Pros and Cons of Living in Germany

Old May 15th, 2002, 06:15 PM
Cincinnati Guy
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Pros and Cons of Living in Germany

Greetings! I am thinking about taking a assignment in Germany and am wandering if anyone can tell me some pro's and con's to living in Germany versus the US? I am in Cincinnati, OH and would be going to Dusseldorf.

Old May 15th, 2002, 07:47 PM
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Hi Greg,
'm originally from Ohio and lived in Germany (Munchen) for a year. Coming from Ohio, there are only pros! The climate is similar, so you won't mind the winter, but it's much prettier and the real plus is that you're so close to the rest of Europe, which I like even more than Germany. The language was difficult for me and the food not to my liking since I'm not real big on meat. But I think you will find the pluses outweight the minuses.
Good luck,
Old May 15th, 2002, 08:03 PM
former GI
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I lived in Germany for two years (90-92) in Wiesbaden. If you like history it's great. Our country is so young compared to Germany. There is nothing quite like the opportunity to live in another culture. Remember you are in their country so try to learn the language, eat local food, etc. The only drawback I found was that I was so far from family. If it's only for a year or so and you can live with keeping in touch via just the phone I say go for it.

Gutes Glück
Old May 16th, 2002, 02:28 AM
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GO FOR IT!! I am writing this from Germany and this is my 5th long-term stay in Europe... all in Germany expect for the year we spent in England in 86/87. Germany is a great place in itself and good place from which to tour the rest of the continent After all, what are weekends for?

We spend most every weekend on the road (we are in Munster now) and France and the Benelux countries are especially quick to reach from Dusseldorf. Also Dusseldorf airport will offer easy and cheap air connections to the UK and other countries.

My husband is a Univ. prof. and we have been in Germany: '73-76 as full Univ. employees (jobs were hard to get in the US in the early '70s), again in 1980, 93/94 and 96 and now 2002. Many of the cons I experienced in the early 70s (sense of isolation, no English language possibilities before I could speak German, cost of communications) have disappeared with technology...then TV was 3 German only channels, phone calls were very very expensive and telephones in a home hard to get (took us 2 yrs!) and home seemed so very far away !!! Now we have cable TV with channels in 3 languages and a high speed internet connection, so i read the Wash Post online and e-mail friends. I even bank online and pay all the bills back at home on line. These changes have disadvantages though... forced immersion into the culture and the language of Germany is no longer necessary if you don't want it and many of my fellow foreign "scholars" never develop much feel for the life here or speak much of the langiuage. However, I digress..

1.if your firm posts you to Europe, you will be PAID to live in Europe, something everyone else on this forum (and me too when not on sabbatical) must pay dearly to airlines and hotels for the privledge and for only a few days or weeks at a time!!!

2. if your firm posts you, they will assist you in getting the proper papers, such as residents permits, work permits etc and generally guide you through the German "Behoerde"... german re-tape types, and they probably will give assistance in moving and finding accomodations, etc. (If you do make a full move of household, DO NOT bring applainces with motors such as washers, dryers, vacuums... they are the wrong voltage 110 vs. 220 and motors will burn out from use no matter if you get transformers not not.)

Just thought I would weigh in with my opinion... and to whet your appetitie: we spent thur-sun last week (thur was holiday in Germany) in Nancy and Champaigne area of France and tomorrow we head to Holland for the weekend to see Keukenhof before it closes on 5/20 and to see the Van Gough/Gauguin exhibit before it closes 6/2, not to mention the trip I booked with the Germany Rail Road to do the Glacier Express and Bernina Express later in the catch my drift !!!

As you can see, I am for it. However, consult your own circumstances. Do you travel easily and are more the go with the flow type? Do you get home sick easily ? Do you react badly to change and/or new circunstances ? You can't just turn around a go home if you don't like it here. Life here will not be like home and it can be very frustrating dealing daily with a foreign way of life until you fit into the groove. Do you have children who need to go to school? What will your employeer do for you in moving, getting the visas (not all that hard) and getting accomodations? Throw all this into your brain, spin around three times and then think again. It's a big leap but worth it if your attitude is flexible and your spirit of adventure to the fore... Best to you what ever you decide, now I'm off to the weekly market to get fresh veg. Judy from Munster in Westfalen.
Old May 16th, 2002, 03:23 AM
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I've lived in Munich for the past 4 years. In general, I love it! There are very big pros and cons. There's a big difference between taking a temporary assignment, where your employer takes care of all the details (paperwork, move, schools for the kids, etc) and permanently moving here, like I did. If you're considering a permanent move and want to talk more about it, send me an e-mail at [email protected] and I'll be happy to share my experiences with you!
Old May 16th, 2002, 06:40 AM
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DO IT! My husband and I spent three years in Heidelberg, and I was a wonderful experience.

