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Berlin..the big city

 
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1278
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:49 am    Post subject: Berlin..the big city Reply with quote

I'd love to live in Berlin....totally wicked and surprisingly cheap. I've been there loads. Is it possible? Where do you start? I'm qualified and have taught pretty much everything over 18 years. Need a change of pace.....any leads would be great. I don't speak German...but could learn. Any takers? Cheers in advance.
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teacher X



Joined: 13 Feb 2013
Posts: 220
Location: Super Sovietsky Apartment Box 918

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I lived there last year for about 11 months before I left.

I had a pretty fucking horrible time. You are pretty much falling over ESL teachers with no German ability. Yeah...falling over them because they're lying in the street starving.

Ahaha, but seriously, if you don't have at least a B1 level of German you will find it hard. At the time I had about 3 years teaching experience, but was getting rejected from jobs purely because my German was A2 level. I managed to get myself weekend work in an international school. It paid very well and kept me alive, but I really couldn't find anything else stable. I think I was looking in the wrong places to be honest. But I met a few other ESL teachers and they were constantly in and out of work.

If you want something stable...good luck.

My big problem was with health insurance and the lovely staff at the Rathaus.
By 'lovely' I mean horrendously racist and xenophobic.

Essentially I had to leave the country because I was mistakenly told that an NHS overseas health card was ok to use in the place of German health insurance. Then they threatened me with fines for having no health insurance which amounted to a few thousand euros.



Just keep in mind that you MUST have german health insurance. It will set you back about €300 per month. I did find some for €80, but it was private stuff and wasn't really legit. Although it would have kept the government off my back.

In the end I broke up with my gf and this was the straw which broke the camel's back and I said '*beep* it' to the whole country and left. I was sick of living in perpetual poverty for a year and working for schools which didn't give a shit about you.

But of course, there are many expats over there who are loving it, so don't take my bad experience as gospel. You may get there and have everything work out and absolutely love it.

Good luck if you do go, but keep in mind that there are more ESL teachers than there are jobs.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 14493
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That post sounds like me in 1968/1969
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1278
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:40 am    Post subject: erm Reply with quote

Taa for that...might just stick to the oilfield rotation....and live there that way!
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Hod



Joined: 28 Apr 2003
Posts: 1477
Location: Home

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I lived in Berlin for six years and only left recently. Admittedly, I wasn't a teacher, but I still rate it as a great place to live, and you could live very cheaply in a WG (Wohngemeinschaft) shared apartment. I can imagine a freelance teacher having to traipse around Berlin from job to job, but the transport in Berlin is superb and will only cost €77 for an unlimited monthly ticket.

Health insurance is an issue, and as discussed you can’t rely on the UK NHS EHIC card. However, there are companies such as ALC Health who will charge around €90 a month for insurance which is legal and valid in Germany.

A bigger problem is the supposed requirement for freelance teachers to pay into the German pension scheme, which without any employer’s contribution, means a deduction of 19.5% of your gross income. I have no idea how many teachers pay this, but I would bet not many.
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JN



Joined: 17 Jan 2008
Posts: 213

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is possible to live in Berlin. It is difficult to find work teaching, but can be done. Bring lots of extra money to keep you going until you find something.
You asked where do you start. Do you mean in just living in Berlin or find jobs? For info on living in Berlin, I'd check toytowngermany.com
For jobs, just start searching for language schools, universities or international schools, depending on what your qualifications are. There are a lot of schools out there, but there are also a lot of English teachers here in Berlin. I personally think learning German would be beneficial.
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Hod



Joined: 28 Apr 2003
Posts: 1477
Location: Home

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd also add that Berlin must be one of the cheapest European cities, of a decent size, number of opportunities, interesting things to do, decent standard of living, etc. The likes of Paris and Madrid, forget about it.

Going off the point, but for me a major plus of living and working in a European city is the opportunity to learn a foreign language to a high level relatively quickly. The future earning power of this can't be underestimated. OK, you can learn a foreign language anywhere, but I'd argue that the opportunities to do so are fewer in more exotic locations. Let's take Asia, for example. I'll generalise and say most of the languages there are not so useful, e.g. Thai or Indonesian, or just too hard, e.g. Mandarin, Cantonese or Japanese. I did say I was generalising. Also, in Europe, you are not a white-faced foreigner and get no special treatment for being so.
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Loobs



Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 11
Location: London, England

PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hod wrote:
I lived in Berlin for six years and only left recently. Admittedly, I wasn't a teacher, but I still rate it as a great place to live, and you could live very cheaply in a WG (Wohngemeinschaft) shared apartment. I can imagine a freelance teacher having to traipse around Berlin from job to job, but the transport in Berlin is superb and will only cost �77 for an unlimited monthly ticket.

Health insurance is an issue, and as discussed you can�t rely on the UK NHS EHIC card. However, there are companies such as ALC Health who will charge around �90 a month for insurance which is legal and valid in Germany.

A bigger problem is the supposed requirement for freelance teachers to pay into the German pension scheme, which without any employer�s contribution, means a deduction of 19.5% of your gross income. I have no idea how many teachers pay this, but I would bet not many.


I just got a quote for £200 per quarter from ALC. Really not too bad. Should I get seriously ill, I'll go home.
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Rusty77



Joined: 27 Jun 2005
Posts: 52
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 4:27 pm    Post subject: enjoying Berlin Reply with quote

Why not just live in Gorzow Wielkopolski or even Poznan, work as an EFL teacher (where it's still possible even without speaking the local language) and visit Berlin on weekends? That way you have "the best of two worlds": the ability to make an honest living in Poland combined with the groovy open atmosphere of Berlin. I've found that the appeal of such a city is better enjoyed if only temporarily anyway; once you live there you just become another hamster on the wheel.
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Loobs



Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 11
Location: London, England

PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tell me more about Poznan.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 14493
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah - Posen and the Wartheland ! Used to be part of Prussia. Borders were moved in 1945.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11124
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'll find more on Poznan in the Poland forum, for some reason Shocked
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Loobs



Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 11
Location: London, England

PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, smart guy.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 14493
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Questions about what is Polish and what is German are rather sensitive in the area around the Oder and the Neisse Rivers - and in what used to be East Prussia.
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