Talk to me about moving to a new country... (Ash?)

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2007
Talk to me about moving to a new country... (Ash?)
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Tue, 06-14-2011 - 3:09pm

Hey Ladies-

So DH has a potential job offer in Germany, and I'd really like to get as much info about what it would be like to pick up and move to a new country before I say to much to sway his one way or the other. The job is in Southern Germany near Munich, and would be a 2-year post doc. So nothing permanent. Some questions I have in general:

How hard is it to move to a new country? How much red tape and paperwork is there? Where do you live when you get there? Do you get a furnished apartment or try to buy furniture? How difficult is it to live somewhere where you don't speak the language?

About Germany specifically (Ash?):

How easy is it to get around speaking English? How do people treat foreigners? Are there a lot of resources for kids? How are things like playgrounds and story times, and things like that to do with kids? What's the cost of living like. What's the weather like? We wouldn't have family nearby (eek!) how easy is it to find reliable babysitters. What are some differences between Germany and the US? What do you miss about there when you're here and vice versa?

Thanks ladies, moving is such a big decision for DH and I as we've lived in the same state basically all of our lives, but I also think it could be really cool for us to branch out and experience something new!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Grace - No advice, but just wanted to say how exciting! I actually chatted with Ash privately about this very topic not too long ago and she gave me some very honest advice so I know she'll be a great resource for you, too.

DH and I have toyed with the idea of moving to Turkey for a few years but keep going back and forth. Ideally, if he can get his business up and running then we would like to be able to go back and forth as we please (I would not be working in this case) and spend summers there, etc. DH has a lot of family there though so it would probably be an easier adjustment for us.

GL and KUP!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2006
I don't have any advice either, as we ended up staying in Canada. But, we were seriously thinking of moving to Germany and we bought a book called "Working and Living in Germany". If you're interested, just send me a private message with your address and I can send it to you!




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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-11-2005
My aunt and uncle moved to Germany for 2 years about 25 years ago, with my 2 cousins. They all loved it, both my cousins minored in German in college and are mostly fluent in the language still.

I would love an opportunity like that to live somewhere new for 2 years, and both the boys are young enough that you don't even need to worry about schooling choices with them.



Thank you for the sig Mary

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-15-2001
Being part of university community will be a big help. I have a friend living in Germany now, and she seems to love it. Her husband is in the army, so I think she benefits from being part of the military base. The language issue isn't as important in such a setting. Good luck with the decision! Sounds like a very exciting opportunity.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-23-2003
I'm still on vacation this week so I won't be able to write you a nice long answer until next week, which is what I want to do.

But for now I will just say that in terms of kids and family stuff Germany is absolutely top! Weather- Munich is in the south so hotter summers and colder winters- probably similar to what you are used to, people are more open in the South so that is good for you two especially being there for a relatively short time. There are lots of great groups for Americans that are especially great for SAHMs and really it is a great place.

I think the 2 hardest issues will be dealing with an apartment- the amount of space you get for your money in Germany is so, so much less then what most Americans are used to, plus things like kitchens often aren't included.

and homesickness! It can be really hard to move to a foreign country and have no friends or family. There are great ex-pat communities but it can still be pretty rough especially if you are used to having family close by.

So that is my short answer- I will PM you a longer one next week:D
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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2007
Thanks Ash! What you've said already is helpful, but I will definitely be looking forward to your long reply as well :-) I also have some questions about cost of living and insurance, and taxes, etc...

Currently we live in a 600sqf apartment. So, I feel like that will prepare us a little bit. I'm not sure how small of a place we will have to get over there, but yeah, we currently live downtown in a Uni town, so we're used to fairly tight spaces.

Homesickness for me definitely seems like the biggest obstacle we'll have to overcome. I don't think DH has ever been away from his parents for more than a couple months. But, I think we could make it work.

Currently finances is what I'm most worried about. Post doc's just aren't paid that much anywhere, and I know the cost of living in Munich is high. It's hard to get a feel for the outlying areas...

Anyway, I look forward to discussing it with you more!
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Registered: 08-20-2009

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-23-2003

One quick thing- it would be imperative that your husband be paid in Euros and not dollars. The dollar is so weak to the Euro, it changes but a few months ago it was at 1 Euro = 1.48

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
I'm not sure how much help I'll be, but I'll give it a try!

My parents lived outside of Frankfurt for 4 years when I was in college. It was hard on my mom because my dad traveled a lot and she was isolated. It's pretty easy getting around Germany without speaking the language. Everyone is very polite and overall as a country is very clean :) The kitchens/living areas are much smaller, people tend to shop more often than we do in the states because of the lack of storage. They were slowly starting to get bigger stores when they lived there, for the most part my mom used local small grocery store. You get used to most of it, and Munich is so beautiful. There are some tax implications you need to be aware of, I believe my dad's company paid his German taxes and he was responsible for his US Income Tax. I'm not sure how it all works, something you might want to talk to an accountant about.

When I visited my parents for extended periods of time, I really just missed little things like specific products or food items. You have to make some adjustments to how you cook, but that's not major stuff. They have some great food there, but you can still find some variety. I loved to experience the history and culture, visit other parts of Germany and Europe. I would love to go back someday, and would totally consider living there for a couple of years.

I think with the internet, satellite, etc. it's much easier to keep up with what's going on in the states and with your family. One nice thing about living in a foreign country is that your relatives will come to visit you :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2007
It's a German lab, so he would definitely be paid in Euros, no way we could survive if it was dollars. Now I just need to find out how many Euros and then if/how much it will be taxed as that will make a big difference on making the decision.
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