I won't lie to you - the first few months we asked each other more than once WHY we chose to do it. After settling in, though, we realized how lucky we were.

We travelled extensively, and made many good friends. The Germans, quite different from us in many ways, were always very gracious and went out of their way to make us feel welcome.

My advice is to not pass this opportunity up!

Old May 16th, 2002, 11:06 PM
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My husband and I lived in Germany for four years right after getting married. I adjusted quickly and my husband and I traveled extensively every chance we could grab. It is a wonderful opportunity if you want to see Europe. The military offers many discounted trips and travel coordinations. You learn what worked for your neighbors and network with your American and German friends for ideas. My husband was invited to harvest grapes with their unit's German sponsors, we took a free trip with the German Army on a historic tour of Berlin, attended wonderful Christmas Markets, ate a lot of schnitzel (thin pork chops) , skied, golfed, ... and had great fun in many countries. I could go on and on.

The only downside is being so far from the U.S. and some American ammenities can be harder to find, ex. some clothes for women. The PX's are always stocked well for the men though. But the military offers space "a" to get you home in a jiffy, your housing is paid for and you get discounted gas coupons for travel. It's not for all of your life, but it could make for a significant impact that you will look back on fondly. We miss it! Go for it!
Old May 16th, 2002, 11:22 PM
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Jeeeez, You're all so lucky! If I could get a job in Germany, I'd leave tomorrow. How do you do that?
Old Feb 4th, 2012, 09:39 PM
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What did all of you do for work while you lived there extensively??? I am looking to do this next year and have no idea what to do for work other than teach English.
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Old Feb 4th, 2012, 09:58 PM
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emccormick90: This thread is Ten years old. Those folks are not on here any more (and even if they are, that was before registration so they could change screen names every day).

see my response on your own thread

(note the OP said he was considering 'taking an assignment' which means he was working for a company that could transfer him to Germany)
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Old Sep 13th, 2013, 12:48 AM
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I am being offered a job in Germany. I have been told that the living spaces are small and that I should not take my king size bed. But the I was told that the beds are different dimensions compared to USA beds and that I should wait to get there to buy furniture. Does anyone have any information or advice about furniture and appliances in Germany
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Old Sep 13th, 2013, 01:22 AM
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A king bed from North America is likely too big to fit in many flats. A king is actually a queen here, a super king us a king.

I wouldn't ship furniture I would buy it. In London where we line most flats are rented furnished anyway but I don't know if that is true for Germany.

You may want to start a new thread with your own questions as many may just respond to the original poster and miss yours...
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Old Sep 13th, 2013, 04:28 AM
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And the OP was 11 years ago so people will simply ignore the latest question. I almost missed it.
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Old Sep 13th, 2013, 05:01 AM
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Living spaces are smaller in Germany, bed (and linen) sizes are different. Kitchens often come "bare" - that is you have to by your own appliances and sometimes even your own cabinets. Some places no not have closets - but provide or expect you to buy wardrobes to store clothing.

Also AC is not usual - since it usually doesn't get very hot.

It sounds like a great opportunity to me but you do need to be flexible about the small stuff. If that sort of detail would bother you - then I would get a lot more info before considering moving.
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Old Sep 13th, 2013, 05:30 AM
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HNC on Sep 13, 13 at 3:48am
I am being offered a job in Germany. I have been told that the living spaces are small and that I should not take my king size bed. But the I was told that the beds are different dimensions compared to USA beds and that I should wait to get there to buy furniture. Does anyone have any information or advice about furniture and appliances in Germany

nytraveler on Sep 13, 13 at 8:01am is right. Darn near everything is different in Germany, especially the prices. I took a job transfer to Germany 20 years ago and wrote about it at We shipped all of our furniture and bought more over there. I had found a big house and my company paid the rent and utilities.

In which city are you going to live? Has your employer offered you a house hunting trip? Has your company sent other Americans over there and can you speak with them about the current conditions? I strongly encourage you to accept regardless of the transfer terms. It's a big event and a life bender.
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Old Sep 13th, 2013, 06:00 AM
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I say do it but honestly it depends on what kind of package your employer is offering.

If you're a U.S. citizen, don't forget that even if you aren't working in the U.S., you're on the hook for U.S. taxes. Because 'murricah.
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Old Sep 13th, 2013, 06:04 AM
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Best and most financially stable country in Europe.
Pretty good beer.
Good food.
Efficient public transit system.
Cheap to fly to other European countries.
U.S. is not likely to invade.
BMW and Porsche museums
The women

Expensive utilities.
Lots more but there are cons everywhere and listing cons brings in the people who swear up and down that you're wrong which doesn't lead to anything helpful.
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Old Sep 13th, 2013, 08:25 AM
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Some Folks seem to be answering the OP - that is more than a decade old!

HNC topped it to ask about furniture . .

HNC: IMO you really should start a new thread of your own instead of tacking on to an ancient one asking different things.
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