Expatriate networks in Germany

Individual and Local Sports in Germany

Individual and Local Sports in Germany

 

Leading a healthy lifestyle is something that we all want to do. It starts with designing our meals a little differently and taking on a new sport, or just going out for a jog every once in a while. Once you've moved to Germany there's no doubt that you'll want to continue being fit and putting in your hours of physical activity. Or perhaps you're just taking up sports as a new years resolution or just a sudden consciousness. Whatever your reason is, it's a great idea.

 

Surely you'll see all these Germans running to the train, walking home, and pedaling away on their bikes in the height of winter. Of course, you too could do the same. You could skip taking the car everywhere and get a bit closer to the German culture by walking to pick up bread rolls in the morning, taking your bike out to do the grocery shopping or going for after breakfast, lunch and dinner walks. However, if you'd like to challenge yourself a bit more, then you could really get your gear together, sneakers tied up tight and head out for a nice run.

 

Running in Germany will be a breeze. The paths are there, outlined to perfection for your fitness. There's a lot of scenery, a lot to take in and especially when you haven't been in Germany for a while, everything is new and exciting. You'll love taking on new routes every time you head out, and you'll possibly even meet a couple other runners who you can schedule your training sessions with and get a bit of company on the otherwise lonely paths.

 

Riding your bicycle is another great way to get in shape. Rather than just seeing it as a means of transportation to nearby places, use it for longer journeys. You'll be able to see so much more, learn new areas of the city, and get your body in shape.  There are designated bike lanes so there's no hassle in wondering where to ride, where to wiggle through and how safe things are.

 

There are a large amount of gyms in Germany, with McFit being the most popular. Especially if you're one to shy away from colder temperatures, this may be an option for you. The prices of a membership vary widely depending on where you go but are generally not very high. There are many great things about having a gym membership. Of course there's the money aspect, once you've spent money on something you are more likely to take advantage of it. Secondly there's the fact that gyms are indoors and thus you'll be able to comfortably train regardless of what the weather outside looks like. Another wonderful thing is that you will be able to make new friend and possibly even find someone to collaborate your sessions with to make them a bit more fun. If you're lucky, this person will be a gym enthusiast and won't hesitate to give you the right motivation to keep going week after week.

 

 

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Germany’s Expat Community on InterNations

Are you planning to move to Germany or have already arrived and are just getting settling in? If so, you should consider joining the world’s largest expatriate community on InterNations. InterNations was created to help members meet other high-profile expatriates from around the world living in their city and connect with them, both online and offline through events and activities.

InterNations also offers its members the know-how and support to make moving abroad more manageable. InterNations was founded in 2007 and now has over million members in more than 390 Local Communities around the world.

InterNations has communities in 26 cities in Germany alone, ranging from Munich and Berlin, to Leipzig to Karlsruhe. Before your departure date, the forums are a great place to ask all your questions and connect with people online before you even arrive in Germany. In the forum, you can post the specific questions you have about what neighborhood to move to, how to find the best school for your children, how to search for a job, etc. Once you move, the marketplace section of the forum can be a good resource to find used furniture and other household goods.

The Guide section of the InterNations website can also help answer any questions you may have before your departure. In addition to guides specifically geared towards expats living and working in Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt, the website offers an extensive guide for Germany on topics ranging from German taxes to visa info for Germany to how to open a German bank account. There are also articles on finding a doctor, choosing the right school for your children, apartment and house hunting in Germany and more.

In the Expat Magazine, InterNations offers articles covering issues commonly facing expats, such as culture shock, helping children adjust to life abroad and figuring out how to make a realistic budget for your time overseas.

Once you arrive in Germany, as a member of InterNations it’s easy to meet up with fellow expats face-to-face at monthly events. These events, which are organized at exclusive locations in each of the 26 Local Communities in Germany, are the perfect opportunity to socialize and network with expats from your home country and around the world. In the bigger communities, there are up to four events each month.

InterNations also offers the opportunity to meet international people, with whom you share similar interests, in a smaller setting. Through the network’s many activity groups, you can meet up for dance classes, go on hikes, speak a different language, join a book club, participate in business networking, meet up for dinner, learn about different cultures, and the list goes on. If you don’t see your favorite hobby or activity, you can start your own group!

