GEZ Inspectors, TV, and Radio License Check-ups

 

GEZ Inspectors, TV, and Radio License Check-ups

 

The GEZ in Germany is one of those things that is dreaded. People stand at their doors refusing to open them in fear that on the next side is someone asking if they have a TV or radio. There are all these stories about the GEZ camping out in front of doors, listening hard to hear even the slightest sound that they can link to a television. There are other stories claiming that they've connived their way into the homes of many residents under false pretenses just to see for themselves if you were or were not lying about that radio you claimed not to have. A lot of residents, Germans as well as non Germans have a problem with paying the monthly fee associated with the GEZ. And because the majority of the time there is no penalty, just the odd worker popping up every now and then to ask the same questions, people tend to push the responsibility to the side. 

 

If you have been living in Germany long enough you've perhaps received one of the letters that they send. Attached with a form and an explanation as to what it is you'll be signing, the GEZ is adamant to get you to make the contribution. And if you, like many other people, push the letter to the side, week after week, you'll get another one, a warning a final warning and so on. But there is no reason not to pay. Sure there are some people who don't watch an ounce of television, they perhaps don't even own one. But as for the radio, it's not really something anyone can avoid. We have them in our homes, on our laptops, in our cars, on most other electronic devices. Where some may think that it is unfair to pay for something that they only turn on once or twice a year, the truth is, it may not be as unfair as one thinks.

 

The GEZ is responsible for the public broadcasting of television and radio. There will be some point in your life where you benefit from this service, whether it's something as simple as being able to hear the time when you're running late. The fee that the GEZ is asking you to pay, is by no means a high one and so it might be worth it to muster up the couple bucks a month, if only to stop the inspectors from banging on your door every day. Think about how expensive it is to provide what the GEZ provides, think about the number of people that benefit from it. And rather than looking at the GEZ like a fine, look at it as a tax and not one that is trying to drain the last dime from your pocket. The hassle of trying to hide from the inspectors and lie to the GEZ is not worth it.

 

They are indeed providing something useful, and they are doing so at a very high cost.

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German “Work-Visa Citizen” Assistance

German “Work-Visa Citizen” Assistance

 

There are rules and regulations when it comes to working in Germany. Being the holder of a residence permit does not automatically allow one to work in Germany, unless of course your work permit states that you are indeed allowed to take employment. There are however, situations where one may be able to take on a job in Germany as there are ways in which one can obtain a work permit.

 

Having graduated from a recognized university, you can venture to Germany in search of a job provided you are willing to consider Germany your long term place of residence. The opposite is true for those who do not hold a particular skill. For those looking to find a job that is considered 'low-skilled' this is forbidden by the recruitment ban and only in special circumstances will one be able to work their way around this regulation. The labour market is not a very easy one to access in German as privilege is given to German nationals and a non citizen will only be applicable for the position in the case that there is a shortage of Germans in the particular field and the position can not be filled.

 

For those who have obtained a university degree, the Blue Card system is in place and will ease the process of finding a job in Germany. However, certain rules do apply in order to be eligible for an EU Blue Card. One must be able to provide evidence of being qualified, in this case, have a university degree and be able to present to the relevant authorities proof that you have indeed received an offer for a job from a German firm.

 

An easier means of getting into the German job market is through specific fields. If you have worked in, or contain a university degree in matters that have to do with technology, math, information technology or you are a medical doctor and have an offer from a Germany company or organization that will yield you an annual income in excess of 37,000 euros, then you may be eligible to receive an EU Blue Card.

 

So how does one get a job offer without coming to Germany?

 

You can indeed receive a visa in order to seek employment in Germany. Finding a job from overseas can be rather challenging, and the authorities do realize that and thus will grant you six months in which you can look for a job, do interviews etc. You are, however, not entitled to work in Germany during this time. The visa that you will receive is referred to as a jobseeker's visa. In order to get this visa, you will, once again have to provide evidence of your qualifications.

 

If you work for a company in the United States that has relations in Germany, then you may also be able to obtain a visa from your company provided they would like your expertise in the German market. [...]

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Experiences with Alice DSL

Experiences with Alice DSL

 

Alice DSL is an internet provide in Germany. Once you're in Germany, and you've secured an apartment that you love and can call home, there are many things you will need to get together in order to truly feel at home. Internet is one of those things. There are many DSL providers to choose from in Germany, and each and every one has its flaws as well as its benefits.

 

Alice DSL is rather popular in Germany and liked by many as well as disliked by quite a few. In order to decide if Alice should be your DSL provider you will have to weight the pros and cons and see if perhaps the complaints that others may have are not so bad, or a definite turn off.

 

So what are the Pros and Cons of Alice DSL?

 

Pros:

 

·         Alice DSL is affordable

·         There is no minimum contract length with Alice and so when you have to leave Germany or if you are not satisfied with their service, you can end your contract hassle free.

·         They offer affordable packages for land line and internet.

