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One year as an Au Pair / Nanny in Frankfurt

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Hello All-

 

I arrived in Franfurt 2 days ago. Arriving from Miami, Florida, in the states. I will be AuPairing here for a year and I just wanted to post a note on here asking peoples opinions on a few things.

 

I live in West End, minutes away from the Stock Exchange and I was wondering about...

 

Finding a Bank- I am interesting in opening an account and I was wondering if anyone had suggestions about the best one as far as the language barrier and everything. I live near about 10 banks so it isn't as if I can't find one, but I have NO idea which one would be best.

 

Buying groceries- Today I went to Pennymall (atleast I THINK that's what it was called) Something with Penny in the title, and it was fine, but I was just wondering if there were any other suggestions.

 

Shopping- I was just wondering where the thrift shops and flea markets are.

 

Those are just the basics. ANY little tidbits that you have for me are very welcome. I am working for a family, but not living with them and would really like to establish a life away from them so that work won't be my LIFE while I'm here. Let me know whatever you can. Anything that may have helped you when you first moved or anything like that.

 

I am not a German speaker, I'll be enrolling at a language school in a few weeks, we haven't decided which one yet, but as of right now I only know the basics.

 

Thanks

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You will find more food places outside of the city center. There aren't many food stores down there. Last I remebered, there was a Hertie or something at Konstabwache.

 

Frankfurt's largest fleamarkt is on Saturday on the Sachenhausen side of the Main river. Take the Isenersteg bridge accross the river and you'll be in the middle of it.

 

Banks, you're in Frankfurt... just about every bank in the world has a presence there in some way, shape or form. But look for a Postbank. Sparkasse is also good, but is usually geared for bigger $$ earnings than Aupairs's. :(

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I would have helped you but I live too far away from Frankfurt. What about the family you are working for, don't they feed you? Have you asked them to help you open a bank account? Try and find other Au Pairs living in Frankfurt.

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I also would have thought your host family should be feeding you but otherwise other good places to shop are Aldi, Lidl and Minimal, I'll check the closest ones to Westend.

 

Yes the fleamarket in Sachsenhausen is down by the river but I must admit the last time I went all I found was just a big pile of rubbish.

 

I personally would not recommend the Postbank. I recently swtiched to them on what I thought was good advice only to find my EC card does not work in half of the shops and their services are just rubbish. However this might just be my bad experience. Also I think to get a Postbank account for free you need to have over 1250€ going into it each month I don't think au pairs earn that much.

 

You should definitely get your host family to help you with this. Also to open an account you'll need a 'Meldebescheingung' which is a slip of paper saying you are registered to live where you are. If you are living with your host family then I would say it is their responsibility to get this for you I would ask them. If not it is just a quick trip to Zeil 3 with your passport and that is it.

 

If you have any other quesitons just feel free to ask :)

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I am working for a family, but not living with them and would really like to establish a life away from them so that work won't be my LIFE while I'm here.

Welcome to Toytown! :)

 

If I understand correctly, you are working as a live-out nanny rather than an au pair, right? I can understand that you wish to keep some "distance" from your employers and not depend on them for every little thing but I still think that they should help you out, especially if you don't speak fluent German just yet. After all, it's in their interest as well that you settle in properly as soon as possible.

 

I can't give you any practical advice about Frankfurt, sorry, but I hope that everything will work out fine and that you'll enjoy living there.

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PM is right about the service at Postbank, it isn't that good but you can open a free account without any minimum monthly income. Also, my postbank bank card works at all the same stores that other bank cards work at.

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Thank you all so much for all the help!!

 

To answer some questions, yes, I am more of a live out Nanny. Living in a separate apartment. For this reason exactly, that I wanted to be able to have a more separate life than just work. My host family is being very helpful, but they have lived here a long time, so they go to the same places ALL the time. So I wanted to hear about some places they may not have discovered. As far as the language barrier, that's where they are DEFINATLY helping me. I walked around today by myself for a few hours (let me tell you that was an EXPERIENCE!! I was lost for an hour, but that's ok. haha) and when I needed to communicate I didn't have an huge problem, mainly using Gerglish (German and English) because I know some basic phrases.

 

Thanks again everyone. And any tips and pointers are GREATLY appreciated.

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I'm in the Westend too, and there's a fairly good little supermarket right next to Westend U-bahn station.

 

As far as banks and stuff go, I was really surprised with Dresdner bank. Account is free if you earn over €600 per month, and they've been really helpful with everything. My housemate is also impressed.

 

Have you registered yourself here yet or sorted out health insurance?

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PM is right about the service at Postbank, it isn't that good but you can open a free account without any minimum monthly income. Also, my postbank bank card works at all the same stores that other bank cards work at.

there is no "service" at the postbank. they encourage you to do everything online. i'm with posbank & for what i need my account for, i am happy. there used to be a time where you could only do your banking at your local bank, which is why i switched to postbank b/c you'll find a post office in every town. but most if not all banks offer free checking (giro) accounts for those under 26.

one thing to consider when chosing a bank is if you want to transfer money back to your bank accoutn bank home. i do mine via postbank online & it only costs me €1,50. my u.s. account charges me $10. if you do do this, make sure you click "BEN" method of charging fees.

 

... and when I needed to communicate I didn't have an huge problem, mainly using Gerglish (German and English)

erm, we call it Denglish!

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As far as banks and stuff go, I was really surprised with Dresdner bank. Account is free if you earn over €600 per month, and they've been really helpful with everything. My housemate is also impressed.

Is that for everybody?

 

Yep I changed to postbank because I realised at Commerzbank I was wasting my money every month as I did everything online but I cannot understand how the card is not working in all the shops and they are just saying the card is fine :angry:

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I personally would not recommend the Postbank. I recently swtiched to them on what I thought was good advice only to find my EC card does not work in half of the shops and their services are just rubbish. However this might just be my bad experience. Also I think to get a Postbank account for free you need to have over 1250€ going into it each month I don't think au pairs earn that much.

That would be my recommendation then... Hey, I looked on the internet and it said "FREE BANKING" (when over said amount)...

 

It's a bank, they all suck.

 

As for the EC card: everyone is always willing to take money from me. Perhaps your card would be better for my bank balance. :ph34r:

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As for the EC card: everyone is always willing to take money from me. Perhaps your card would be better for my bank balance.

And I recommended this awful bank to you :ph34r:

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Grimsby is then NOT GUILTY. In future, blame the Muffin for every banking problem you ever have. It's bound to be her fault, even if you think you screwed up. Cool. :)

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I'm with Deutsche bank, there is a fee (not sure what) but you can use any of their "groups" Money machines for free (Dresdner, commerze, hypo & postbank) also Barclays in the UK & Bank of America in the US & also their website is in English too, so no problems with the language when using on line banking, aslo any transfers within the EU are free, not sure about the US though.

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Hi,

 

Im also a live out nanny in the Westend. Ive been in Frankfurt for 2 and a half years, originally from Australia.

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Hi,

I'm a fellow Floridian living and working in Frankfurt. I'm originally from Fort Lauderdale, but have been here about a year now. If you have any more questions, you can always PM me.

Hope you got off to a good start!

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