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Archive for the 'Living in Germany' Category

Top German Etiquette and Manners

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What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about German people?

You’ve probably heard things like “German people are always on time,” and “They’re direct and have good manners.” Well, I would say this is almost always the case. But now the question is: What are these so-called good manners and what does German etiquette look like?

Almost every nation defines this a little bit different. Let’s just take some Asian countries, such as China, for example. While in most European countries, you can’t burp, smack, or slurp at the table, in most Asian cultures this is called good etiquette. This means that the food was tasty and that you’re satisfied. But when doing this at the table of a German family, this would be considered bad table etiquette; they might think your parents didn’t show you how to use a spoon at home.

But on the other hand, in Asia, you shouldn’t touch your nose at the table. Can you see anything bad about touching or scratching your nose at the table if you need to? At least in Germany, this wouldn’t be a problem.

What I want to show you is this: Other countries = Other morals and manners.

In this article, we want to show you the Do’s and Don’ts in Germany. Be aware that these German etiquette tips might apply to other German-speaking countries, such as Switzerland and Austria (but not necessarily, as their cultures differ from ours in Germany).

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Table of Contents

  1. Do’s and Don’ts for Dining
  2. German Social Etiquette in Public Places
  3. German Greeting Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts for Greetings
  4. German Guest Etiquette: Manners When Visiting Another House
  5. German Travel Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts in Public Transports
  6. German Business Culture and Etiquette: How to Behave in Business
  7. How to be a Good Part of German Society
  8. How GermanPod101 Can Help You Learn More German


1. Do’s and Don’ts for Dining

As mentioned above, when it comes to etiquette at the table in general, it becomes really difficult to handle as every culture is different. Even within Europe, you’ll find differences. For example, while French people like to extend their dinners until very late, Germans just try to finish as fast as possible. I guess we just try to be more efficient. Here are some German etiquette dining do’s and don’ts.

A Romantic Dinner with a Woman and a Man Drinking Wine

1- Don’t: Eat with an open mouth or make unnatural noises.

Hygiene Words

While in other cultures, burping or smacking might be a signal that the food was good and enough, in Germany you try to eat as quietly as possible.

That doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to talk; quite the reverse, you should talk as much as you can to boost your German. But don’t open your mouth while eating, and don’t make any slurping sounds when eating soup.

We prepared a free lesson about manners in Germany. Take a look before reading the rest of this guide to German etiquette to make the most of it!

Vocabulary List

  • Schmatzen — “to smack”
  • Bitte hör auf zu schmatzen. — “Please stop smacking.”
  • Mit vollem Mund spricht man nicht. — “You don’t speak with a full mouth.”

2- Do: Say Prost and make eye contact.

Beer and alcohol have a long German tradition. You’re probably familiar with the Oktoberfest. But even outside of this famous festival, beer is highly accepted in Germany. When you’re out with your family and friends, alcohol will be a subject. We like to enjoy a nice Weizen or a cold Lager with our meal.

There can be many reasons you’re with your family or friends in a restaurant. Usually, it’s one’s birthday, you’re joining your weekly Stammtisch, celebrating the graduation of a family member or you just went with your family for a Sonntagsessen. Whatever it is, you’re there probably for a reason, and you’ll want to cheer (or toast) for the occasion. Maybe the party organizer even makes a short speech if he’s not too shy.

At a certain time during dinner, usually before the food arrives at the table, you’ll raise your glasses to cheer the occasion you’ve gathered together for. Everybody will raise their glasses and say Prost. Then you’re supposed to answer with Prost, and you’ll try to clink glasses with everybody at the table.

Important when clinking your cup with someone: MAKE EYE CONTACT.

It may sound a bit stupid, but Germans say that if you don’t look each other in the eyes when clinking glasses, you’ll have seven years of bad luck in the bedroom.

3- Don’t start eating until everybody has their food.

I know from my own experience that some cultures in South America have the attitude that when you’re making a barbecue, or even when coming together with friends and family on the weekends, there are a lot of people around you and it’s quite normal to have lunch or dinner with ten or more people.

This sometimes makes it difficult to get everybody at the table at the same time, and everybody starts eating whenever he or she wants. But be assured that this isn’t the case in Germany. When you come together, you serve everybody first, and then you start eating.

4- Do: Say Guten Appetit.

There is one similarity between French and German culture: We enjoy telling our guests that they can enjoy their meal. And we don’t just say it for fun, we really mean it. We hope that the food we prepared is tasty and will satisfy everybody.

But this isn’t just to say that you’re supposed to enjoy the food. This is also a good indicator for you, as a foreigner, to start eating. Earlier, we mentioned that you shouldn’t start until everybody has their food. When the cook, or the person who prepared your meal, says Guten Appetit, this also means that we’re ready and everybody can start eating.

There’s even a phrase that we teach our children when they’re fairly small:
Pip pip pip - Guten Appetit - “Enjoy your meal!”


2. German Social Etiquette in Public Places

Thanks

When going out in public, you should at least maintain a certain level of politeness. But no worries. With common sense, you’ll survive this.

1- Don’t: Cross the street on the red traffic light.

