Moving to Germany next year.
Hallo! Yesterday, me and my girlfriend and good friend just made plans to move to Germany for 2 years. We figured that we would start to travel around and that this would be great for us. After studying as much as I could have on Duolingo and other forms of immersion, I feel very confident about picking up a good conversation; the day, directions, ordering food, etc. And since I have been studying German and have been enjoying it so much, I figured that I have another year of studying before I put it to the test! I plan on going to school there for a linguistics program, working toward a teaching degree, and all the while earning my TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification. However, we are putting together the best, most affordable plan. Does anybody have any tips? Any would help! Danke schon!
Look into the Visa requirements. For two years you will have to apply for a visa off some sort, maybe student? You won't be able to just travel around and do a bit of study here and there, unless you have an EU passport.
If you're trying to get the TEFL requirement, I think you have to be certified C1 or higher iirc. At least thats what it is to enter most universities due to the vast majority of undergrad programs being taught in German. If the program is for a masters or above on the other hand there is a very good chance several universities in Germany offer it in English.
Also advice on culture: DON'T WALK IN THE BIKE LANES NEXT TO THE SIDEWALK PLEASE! YOU WILL EITHER GET YELLED AT OR HIT AND WILL BE LABELED AS A DUMB AMERICAN. THE SIDEWALK IS WIDE ENOUGH FOR LIKE 5 PEOPLE ALONE.
Advice #2: Buy a public transportation pass for a month/year depending on how much you'll be using it. I'm not sure how it works in other cities but in Berlin with the U-Bahn and S-Bahns there will rarely be a time you're more than a quarter mile away from one of their stations. You won't need to use your car a lot if you take advantage of the public transportation systems.
Great! I am learning german too. I have just started a week ago or so. Good luck! :-)
"I plan on going to school there for a linguistics program, working toward a teaching degree, and all the while earning my TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification." --> You will have to inform yourself about the offered programs. *the most important will be the passport, because the US driver license I saw once looked like a membership card of a casino -white and 4 colors => too colorful to look like an official identity card. There is a european travel ticket offered in europe as a result of a cooperation, it is very good, if you travel a lot and if you stay only 1-3 days in each city.
I already have my eye between two programs. I already asked questions and have the necessary information. And about the US driver license, I have heard that, apparently I've never thought about it that much because I never take it out of my wallet to look. Lol
What do you mean about as a result of cooperation? I'm very interested.
ääm, you have of course the French train system, the German train system the Austrian train system, .....................and all national train systems have sub systems for the regional train traffic and because of the EU the train network is open for 'privat' competitors.
These national systems have their own trains, tickets, technics: right hand traffic/ left hand traffic, power supply systems with different voltage, ...
As passenger you only have to buy a ticket. In cities you just go to the mainstation and ask for a ticket on the counter or you ask a nice guy for a bit help on the tickets automats to get a nice weekend ticket(=Schönes Wochenendticket) or a federal state ticket(Länderticket) [I speak about Germany, because I don't know much about the tickets of the other countries]
Did a little bit of Visa research because I was interested in how you'd go about getting past the 3 month rule. This is a few years old, but if Germany's self-employment visa is still applicable, it looks like an interesting option: http://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/how-to-legally-stay-in-europe-for-more-than-90-days/
Seems that wandering around from Germany to Switzerland to Austria and back again for 2-3 months each might get you around visa requirements also. (I, um, wouldn't suggest trying to play the system unless you know what you're doing, but it does seem possible.) [edit: Looks like this only works if you want to mix it up with countries outside the Schengen Zone. I have heard there's a fair amount of German in Serbia!]
Changing countries definitely won't get you around the visa issue. Europe (apart from the UK) is part of the Schengen Zone… they operate a single visa policy, so you can only stay in the whole of the Schengen area for 90 days on the visa waiver scheme.
Ahh, I was wondering about that. That's what I was trying to look up, and the article I found specifically mentioned using different countries. Is he switching between Schengen and non-Schengen countries?
Calling the Schengen countries with a word "Europe" is a bit of generalisation. Only the blue countries are part of it (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/63/Schengen_Area.svg/454px-Schengen_Area.svg.png). Pretty easy to check...
But the countries mentioned Austria, Switzerland, Germany are all Schengen….. But, yes, I should have said Central Europe.
Congratulations on your decision to move to Germany for 2 years! My advice: contact the closest German Embassy (or its web site) to obtain valuable information on programs available to your country through cooperation agreements for student exchanges, updated visa requirements, information about the best cities for your project --- and contacts in the community of German expats closest to your location. Germans based abroad are a great source of precious information and friendship, and could provide cultural orientation to you even before you move to Germany. Alles Gute!
Before you choose a place to study, you should think about what you plan to do with your teaching degree. If you want to teach at schools in Germany, you have to study in the Bundesland where you later want to live and work. Changing locations after you got your degree is a bit of a hassle. Also, the teacher education systems of the Bundesländer are vastly different, and often even for the different kinds of schools. For example, in my Bundesland you go to university for teaching at Gymnasiums and to Pädagogische Hochschule for teaching at Realschule, Hauptschule or Grundschule. You may want to look into the German school system and decide where you want to teach before you enroll in some university.
Are you aware that universities are free in Germany, even for foreign students?
Sounds like the next generalisation. ;)
The education is free for Germans, but the German students have to pay money for their supporting organisations, 'Der Semesterbeitrag' the price differs from town to town and includes different services.
In minimum a foreigen student has to pay this Semesterbeitrag (maybe about 100-300+ euros).
What tiger told does not sound like attending a university.
Do you plan to work here, too, or how do you plan to finance your stay? Berlin is a great place to live, relatively cheap for a big city and you'll surely find the odd job here and there. But I'm not sure if you will find that much time to travel around, if your time is busy with work and studies, so maybe you should pick out a region in Germany you find interesting and stick to the surroundings.
Munice, Greifswald, Berlin, Potsdam, Hamburg, Stuttgard and all the other big cities are expensive! The West of Germany, Berlin and Potsdam have in general more immigrants than the East of Germany. University starts in October, you should look for a place to stay at least in August. The last school exams preparing for university are a half year before Octobre. You see your enimies on the market for a nice place to stay. ;) [You will get something but to search early enough is a must.]
I only know a bit about Leipzig. The other towns I have not visit until now. Germany has too many wonderful places.
Leipzig is a nice city, it has a beautiful city center with lots of stores and restaurants. The ice is very delicious. You also have to visit the Völkerschlachtdenkmal, when you are there. The zoo is also a good aim. Leipzig has a Parkbahn. That is a small train more controlled by children than by adults. In Leipzig the Parkbahn goes around a lake you can also rent a little boat to go with it on the lake. The lake was unimageable green when I was there, I hope the lake is not such green anymore. There are also interessting museums. The cycleways in the surrounding of Leipzig are very well, maybe you like to cycle on weekend there. You can also reach nice other cities from Leipzig. Like Riesa, Meißen, Dresden; Berlin, Chemnitz, Görlitz, Bautzen, Prag.