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Old July 2nd, 2010, 08:59 AM   #1
MnewtoGermany
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Life in German cities for an immigrant

Hello city lovers
I have just landed myself a good job somewhere close to Frankfurt. As I have stayed in Sydney,London,Sanfran, I am bit hesitant how this city be for an immigrant not speaking German. How is the nightlife, friendliness, social elements etc compared to other cities, is it vibrant and full of life with lots of friends to make on a night out or just plain and bit cold? I have to make this decision whether to move back to Sydney or go to Frankfurt and commute to work in griesheim.

Please advice as I am new to the country. Is ti worth first living in Frankfurt and then move to Berlin ? I am looking to make god friends and have a an active social while i work hard in my professional life

Mike
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 09:18 PM   #2
Anderson Geimz
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Frankfurt has a large expat community. From what country are you? Australia?
I know of at least one Australian living in Frankfurt who also visits this forum.
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Old July 3rd, 2010, 04:31 AM   #3
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Finding a job is certainly easier in and around Frankfurt. Frankfurt is also very international with lots of Brits, Americans and Asians. But they are moslty there because of their jobs and business.

If you have a choice then perhaps Berlin might be more interesting. Its more culturally oriented and you finds lots of creative crazy people there. Rents are also much cheaper. But finding a well paid job might be more difficult.
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Old July 3rd, 2010, 12:08 PM   #4
the spliff fairy
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Frankfurt is about 27% foreign born
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Old July 3rd, 2010, 12:41 PM   #5
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Learn german as soon as you can, otherwise you won't have much social interaction apart from the sporadic people you meet while going out and maybe other expats. Yes, you are thinking right, learning german is indeed extremely hard.
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Old July 4th, 2010, 09:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anderson Geimz View Post
Frankfurt has a large expat community. From what country are you? Australia?
I know of at least one Australian living in Frankfurt who also visits this forum.
Yeah try 'Justme'
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Old July 5th, 2010, 07:09 AM   #7
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I've travelled through out Germany, since my family lives there. My family lives in Wiesbaden, just outside of Frankfurt. Frankfurt itself is a rather "boring" city, it's mainly the only main banking sector outside of Berlin.

If you're looking for a more exciting city it's definitely Berlin. Munchen is also really great.
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Old July 11th, 2010, 02:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallas star View Post
it's mainly the only main banking sector outside of Berlin.
Berlin doesn't really have a banking sector, they're more into insurance and health/care providers.

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If you're looking for a more exciting city it's definitely Berlin.
Sure, if you can live without a job - because you won't find one in Berlin with its near-20% "real" unemployment rates...
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Old July 11th, 2010, 08:23 PM   #9
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Sure, if you can live without a job - because you won't find one in Berlin with its near-20% "real" unemployment rates...
You can find one in Berlin if you are educated, Berlin sucks economically because there are so few educated people and it's school system is one of the worst in Germany.
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Old July 11th, 2010, 10:43 PM   #10
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it's school system is one of the worst in Germany.
Nah. Bremen is still (considerably) worse supposedly. And btw, Hessen isn't really rated all that good either, but that's not surprising considering the ultra-conservative government spends about the second- or third-least (per student) on education out of all German states. Iirc only Saxony-Anhalt spends less.

And Berlin doesn't suck economically because it doesn't have educated people, it sucks because "like begets like" - the economic powerhouse of Germany is the South, and that's where it'll stay.
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Old July 11th, 2010, 11:26 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by kato2k8 View Post
Nah. Bremen is still (considerably) worse supposedly. And btw, Hessen isn't really rated all that good either, but that's not surprising considering the ultra-conservative government spends about the second- or third-least (per student) on education out of all German states. Iirc only Saxony-Anhalt spends less.

And Berlin doesn't suck economically because it doesn't have educated people, it sucks because "like begets like" - the economic powerhouse of Germany is the South, and that's where it'll stay.
Having spent 13 years in Hessian schools, 9 years under the current CDU rule, I didn't consider it that bad. Of course, it depends on the teachers Maybe you have to be a free-state to have a very good school-system, like Thüringen Sachsen and Bayern.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 02:40 AM   #12
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This is very interesting. Are Germans in general unhappy about their schools? Certainly in the US it is the national pastime to criticize the local schools but I always assumed they must be quite good in Germany.

Is there really that much of a difference between north and south? I know the East is still economically challenged as well as some of the old industrial north, but I would have assumed that the construction and government booms in Berlin would have heated up the economy considerably. I know from my visits there that decent housing is expensive, but I assume this is because pre-1989 Communist housing is not considered desirable.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 06:12 AM   #13
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Is there really that much of a difference between north and south?
Economically? Anything north of the Weißwurstäquator just can't compete.
The traditional "South"-grouped states make about 120-125% of the per-capita GDP of the "North". Even if we only take West Germany, the South still makes 110% of the North-German per-capita GDP.

Or, a bit closer refined, citizens in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg have a per-capita GDP of about 150% of that of East Germany including West Berlin. In 2009.
Reflects in unemployment numbers too of course. In the two southern power houses, we have unemployment figures approaching the 4% mark again now, while the North of West Germany is at easily twice that, and all East German states come in at between three and four times that number.

Berlin accounts for only 3.75% of German GDP, while holding 4.2% of the German population. And just the financial aid by other German states and the federal government account for nearly 10% of Berlin GDP. Economically that makes it an underperformer on par with other East German states.