In many countries the traffic lights are only for orientation and the people mostly ignore them. Not in Germany. Remember that we’re talking about a country which is known for the phrase:

  • Ordnung muss sein
    “There must be order”

Germans value their laws, so being in Germany you should do it as well. Crossing the street on a red light in Germany might draw the attention of other pedestrians and it might end with getting a ticket which will cost you around 5€. For ignoring the red light while being on the bicycle, the fine can grow even up to 60 - 180€ and you can even earn some Punkte in Flensburg, which might cause losing your drivers licence for a few month.

Watch out especially when children are around. Germans are very sensitive when it comes to their children. Be a good role model and show them how to behave properly in the road traffic.

2- Don’t: Squeeze in lines facing people.

You know that feeling when you’re arriving a bit late to a movie in the cinema, or you come to the theatre and your seat is right in the middle of a row?

Well, the first hint we can give you is this: If there are other free and empty seats, it might be better to just choose one of those seats, though it’s also fine to make your way to your booked place.

Just remember to be friendly at all times. While passing other visitors, you can say:

  • Entschuldigung
    “Excuse me.”

But always remember to pass the people in the same row face to face. If you don’t do so, you might offend them. They probably won’t say something to you, but why offend someone when you can avoid it?


3. German Greeting Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts for Greetings

Bad Phrases

German etiquette and customs for greetings can be really different from what you may be used to. You may ask yourself questions, such as:

“Should I greet everybody?” “Should I give a hug or a kiss on the cheek?” “Should I shake their hand, or maybe just say hello?”

To give you more insight on the topic of German cultural etiquette for greeting people, we’ve published a video about greetings on our site.

1- Do: Say “Hello” to everybody.

When entering a party or a family meeting, you’ll usually be introduced by the owner or the host to everyone who’s already there. But if this isn’t the case, you should introduce yourself to everybody. You don’t need to tell your life story, but a nice Hallo, ich bin [add your name] is perfect. Make sure to shake their hand.

This also applies when entering a restaurant, shop, or most other places.You don’t need to greet everybody, but for example, when entering a small shop, at least say a friendly Hallo or Guten Tag, and Tschüss or Auf Wiedersehen when leaving again. If you’re more extroverted even a short small talk is fine. That’s more than enough. This especially applies when you’re entering a waiting room at the doctor’s office.

2- Don’t make the polnischer Abgang.

British people call it the “French leave”, French people call it the “filer à l’anglaise” or “to leave English style” and Germans use their eastern neighbours to name this specific style of leaving.

Polnischer Abgang means literally “Polish leave”, and it describes when you’re sneaking away from a party or some other place without saying goodbye to someone (or even everybody). This is considered rude, and you should avoid doing so. Don’t be shy, and let at least the owner know that you’re leaving.

3- Do: Use the correct form of the day.

According to proper German etiquette, there are different ways to greet people depending on the time of the day. We won’t give you an extensive guide for this, but be sure to remember this:

  • Guten Morgen — “Good morning” (used until noon)
  • Guten Tag — “Good day” (used until it’s dark)
  • Guten Abend — “Good evening” (used when it’s dark or you’re out for dinner)
  • Hallo — “Hello” (almost always used in an informal situation)
  • Tschüss — “Bye” (almost always used in an informal situation)
  • Auf Wiedersehen — “Goodbye”

For some better insight, we have a lesson in our free course about greetings.


4. German Guest Etiquette: Manners When Visiting Another House

If your lucky, on your trip to Germany, a stranger or a friend may invite you to his home. It might be for a party or just to hang out. But in either case, there are some unwritten German etiquette rules that you should follow.

1- Do: Use the formal Sie first.

In English, addressing a person is fairly easy as you just have one word for formal and informal situations: “You.”

In German, there are some differences that you should know, and even some rules. We’ll give you a quick overview.

  • The formal way to talk to someone is by using Sie.
  • The informal way is to use Du.
  • The actions are called siezen and duzen.

When to use which form can be confusing, so here are some general rules:

  1. Rule: If you’re not sure which one to use, be formal.
  2. Rule: When the person is older than you, use formal.
  3. Rule: At work, use the formal way, until the other person offers you the informal way.
  4. Rule: If you know the other person will use the informal way, also be informal.
  5. Rule: Offer du if you’re older.

If you want to extend your knowledge about formalities and etiquette in Germany, take a look at our free course.

If you want to address someone in a formal manner:

  • Herr [last name] — “Mr. [last name]”
  • Frau [last name] — “Mrs. [last name]”

If you want to offer the du, say:

  • Du kannst ‘du’ sagen. — “You can say du.”
  • Ich glaube, wir können uns duzen. — “I think we can use the informal you.”

2- Do: Make a small gift.

This is an easy one. When you come to the home of a friend or family member, just bring something small. You don’t need to invest too much time into thinking about the gift. This can be something quick and small, such as:

  • Chocolate
  • A bottle of wine
  • Some beers

3- Don’t choose the wrong topics.

Showing Two War Machines

Have you heard that there are some parts of German history that aren’t as bright as those of other nations? I’m talking about the Second World War.

