Germany – a developing country in regards of digitalization?

Angela Merkel introduced the national IT-summit, which is now renamed into ‘Digital-Summit’. It was designed to create a digital agenda, increase digitalization in Germany and hence to secure Germany’s competitiveness for the future in a digitalized world. However, after Merkel declared the ‘Internet as new ground for all of us’ in 2013 not a lot happened until now. Germany fell back even further: from place 15 to place 17.

Especially, broadband expansion and the low degree of attractiveness of digitalization to the majority of the German middle- and large-scale companies are the problems. The German broadband infrastructure was ranked 28th out of 32 by OECD. Germany risks loosing infrastructure for its industrial locations. Furthermore, most of the large and middle-scale companies in Germany fear the risks of digitalization more than valuing its benefits and improvements. Even if the companies see the benefits, most of the time the decision to modernize and digitalize is driven by cost-saving factors rather than by developing new business models and concepts.

Room for hope: the increased number of start-ups as well as more and more graduates who rather start their career in those more digitalized as well as future-oriented companies than in more stable, though older and more backwards oriented companies.

In light of this Berlin is on the best way. It is attracting more and more startups.

Diversity in Berlin: “Karneval der Kulturen”

Since 1996, Karneval der Kulturen has been celebrated every year in Berlin. Over the four-day street festival reflects Berlin’s many faces. “Karneval der Kulturen” celebrates diversity of Berlin. You will find parties, live music and culinary delicacies from all over the world. This year the festival will take place from the 2nd to 5th of June. The highlight of the festival I the parade on the 4th .

The highlight of this festival is the parade on the 4th of June. More than 4,700 participants from 80 countries took part in the parade last year. Many caravans, dancing people with traditional costumes and music groups are celebrating Berlin’s diversity. The parade starts every year at Hermannplatz at 12.30 pm., along Hasenheide and Yorkstreet, it ends at Möckernstraße at 9.pm.

Learn more: http://www.karneval-berlin.de/de/strassenfest.21.html

 

Spring Festival in Stuttgart: WASEN

They call it WASEN: The spring festival in Stuttgart. This year the WASEN started on the 15th of April and lasts until the 7th of May! For three weeks, visitors from near and far celebrate the launch of spring in a cheerful and jolly manner.

Europe’s biggest and best attended spring festival attracts around 1.5 million guests to the Cannstatter Wasen fair grounds. On an area of 4.2 hectares, a wide selection of stalls and confectionery stands, modern and traditional fairground rides, side-shows, beer tents and catering stalls offer every conceivable type of family fun and entertainment.
Alongside the traditional keg tapping ceremony on the opening Saturday, annual highlights of the festival program include the balloon glow and musical firework display. Every Wednesday is family day, when a wide variety of cut-price offers are available to parents with children.
Enjoy Oktoberfest in Spring in Stuttgart! Great fun for the whole family!

What you should consider before planning your move

You might have the  idea to work abroad, before planning your move you should make several important considerations:
Assess your chances for getting your “dreamjob”

  • Do you have the required qualification
  • Are the job offers in the new country matching with your wishes and skills
  • Are you able to make compromises regarding the new job in question of company size, company culture etc.

Are you ready to integrate

  • Do you have the required language skills to integrate already? – You will have to improve your skills!
  • Do you have any experiences about culture and social life in the new country or city? – You have to find out about cultural and social specalties!
  • Make a list of your major questions regarding social life and culture!

Find out what to expect  in your new “home”

  • Try to get as most information as possible about the new country!
  • Use all web portals which content information of the country,
  • Try to find out the specific characteristics of the cities you are interested in
  • Try to find out about the specific culture issues in the region of the new city

New year – Berlin’s registration offices

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Authorities

New year – good news concerning registration offices

Back to business as usual at Berlin’s registration offices

In order to get an appointment at the municipal registration office you had to wait up to two months last year. The new year started with good news concerning appointments at the registration office. Now your get an appointment on a short term notice which means  you will get your appointment within TWO WEEKS instead of waiting two months!! You should keep that in mind when making an appointment with the foreign department to apply for residence permit or work permit.

Our tip: If you know when you will move to Berlin exactly, ask for an appointment. You can make it online.