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Are Germans in general unhappy about their schools?
They bitch about the supposed bad performance at every opportunity. With everybody of course finding something different to be at fault.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 08:07 PM   #14
pesto
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vielen dank; very interesting. In the north I have only spent much time in Berlin but have spent a lot of time in Bayern and Frankfurt/Main over the years (I have worked in high-tech and finance).

I guess I should thank the Southerners; their money is doing a great job in Berlin.
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Old July 14th, 2010, 12:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
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vielen dank; very interesting. In the north I have only spent much time in Berlin but have spent a lot of time in Bayern and Frankfurt/Main over the years (I have worked in high-tech and finance).

I guess I should thank the Southerners; their money is doing a great job in Berlin.
Yeah, maybe we southerners should rather finance economic-education in Berlin instead of expensive social programs, like teaching one to fish rather than giving a fish.
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Old July 14th, 2010, 12:44 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kato2k8 View Post
Economically? Anything north of the Weißwurstäquator just can't compete.
The traditional "South"-grouped states make about 120-125% of the per-capita GDP of the "North". Even if we only take West Germany, the South still makes 110% of the North-German per-capita GDP.

Or, a bit closer refined, citizens in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg have a per-capita GDP of about 150% of that of East Germany including West Berlin. In 2009.
Reflects in unemployment numbers too of course. In the two southern power houses, we have unemployment figures approaching the 4% mark again now, while the North of West Germany is at easily twice that, and all East German states come in at between three and four times that number.

Berlin accounts for only 3.75% of German GDP, while holding 4.2% of the German population. And just the financial aid by other German states and the federal government account for nearly 10% of Berlin GDP. Economically that makes it an underperformer on par with other East German states.


They bitch about the supposed bad performance at every opportunity. With everybody of course finding something different to be at fault.
By the way, Hamburg is performing as well as the three southern metropolises Stuttgart, Münschen and Frankfurt. If you combine Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg, it's GDP/capita would equal that of the southern states.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 01:38 PM   #17
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By the way, Hamburg is performing as well as the three southern metropolises Stuttgart, Münschen and Frankfurt.
No it's not. See below.

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If you combine Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg, it's GDP/capita would equal that of the southern states.
Only barely so, at the lower end.

If we form an index of where the per-capita GDP of a region is located compared to the "average German", we get the following list:

1) 121.8% - HE
2) 117.2% - BY
3) 109.2% - BW
4) 109.0% - SH/HH (SH: 88.4%, HH: 165.4%)
5) 99.0% - NRW
6) 91.9% - LNS/HB (LNS: 88.1%, HB: 137.8%)
7) 88.3% - RLP/SL (RLP: 86.6%, SL: 95.0%)

East Germany would follow:

8) 82.3% - BB/BE (BB: 72.6%, BE: 89.4%)
9) 75.1% - SN
10) 72.9% - TH/ST (virtually identical)
11) 71.6% - MV

Now, we have the City State of Hamburg at 165.4% above, Bremen at 137.8%. Sounds like a lot - but isn't. Because if we compare them to the five biggest cities in the south, we get:

250.4% - Frankfurt/Main
204.9% - Stuttgart
192.9% - Munich
165.0% - Mannheim
153.2% - Nürnberg
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Old July 15th, 2010, 04:11 PM   #18
the spliff fairy
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btw about 40% of Frankfurters come from a migrant background.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 05:21 PM   #19
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Yep, same is true for Stuttgart btw (39% - Frankfurt: 38%). For the other southern cities mentioned, Nürnberg is at 35%, Munich 33%, Mannheim 32%.
Berlin is at only 25% for comparison, Hamburg at 27%, Cologne at 31%.

Although of course two-thirds of those with migration background are ethnic Turks. And the other third isn't that diverse either, with most people being ethnic Germans from the former Soviet Union or Eastern Europe.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 05:59 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by kato2k8 View Post
No it's not. See below.


Only barely so, at the lower end.

If we form an index of where the per-capita GDP of a region is located compared to the "average German", we get the following list:

1) 121.8% - HE
2) 117.2% - BY
3) 109.2% - BW
4) 109.0% - SH/HH (SH: 88.4%, HH: 165.4%)
5) 99.0% - NRW
6) 91.9% - LNS/HB (LNS: 88.1%, HB: 137.8%)
7) 88.3% - RLP/SL (RLP: 86.6%, SL: 95.0%)

East Germany would follow:

8) 82.3% - BB/BE (BB: 72.6%, BE: 89.4%)
9) 75.1% - SN
10) 72.9% - TH/ST (virtually identical)
11) 71.6% - MV

Now, we have the City State of Hamburg at 165.4% above, Bremen at 137.8%. Sounds like a lot - but isn't. Because if we compare them to the five biggest cities in the south, we get:

250.4% - Frankfurt/Main
204.9% - Stuttgart
192.9% - Munich
165.0% - Mannheim
153.2% - Nürnberg
The reason Frankfurt and Stuttgart are so high in GDP/capita rating is simple, because they only have a very small share of the population of their metropolitan areas. 80% are living in suburbs, whereas only 40% of the Hamburg metropolitan area is suburban. Most of the GDP of course is generated in city centers.

It's like London. If you compare Hamburg and Frankfurt to London, then Hamburg is like Greater London, but Frankfurt is like Inner London compared to the whole metropolitan area.
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