Moving to Germany
I'm Daniyal. I'm finally (by the Grace of God) moving to Germany really soon. So before moving i decided to get an early start towards my new language. I'd really like to Thank the developers of this web-app. Its simply the most thoughtful thing anybody could do and with no charges. I'm really enjoying my time here.
I'm also a bit confused and nervous thinking about the whole environment change. New place , new people and everything will be completely amazing (i hope).
If any of you live in Germany, anywhere it doesn't matter. Just someone who could provide me an inside details. It would definitely calm my mind. Like i'm worried, most people says that German aren't very friendly or its not so easy to be-friend with them.
Any suggestions or advice in advance would be highly appreciated.
ps. English is not my native language so feel free to correct all the mistakes i might have.
Anybody who says Germans aren't friendly is probably thinking of Hitler. All of the Germans I've ever met are very nice people. You probably don't have to worry about that.
Good luck with the moving!
You've also heard people say that? Then it isn't just my friends who think German is an angry language.
I also think Rammstein adds to that impression, being that they are so popular.
Yes, if the only Germans you know are Rammstein and Hitler you might get a little biased ;) But there's always youTube and other media to complete your impression.
My friend asked me the other day; "Why are Germans always yelling?" To which I replied with "They aren't." Any language can sound angry when it is yelled, just because some German leaders have yelled doesn't make German a yelling language.
Oh, but wait until they yell! An angry German does not make pleasant sounds. And they "mecker" for quite awhile after the yelling has gone down in tone.
Thanks :) I've always been worried about this a lot. like why German people sound rude and cold and why their language also sounds aggressive.
Before Germany was united into one country all of those states that were seperate countries still called themselves German. Including Austria, Prussia, Baden, Bavaria, Saxony...
The USA is different. We did not have thousands of English tribes living here for thousands of years all calling themselves ethnic English. The USA is not in the area called "Britania." Austria and Switzerland are in the area known as Germania. The area where ancient Germanic tribes come from.
Well, by that logic Fide Castro is the same nationality as George Bush, as they live in the same area called "America".
He was both. Since most of what was Prussia is now part of what is called Germany. Okay, seriously, borders change. It's like - at one point, Texas was a part of Mexico. So, now you can argue about the people who lived in Texas at the time - are they USians or Mexicans. But it would be totally wrong to say that Mexicans are Texans. And today's Texans are defintely not Mexicans.
No, Austria is considered a German state, much like Prussia, Bavaria, Baden, etc... Bismarck didn't want Austria when he united Germany however.
The Austrians would beg to differ. The Germans too. We share a language, but we are not one state.
No. Seriously not. There's a shared history with a common ruler, but just as the American colonies that turned into the US was under the same rule as the United kingdom at one point, and yet it's a different country today, so it's similar with Germany and Austria. The monarch of Austria also was ruler over a lot of the German states that now are Germany, that's true. Until 1815, when Napoleon forced him to abdicate. And Bismarck decided he wanted a smaller Germany, under Prussian leadership, because Prussia and Austria in the same country wouldn't work. Also true. But since then they have been two different countries, and Austria was annexed by Germany under Hitler (who was Austrian by birth, and we can argue until we are black in the face whose fault he is).
He was born in Austria, but he became chancellor of Germany and then the dictator of Nazi Germany. So he was German.
Germans are as friendly as other people in the world. Some are nice and some are grumpy. Depending on where you come from, you might feel they are more distanced. I've heard from many US Americans that they perceive Germans as unfriendly because we do not have that habit to politely chat with everyone. If you are used to be asked how you are by every cashier who really doesn't give a damn about how you are, you might think Germans are rude for not even asking. But you have to understand that this just isn't usual here. People won't smile just because you enter their shop. But if a German smiles at you, you can be sure they mean it. They say what they think and criticise what bothers them, but they will not be easily offended if you are open, too. Some people, depending on where they come from have a huge problem with that. Others easily adapt and enjoy that you don't have to navigate so many uncharted cliffs of politeness. That said, you can't go wrong with being nice and polite yourself, because the way you present yourself, the same way you will be received.
It is very true what you said. I love social interaction and i, myself am quite open and easy to adjust. But things like these influence you alot, especially when you're moving to an entirely new country.
I think knowing about the differences is a good start to not feel so lost. If you adjust easily, even better. Where do you come from, and in which city will you move?
I'm from Karachi,Pakistan. I'll hopefully move to Berlin. One of a reason would be the school where i'm taking the intensive language course, its in Berlin.
- German aren't very friendly wrong
- its not so easy to be-friend with them correct
I moved here late 2012. Been living ever since in Freiburg and have absolutely no plans going anywhere else :)
People were very friendly and helpful. If I needed to visit the tax office or do some other bureacratic stuff, they always were patient. Back then it wasn't that easy for me to explain what I needed.
I find the people very nice and easy to get know to, but I come from a culture that is notoriously shy and introverted, so your experience might differ. Some of my southern European friends think Germans are a bit "cold" sometimes, but for me they are still much warmer and more open than what I've used to. I've had so many nice random chats with people in supermarkets or waiting at the street lights, something that really rarely happens in Finland :)
Of course the culture inside Germany varies too. I have the feeling that people in the south seem to be a bit more "mediterranean" and laid back as their fellow citizens in the north, Smaller towns are often friendlier than the big cities etc.
