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An Expat Talks about Living in Hamburg, Germany

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

Hamburg

How long have you lived there?

8 years

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

Hamburg Network www.hh-network.de

Hamburg English Pages www.englishpages.de

There are some relevant links on the above sites. Also try: www.britishday.com

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Expats living in Germany interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.

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

Hamburg is a multi-cultural city. Most foreigners are great. A minority though have proved to be a real thorn in the side for the authorities who, due to recent history, have their hands tied when comes to taking action. There are many religions here and an English Church. Recent elections proved that something must be done against foreigners who cause serious problems, but most people from Hamburg are reserved, but friendly and willing to accept diversity

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

Music, shipping, import & export, media such as Internet, TV, film studios, radio, software, IT, etc

The current situation is precarious, but 2003 is looking good. The building trade is looking bad. Europes biggest building site is here in the Hamburg Harbour - so more hope there. The Olympics are expected in 2012, which is producing a few jobs and Airbus may take a few on next year.

Most people find jobs by making contacts. The best way into a company is by using employment agencies and head hunters. Most get offered full time jobs after using agencies. Others use the local paper, "The Abendblatt" on Saturdays and register with online job websites under "Jobs Abroad" or when they speak German then the German equivalents

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

It's a good mix and depends very much on making the effort to learn the language. Once you start making contacts and friends life can be enjoyable. There are many chances to socialise, although a few do not try to mix with the locals and tend to keep to themselves and their own language which can prove to be a mistake. Those that do this tend to start blaming the locals.

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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.

Go to the German Embassy first and get all the info you need. Too many US, NZ, Australian and Canadian citizens come over here, only to find out they have to go back to get the green card. There are many things that need to be done first and it is sometimes too late when they get here. Come on holiday first and make notes. It is a great city if you allow it to be.

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