Actually this is a very important topic to talk about, especially since Germany has shifted to the right in the past few years, giving opportunities for politicians who are denying German war crimes to grow in popularity. So if you’re interested in the topic, ask people about the war and discuss with them, but be aware of some things:

  • This is still a very sensitive topic for some people. Don’t be too harsh, many people have emotional connections to this time. Try to remember that there are still many people who fought in the war, lost their families due to the war and suffered from the consequences.
  • Don’t make stupid jokes about this time. Sure, they might be funny to you, but remember that there is a possibility that someone in the room lost their family members in the war.
  • Evaluate what people have told you. Germany has a growing problem with fake news and with people denying or marginalizing the crimes of the Nazi Germany. It’s always better to double-check the information.

Other than this, you should avoid the topics that generally make people uncomfortable and make things awkward, like politics, money, or religion, at least when talking to people you don’t know very well.

In general, be careful with potentially sensitive topics.


5. German Travel Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts in Public Transports

A Metro Passing by Really Fast

1- Don’t: Listen to loud music.

I know you might have a long ride on the subway from home to work, or the other way around. It’s also just fair that you listen to your music and enjoy the time that you’re there.

But it’s not necessary to share the music that you like with the rest of the train. They might like some other type of music. So just plug in your headphones and listen to the music without disturbing anyone.

Listening to your music loudly is even considered offensive to some people, and at some point someone will surely tell you to “Shut the f*** up.”

2- Do: Offer your seat.

When there are free seats and you have a long trip to your destination, feel free to sit down. But during the ride, people will enter and leave the train, and the closer you come to the center, the fuller the wagon gets.

Public transport is the easiest way in German cities to get around, so everybody uses it. Even pregnant women, older ladies and gentlemen, and disabled people.

Be polite and offer your seat to them. They’ll thank you, the people around you will see it, and it gives you a good feeling. We say in Germany:

  • Jeden Tag eine gute Tat.
    “Every day a good act.”

To offer your seat, you can say:

  • Möchten Sie sich vielleicht setzen, hier bitte.
    “Do you want to sit down here, please.”

Point to your seat while saying this.

3- Let other people leave the train first.

As in most other countries, the metro and buses are fairly full, and even more so during the rush hour. Everybody is stressed and just wants to get home to their loved ones.

Before entering the subway, make space in front of the doors so that other people can get out first. This ensures that they don’t need to squeeze past. If you’re standing in front of the door, I’m sure that someone will be impolite to you. And to be fair, with good reason.


6. German Business Culture and Etiquette: How to Behave in Business

Business

In this section, you’ll learn about some German professional etiquette rules. When it comes to German etiquette, business depends on knowing your way around it! Here are some German etiquette do’s and don’ts for doing business in Germany.

1- Do: Bring your own cake.

This mainly applies to business culture as opposed to private birthday parties. But when it’s your birthday and you’re working in an office, then colleagues expect you to bring something to the office to share with everybody.

From experience, this doesn’t have to be a cake; a small breakfast or something for lunch is good as well. The idea of giving something to them is more important than what you give.

2- Don’t: Be late.

Don’t be late, but neither be early. It can be quite difficult for some people to be exactly on time.

Trains, buses, or anything else regarding public transport, won’t wait for your arrival. They’ll leave without you. This can also be the case with friends. You agreed on a certain hour to meet, so you’re expected to be there at that time.

When it comes to punctuality, Germans don’t mess around. Of course, no one will kill you because you’re five minutes late. But it’s better to be five minutes early, than to be five minutes late.

If you’re too late, you can lose your hour at the doctor, miss meetings at work, and miss out on other important times and events.

3- Do: Shake hands, but don’t overdo it.

While in other countries, such as France or most parts of South America, a hug or a kiss on the cheek are common, even in daily business culture. In Germany, however, you shake hands with both genders.

In more relaxed situations, you can give hugs and people won’t refuse them. But in business, a handshake is more acceptable.

Don’t get too touchy. Once a person has accepted your handshake, that’s enough. You don’t need to touch their shoulders or grab their waist, or anywhere else. Give them their personal space.

Take a look at our website to learn some helpful business German.


7. How to be a Good Part of German Society

1- Do: Recycle your garbage.

A Girl in a Green Shirt with the Recycle Sign in Front of a tree

The “green” movement has already taken place in Germany, and we’re trying our best in everyday life to not stress the environment more than necessary.

For this, we have a recycling system. For glass, for example, we divide them into brown, green, and white glass; there will be extra recycling containers for each sort.

Also, you should separate your waste between plastic, paper, and natural garbage.

In addition to this, we have a recycling system for plastic bottles. That means that when buying a plastic bottle, you have to pay a certain amount extra. After you bring the bottle back to a machine in the supermarket, you’ll get back the extra amount you paid. This system is called Pfand. Believe it or not, foreigners love this.

2- Don’t: Open closed doors unasked.

Sometimes Germans just need time for themselves and don’t need to be out in public. For this, we have a common practice of keeping the door to our room shut when we don’t want anyone to come in.

At the same time, this means that if your door is open, a person can enter the room almost unasked.

This applies to almost every situation: at home when sharing your flat, or in the office.


8. How GermanPod101 Can Help You Learn More German

In summary, we’ve introduced you to important German etiquette regarding: public transport, greetings, visiting public places, being in friends’ homes, and the business culture in Germany. Apply our do’s and avoid the don’ts, and you’ll be more than fine visiting all parts of Germany.

