Tallinn – Berlin: a win-win partnership for startups

A delegation of several different start-up companies from Berlin visited Tallinn, Europe’s heart of digitalization and start-ups. “48h- Tallinn” was a short trip to the Labs and start-up centres of the Estonian capital.
Both sides would benefit immensely from a partnership between Estonian start-ups from Tallinn and start-ups in Berlin. Estonia being the most digitalized European country, providing its citizens with the opportunity to vote online, make their tax declaration online and providing an extensive e-government, the start-ups from Tallinn are technically advanced to those from Berlin. Berlin’s start-up scene can learn from Tallinn’s start-ups and could digitalize faster and more efficient. The Estonian side however would benefit from the partnership through access to the large German market. By cooperating with start-ups from Berlin, Tallinn’s start-up scene could expand to the German market, as well as attracting more German investors to the Estonian start-up scene.
Therefore, this is a win-win situation and we are glad to welcome the Estonian start-ups here in Berlin!

How useful are opendays, career fairs and Co?

In nearly every month and in every bigger city multiple career days, career fairs. open days at universities or trade fairs about different universities take place. How useful are those trade fairs and open days? Does it make sense to visit such events?
YES!
Of course you do not need to visit every career or study fair, and of course attending every University openday is not even down-to-earth, but to get an overview of todays possibilities, opendays and career fairs are the way to go.

Today there are so many different Bachelor and Master studies, most of them you do not even know now and cannot imagine that those studies exist. Fairs of the different Universities or study programmes provide a good overview of what is possible. Get inspired by those fairs! It might happen that you find a study programme meeting all your desires but is relatively unknown, wherefore you have not heard about yet.
Similarly, career fairs: You are done with you studies but not sure where to head to? Get inspired by the vast range of possible jobs. Make good contacts and expand your network at those events.
And once you found interesting study programmes or traineeships you can visit the opendays of the universities/study programmes and traineeships you are interested in. Most of the time these specific events provide more into-depth information and easier opportunities to network.

Therefore, take your chance and visit one or two or more of the many career, job and uni fairs in Germany to get inspired and kickstart your career!
We listed some of the upcoming events in Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, Cologne and Co.

  • Berlin: Connecticum (25.04-27.04.2017), Studyworld 2017 (12./13.05.2017)
  • Hamburg: Talente kompakt (27.04.2017)
  • Stuttgart: Stuzubi (29.04.2017)
  • Köln: meet@th-koeln (03.05. & 04.05.2017)
  • Düsseldorf: Master and more / Bachelor and more (05.05. & 06.05.2017)
  • Frankfurt: Jobmesse Einstieg (21./22.04.2017)

Student–thoughts: Moving to another EU Country for my studies

Yes! There it is – the notification of admission to my master studies.
However, the first mood of celebrating the placement is gone fast: I have to move to another country… I have to organize a lot of things! But what exactly? All those thoughts come up when thinking about the master placement a second time, less emotional.

What exactly should one consider when moving from one EU-country to another in order to complete one’s studies there.

The following things came up to my mind when I got the notification of admission to study my masters in Madrid.

First of all: Where shall I live? And how?
– Do I want to live near to the University or better more in the center of the town, where something is going on and I can enjoy my leisure time?
– Do I want to live in a shared flat or do I want a small apartment for my own? Do I need other people around me or do I prefer time and peace for me?
– Do I want to have a furnished room or do I want to bring my own furniture?

Once I settled these questions, another one arose: HOW do I get infos about flats, rooms etc. and HOW do I find one?
– The easiest way for me: Facebook and friends which might know someone who knows someone etc… Social media helps a lot! Ask you friends to ask their friends, search for housing groups or groups of your study in Facebook. You might get extremely helpful hints and get to know some nice and helpful people!

Other thoughts, which might not be that obvious in the first case:
– What is about my health insurance? Does it cover a longterm stay in another EU-Country and what are the conditions? Is it better to sign up for a foreign health insurance, or to make a contract with an on-site health insurance?
– What is about my mobile phone contract? Do I have the same conditions as I have at home?

All these thoughts came up to my mind when I received my master placement in Madrid.
In my opinion most of the questions depend on the period of your stay in the city/country. It might not be that reasonable to rent an unfurnished apartment when you are staying for one year only. However, if you will stay at least 3 years in the city it might be nicer and more comfortable to have your own furniture in your ‘home abroad’.
Additionally, all these questions depend on personal circumstances and desires.
My hint: Visit blogs and website, and search for Facebook groups to get to know the possibilities you have. Once you know your possibilities you can decide what you want.
Many online-portals provide a lot of infos about housing, electricity, water-suppliance, about health insurances as well as mobile phone contracts.
Gohelpy is a wonderful example of these online-portals comprising a lot of information about the big German cities.

