Top Ten Fun Facts – Stuttgart

This entry is part 5 of 8 in the series TOP TEN
  • having vineyards since 3 AD, Stuttgart is the only city in Germany with a municipal wine estate, which covers 15.5 hectares
  • City of science – Stuttgart has the highest density of scientific, academic and research organizations in Germany
  • Cradle of the automobile – housing two of the world’s most popular car firms Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, Stuttgart offers to automobile museums (of course Mercedes and Porsche) and the Käfer (second most sold car of the world) was developed here!
  • featuring many vineyards, parks and forests Stuttgart belongs to the greenest cities of Europe. Especially ‘The Green U’ a 8 km long ring made up of parks, offers many recreational areas
  • The Teddybear as we all know it today was invented and born in Stuttgart by Richard Steiff
  • Stuttgart’s Ballett ranks among the world’s best dance institutions and is highly renowned
  • The first TV tower of the world was build in Stuttgart and you can still visit it!
  • City of the Maultäschle – Maultäschle, a typical Swabian dish (and Stuttgart is the capital of the Swabian region) was invented for being allowed eating meat on Good Friday. Normally, you do not eat meat on Good Friday, however the Swabians invented Maultaschen as ‘God is not able to see the meat inside the dough’. So they could eat meat and god did not notice
  • one Europe’s largest christmas markets takes place in Stuttgart every year between the last Thursday of November and 23rd December. Dating back to approximately 1692 and comprising about 280 decorated stalls it attracts around 3 million visitors every year!
  • Keeping up with Munich: Stuttgart has it’s own Oktoberfest – they call it Wasen instead of Wiesn and celebrate it two times a year! A bit smaller than Munich’s Oktoberfest, however it attracts nearly as much visitors as its big brother and is at least as amusing as the Wiesn

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.

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.

Online-Relocation and the XpatVisor

gohelp.y is a Relocation portal. You find your way to us as you are interested in moving to Germany – to Berlin, Munich or Stuttgart. Additionally, to more general information gohelp.y provides a completely free of charge XpatVisor, an online tool, providing services of a relocation-expert. This makes your move to Berlin/Munich/Stuttgart as smooth and easy as with a service provider directly by your side.
Until now online-relocation was not really online relocation. This is different now, with gohelp.y. Here online is indeed online and free of charge is free of charge, there are no hidden costs. How? The XpatVisor makes it possible.

Real and free of charge online-relocation services: The XpatVisor

The XpatVisor is the centrepiece of gohelp.y. Equipped with the experiences of professional relocation service providers, XpatVisor creates automatically, based on your profile details, an individual relocation-concept designed specifically for you and your needs. Now you can handle each of the steps one by one and whenever you want, following the relocation timeline.

Housing market in Berlin, Stuttgart and Munich

At most German Universities the winter term (Wintersemester) will start in October.

This means, thousands of students are moving from their home town to their university town. They all are looking after flats or rooms in shared flats. The situation becomes critical in the housing property market in the main towns of Germany. Thousands of flats are missing in cities like Berlin, Stuttgart and Munich.
It’s a very hard procedure. If you identify a flat online, you have to arrange an appointment for flat viewing. You must have all your paperwork with, otherwise you will not have any chance. Then you stand in line with more 50 interested persons, waiting to get a view on flat.

The housing market in Berlin, Stuttgart and Munich is really becoming worse.

Integration into the German labour market

Suspension of priority review (Vorrangprüfung) facilitates integration into the German labour market.

The German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs decided to suspend the priority review in the majority of the 156 agency districts for asylum seekers and tolerated persons. Until recently it had to be checked whether German employees were available instead of employing asylum seekers and tolerated. The suspension facilitates the integration the integration of these persons into the labour market, as employment of those failed often because of the review. Undertakings as well as the Chamber of Industry and Commerce appreciate the decision as this facilitates filling jobs and raises efficiency. The International Chamber of Commerce mentions however that filling jobs with refugees is not a long-term solution against skills shortage in Germany.

 

Germany and the EU Blue Card

The EU Blue Card is a special residence permit for workers coming from non EU countries. Everyone, having a German university degree or an in Germany acknowledged degree and earning more than € 49600 per year can apply for the EU Blue Card. People in fields of highly demanded qualifications need to fulfill lower conditions of a yearly income of € 38688. EU Blue Card holders enjoy the benefit of being granted the permanent residence permission after 33 or 21 months already.

Germany adopted the EU Blue Card in 2012 in order to combat the rising shortage of specialists. 41624 Blue Cards were issued until the end of 2015, mostly in the states of Bavaria (München), Baden-Württemberg (Stuttgart) and Lower Saxony.

German think tanks and economists want to push the EU Blue Card further and want to lower the conditions applicable to university graduates within and outside of the so-called shortage sectors.
Do you fulfill the conditions for the EU Blue Card in Germany? How to apply for it? Special services are provided for EU Blue Card holder and those who want to apply for the EU Blue Card.

  • Supporting you in the application process – Which documents are necessary?
  • Supporting you in moving to Germany – What documents do I need? How to find a flat? What else is necessary?
  • Supporting you during your first time in Germany – Where do I find a language school to learn German?

Find out more here

Pathways to Germany from outside EU – Part4 self-employed

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Pathways to Germany

You want to establish yourself in Germany as self-employed or freelancer and can prove sufficient financial means as well as a permit to exercise the profession? You are economically worthwhile in Germany and impact the German economy positively with your self-employment?

What do I need to do before going to Germany?

You first need to make an appointment at the German embassy in your country in order to apply for a visa. The visa is granted for 1-3 months. Bear in mind waiting and processing times at the embassies and do not do it last minute before leaving to Germany.

What do I need to do once I entered Germany?

After having entered Germany it is of utmost importance to register with the municipality of the city as soon as possible. This is a condition to register the with foreign nationals’ registration authority, which is responsible for you in Germany.

Registration at the municipality office – why is it that important?

Handy hints:

  • make appointments early in time in order to circumvent long waiting times and delays.
  • in order to facilitate and accelerate the process you can inform yourself about the forms you need online at various platforms such as gohelp.y. You can print all forms and checklists at home and take them with you for your appointment.

 

Pathways to Germany – Part2 Employees

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Pathways to Germany

You have a recognized or comparable university degree or a vocational diploma in an understaffed profession? Or you already have a job offer for skilled or highly qualified employment in Germany, which you want to take up?

What do I need to do before going to Germany?
For both cases you first need to make an appointment at the German embassy in your country in order to apply for a visa. The visa is granted for 1-3 months. Bear in mind waiting and processing times at the embassies and do not do it last minute before leaving to Germany.

What do I need to do once I entered Germany?
After having entered Germany it is of utmost importance to register with the municipality of the city as soon as possible. This is a condition to register the with foreign nationals’ registration authority, which is responsible for you in Germany. They tell you which documents you need in order to apply for a residence permit and you apply here for the residence permit and work permit.

If you have a university degree or a vocational diploma in an understaffed profession you do not need to have a concrete job offer in order to apply for a residence permit, in this case you apply for the EU Blue Card which enables you to reside in Germany.

Handy hints:
– make appointments early in time in order to circumvent long waiting times and delays.
– in order to facilitate and accelerate the process you can inform yourself about the forms you need online at various platforms such as gohelp.y. You can print all forms and checklists at home and take them with you for your appointment.