Are there similar etiquette rules or cultural customs in your own country? Let us know in the comments!

If you’re interested in boosting your German skills faster, we recommend you our private teacher program. It focuses on your personal goals and your current German level, to help you improve at your own pace and toward your own goals.

We won’t just release you without making you even happier. So we’ve prepared some free-of-charge lessons on GermanPod101.com. There are classes for:

Make sure you get a spot today and boost your German to the sky. But don’t forget German etiquette on your way to the top.

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How to Find a German Job with the Germany Job Seeker Visa

So you’re ready to move to Germany with the Germany job seeker visa? You’re ready to finally work in Germany? This is a country that has so many different sides to show, and so many different accents, cultures, and landscapes. It reaches from the Baltic Sea and flatlands in the north to the Alps with Bavarian culture, to the forests and lakes in the south.

In between, you have many big cities such as the capital Berlin, the finance and logistics centre of Europe Frankfurt, one of the biggest city complexes named Ruhrpott in the west, and the fastest growing city in Germany: Leipzig.

Roofs of Berlin and the Fernsehturm

When moving to a new country, you’ll have an explosion of feelings. On the one hand, you’re excited to meet new people, get to know the culture, and achieve mastery of the new language. On the other hand, you need to find a job and you need to get through the headache of dealing with a new working culture (Arbeitskultur).

So, is it easy to get a job in Germany?

In this guide, we’ll show you the whole process of finding a job in Germany. We begin with the requirements, what jobs to look for, where to look for positions, and even cover the German work culture.

Are you ready? Let’s get straight to it and prepare for your time in Germany, so that you can find jobs in Germany in 2019.

Start with a bonus, and download the Business Words & Phrases PDF for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

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Without further ado, here’s our guide on how to find a job in Germany.

Table of Contents

  1. Requirements and Paperwork
  2. Which Job Fits Your Needs? — Job Types
  3. Where to Look for a Job
  4. Why Will You Love Working in Germany?
  5. The Job Market in Germany
  6. How GermanPod101.com will Help You Get a Job in Germany

1. Requirements and Paperwork

One thing you should know upfront: Germany is the country of bureaucracy (Land der Bürokratie). So, get prepared to do some paperwork (papierarbeit) as long as you stay in Germany. Before applying for a job, you need all your papers and your visa ready. Don’t be afraid; we’ll show you how to easily set up your stay in Germany.

First: Everyone who’s from a country in the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland doesn’t need a visa as long as they have an ID card or a valid passport. But, you need to register an address in Germany to work.

An Official Document with the Writing “Visa.”

1- The German Job Seeker Visa

Jobs in Germany for foreigners start with a job seeker visa. The job seeker visa is a long-term residency permit that allows you to stay in Germany for six months looking for a job. With this visa, you’re not allowed to work immediately, but to look for a job. If you find a job during this period, then you’ll be given the Germany work visa or a work permit to work and live there.

There are some requirements you need to fulfill in order to obtain the visa. For example, you have to have a Bachelors or Master degree and at least five years of experience in your field of study. To see all the requirements, take a look at the official visa website.

2- Do I Need a Visa? — Visa Types and Requirements

There are more than 15 different visa types for foreigners and the one you need strongly depends on which country you’re from. So please, take a look on the official website and find out if you need a visa and which visa type fits your needs.

As already said, it strongly depends on how high your expertise is in your field of studies (studienfach), and what degree you’re holding. When looking for a job in Germany, most people need to apply for a residence permit before entering the country. When the job is highly qualified, it will be easier for you to obtain the visa. But to be sure, check out Expatica.com.

2. Which Job Fits Your Needs? — Job Types

In such a developed country like Germany, obviously, you can choose just about any career you can think of. So in the end, everything comes down to your personal preferences (persönliche Vorliebe) and of course your level of German. It’s not always necessary to be fluent, but let’s face it, speaking German will be a big advantage.

1- Jobs for German Beginners

If you’re a complete beginner in German, finding a professional position will be harder for you. So you need to get a bit creative and lucky as well. Most companies will expect you to be at least a little fluent with your German. For complete foreigner-friendly jobs, take a look at the section below. There, we’ll tell you a little about how to find a job in Germany if you don’t speak German.

We at GermanPod101 offer you a wide range of free resources, lessons, and starting guides for your German learning experience. Before thinking about moving to Germany for work, work even harder on your German skills. Our MyTeacher service will boost your level of German even faster.

2- Jobs for German Intermediate Learners

Your chances of finding a job in Germany are already higher when you have at least basic German skills and can speak about all the subjects that you’re interested in. Your search for a job will go much faster when you know how to properly express yourself.

Most employers will test your German skills during the job interview and will be happy when you show that you can communicate. They might ask you for certificates such as Goethe B1. But either way, you’ll have a good chance at the job with your intermediate knowledge of the language.

3- Jobs for Fluent German Speakers

You’ll be treated like a native speaker when searching for a job if you already speak German at a fluent level. You don’t even have to be on a native level with your German; fluent is just enough.

You can be picky when looking for positions. Apply like you would in your home country, just to the jobs that you like and that fit your professional skills.

