How integrated are you?

73 posts in this topic

Crazy, but unemployment in the UK is very low, something must be going "right", haha, next week an emergency budget is planned, many people work beyond retirement age, or have to try to get a job again after retiring 😕

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I guess I am not the only one who is so glad to be in Germany. And retired😃

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People have three jobs with no security and still cannot make ends meet. Slaves to their mortgages paying for cramped housing. Builders and bankers cashing in big time. 

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21 hours ago, Fietsrad said:

Crazy, but unemployment in the UK is very low, something must be going "right", haha, next week an emergency budget is planned, many people work beyond retirement age, or have to try to get a job again after retiring 😕

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I guess I am not the only one who is so glad to be in Germany. And retired😃

 

Well, after UK brexit made it hard to hire cheap European workers, I am guessing it must have gone down as at least some of those roles would have had to been filled by local workers. I see unemployment is now 3.6% (https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peoplenotinwork/unemployment). However, job security is poor, salaries low by comparison to Germany, so whilst you might have a job, it's not the best outcome. Health care in the UK is neglected, so no matter what you say of the public system here, I'd argue it's much better than the UK.

 

I came here as one of 12 freelancers hired by a manager of a large British company inside the joint venture, to kick off a project here in Germany. He'd actually come years before as a posted employee, married a local girl and decided to stay. With 3 month plus hiring time for local permanent employees, he brought over a bunch of guys and got the project up an running. None of us every intended to stay, and actually many years on, only one other guy stayed in Germany (was already married to a German girl), two went off to other EU countries, and the rest gradually went back to the UK, although many did stay a good few years.

 

I guess you kind of get to like the place, in my case, Munich. Don't miss the kids fighting outside the night clubs over taxi's and girls. Don't miss the terrible beer, although there are some micro brew beers I loved. Love the beer garden culture of sitting outside with families and kids and grandpa in the summer. That you can drive to the mountains in an hour of so. Munich is an IT hub, so suits my choice of work. However, unlikely I will ever pick up German well enough to be happy outside the expat/English speaking bubble and/or English speaking German/Austrian friends.

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I moved here in June of 2019 and have since joined 3 groups, hiking, pop choir, and recently, gospel choir.  Last week a German elementary school principal that I know recruited me to help in her after school program for immigrant kids, ages 7-9.  No English is involved, and the support I’ll provide dovetails with my former career as a speech-language therapist.  It’s taken a lot of work and many DaF courses at the Vhs to reach this point.  I think I am now allowed to say „I am integrating!“.   😊🙏💃

Offto Wednesday evening pop choir rehearsal now.  

 

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I find this question difficult. I am C2.2 level German and working professionally as a translator. I've spent around 18 years in Germany, studied here a few years, make good money, have statutory health insurance, and received German citizenship in the past year. At home I speak exclusively German with my kids while my wife speaks English with them so they will be bi-lingual.

 

Despite all that, I don't feel terrible well integrated. The job has been too demanding in terms of my time, and I've had little chance to deal with Germans except in business e-mails and an occasional phone call. I used to get out and participate in running events on the weekend, but I don't belong to any German clubs that I do more for than send in my membership dues. Even with 5 memberships, I never do anything but send money and glance at magazines. I have a few "friends" through my children, but I didn't even meet with them in the past few years due to Covid. If it wasn't for my kids, I'd have no dealings at all in spoken German language (except for medical care and such). 

By the standards of Germany, I am fully integrated due to the fact that I have a job and speak German at a high level, but somehow I am completely un-integrated. I know of people who speak barely 10 words of German who I would classify as much more integrated than me. I'd like to change that, but so far I have never found the time. So I am perhaps the most un-integrated integrated person in Germany.

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5 hours ago, BethAnnBitt said:

I moved here in June of 2019 and have since joined 3 groups, hiking, pop choir, and recently, gospel choir.  Last week a German elementary school principal that I know recruited me to help in her after school program for immigrant kids, ages 7-9.  No English is involved, and the support I’ll provide dovetails with my former career as a speech-language therapist.  It’s taken a lot of work and many DaF courses at the Vhs to reach this point.  I think I am now allowed to say „I am integrating!“.   😊🙏💃

Offto Wednesday evening pop choir rehearsal now.  

 

Impressed your German is so good after 2 or 3 years here. Amazing.  Well done!

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1 hour ago, Berlinexpatnine said:

I find this question difficult. I am C2.2 level German and working professionally as a translator.

Goethe Institute?