Happy Birthday EU! – 60 years after the Treaties of Rome

60 years ago the foundation for today’s EU was laid when Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Germany signed the Treaties of Rome.

60 years of development, successes, crises and backdrops, but most important of all: 60 years of peace in Europe and 60 years of growing together to one Union.
The EU’s development until today was never easy or without backdrops and problems: France didn’t want Great Britain to join, the Empty Chair Crisis and the non-completion of a European Constitution. However, the EU always found an answer, a solution to the problem and developed further, came back stronger.
The Common European Market was established, inner-EU border-controls abolished and the Euro invented.

And today? Where is Europe heading?
Of course there are problems and crises the EU has to face, maybe more challenging than ever before, or just different?
Migration from Northern Africa, terrorism, and still some outliers of the financial crisis are challenging, however the EU is strong enough to combat these challenges, if it stays together, if we stay together.
Anti-EU movements within some Nation-States, such as political organizations or Brexit as the ultimate are developments within the nations and among the people of Europe. Nevertheless, the reaction to Brexit as well as the recent outcomes of the election in the Netherlands show that the people still believe in the EU, and we should do so! The EU offers a lot: we can travel through the EU as we like, without a passport, for most of the countries we do not even have to change money. Without the EU every of our countries would be alone, would be a minor player (if so at all) at the world scene, between America, China and Russia.

Therefore, we should March For Europe, we should celebrate and we should thank what it brought already and what it offers us.

By Ann-Kristin Gross

Top 10 Fun Facts – Berlin

This entry is part 4 of 8 in the series TOP TEN
  1. Berlin is unique, a city of superlatives and there are far more than 10 facts you should definitely know
  2. Sunny weather and culturally intense: Berlin has more museums than rainy days per year. Berlin offers more than 180 museums covering everything from arts over history and technical stuff to Currywurst and toys, while it rains only on about 106 days a year.
  3. Ever-moving city: Every hour 18 people move from one district to of the city to another one.
  4. Highly international: About 500,000 foreigners live in Berlin, coming from about 185 different nations. But Berlin is not only interesting to foreign nationalities: Many people from all over Germany live in Berlin and so it may not surprise that only 1/4 of all people living in Berlin, are born and raised in Berlin.
  5. Growing city: Every day 435 people move into Berlin while only 327 leave the city.
  6. Green, greener, Berlin: More than 44% of the city’s area is made up by parks, woods, river and other recreational areas. This makes Berlin the greenest city of Germany and high-ranking worldwide.
  7. City of superlatives:
    • KaDeWe is the largest department store of Continental Europe
    • longest beer-garden in the world (2.2 km long)
    • East Side Gallery is largest open-air gallery of the world
    • more than 9 times bigger than Paris
    • more bridges than Venice
  8. Berlin is the only city in the world having 3 opera houses, comprising more than 4000 seats
  9. Ever wanted to get gold directly from an ATM? – At the Gallerie Lafayette in Friedrichstraße this is possible! You can buy gold in 250g portions from the ‘Gold ATM’
  10. Relaxed mentality: Berliners are least worried about the future than everyone else in Germany.

Another kind of integration: participating in Carnival

Its coming closer again – every year between early-February and mid-March there is no other topic as highly discussed and dividing as Karneval or Fasching or Fasnet.

First, it divides German society in those going jeck (mad, crazy) during Karneval and those fleeing from the country to either go skiing or enjoying sun in a far-away Karneval-escape. Next, this season divides those who love Karneval into different groups, calling it Karneval, Fasching or Fasnet, depending on where they live.
While North-Rhine-Westphalia is a carnivals stronghold where it draws serious consequences to call this week of drinking alcohol and running around in crazy outfits Fasching. In the south however, it is opposite: do not say Karneval in Bavaria or Baden-Württemberg! It is at least Fasching, however a true Swabian would never say Fasching but Fasnet!

And of course every carnival stronghold is the best, in their eyes. The title of being THE carnival stronghold is highly contested, especially Cologne, Düsseldorf and Mainz are competing against each other and make fun of the others’ attempts of celebrating.
A quick tip:
When you participate in Cologne’s Karneval: Never say HELAU, shout ALAAF whenever possible 😉
When participating in Düsseldorf’s or Mainz’s celebrations use HELAU and do not try out what happens if you shout ALAAF.

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.

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