 

 

As InterNations has its headquarters in Munich, the Local Community is particularly active there. Multiple get-togethers take place every day of the month, with groups sporting names like InterNations Munich Yoga, InterNations Munich Wine Tasting and InterNations Munich Rock Climbing.

And if in a few years, you find yourself relocating to another part of the world, you can save yourself a lot of time networking and meeting new people if you’re already a member of InterNations.

 

So what are you waiting for? Let InterNations make your expat life easier![...]

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A Canadian in Germany

After almost two years in Germany, I'm starting to get the hang of things.

Hi, I'm Jasmine, a brave Canadian who ventured to the wonderful country of Germany in search of thrill, adventure and unforgettable experiences.

Perhaps you're somewhat like me, but hopefully a bit more prepared for all the chaos and excitement that you're about to allow to flood your life. More than likely you'll be in need of a few tips to help ease the transition (though you won't want things to go too smoothly because that will just drain the fun out of it).

Here are a few things I learned, that may be common to the typically German, but is by no means common Canadian knowledge.

1. Take passport pictures; not one, not two, but many passport pictures, 10 to be exact.

It may sound silly. After all, how many passport sized pictures can they fit into your neat Canadian passport and still allow enough space for your German stamps and proof that you found your way around the rest of Europe.

So why do you need so many pictures?

  • Do you need a passport? If yes, then you'll need two pictures.
  • Your trip to the German consulate: Two pictures please.
  • Once in Germany: Three pictures for your permanent Visa please.
  • Are you a student? Hand over another picture for your ID.
  • Do you need a drivers license? Another picture please

Slowly but surely it adds up and in no time you'll be heading to the next photo booth to snap and print more pictures of yourself. But because you don't want to be running around like a chicken without a head while in Germany, you would have gotten it all done in Canada, and be able to hand over your pictures on command.

2. Pack your documents like your packing your first aid kit.

Know what you'll need to take with you to your appointment at the German consulate in Canada. Don't show up, only to be turned back because you forget something, like passport sized pictures!

This link may be your new best friend:

http://www.canada.diplo.de/Vertretung/kanada/en/01/GK__Toronto/__toronto.html

3. Spread the word

Tell every person you know that you are moving to Germany -- co-workers, friends, family, neighbors. You never know where it will lead. I have met many friends-of-friends here because I let so many people know I was moving here (and it's how I found a completely furnished apartment -- the rarest of rare things -- in Mannheim, a mile from where I worked, before I even arrived here).

4. Find a house to call a home

Get an overview of real estate prices. immoscout24.de is by far the most popular real estate classifieds page. Unfortunately, they do not have an English language interface. But web browsers let you translate pages. Take advantage of that functionality.

5. Sort out shipping furniture from home before it's too late.

Arrange shipping your furniture.

Shipping furniture can cause a lot of headaches. You'll want to make sure that you make arrangements before you leave Canada. If not, be prepared to sleep on the... air mattress for a couple of weeks, or maybe even months.

http://expat-relocation.net/item/104-settling-in/housing-legal/3-reasons-why-shipping-your-furniture-to-germany-is-a-horrible-mistake/389

6. Rental furniture will save your day, month and year.

If in the area consider renting furniture. Here are some rental options, you may want to consider:

http://expat-relocation.net/144-settling-in/furniture/renting-furniture

7. Know which phone providers to avoid.

Research the best phone providers.

Keep in mind that phone operators are not the most flexible companies in Germany. In some instances, it takes weeks before you get all set up. You'll want to know which companies to smile at and which ones to elegantly turn away from. Your family and friends will be waiting to hear from you, and you won't want to have them worrying because your chosen phone provider decided to delay giving you service for way too long.

8. When in Germany, bank like the Germans.

Do your research and settle on a German bank. With horrendous things like exchange rates, if you're working in Germany, you may want to keep a great portion of your money in Euros. In addition, it's just a great idea to be affiliated with a German bank, as it does make things like paying rent and hopping out to the grocery store a lot easier, plus no one likes those hefty fees charged by foreign ATMs.