My tip: Try to sign up for the Integrationskurs, if you meat the criteria and have the time for it (it is 20 hrs/week). It is a very nice way to get to know to your fellow immigrants, to learn the language at an intensive course and to learn about the local culture and customs. Many language schools offer them, it is a goverment program and costs only 120 euros per a 4 week "Module" (normal price for such a course is 4-6 times more!). At the end you do the DTZ-Prüfung (Deutsch-Test für Zuwanderer), it is B1-level. There is also a simple test about culture, history etc. When you pass both of them, you get a nice certificate which will help you a lot to find a job, if that is your plan.
Thanks :) I'm quite relieved after reading all this. I've already registered for die-deutschule in Berlin for my intensive language course for an year long approx. So I hope they have a bit of Integrationskurs as well.
In my experience Germans are very friendly, but they are just people like you and I so their personalities vary. However, some would say that in their culture they are more direct and straight to the point.
I think that you will be just fine. Taking an intensive course as you are planning to do is also a great way to meet new people and at least with the course I took, it was very multi-cultural and a lot of fun. Meeting people is pretty easy in a city like Berlin - just go to meetup.com and choose an event that you're interested in and go. I've met many friendly Germans that way as well as people from all over the globe. A couple of other things:
- Die Deutscheschule is in the Neukölln section of Berlin and I've heard that it's a good school. The transportation (U7 U-Bahn) is really good and then you've just got a short walk to the building
- There is a large Turkish population in that area so be sure to check out the Turkish markets for some of the best fresh fruits and vegetables (the one on Maybachufer is my favorite)
- You're moving at a great time of year ... right now it is warm and sunny and people are out a lot. If your profile is accurate, the winter might be a bit more challenging since it's gray and cold
- If you just want to kill some time, take the 100 bus and you'll see a lot of Berlin for the cost of a bus ticket
- (At least to start), don't cross the road when the little Ampelmännchen is red ... that was about the only time the Germans I met were less than friendly :))
Overall, just go and enjoy your time there ... it's a definite adventure.
Thank you so much. This is exactly the kind of information i'm looking for. I've heard about the meetup.com on some blogs. I'd really check it out as soon as i move and settle. I've also added the Turkish markets to my to-do list. Yes my profile is 100% correct and Winter would be challenging but that is exactly what adjusting is. Infact i've never ever seen or felt snow, it may be shocking to you (or not) but i haven't so cold, icy chills and snowy weather is something that i'm looking forward to. I may not like it after sometime but still. Its exciting and adventurous.
I'd also like to add, that i'm actually moving for studies like for my undergrad and masters program in computer sciences. So i'm seeing all this from a students perspective. I've so many questions like which are present on the internet, on blogs, forums etc. But a real person who already lives there knows a bit more about cost of living, monthly expenses, suggested accommodation, hourly wage rate and on and on.
Ah - I understand a bit better now and don't think too much about the snow ... it's fun as long as you don't have to shovel it and Berlin has excellent Christmas markets to go see in the cold time of the year. It's been a very long time since I was a student of any kind ;) but it sounds like a great way to go. From the people I have met in Berlin, here's a few more considerations / costs:
- Your visa ... I'm assuming that you have got that all worked out so you can stay in the country. If you have questions, I'd recommend taking a look at http://www.info4alien.de/ (all in German so you'll need a translation site)
- Accommodation - your university should be able to help you out there. If not or you're just doing the first year on your own, you might want to check out a site like http://www.wg-gesucht.de/ to get an idea of prices and availability (it varies based on location. Also, if you plan on renting directly, do a search on warm versus cold rent and do an internet search on the word "nebenkosten")
- Studying - once you're done with your 1 year language visa, you will probably need to enroll in a university to remain as a student. I don't know the process but I would probably start at https://www.daad.org/ and see what the requirements are (especially as they pertain to what level of language proficiency you would need to study)
- Getting around - last time I checked, a monthly U-Bahn pass for the AB zone (almost all of Berlin central) was around 80 Euros. Depending on where you will live, it might be less expensive to just buy a cheap bicycle and travel that way
- Insurance - health insurance is mandatory in Germany. Again, your university might be able to help you but at a minimum I would have you budget 150 euros per month for basic coverage and contact an insurance broker to get it set up for you
- Miscellaneous - I will assume that you will need a cell phone. You can get a pre-paid phone or one with a contract (normally 24 months and you would have to cancel 3 months before the end of the contract such as a service like http://www.o2online.de/tarife/ just to give you an idea of expenses) so that would be a one-time cost plus whatever you use on a monthly basis. Check Saturn.de or Mediamarkt.de if you want to get the general price of a phone. Compared to the US, German cell phone usage was inexpensive. You will also want to get a bank account as soon as possible since many things in Germany are paid by direct deposit so if you can get that done before moving it would be great.