Some of the companies you’re applying to might ask you for a proof of fluency. Some certificates you can show are Goethe C1 and TestDaF.

Even fluent speakers can improve their German language skills day by day with our helpful bonus classes.

4- Foreigner-Friendly Jobs

Apart from professional and common jobs, you can get a bit more creative with your job search and prepare yourself for some jobs that not everybody is doing. You can find some English speaking jobs in Germany if you take this path. When it comes to these jobs, your native language can greatly benefit you, as can an intermediate level of English.

Language Teaching (Sprachen unterrichten)

This is probably the most obvious option. It doesn’t necessarily need to be English that you’re teaching; it could be any other language. Some spontaneous ideas are French, Spanish, Italian, and Japanese.

A Teacher in Front of a Whiteboard and a Student

For some teaching jobs, go to the the following websites:

You can look for jobs just about anywhere. You can look for positions as a professional teaching staff member (professioneller Sprachlehrer) at an international company, teach school children from primary to high school, you can teach at universities, you can do private tutoring, and anything else that comes to your mind.

When looking for this kind of job, if you do it as a freelancer or even as a full-time worker, companies might ask you for a certificate such as TEFL.

Tourism Industry

This might be even more obvious than teaching your mother tongue (muttersprache) to Germans. But surely in cities and popular tourist spots, such as in the south, you can get hired by a company specializing in tourism. Having a degree in closely related studies will be even better for you.

This may be a good source of English speaking jobs in Germany, but even when working in the tourism industry, you should get used to a bit of German and improve your language skills daily.

Jobs here range from being a tour guide or working with a travel agency, (Reisebüro) to being a receptionist in a hotel or hostel. Even working in a restaurant or bar in a tourist spot could be a great opportunity for some quick money.

5- Volunteering in Germany

If you don’t want to go to all the trouble of looking for a professional job and fulfilling all the requirements to get a working visa (arbeitsvisum), just think about going to Germany as a tourist or on a working holiday visa. Do you want to know what your options are?

The answer is volunteering (freiwilligenarbeit). It certainly won’t make you rich, but your life experience, your spirit, and your view of life might change in this way. And maybe you’ll be able to make some good contacts for your future life and get into a professional position during this time.

Volunteering is quite easy to understand. You offer some of your time for accommodation (unterkunft) and in the best case, even food. Don’t worry; the person you’ll work for won’t rip you off and the workload isn’t overwhelming.

A Tractor Spraying the Plants on a Field

There’s a large variety of jobs in this field: field work, renovating houses, working on farms or in hostels, walking dogs, and taking care of other animals. You can find interesting alternatives on:

  • Workaway: This is a volunteering service, where families and companies offer their home. It offers a premium membership service, where you can apply to any position. They are paid annually, so this won’t be costly for you.
  • HelpX: HelpX is similar to Workaway. You can find interesting positions on both websites. The interface of HelpX could be a bit better, but the service itself is great.
  • WWOOFing: Woofing is a big platform if you love nature and would like to work on farms. Its speciality is organic farming.

3. Where to Look for a Job

Now we’re coming to the interesting part. Where do you actually apply and look for jobs, on the web and offline? We collected some helpful websites for you. Note that there are more options, but these are the most common ones.

1- General Job Search Engine

1. Official Website

  • Bundesagentur für Arbeit: This is the official national agency for employment, and probably the biggest and first resource you can use to find a job. There are offices in nearly every city and town in Germany. You can find practically everything here. But real quality jobs you’ll most certainly not find on this platform.

2. German Favorites

You can use these sites to search for any kind of job and you’ll find a wide range of jobs. You can find jobs in the medical service, information technology, and chemistry sector there, as well as smaller part-time jobs and head positions. Just browse around these websites and they can keep you busy for weeks.

3. Search Engines

These platforms will always have some positions to offer you. Firms from all around the world in every sector are publishing here. Keep in mind that for jobs in Germany, Indeed is a good place to start.

2- Specialized Directories

  • GetInIT: Want to get into the IT sector? This is the right place for you.
  • Jobvector: This is for everybody in the science, medicine, and engineering studies field.
  • YourFirm: This one is great if you’re looking for a job in a middle-sized company.

3- Recruitment Agencies

A quick hint from us. Just use these agencies if you really have some special skills to offer or some degrees that not everybody can show. Because if you don’t have those, the agency will most likely not help you find a job.

If you’re getting really specific with your job search, just type into Google “Personalagentur” + your specific niche that you’re interested in.

4- Expat Portals and Communities

Of course, there are some pages that just specialize in listing jobs for English speakers and foreigners:

Also keep in mind that finding people who have the same goal as you isn’t that hard. Just a quick search on Facebook showed us that there are two major groups for foreigners who are looking for jobs in Germany.

5- Networking

Yes, like in any other country, it’s good to focus on networking in Germany. With networking, you’ll have a better possibility of finding a job. After going over all the other examples and websites above, we’ve finally come to the way that 90% of German people find their jobs. This may be, in fact, the best way to find a job in Germany.

Networking.
Networking.
NETWORKING.

Okay, I know you’re thinking, “How am I supposed to do networking if I don’t have any contacts in Germany?”

Fortunately, there are websites that focus just on that, on networking:

Get yourself a profile and show yourself to the recruiters (Personaler) out there. You can use their built-in job portals and apply to jobs easily and directly from your already-built profile.

