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Old 04-12-2013, 07:54 PM   #21
Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof
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I loved living in Germany. I was in Munich for my 6 month Praktikum at BMW Group. Nothing beats the Christkindlmarkts during the holiday season, except for the exceptional summer weather.

You will need an Aufenthaltstitel/Aufenthaltserlaubnis if you plan to stay longer than three months. If it's through work, they will help facilitate the acquisition of the appropriate documentation to take to the Bürgeramt (where you're required to register once you have a mailing address)

You will be able to use your American license for up to 6 months. After that you have to apply for an extension, but cannot exceed one year from the date you entered the country. Otherwise, you will have to apply for a Führerschein. I gather you are from California? Unfortunately, you are not exempt from the written and driving test. Maybe register in an other state before heading over? The application for a license isn't bad. The class, and test is very expensive. Having a car in general is expensive... The public transport is often cheaper and faster than taking a vehicle throughout the country's extensive Deutsche Bahn network. Especially if you have a Bahn25 or Bahn50 card. When I worked for BMW, it took nearly 70Euro to fill up a Mini.

More info:

That being said, food is significantly cheaper at the grocery store. You haven't tasted fruits until you've eaten in Europe. Germany ban's all GM foods, and the oranges from Spain are wonderful.

Having lived in both north and south, Bayern is by far the best place to be in Germany.

I fell in love with München, and I can't wait to go back. Hopefully for work after I finish my grad studies.

Be sure to learn Hochdeutsch and try not to pick up ~too~ much of the local dialect if you plan on visiting other parts of Germany. There is some animosity to the south even though that's where major industry and economy is centered. North is just jelly.

Yes München is expensive... but not London expensive.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:00 PM   #22
Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof
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Also there's community of English speakers all over Germany. Check out:
Toytown Munich

Join the forums. Talk to ex-pats from many different countries to see what all is involved, and for advice/recommendations. They plan events and stuff especially during festive times and it's a great way to start knowing people around the area. There are plenty of Germans who go to improve their English, and they'll be able to help you along the way.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:00 PM   #23
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No problem on the deletion. You're right, it wasn't a productive comment.

The Air Force put me on Okinawa for 3 years. I found a stick NA to cruise around it. The transition to shifting with the left was much more natural than anticipated. I was heel-toeing on the first day. Driving on the left wasn't much of an issue, except for the fact that I had an extra 4 feet of car to the left of my drivers seat. The passenger ended up on the sidewalk a few times that day. The bigger problem is the wipers/turn signals switch side. Many turns signaled by the wipers.

Okinawa was my first time living outside the know, other than that time we bombed the crap out of Iraq. I loved it (hated the job). While we were there, we took a trip to Germany for Oktoberfest. We flew into Frankfurt, stayed in Munich for few days, two days in Heidleberg (sp?), and 3 days in Berlin. Munich was seriously the best part of the trip. People down there were amazing, and it felt, well, like home. I don't think I've ever enjoyed a place as much as that. Seriously, I'm trying to get a job with BMW so I can get back there to live.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:12 PM   #24
Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof
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Oktoberfest is for the Americans, Aussies, and British. Starkbierfest is for the Münchener. Something about drinking a liter of 9% abv in a Bierhalle full of Germans in proper party form...Lederhose/Dirndl and all.

@[email protected] life is good around spring.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:01 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post

Perhaps you could share with me some of your experiences with the more mundane, tactical aspects of your situation, dealing with daily life in Germany as a US citizen. Eg:

1: Finding a place to live.
2: Opening a bank account.
3: Obtaining a driving license and auto insurance.
4: Taxation.
5: Healthcare / dental care (if you needed to experience this)
6: Etc.
1. One source among many Google is awesome.

Here's a nice looking 2br apt. for 750 euro/mo.

2. Present your passport and a local address and it shouldn't be a problem. I didn't ever need to do this (because military), but there was a University of Maryland campus in Munich until a few years ago. Here are some similar questions and answers.
3. This is a good site.
4. IDK
5. IDK
6. You cannot mow your grass on Sunday. It is illegal because of the noise. Half liter bottles of beer can be delivered in case quantities to your door on a weekly basis just like milkmen used to do in the states. If you live in a house they will set the cases by your back door and pick up your empties.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:49 AM   #26
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Munich, because Stuttgart is around the corner and it's the scat capitol of the world.