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Integrated enough, I guess. I've been here since 2015, I am married to a German, and I have 2 German-American children who were born here. I work for the local office of a large US multinational company and speak both English and German at work, I have a equal mix of German and non-German friends, and I can speak German fluently. I would score my integration 8 out of 10. I could probably improve my German a bit better, and do a bit more to integrate further, I suppose. I think I will probably live here for the rest of my life.

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On 15.9.2022 21:06:22, optimista said:

People have three jobs with no security and still cannot make ends meet. Slaves to their mortgages paying for cramped housing. Builders and bankers cashing in big time. 

"Gee, the economy is doing great, the president/Chancellor (UK finance minister) has created half a million new jobs! "

 

"I know about that, I have three of them myself"😕

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Political gaslighting. Our forebears sacrificed themselves so we could have better lives than them. They built an empire. And a physical infrastructure. It was milked and squandered and not maintained. Then sold off to foreigners and the naive man in the street before it would need investment to fix. (Anybody tried to cash in those British Gas shares online, by the way ?)

The quality of life in many parts of The Great British Realm leaves much to be desired for most people, I believe. 

Which leads us to the brain drain. The best get on their bikes and leave. And here we are. Uprooted. Trying to integrate.

 

I gave up on Germany and left. 

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I am so glad to be in Germany, I think I have a much better life here than I would have had in the UK.

If I had to move back there in retirement, the cost of renting (or buying?) a home would be much much higher than here.

 

We all have to pay GEZ, they have to pay Poll Tax/Council Tax. Which is worse?

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My father now pays 20% of his annual income on council tax. The day will come when people cannot afford to continue to live in their own property.

 

I know people who cannot afford to move back to UK because of house prices. Will soon be in that position myself.

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12 hours ago, LukeSkywalker said:

Goethe Institute?

I got a BA in German, then went to grad school in German studies. And I studied at various German universities for 2.5 years. Then 10 years at German companies outside of Germany and 15 years as a translator in Germany. I haven't tested my German level except on a lark by taking an online placement test. I was able to answer 32 out of 33 questions right on the C2.2. test. In any case, I guess my point is that language is necessary but not sufficient for integration, and that a higher level of real integration can be achieved even without any German. I guess I just am doubting the way that integration is measured, since it is often taken to mean language + job, but you can have language + job and still barely be a part of Germany, depending on your circumstances.  

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I ate Rinderrouladen the other day and it didn't make me think, "what a waste of beef". Tatorts are a common part of Sundays. I don't even think about going to the DIY store on a Sunday. I guess integration just crept up on me.

 

Here in the Eifel, I'd get nowhere speaking English. I was fortunate to get learning German out of the way when I was a youth, so language hasn't been an issue. 

 

I also feel more of an association to Germany, due to feeling increasingly removed from the UK. It seems to me that over the past few years the UK (or more specifically England) has become a sad caricature of itself. Pointlessly trying to relive a past that never existed (too many examples to list all, but how about the Tories claiming to seek their collective inner-Thatchers, whilst forgetting who signed up to the Single European Act and also pushed for EU expansion into central and eastern Europe).

 

 

 

 

 

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Would one be interested in moving back to the UK if living/renting/buying there was cheaper than here? I would be interested in spending a few months there but not in moving back, I think I am too old for that.

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I loved Rinderroulade when I came here, wanted to be as German as possible from the start. Nearly vegetarian now.

 

The quiet Sunday is another plus in Germany, I try to avoid shopping Saturdays too😉

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2 hours ago, optimista said:

I know people who cannot afford to move back to UK because of house prices. 

Same as in other countries.

Like Germany, for instance.

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57 minutes ago, Gambatte said:

Same as in other countries.

Like Germany, for instance.



The governments of the world need to figure out that housing needs to be treated like a commodity, not an appreciating asset. Far more attention needs to be paid to creating affordable housing. A few countries have gotten it right, but most are doing little or nothing about the situation, as if all that matters is making current real estate owners richer.

Of course, all of this should have been done 30 years ago, but like they say, there are two good times to plant a tree. The best time is 50 years ago; the second-best time is today.

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15 minutes ago, Berlinexpatnine said:

The governments of the world need to figure out that housing needs to be treated like a commodity, not an appreciating asset.

 
Buying a house today is both a commodity and an appreciating asset.  Both commodities and assets can appreciate over time.  They can also depreciate.  It depends upon markets, supply and demand and investment strategies.  Not all houses appreciate.  The housing market in Detroit, MI is a good example on a large scale.  Houses there are worthless.  Literally and figuratively.  Houses have been abandoned due to a shrinking work force and economy.  That's just one simple example. 

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