And remember, you can also do networking offline. Go out, go to companies, present yourself. Make contact on Facebook, in the park, in a café. Just anywhere!

4. Why Will You Love Working in Germany?

Working in such a developed country as Germany has benefits. Just to name a few, you’ll get health insurance, many days off, a straightforward but easy-going work culture, access to events, and much more. Let’s jump right into it.

Young Man in Front of a Laptop with a Cup of Coffee.

1. Health Insurance (Krankenversicherung)

When you’re employed, you’re automatically in the German health care system. It covers things such as hospital stays, dental care, doctor visits, eyeglasses, and more. You’re automatically in this system and a small part from your salary will be used for this.

2. Pension Insurance

This is an insurance for your old days once you’re retired from your working life. This ensures that you can maintain a certain standard when you’re over 67 years old, and the outcome is around 67% of your average net income from your working life.

3. Unemployment Insurance

If you’ve worked at least one year in Germany, then you’re qualified to receive funds from the state in the case that you lose your job. In case you become unemployed, you’ll receive around 65% of your last income for the next 12 months.

4. Average Working Hours and Paid Holidays

On average, Germans work around 35 hours per week. That’s much less than the standard in other countries such as the UK with 44 hours. You’ll have at least 20 days of holiday, plus public holidays.

However, this information depends on the region where you live. Usually, in professional positions, you’ll have more holidays. (This is usually 25-30.)

Just to name a few more benefits:

  • Help for new parents
  • Reasonable housing costs
  • Cheap transport
  • Accident insurance
  • Growing minimum wage

5. The Job Market in Germany

Did you know that the German economy is bigger than the whole economy of South America combined? That’s pretty impressive, isn’t it?

We have to consider here that Germany is the biggest player in Europe, and with its central localization in the European Union we became a strong partner for other big nations like the United States and China. We are the world champion of exporting goods.

Another fact that you should know before moving to Germany is that our unemployment rate is on a years-long low. In 2019, we’re facing an unemployment rate of less than 4%, and in some cities like Munich, this number is even less.

And here comes the best fact for you. In Germany, we’re facing a shortage of experts in different professions. These include:

  • Mechanical engineers (Maschinenbauingenieur)
  • Automotive engineers (Fahrzeugingenieur)
  • Electrical and building engineers (Elektro- und Bauingenieur)
  • IT specialists (IT-Spezialist)
  • Health workers and doctors

Some global players have their headquarters and manufacturing bases in Germany. Just to name a few:

  • Volkswagen
  • Audi
  • BMW
  • EON
  • Daimler
  • Adidas
  • MAN
  • Siemens

6. How GermanPod101.com will Help You Get a Job in Germany

Wow, finding your way to the end of this article was a journey. But we’re happy that you made it and that you’re not discouraged from finding a job in Germany. We showed you all the benefits you’ll receive as an employee in Germany. Are you ready to apply for your first German jobs and get a flat in Berlin or Munich?

Before going to Germany, make sure that you work on your language skills. For this, we have tons of free vocabulary lists on our website and free lessons for beginners, intermediate learners, and advanced speakers.

Once you’ve found your job or are in the middle of the process, make sure you get the necessary vocabulary right.

Just a quick reminder for our premium service MyTeacher. There, you’ll have access to a personal one-on-one coach who will work just with you to improve your language skills so you’re ready for your first job in Germany. But with GermanPod101.com’s lists and lessons, you’re already set up just enough to start.

What are you waiting for? Whether you’re looking for jobs in Berlin or English speaking jobs in Germany, you now have the resources you need to get it! Good luck!

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Karneval in Germany: German Carnival Season

German Carnival Season

Carnival is deeply rooted in history and is observed in numerous countries before Lent fasting. German Carnival, in particular, is a time of fun and seeming madness, and no two parts of Germany celebrate this holiday exactly the same way. In this article, we’ll mostly be focusing on the celebrations in Rhineland, since German Carnival traditions vary so much.

But keep in mind that wherever you find yourself in Germany, some common aspects are likely to show through. Take, for instance, German Carnival masks, German Carnival songs, and maybe even some German Carnival games!

Here at GermanPod101.com, it’s our goal to help you learn the language in context of the country’s culture—and have fun while doing so! That said, let’s go ahead and take a closer look at Karneval in Germany!

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1. What is German Carnival Season?

The German Carnival is a time of festivities leading up to the beginning of Lent. If you find yourself in Germany during the German Carnival season, you may find yourself surrounded by German Carnival costumes or indulging in some delectable German Carnival food (think: Mutzenmandeln, Berliner, donuts, pancakes, fritters, or carnival Kräppel). After all, this period of time is meant to be a time of indulgence before the fasting begins.

2. When is German Carnival?

Several Colorful Masks

The date of Germany’s Carnival season varies each year, as it’s determined by the date of Easter. For your convenience, here’s this holiday’s start date for the next ten years:

  • 2019: March 4
  • 2020: February 24
  • 2021: February 15
  • 2022: January 31
  • 2023: February 20
  • 2024: February 12
  • 2025: March 3
  • 2026: February 16
  • 2027: February 8
  • 2028: February 28

The culmination of the Carnival, the Rose Monday (Rosenmontag) is a feast that takes place forty-eight days before Easter Sunday. Since the Carnival lasts several months, it’s also referred to as the fifth season of the year.