Seriously, Germany.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:25 AM   #27
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Also germany vote here. I don't think your beer tastes will make a difference since both produce some solid stuff.

German is easy to pick up. Dating a girl who took Deutsch in high school got me sufficient skills to be able to carry on a conversation with a 3 year old and make jokes with our german resellers.

Speaking of which, I know some dudes in Kaiserslautern if you want some everyday dudes to hang out with. They're smart people but they seem to think Bitburger is acceptable beer.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:47 AM   #28
Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof
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Bitte kein Bit.

Once you go Weihenstephaner/Franziskaner/Paulaner, you don't go back lol. (Thanks munich)

I was never a beer drinker....

....until I went to Germany.
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:32 PM   #29
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German is an easy language to pick up, Joe. My wife and I took it in high school and still use it as our "code language" when we want to discuss something privately. I tried to get her to learn Arabic so that could be our new code language, but she wasn't having it.
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:26 PM   #30
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I lived in Mannheim for 2 years - I tried staying the rest of my 4 year obligation there too. I LOVED it! I got out as much as I could - mountain biking (and +10 on bike trails EVERYWHERE), hiking (or volksmarching if you're into wearing trational lederhosen and a pin-infested cap - not that you have too), all the holidays they get, the craft beers (I miss those - Hefeweizens), Bavaria and the Alps - there's just so many freakin things you can do on any given weekend. And I had more German friends than American...
Move to Germany - hands down. Then again, I've never been to the UK, so I give an honest comparison.
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:43 PM   #31
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I suppose that this would get you some substantial professional benefits?

Germany is nicer than the UK, apart from the language, but knowing german is useful, and seeing that bilinguality is always better than just one language, hell, go for it!

that said, if I where to choose one place to live right now, I'd like to live i northern California. Totally in love with SF after a recent visit, never mind your crappy health care insurance system and all that. (and the fact that my line of work would make me unable to think about raising a family for the next 5-8 years if I would).
*this little rant was made to make you consider the third option, staying and enjoying the weather*

If you move to the UK, you'll need a new wardrobe, Munich has slightly better weather.
And for weekend fun, why not a trip over the alps or to the 'ring, beautiful stuff.

you're some kind of technician, right? Germany is a good place for technicians, if you like wearing a suit to work (according to my engineer friends).
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:50 AM   #32
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I don't think either is a bad option at all. Both have better Beer than the US. You'll get by with English in Germany perfectly fine within reason.

I spend the last 6-7 years living in Reading so if you want to know anything about Reading, ask away or grab me on PM. You likely wouldn't live in Winnersh itself, it's just a suburb of Reading really.

How old are you? Reading is not an 'exciting' place to live as a young person (low 20s), but it has every facility you could possibly want for a large UK town, including high level football, premiership Rugby, good pubs and good shopping. It hasn't got much character but still more than pretty much all US cities I've visited bar perhaps New Orleans and SF.

Reading is only 20-25 mins train into Central West London (Paddington), and Winnersh is on the slowline Into Central SW London so you could live in London. However it sounds like that wouldn't be your thing as it would mean a huge hike in living and travelling costs.

I'd be interested to know where you would have to commute to on a regular basis?

For cost comparison, in Reading I rented a 2 bed flat (with garage) for ~£700-800 (Plus bills) a few years back. It's significantly cheaper in Reading than London itself.

I'm currently renting in a 3 Bed house in Wandsworth (SW London, on the train line to Winnersh/Reading) for about ~£1700 plus bills and split between 3). Forget getting a garage in anywhere vaguely central in London.

Either one will not be the same type of life as in the US, so prepare to adjust your expectations etc. It's also difficult judge opinions from peoples tourist visits as they don't equate to the reality of actually working and living in a country!

I'm British as well so would probably go to Munich for variation and there's is no denying it's a great place and gives a better jump off point to explore West and East Europe.
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:55 PM   #33
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Hi Joe,

if you decide to come to Germany you should keep an eye on your jokes...
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