Advice for Americans moving to Hannover

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I might be moving to Hannover in January for a 2 year x pat assignment, and speak no german yet. I am a 31 single male, just looking for some input before I make the leap. So far my life outside work, when traveling to hannover, is bloomberg tv in the hotel room, so I am hoping somethinig better. wide open on input, social scene, places to live, can i get english tv, do i need a car, and and and...

 

thanks in adavnce

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If you get cable TV -- most apartments have a cable hookup already and the cable fees cost around 15-20 Euros a month -- you will at a minimum get BBC World and CNN International. If you get digital cable (more info: http://www.kabeldeutschland.de/wunsch-fern...rnational.html), you can get additional English-language channels as well. You would have to buy a DVB-C set-top box (costs around 100-120 Euros) and subscribe to the cable package you want, usually about 4-10 Euros a month for the basic package.

 

Whether you need a car depends on what you do. More than likely you can get by with just the public transport and/or a bike -- the public transport in Hannover, like most of Germany, is excellent, and Hannover in particular is known for its excellent bike paths all over the city. You can buy a refurbished used bike at various shops around town fairly inexpensively as well.

 

As a next step if you occasionally need a car and live near one of their stations, you can try carsharing (http://www.stadtmobil.de/hannover/), which is relatively inexpensive. You probably will only need a car if you have to commute a lot or have to transport a lot of things all the time.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Cheers,

 

Fairfax71

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Well check the local library also in Hamburg to join. You can find (usually) Volkshule CD ROM there, which will be in English and German to help you learn the main structures of German. Also do not be afraid to go out and speak rudimentary German at your local cafe and barista. I always would start out with something like:

 

Entchigung (sp) Ich spreche wenig deutsch. Ich mochte ein doppel espresso bitte

 

Most German will open up and help out knowing you are trying and even assist you English sometimes. I never met a German that did not try to help me out and politely try to correct when I made a grammar mistake.

 

As for bringing things over the only thing I recommend is bring advil if you use it for headaches. I use alternative medicine so I dont use Advil but that seems to be one of the things kats miss.

 

Good luck dude.

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As for bringing things over the only thing I recommend is bring advil if you use it for headaches.

Not so much Advil as any generic versions of OTC medicines you take often. OTC medicines in Germany tend to be far more expensive than in America.

 

Using ibuprofen (i.e. Advil) as an example, when I'm in the States I get a 500 tablet ibuprofen bottle (store-brand) for around $15-20. In Germany, a ten tablet pack of 200 mg generic ibuprofen usually costs five to ten Euros.

 

However, don't go overboard and be careful about what you bring (and how much). Some medicines that are available OTC in the States aren't allowed in Germany, or the OTC versions are too potent by German standards. Hydrocortisone cream is one example -- you can only get it in 0.25% concentrations here, so if you buy a stronger version in America they'll confiscate it here at customs.

 

One remedy you can get in America and not here, but can still import, is Pepto-Bismol. I always make sure to buy up some Pepto and bring it over when I'm visiting the States.

 

Cheers,

 

Fairfax71

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OK, my numbers are out of date (what can I say, I don't buy it here anymore), but I know I've paid that much in the past for ibuprofen here. Even so, even with that price it's still many times as much as ibuprofen costs in America.

 

The only 100-tablet package I see on that site still costs at best EUR 7.34. Times five gets you EUR 36.70, or $50. The 500-tablet bottle of CVS ibuprofen I have cost $15 last year. Their price has dropped to $13.19 in the meantime. So one can reasonably say that ibuprofen costs over three and a half times as much here as in America if you buy in bulk. I've seen similarly dramatic price differences for other common OTC drugs.

 

(Even comparing apples to apples and getting a 50-tablet package, you get $3.99 at CVS versus best-case EUR 4.10 or $5.69 here. Not as huge a difference, but even so.)

 

So it's best to bring stuff over...

 

Cheers,

 

Fairfax71

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