·         English speaking technicians may be available in customer service

 

 

Cons:

·         Long installation times: In some cases, Alice DSL may take 6-8 weeks to get set up.

·         Customer service is at times not very helpful

·         Long waiting times to get through to customer service

·         Coverage may not be good depending on the area you are living in

·         Customers report frequent problems with routers from Alice

·         Frequent problems with internet connection

 

It is always a wise decision to get a better idea of what is on the market and compare prices, packages and reviews before settling on an Internet provider. There is no harm in taking some time out to really look into the different companies. In fact, even though you may be desperate to get internet as soon as possible, in the long run, doing the adequate amount of research may pay off. This may save you from signing a contract with a provider that has a lot of technical issues that causes you to lose internet connection on a regular basis. In such circumstances going without the service for a few days rather than having to deal with the stress of paying for something that leaves you disgruntled will definitely be worth it.

 

Here is a list of other DSL providers:

http://dslshop.vodafone.de/

http://www.tele2.de/

dsl.und.de

 

http://www.check24.de/ may come in handy and make your quest to finding the right DSL provider an easy one. They compare rates and prices, helping to lighten your research.

 

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Clubs and Organizations in Germany

Clubs and Organizations in Germany

 

In order to truly feel at home in Germany, there are quite a few things that you may need. Friends, and feeling like you belong to a community is one of those things. Just because you are in Germany, doesn't mean that you will have to abandon your English fully in order to take on the challenge of the German language. Though it is helpful to make new German friends and attend German courses in order to speed up the process of learning German, sometimes you'll want something closer to home, sometimes you'll want to converse in English, be able to debate things, and have meaningful conversations. Thankfully there are many groups, clubs and organization that have been created by people who had the same need and desires as you.

 

Once you are in Germany you may want to consider joining one of these groups and attending their regular meetings. You'll be sure to make great friends, have amazing discussions and experience new places and new ideas. The possibility to find a group that focuses on pretty much any topic is there. And if you can't seem to find one, then you can always take it upon yourself to create one.

 

Some of the most prominent groups, clubs and organizations amongst expatriates include:

 

The Women's clubs: These clubs are specifically designed for women to come together and discuss their issues, likes, dislikes and is a great way to get support when you need it. The focus of these groups aren't always heavy ones as the members of Women's groups do tend to have a lot of fun and enjoy going on outings, wine tasting, cooking together and partaking in numerous other fun activities. This is also a great way to set up a play group for your children. And for those night when you would like some time without the kids, you'll have lots of friends to call who will be more than willing to lend a hand in babysitting.

 

More information on Women's clubs can be found on this website: www.fawco.org

 

 

The Federation of German-American Clubs has a rather large number of groups and is something that every member of the family can independently partake in. Your children will be able to find something of interest in the section dedicated to children and youth. You and your husband or wife can join the women's or men's sector and meet people with the same interests as you. Especially with getting integrated into the German society, it's nice to talk to people who have gone through the same things as you to get to where they are now.

 

Business organizations are great for those who are looking to network. You will also be able to attend many events, fundraisers, banquets and be a part of a greater cause.  

Refer to this website for more information: www.agbc.de

 

Other groups include:

The American Chamber of Commerce

Political parties.

The American Legion

The John-F.-Kennedy Friendship Center

Frankfurt-n-Motion Sports & Social group [...]

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Churches and Religious Activities in Germany

Churches and Religious Activities in Germany

Religion is important to many, and if you are a part of a religious group, you will certainly not want to miss out on your Sunday mass or whatever other means you need to practice your religion. When moving to Germany, it is natural that one may worry about not being able to practice their religion due to the language barrier. Rather than sitting in a church or mosque and having to guess and wonder what is being said, you will more than likely prefer to have your ceremonies carried out in English. Luckily, this option is available in Germany. In larger cities especially, there are many places of worship that do their activities in English. This meets the needs of the abundant numbers of English speaking members in the German society who want to continue their traditions and need to a place where the can come together to practice what they believe in.

A quick search on the internet will yield many results with places of worship within close proximity to your home. Whether you're Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, or Jewish, you will find somewhere in Germany to worship.

The list below will provide you with locations for Mosques, Churches etc.

