Word on the street is that the Bürgerämter are suddenly accepting postal registrations of address (Anmeldungen). Whoa! This is a big step forward, right? Well, sort of. If you’re new in Berlin, it won’t apply to you. Here’s why.
Category Archive: Moving to Germany
The Seven Deadly Sins of the Berlin Newbie
Moving to a new country is scary. But then you realise you’ve just violated an unspoken cultural rule and now everyone is judging you. If you’re in Germany, it’s not even silent judging, it’s excruciating public directness. Here are seven of the most common mistakes made by first-timers in Berlin and how to avoid making them!
The Kita Crisis – where we’re at in summer 2019
Back in 2014, I visited a handful Kitas while 5 months pregnant. I signed up at a few. I emailed my desired Kita every 8 weeks for a year after the initial meeting. I applied for a childcare voucher (Kitagutschein) 9 months early, the earliest possible date you can apply. When it arrived, we emailed it directly to our Kita of choice. It was a full-time voucher (7-9 hours). It seemed we ticked the right boxes, for a day after doing this, my daughter got an offer for a full-time spot. In the weeks that followed, we were offered a place in three other Kitas for the upcoming summer. I patted myself on the back for my superior organisational skills and that was that. But that was then and this is now.
A guide to rental contracts in Germany
Translators get to see a lot of rental aparment contracts. Big ones, small ones, fat ones, skinny ones, vague ones, long ones and horribly restrictive ones. From preposterous airing regulations to antiquated quiet time stipulations, from cold rent to hot water, here’s what to expect when you’re presented with a tenancy contract for a flat in Germany. We’re also happy to help in more detail if you really want to know what you’re getting into before you sign on the dotted line.
The 12-month Myth: Exchanging your foreign driver’s licence in Germany
You registered in Germany. You stayed a while. You’re still here. Now you want to exchange the driver’s licence from your home country for a German one. But… oh my… more than 12 months have gone by since you moved to Berlin (or Frankfurt, or Munich, or wherever). It says you are supposed to exchange it for a German one within 12 months of taking up residence in Germany. So will they refuse to exchange it?
Summer in Berlin
Happy summer, everyone! Here’s an update of what’s going on around here.
I’m expecting to welcome a baby girl into the world in late August or early September. This means I’m out of action from the beginning of July 2018 until … some time in the autumn, and then part-time after that. Luckily for you, the wheels will all keep on turning even while I am away and all services will still be available.
Our newest service is proving popular with small and medium-sized business owners who want support communicating with authorities for their employees, people who have to deal with the unemployment agency and people who receive letters they don’t understand and don’t quite have the mind space to figure out on their own. Additionally, we’ve helped people try to track down paperwork for long-lost relatives, organised specialist medical care in situations where clear communication is crucial and wrapped up affairs for expats leaving Germany (contract terminations, deregistration, etc).
The Best Ice-Cream in Berlin
Cons: If you can’t stand long lines, Prenzlauer Berg parents and 1.60 EUR scoops, don’t go.
Pros: if you want truly sensational flavours, just give in and go. Be that Prenzlberg mum. I know I am. Now in Pankow and Prenzlauer Berg.
The Berlin Summer Card for Swimming Pools
This is an absolute bargain if you think you’ll be visiting the outdoor pools. 70 EUR (60 EUR earlybird price) for 20 pool visits. It’s a laminated card, it’s transferrable, and the best bit is that you get to jump the queue. In my opinion, even if you and your family don’t quite make it to the pool 20 times over the summer, it’s still worth it to jump the queue. This card is only for the outdoor pools – you can find a list of them and more information here.
Wishing you all a sensationally hot summer in Berlin! This is the season when all the tourists fall in love with the city and desperately want to stay. Are you one of them? We’re happy to help you find a way to stick around in Berlin.
My bank needs a statement from a court-sworn interpreter for my loan approval
This type of request has been popping up with surprising frequency. Here’s how it usually goes down. A customer who doesn’t speak German gets approval for a loan from a bank, either alone or as part of a joint purchase, and everything is ready to go except for one thing: the bank sends the loan documents with a requirement for a statement from a court-sworn interpreter. The statement should declare that the interpreter has read out the terms of the loan to the client in English and that the client has understood them. Why is this requirement from banks causing such waves of panic in the interpreting industry?
Welcome to 2018!
Hello friends and supporters, welcome to the new year in Germany. Enjoy the occasional thick and fluffy snow and when things get a bit slippery and scary on the icy streets, grab yourselves a pair of Yaktrax traction cleats – you won’t regret it. I spent some time abroad in the southern hemisphere facilitating valuable synergies (ie. visiting the fam in Australia). There, I received my yearly fix of Vitamin D, which is important for getting through February in Berlin.
German Visas and Permits: A Glossary
If you’re overwhelmed by all the different types of visas and residence permits available to you in Berlin and Germany, this short glossary should clear things up.
I Want to Stay in Germany and I Don’t Care How
Every now and then, you fall in love with Germany. Or maybe it’s person who just happens to live in Germany. Whichever it is, time is running out and you want a way to stay as long as you can. You don’t even really care how, as long as it’s legal. Or perhaps you just need to buy some time between your Schengen Visa running out and you figuring out what happens next. I know the feeling very well, so this post is for you.
German Language Schools Across the Country
If you’re gearing up to get your genitive on and air out your articles in Germany, you might be looking for a good German language school in Berlin, Frankfurt or Munich. Here are some recommendations based on our clients’ experiences.
Five Great Things About German Bureaucracy
I’ll bet you never thought you’d read that sort of blog title. But if you’re struggling with the Schnauzer, grappling with the Gesetz or whinging about waiting lines, you might want to use this post as a bit of a pro-Germany pep talk. Take it from someone who has been here for a long time – there are many reasons to stick it out and fight through the red tape. Here are five.