ICH-Will-Deutsch-Lernen

 “ich-will-deutsch-lernen” new onlineplatform for refugees and migrants

The German „Deutsche Volkshochschul – Verband”  provides a tool to support migrants and refugees in learning German. Name of the webportal is “ich-will-deutsch-lernen”. The available platform implied a German language course which helps to learn and improve German language skills, starting from level A1 to level B1. The Volkshochschul – Verband want to support the integration of refugees and migrants in culture and social living.
The content of the digital courses is according to the rules of integration courses in Germany.
Furthermore the portal offers an extensive range of material for alphabetisation. And last but not least the portal provides also one tool to improve German professional jargon. The user can choose out of 30 cross-sectoral scenarios and 11 professional communication activities.
Everybody may use the tool: do-it-yourself-learner, teachers and professional learning classes.
Teacher of integration courses and German courses have to register and build up their own class online. Then they are able to supervise their participants. Learners who start on their own will be supervised by tutors of DVV.
ich-will-deutsch-lernen.de

update: there are new features available

Beginning of the festive season – Christmas markets

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Christmas markets

Autumn shows its wintry side those days in Germany: its cold and dark, snow is falling… So some festive atmosphere is coming up already – how great that most cities in Germany open their Christmas markets soon:

21st November – save the date: beginning of the festive season, time for savoring some Christmas treats.

A beautiful and popular tradition, making those cold, rainy days less dreary and shortening the time until Christmas. Visiting a Christmas Market with family, friends or colleagues. Chatting while having hot drinks or enjoying some Christmas biscuits, or better the good old Currywurst – Or a Bratwurst? Children can enjoy a ride on a merry-go-round, everything glooms and glows and its smelling Christmassy.

The most beautiful and most popular Christmas Markets of the German metropolises of Berlin, Munich and Stuttgart welcome their visitors with manifold Christmas treats, music and handicraft. Some Christmas Markets are open on certain weekends only, others are open throughout the entire pre-Christmas season.
The Christmas markets are various: some focus on carrousels and merry-go-rounds, some on handcrafted or design presents for Christmas and other on Christmassy treats and culinary delights.

What they all have in common: visiting a Christmas market is a welcomed alternative during the dark time of the year.

EU BLUE CARD

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series EU BLUE CARD

Is it a great chance for highly skilled workers from third countries to work in the EU?

But is the current EU BLUE CARD that attractive?  Will highly skilled workers from third countries join the EU to strengthen the EU’s competitiveness?

The EU’s current Blue CARD for immigration of highly skilled workers is not well-equipped for these challenges. There are too many parallel – national Member states’ rules and different condition and procedures across the EU. The BLUE CARD was launched “as an EU flagship initiative” in 2009. Between 2012 and 2014 have been issued only 30.000 BLUE CARDs only EU wide. This is the main reason for the European Commission to revise the Directive.

EU Commission will recast the BLUE CARD. The proposal for the new BLUE CARD shall attract more highly skilled worker.

Which are the main proposed changes?

  • Harmonization, simplification and efficiency
  • More inclusive and flexible admission conditions
  • Enhanced Intra-EU mobility
  • Faster and more flexible procedures
  • Improved rights

For the EU faces significant labor and skill shortages in certain sectors, it will be important to attract these highly skilled workers from third countries to enhance the competitiveness of its economy.

Relocation: to move or not move

If you have ever been offered a great job in another city or country, you know the feeling. On the one hand, there’s the excitement of a new place and a new culture. On the other hand, you feel sad about leaving friends behind. You worry that your family will be unhappy in a new city.
How can you decide if a move is the right thing or not?
First of all you should gather as much information as possible about the new location, city and country. Try to find out the big differences between your home country and your new destination.

Before you make a decision, you should also look at what other job opportunities are available in the new location, if this company is the only company there in your industry and the job doesn’t work out, it may be difficult to find something else.

What is about your family?
Give them a chance to visit the new city to find out what it can offer them. Still, it might be better for everyone if your family stays in your current location while you get used to your new position, gohelpy specialists say. “The initial period in the new job is about making connections, meeting people and working many hours to get up to speed”.
Sometimes, a decision to go out before the rest of your family can be a great one. It gives you time to focus on the transition and pave the way for the rest of them to join you.

Gohelpy and XpatVisor paved me the way to Berlin!

I got a job offer as an IT consultant in Berlin. But I had no idea, how to get a work permit for Berlin. Then I found gohelpy online. It was unbelievable, gohelpy provided me with all necessary information.  The XpatVisor created a tailor made relocation path regarding to my profile. So I got all information of the procedure to get my work permit.

It is hard to find an apartment in Berlin these days, but I was lucky, I found a room in a (WG) shared flat.  I ask the relocation specialists of gohelpy for some support to handle the administrative matters. They coordinated  and applied for the appointments at the municipal registration and the Department of Foreign request in Berlin (LABO).

Just to let you know, with gohelpy everything worked out perfectly..

Andrei  from Russia