Bremen
•    International Baptist Church

Berlin
•    http://www.all-saints-berlin.de/bulletins/English-speaking_Churches_in_Germany.pdf. -On this website you will find a list of Catholic churches in Berlin where the language of worship is English.
•    Ayasofya Moschee  (Mosque)
•    Haus der Weisheit  (Mosque)
•    As Salam Moschee  (Mosque)
•    Berliner Moschee  (Mosque)
•    Sehitlik Moschee  (Mosque)
•    Israelitische Synagogen-Gemeinde (Adass Jisroel)

Moschee is german for Mosque

Bonn
•    American Protestant Church
•    CLW Bonn International Church
•    St. Boniface
•    Merkez Cami, Ditib Bonn (Mosque)

Köln
•    International Baptist Church
•    Cologne-Bonn Anglican Chaplaincy
•    Islamischer Kulturverein (Mosque)
•    IGMG Fatihcamii Köln (Mosque)
•    IPD Institut für Interrel Pädagogik and Didaktik (Mosque)
•    ZIF Zentrum für Isl Frauenforschung und Förderung  (Mosque)
•    AbuBakr Moschee  (Mosque)
•    Juedische Liberale Gemeinde Koeln Gescher LaMassoret


Frankfurt

•    International Christian Fellowship
•    Trinity Lutheran Church
•    Church of Christ the King
•    Trinity Lutheran Church
•    Minhaj-ul-Quran International  (Mosque)
•    IKZ Frankfurt  (Mosque)
•    Tariq Bin Ziad Masjid  (Mosque)
•    Merkez Moschee  (Mosque)
•    Bismi Allah (Mosque)
•    Ateret-Zwi Synagoge
•    Baumweg Synagoge
•    Bet-Hamidrasch Röderbergweg
•    Westend-Synagogue
•    Bet-Hamidrasch Westend - Shtible

Hamburg

•    English Church of Saint Thomas a Becket
•    International Baptist Church
•    International United Methodist Church
•    Bangladesh Islamic Center  (Mosque)
•    Bosnische Moschee
•    Judische Gemeinde Ahernsburg Stormarn
•    Liberale Judische Gemeinde Hamburg



Hanover
•    International Christian Church
•    Hanover International Bible Church
•    Union of Progressive Jews of Germany
•    Liberale Juedische Gemeinde - Hannover e.V.


Karlsruhe
•    Anglican Episcopal Mission Church

Stuttgart
•    Covenant Fellowship Church
•    International Baptist Church
•    Mussalla An Nassiha  (Mosque)
•    Al- Maghreb Kulturverein  (Mosque)
•    Islamischer Bund  (Mosque)
•    Pak Islamic Center  (Mosque)
•    Islamisches Zentrum Stuttgart  (Mosque)

Wiesbaden
•    Immanuel Baptist Church
•    Wiesbaden Church of Christ
•    Christ Church of Wiesbaden




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Christmas Markets in Germany

Christmas Markets in Germany

 

 

The most festive time of the year is celebrated in extravagant ways throughout Germany. The most popular and spectacular features in which German Christmases are recognized by include the brilliantly lit Christmas markets where there's no way of getting not feel jovial when walking through.

 

Christmas markets are a family experience, they're something that should be thoroughly enjoyed and explored. You'll forget about how chilly the season is because your excitement would have taken over along with a cup or two of Glühwein that you just simply, will not be able to resist. And because you are indeed in Germany, it goes without saying that Christmas markets also host stalls where a wide variety of beer can be sampled. Food in general is a highlight within these markets.

 

Food stalls you'll find in the Christmas market include:

 

·         Schmalzkuchen, treats that bare a similar taste to doughnut holes, sprinkled with excessive amounts of powdered sugar to satisfy your sweet tooth, are a large hit for an on the go treat during the Christmas season.

·          Lebkuchen Hearts- another popular Christmas delight and a great gift item for the kids.

·         Currywurst- Bratwurst served with a decadent curry sauce.

·         Thüringer Bratwurst- spicier than regular bratwurst and grilled over a smoky charcoal fire.

·         Half meter Bratwurst- a sausage so long, makes for a good laugh, a challenge and a gang of wonderful photos.

·         Stollen- a raisin cake that every German enjoys at some point during the festivity

·         Eierpunsch- very similar in ingredients and taste to eggnog, this beverage is usually served warm and spiced with an adequate amount of liquor.

 

What's there to see:

 

·         Nativity scenes- Christmas isn't really Christmas with a good traditional nativity scene, it is indeed the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

·         Choirs and bands are usually present on certain days performing entertainment for all the visitors.

·         The lights- come at night time and see how beautifully lit everything is.

 

What to buy:

 

Christmas markets offer a great opportunity to get unique presents for the entire family. Be sure to arrive early as you want to get there before the crowds are too thick, and everything becomes a hustle and bustle.

 

·         Ornaments- beautifully decorated ornaments to add originality to your Christmas tree

·         Wooden toys- handcrafted, hardwood toys for the kids. You can even get their names engraved to add more of a personal touch.

·         Porcelain- a wide variety of products made from porcelain is available. These are great unique gifts for adults.

·         Nutcrackers- You'll find some of the most beautiful and well crafted nutcrackers in the Christmas market.

·         Candles: Usually made of beeswax and will fill the room with a sweet honey fragrance.

 

Though houses in Germany aren't traditionally as lit up and extravagantly decorated as in countries like the United States, going to the Christmas market, you won't have a doubt in your mind that Christmas is just around the corner. There's so much to do, so much to see and you'll find yourself going more than once because you just couldn't get enough the first time.

 

 

 

 

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