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An Expat Talks about Living in Cologne, Germany

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

Cologne

How long have you lived there?

about 9 years

What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?

Newcomers to Cologne will probably find the easiest way to make friends is to attend some sort of course at the Volkshochschule (adult education) located near Neumarkt. German courses are good ways to meet people, but not necessarily Germans. The announcement boards at the university (located at Albertus-Magnus-Platz) are a good place to put up notices for Stammtische (regular meetings in pubs and cafes).

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Expats in Germany may get a free expat health insurance quote from our partner Allianz Care, a leader in international insurance for expatriates. Allianz's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Their flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget..

In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.

Cologne, for German standards, is culturally and racially very diverse. About 10% of the student population is from abroad and the city's permanent residents are perhaps even more diverse.

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

Cologne is well-known as a media center, mainly for television, radio, and film. The local paper, the Kolner Stadt-Anzeiger (http://www.ksta.de) has job listings, but you need to know some German for them to be very useful.

In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?

Cologne has a very lively social atmosphere, especially in the Brauhauser of the Altstadt and in the area called the Sudstadt. The students' quarter around Zuelpicher Str. is always crowded on weekends (excepts during exam periods). Cologne also has a English language movie theater/cinema called the Metropolis. English books are available at the main library (http://www.stbib-koeln.de/).

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If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.

Here is a list of useful links:

Agencies:
http://www.stadt-koeln.de/bol/themen/anderebehoerden/index.html

Film:
http://www.cologne-in.de/kino/kino.htm

Eating Out:
http://www.marcellinos.de/

Maps:
http://de.maps.yahoo.com/

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