a driving license.  If you get one it increases your chance of finding a job

 

As with all things "Brexit", I feel it's better to get things done now and not 

when any future deal/agreement/contract is not ratified/local offices not informed/still being debated.

 

It's not a big deal to get the German license as a swap for a current UK one.

 

Out here in the sticks, it was only a date at the local Rathaus. 

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40 minutes ago, Space Cowboy said:

However, I ended up also opening an account with a "traditional" German bank afterwards.  The primary reason:  the card provided by N26 is a Mastercard debit card, not an EC card.  There are still lots of business establishments in Germany that won't take Mastercard/Visa - only EC cards.

That's interesting. With the number of places that won't take any cards I'm surprised there are those that take some cards and not Mastercard/Visa. 

 

Now I think about it... I have a UK Starling account that came with a Mastercard debit card that I discovered wouldn't work in the ticket machines in Stuttgart, but my Barclays Visa debit worked fine. Same thing I guess. With NorisBank I unchecked all the options (not wanting to take any chances of being refused) and just got the basic EC card to start with, then after a couple of months applied for the Mastercard to allow me to buy things online. 

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