9. Enroll in a German language school 

Yes, German may seem like the most impossible language to learn, but you should at least try. Soon enough you'll realize that the guy in the grocery store wasn't yelling at you for looking confused, he was just asking if he could help.

10. Know what your company will do for you and what you'll have to do for yourself.

Ask your company if they provide relocation services or contact a relocation company. They may be able to help you with getting everything organized. If not, hire a relocation company yourself and ease some of the burden. Actually, they'll take pretty much all the burden away from you and make your transition more stress free than you could have ever imagined.[...]

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Advices From Hamburg Insiders

Germany’s city of Hamburg is regarded by many expats who have been lucky enough to live there as one of the best cities in the world.  Home to some of the most hospitable folks Germany has to offer, you and your family will ease right into the environment, culture, and lifestyle.  The only problem you’ll have is turning your new living quarters into someplace you can call home.

Moving to another country can be difficult in and of itself, and finding the perfect place to rest your head at night provides the ultimate challenge.  Whether you’re a young traveler looking to meet people and check out nightlife, or a family looking to relocate in a friendly neighborhood, Hamburg has plenty of options!  From its young, eclectic neighborhoods like Schanzenviertel and Ottensen, to the family-friendly districts of Wandsbek and Bergedorf, there are plenty of sights within walking distance to meet your tastes!

Moving to Hamburg?  Finding a fully furnished home in your neighborhood of choice could prove difficult, which is why we’re here to make this move easy!  Take a look through our furniture rentals for all of your creature comforts.  Or do you simply need some basic kitchen appliances?  We’ve got those too!  Don’t feel like making a weekly trip to the Laundromat?  Take advantage of our washer and dryer rentals! 

Hamburg has proven to be an excellent relocation choice time and time again.  Providing rentals to expatriates from the US, Asia, and all over the world, we’ve been fortunate enough to get some great “insider” travel tips!  The locals’ absolute must-sees include:

·         The Fabrik: A flea market with serious cultural flare!  Provides a stage for rock, jazz, and classical concerts as well as poetry readings and political debates. 

·         Erika’s Eck: A hole in the wall restaurant with authentic German food and interesting late night locals.

·         Human Empire Shops: Unique products from clothing and skateboards to posters and children’s books.  This place is a hidden gem for artwork and souvenirs.

  

 

Do you have any additional insider tips?  Why don’t you let us know in the “Comments” section of our Free Quote Request?  We love hearing about our clients’ experiences while helping turn their new house into a home![...]

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Meet Fellow Expatriates

Meet Fellow Expatriates

 

Toytown Germany

 

Toytown Germany is one of the best and most popular online resources for expats whose primary language is English. Here you will find discussion forums, job listings, property listings, reviews on restaurants and other entertainment venues, along with a great deal of other information on every aspect of your new life in Germany. You can review the gallery of member photos and learn all about other expats with whom to share your experiences. Toytown is free to join. Once you become a member you will have access to all of their member features. This is a truly comprehensive site with a wide range of information and features that are easy to use and contain valuable information that you can use every day. They offer advertising options for members and links to other resources such as The Local. If you are looking for specific businesses, you will find their directory very helpful.

Visit them at www.toytowngermany.com and check it out. You will be glad you did.[...]

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Expatriate Networks And Meetups

Internationsis an online resource where you can connect with other expats. This meet-up requires that you join to access the content which is featured there. They offer both free and paid subscriptions, a magazine, country and city guides, and links to a number of blogs written by expats. This is a fantastic way to interact with other expats in Germany.

 

 

While free subscriptions to Internations do have some limited functionality, a paid subscription is not expensive and it opens the door for messaging with other expats from around the world, and the opportunity to contribute content about your own expat experiences. This is a great way to share what you have learned about Germany with others.

 

 

 

Internations sponsors regularly scheduled events and outings at local venues for members to meet face to face. Those who have attended these meet-ups say that they take place at some very posh places. 

Visit them at www.internations.org for more information.[...]

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