Aside from that, I'm sure that there are a few more costs (like food, one-time stuff for wherever you are living and the rest of life!) but I think you'll have to be there to get a better idea of costs. Enjoy!
Thank you so so much. You're too kind. If i got a chance to see you in person, I'd definitely hug you for all the help you've provided. Seriously my friend, I hope i find more people like on my journey. So helpful. :)
just to add some more stuff:
If you enroll in a university in Berlin, you get usually a ticket for the public transport (unless you study at some private school, where this might be different). About the formalities of enrollment, you should check the website of your university. The required level of language proficiency is usually B2.
You might also want to have a look here: http://www.studentenwerk-berlin.de/en/ (unfortunately, it is only partially translated into English). As a student, you can also try to get an accommodation in a student residence, which is usually cheaper that renting an apartment on the free market.
Just one correction to your otherwise very informative message:
C1 (or DSH-2 or TestDAF-4) is usually the requirement for Bachelor studies and for Master studies sometimes even C2 (or DSH-3 or TestDAF-5). Lower levels are an exception. For programs offered completely in English, there are no German language requirements.
The law only states that a person should have a good enough knowledge of the language, before accepted into a university, so there might be individual universities that have different standards, but in general those are the usual profiency levels.
A good thing about Germany is that you don't have to get your school diplomas recognized, before you apply. Usually universities accept them in English or French, without translation, and others as official translations. Depending on the language, an official translation can cost anything between 30-100 euros (or even more), but that is not too bad and you only need to do it once. The university then checks from a database (Anabin) whether or not your diploma qualifies for university studies or not. If not, you can do courses at a Studienkolleg and do a test there, which then works kind of as your German "Abitur". and gives you the right to study.
Yes thank you. I was also looking forward to the student residence but mostly people recommend WGs.
About translating documents, well i may have to get them translated as they're in Urdu language and some are in English so that is an extra expense.
I can't help on Urdu but if you need English to German translation in the Berlin area, try http://www.redtapetranslation.com/ ... I've known Kathleen for a long time and she has always done a great job. Also, I think that there is a place on her site to get a quote for translation services so you can get a really good idea of what the extra expense would be.
I believe you'll be ok there. There are some tips if you want to learn something about the country and its people in advance:
Here you can find many interesting materials in German about Germany (so you'll kill two birds with one stone - practice language and learn some facts): http://www.slowgerman.com/
On this youtube channel you'll also find lot of useful information in very entertaining form: https://www.youtube.com/user/MeisterLehnsherr
I hope it'll be helpful and I wish you good luck in your new environment. :-)
Thanks this site seems really helpful, I'll get in to it even more now.
Although youtube is blocked here in my country, but i'll try to watch it with some proxy or stuff.
Again, thanks a ton
I lived in Germany when I was a teenager, my dad was in the army. We lived out in the economy as we military people said. Our land lords were really nice, they would invite us for dinner once a year and would visit to wish us Christmas and would pop by for random visits to see if anything needed to be fixed with the house.
They can spot a nonnative speaker very easily, even if you think your accent is good, they'll try to speak English with you but tell them you'd rather speak German. I'd like to go back one day, it's such a beautiful country too.
I moved here December 19th, so I had to spend the holidays without my family. A friend of a friend heard about this, invited me there and I ended up spending Christmas eve with a family that I had never even met before :)
There are some really nice people over here :)
Quite often it's more of a misunderstanding between direct and indirect cultures (don't be repelled by the "original headline": http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/02/how-to-say-this-is-crap-in-different-cultures/
In Germany the people are as nice as in every other country. There will be people who like you and you like them and so they are nice to you. There will also be people you might not like or/and they won't like you, so you might won't become friends, but that's the normal way it goes in a society. But as a German I can say that we are somewhat very open-minded and nice (speaking for the younger people of Germany) and interested in getting to know new people. Germans like to travel a lot and get to know new cultures and new people. I don't think you have to worry about getting to know new people :)
I'm also moving to Germany soon! :D I'm planning to go there next june. Where are you from? How long are you staying there? I'm from Spain. Are you going to work there? I'll be staying in Bayern. Feel free to contact me if you want.
Its really great. I'm from Karachi,Pakistan. I'll be staying there (hopefully) for 5 years. Yes i've intention to work and settle permanently. It'd be really great to have you there. I'll contact you as soon as i get there.
Thanks Daniyal Saeed
Will you be moving to Berlin ? :) Then you won`t have any problems. Berlin is a very "multikulti" multi-cultural city and almost everyone speaks english. Exspecially younger people !
I'm german and have always lived here so I can't really compare germany to any other country ( I've travelled, ofc. But that's a little different in my opinion ). I heard a lot of people think german people are rude or something because most people here are annoyed if you just talk to them like "small talk" out of the blue. Just talking to people - that's somthing that's very uncommon here. Germans are very distanced.
I'm sorry I can't really help that much ( and my bad english ), but if you got any questions or if you want to ask somthing specific about living here you can definetely write me ! :)
I bet you will love it here in Germany. Berlin is the "hippste" city we have. It's awesome. I want to move there one day, too. ;)