3. Reading Practice: How is German Carnival Celebrated?

Basket of Sweets

Read the German text below to find out about some German Carnival traditions, including German Carnival parades and German Carnival floats! You can find the English translation directly below it.

—–

Am Anfang werden die Rathäuser von Frauen gestürmt, die den dort arbeitenden Männern die Krawatten abschneiden. In den folgenden Tagen sind manche Straßen plötzlich von hunderten Menschen versperrt. Was tun sie dort? Sie lassen sich von den bunt geschmückten Wagen einer sehr lauten Prozession mit Süßigkeiten bewerfen. Und die ganze Zeit über sieht man Menschen, die sehr seltsam gekleidet sind.

Eine zentrale Rolle beim Karneval spielen die Karnevalsvereine, die es in jeder Stadt gibt. Die Mitglieder treffen sich außerhalb der Karnevalszeit um die Wagen zu bauen, von denen dann bei den zahlreichen „Zügen“ in der Karnevalswoche Süßigkeiten in die Zuschauermenge geworfen werden. Die Wagen haben immer ein bestimmtes Motto, zum Beispiel ein umstrittenes Thema des Jahres, welches dann in Form von großen karikativen Figuren dargestellt wird. Die Karnevalsvereine veranstalten aber auch so genannte „Sitzungen“, bei denen sich alle in ihren Kostümen oder in speziellen Trachten treffen und auf einer Bühne satirische Reden gehalten werden.

Für viele bedeutet Karneval neben einer Woche voller Partys auch ein exzessiver Alkoholgenuss. Es ist deshalb (besonders am Rosenmontag) vollkommen normal, das man in Bussen und Bahnen kaum einen Sitzplatz findet, da viele ihr Auto zu Hause lassen um ihren Führerschein nicht zu gefährden.

—–

At the beginning, town halls are stormed by women who cut off the ties of the men working there. In the following days, some streets are suddenly blocked by hundreds of people. What are they doing there? They have sweets thrown at them from the colorfully-decorated floats of a very loud procession. And all the time you can see people dressed in very strange ways.

Carnival associations, which can be found in every town, play a crucial role. The members meet outside the Carnival season to build the floats, from where sweets are thrown into the watching crowd at the numerous Züge (“Carnival processions”) in the week of Carnival. The floats always have a special motto, a controversial issue of the year for instance, which then is illustrated with large caricatured figures. The carnival associations also organize so called proceedings, at which everyone meets in their costumes or in special liveries and satiric speeches are held on a stage.

This day is followed by the “Carnation Saturday,” “Tulip Sunday,” “Rose Monday,” “Viola Tuesday,” and “Ash Wednesday.” On all of these days, processions and parties take place in many cities. As the “Rose Monday” traditionally is the highlight of Carnival, most Carnival processions take place on this day. Though it is no official holiday, most employers in Carnival areas make it a holiday for their employees.

4. Additional Information

For many people, Carnival means, apart from a week full of parties, also the excessive use of alcohol. This is why it is (especially on “Rose Monday”) completely normal that you can hardly get a seat in buses and trains, because many people leave their car at home to not risk their driver’s license.

5. Must-know Vocab

Man Participating in Ash Wednesday

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Carnival Season in Germany!

  • Bonbon — Candy
  • Karnevalszeit — Carnival Season
  • Süßigkeiten — Sweet
  • Dreigestirn — Triumvirate
  • Fastnacht — Shrove Tuesday
  • Rosenmontag — Rosenmontag
  • Elferrat — Council of eleven
  • Verkleidung — Costume
  • Karnevalsumzug — Carnival parade
  • Fasching — Carnival
  • Aschermittwoch — Ash Wednesday
  • Maske — Mask

If you want to hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, check out our German Carnival Season vocabulary list. Here you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

What do you think of German Carnival? Do you celebrate Carnival in your own country, or a similar holiday? Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about German culture and the language, visit us at GermanPod101.com. We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and an online community where you can discuss lessons with fellow German learners. You can also check out our MyTeacher program if you’re interested in a one-on-one learning experience with your own personal German teacher!

We hope you enjoyed learning about German Carnival, and that you found discovery in yet another unique facet of German culture. Know that all of your studying and hard work will pay off! You’ll be a master in the language and a pro on cultural knowledge before you know it!

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German Soccer

Soccer is the most important sport in Germany. More than six million members are organized in the German Football Association (DFB). In addition there are about four million people who play soccer in hobby teams on a regular basis.

 

In 2006 the soccer fever in the country reached a new dimension. The FIFA World Cup put Germany into a state of emergency. Houses and cars were decorated with flags. Even in companies television sets were installed, so that the employees did not miss a match of the national soccer team. Emotional higlights during that period were the fan parties. Thousands of people watched the matches together on huge screens and partied with the visitors from all over the world. The atmosphere was wild and peaceful. Also the weather contributed to the fantastic atmosphere. During the whole tournament there was perfect summer weather.

