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Expat Advice: Dream vs. Reality of Expat Life in Berlin, Germany

Submitted by waynende

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Once we settled in Berlin, we have no regrets whatsoever. It has been all we could hope for in living in Germany. The culture, the history and of course, cosmopolitan Berlin. We love our place in the city and are happy we made this move. Berlin is no longer divided and I still see the Berlin from my younger days.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Berlin

Describe how you "dreamed" expat life would be before you moved overseas. Please provide as much detail as possible.

Having been stationed in Berlin in 1973 - 75, I loved being in Berlin. I always longed to return. 37 years later I got that chance by landing a job in Berlin. My wife and daughter had never lived outside the US and I had to consider this and their point of view. We were excited and anxious about the move. We researched everything we could and spoke with people we know that had lived overseas. We knew it would be a big transition but once we decided to make the leap, we were ready to say goodbye and make the move. We sold our household and belongings and within 6 weeks, we were in Berlin.

How has your expat experience met the expectations you dreamed about before you moved abroad?

Once we settled in Berlin, we have no regrets whatsoever. It has been all we could hope for in living in Germany. The culture, the history and of course, cosmopolitan Berlin. We love our place in the city and are happy we made this move. Berlin is no longer divided and I still see the Berlin from my younger days. We feel safe, we enjoy the many cultures and influences from around the world. We travel throughout Europe easily.

How has your expat experience NOT met the expectations you dreamed about before you moved abroad?

I cannot say anything negative about the experience of living in Berlin. It is all we hoped for and more.

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Comments about this Report

wilfredo
Mar 19, 2016 16:35

Maybe when you have a job offer, things might be a ;little easier with "no regrets whatsoever" I have no regrets either, but my experience was not that easy: It took me two months to register with the Burgeramt -without this registration, you could do nothing: Open a bank account, get enroll in school, register for the gym, etc., then six weeks to have an appointment with the AuslanderBehorde and then rejection. It took me a second appointment to get the Student Visa with some conditions: I can only work part-time, be enrolled at school -for the language- and probably University, even though I already went to Graduate School, etc. It is truth that one feels safe in Berlin, a cosmopolitan city with a lot of energy! but is also a little expensive, depending in which area of the city you want to live in. Right now I'm in the process of moving to a new apartment and I have to buy everything, including the sink for the kitchen. This is a one bedroom, one bathroom, one open kitchen-living room with a patio facing the interior of the building,. The rent is 900 Euros per month, with two months deposit. TH cable is included but not electricity, which I was told is about 60 Euros per month. Like in the USA, I have to pay for phone, internet; For the Spanish, Italian and English channels, I have to pay extra. The groceries are more expensive in this area of Berlin. The benefits: The apartment is located right in the middle of Berlin: One block from KADEWE, two blocks away from the German Language School, lot of public transportation. etc. Overall, I'm in Berlin "living la Vida Loca" meaning: I'm happy!!!

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