 

Hopefully this party will be continued in 2011. Then Germany will host the Women’s Soccer World Cup. Of course the German women will try to defend their actual world champion trophy in their own country.

Compared to the USA, women’s soccer still plays a minor role in Germany. There is an average of 800 to 1,000 onlookers at league matches. But the situation is slowly changing. Because of the two championship victories in the last World Cups, the regard is constantly increasing. In 2007 more than 20,000 excited people bid their welcome to the successful team in Frankfurt. With a total of eight championship victories at international tournaments, the women soccer team is even more successful than its male counterpart.

Now you understand the importance of Soccer in German society! Next time you play the sport, you will have these key elements in mind!

Bier

The picture of the beer drinking Germans is well used abroad. Indeed the cliche of a nation of beer drinkers is based on real facts. With a consumption of more than 110 liters per head Germany holds the second position in Europe. Only Czech people drink more.
But not only the consumption of beer in Germany is high, but also is the assortment of different kinds. Estimations say there are more than 5000 different beers.


Of course you won’t find all of them on the shelves in the supermarkets. Many beers come from small breweries which sell their products regional or direct to the customers. Nevertheless there is an impressive assortment in a German drinks cash-and-carry. In addition to regional and national kinds of beer you will find many international ones. Popular brands are for example Miller and Heineken. With this huge number of beers it is not easy to keep track of all of them.


The most important national kinds are pilsner, wheat beer, lager, dark beer and bock beer. In addition there are regional beers like “Alt” from the Niederrhein, “Kölsch” from Cologne and “Berliner Weiße” from Berlin. Some regional kinds of beer have loyal devotees. In the region between the big cities Düsseldorf and Cologne people are friendly arguing on the topic who enjoys the more tastefull beer. People from Düsseldorf swear by their “Alt”, people from Cologne defend their “Kölsch” emphatically. A special position on the beer market is held by the federal state of Bavaria. More than 50 percent of all German breweries are located here. Nearly every hamlet has its own small brewery.

Ratingen

 Ratingen is located in immediate proximity to Düsseldorf. With more than 90,000 inhabitants the town is middle-sized. People who like being outside in nature, can explore the woods which surround Ratingen. There are many paths for walkers, bikers and people on horseback. Furthermore the recreation parc “Green Lake” and the open air theatre at the “Blue Lake” are popular destinations.The centre of Ratingen is the townplace with its fountain and the surrounding old houses. Three times a week it is market day. 


Then it is possible to buy meat, cheese and flowers here. Extremely favored are fresh vegetables and fruits, which are mainly grown on farms in the Ratingen’s environment. In combination with “St. Peter and Paul”, the old church, the marketplace is a nice setting for many city festivals. A special experience is a summer evenig at the market place. If the weather is fine, it is barely possible to get a seat in one of the beer gardens. Nearly every chair is occupied, normally until 11 p.m. No wonder – the atmosphere ist fantastic. 
It is best, when the sinking sun baths the historical buildings at the market place in a golden light. Ratingen is an old town. A settlement of that name was first mentioned in the 9th century. In 1276 the settlement gained its town charter. Shortly after that the construction of the city wall begun. Until today three towers and some other parts of the fortification survive. 


On a trip to Ratingen you should not miss it. You will get an extremly good impression of the fortification and its construction at the “Big Tower”. In addition to the city wall you can see parts of the city moat there. Ratingen is located between three freeways. There is no place in the city from where one needs more than 15 minutes to reach a freeway entrance ramp. Furthermore the train connections to Essen and Düsseldorf are good and the airport in Düsseldorf can be reached in just a few minutes. Because of its good travel connections and the proximity to Düsseldorf Ratingen’s economically growth is good. Since local business taxes are less high than in other areas many companys from sunrise industries are moving to Ratingen.

To Live and Work in Germany, You Have to Start Here!

Every country and culture has their own unique way of defining what is proper behavior when meeting someone new. In Germany, you may have seen that people sometimes hug of exchange kisses on the cheek, like the French do. However, it is a recent trend, as  only young people will get as close as that. As a rule of thumb, most Germans will shake hands while bowing their heads a little, kind of like a nod.

Another thing to be taken into consideration when greeting someone, is also the rank of the person. The older or higher-ranking person should offer his hand first. If you offer your hand to somebody ranking higher than you, a few will even snub it, but fortunately they are the minority. Of course, a general cultural rule is sometime not followed even by the natives in some cases, and being a foreigner might give you a bit of leeway, but in the case of , especially, a professional work environment, we recommend that you keep in mind the general customs, as first impressions are very important.
Germans are known to observe the rules (in particular the uneducated may not), please try to observe etiquette when in Germany, as that will definitely help your career in Germany. We are sure that people will take into account your manners and you will be much more appreciated for your courtesy.

Also, it is quite important you don’t forget to bow your head a little when shaking hands. If If you keeping looking straight ahead,
people will instinctively perceive you as arrogant. And we sure don’t want you to give the wrong impression!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year From GermanPod101.com!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from everyone here at GermanPod101.com! We’re grateful to have listeners just like you, and we’re eagerly waiting for the upcoming year to learn German together!

And when the New Year comes around, be sure to make a resolution to study German with GermanPod101.com!

Have a healthy and happy holiday season.

From the GermanPod101.com team!