<![CDATA[Working in Germany - Blog]]>Sat, 05 Mar 2016 22:25:00 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Cheap mobile calls]]>Mon, 19 Nov 2012 12:55:49 GMThttp://workingingermany.weebly.com/blog/cheap-mobile-callsUnfortunately, German mobile phone provider websites are not available in English. Obviously, German mobile phone providers have not yet fully realized that many foreigners are looking for tariff information on their websites. Therefore, we would like to provide some help on this topic:

There are four mobile phone providers in Germany (o2, E-plus, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom). Further, mobile phone discounters, which act as resellers, provide tariffs as well (i.e. Fonic, Congstar). Due to relatively intense competition, mobile phone prices become lower and lower in Germany.

Currently, we recommend especially three tariffs:
- Fonic 
Fonic is a mobile phone discounter, which belongs to o2. They sell prepaid tariffs for smartphones and normal cell phones. Expecially interesting is the fact that calls to landlines to many foreign countries cost €0.09 only. In order to use the smartphone-option (500 minutes or sms, 500 MB data flat, €16.95 per month) you will need a German bank account. Top ups (when not using the smartphone option) are available in many stores.

- Lidl Mobile
Lidl is a retail discounter in Germany, comparable to Aldi. Like Fonic, they sell prepaid tariffs for smartphones and normal cell phones. Calls to foreign landlines cost also €0.09. The smartphone-option (400 minutes or sms, 300 MB data flat, €9.95) requires a German bank account. Top ups (when not using the smartphone-option) are available at Lidl stores only (ask at the checkout).

- Blauworld 
Very interesting for those whishing to call home often. They sell prepaid mobile tariffs with decent prices when calling within Germany. When calling to mobile and landline numbers abroad, they offer even cheaper prices. And last but not least, they provide an English website! Check out the various tariff options (i.e. voice and data flats).]]>
<![CDATA[Health insurance in Germany]]>Wed, 31 Oct 2012 22:00:17 GMThttp://workingingermany.weebly.com/blog/health-insurance-in-germanyIn Germany, there are private and statutory health insurance funds. And like Germans, foreigners and EU citizens need health insurance as well. In many cases, foreigners choose to public (statutory) health insurance. In other cases, they only have the option to take out private health insurance.

Employment critical for access to statutory health insurance
If foreigners are permanently employed in Germany, statutory health insurances generally cannot reject their membership applications. Citizens of other EU Member States may under circumstances be with statutory health Insurance even without a job in Germany. However, in this case a former membership in a system of public health insurance is a prerequisite. Otherwise, EU foreigners need a private health insurance. Furthermore, registering at a private health insurance is usually the only option for people who are not from an EU member country and do not have a job in Germany.

Apply in any case
When starting to work in Germany, your company will ask you for your health insurance even before the start of your employment. You can sign up for health insurance as soon as you know who will be your employer. Foreigners without work in Germany can be a member of the statutory health insurance in many cases as well. EU citizens and other foreigners should therefore apply for a health insurance in any case. The necessary acknowledgments of the prior insurance may be filed later.

Selected insurances
Techniker Krankenkasse for example, a popular statutory health insurance fund in Germany, provides information and application forms in English. Further, the online-portal krankenkassen.de recommends some health insurance funds for foreigners and provides a free insurance change-service
<![CDATA[German bank account]]>Mon, 29 Oct 2012 20:20:10 GMThttp://workingingermany.weebly.com/blog/german-bank-accountIn general, you neither need to live and work in Germany nor do you need a residence/work permit in order to be able to open up a bank account in Germany. In fact, it depends on the bank and your individual situation. 

If you need a German bank account, a bank worth considering is DKB (a 100% subsidiary of Bayerische Landesbank). You can open up a checking account at the DKB without a place of residency in Germany. DKB is a direct bank, providing online checking accounts. The account is held in Germany with a German bank code and account number. Account management at the DKB bank is in Euro. The free DKB credit card (Visa card) allows you to withdraw money worldwide and toll free at most ATMs. 

The first step to open up an account at DKB is to fill out the online account application. In most countries, the necessary identity verification checks are possible at local banks or by a lawyer in the foreign country of residence. Alternatively, the identity check can be done in a branch office of the German post (Deutsche Post) in Germany.  
<![CDATA[Job application in Germany]]>Sun, 28 Oct 2012 18:02:38 GMThttp://workingingermany.weebly.com/blog/job-application-in-germanyWhen in Germany, do as the Germans do
For most people, applying for a job is not necessarily much fun. After having found a promising job offer, the next difficulties occur when trying to write a correct CV and an elaborated cover letter. Depsite living in a globalized world, companies in different countries expect different standards in respect of job applications. In Germany, for example, companies generally prefer a conservative, clear and proper CV without much individual styling (and without many different colors),  

Create your CV online
Regarding the German job market, there are many informational websites on the topic "job application", of course. However, most of them are not in English. Fortunately, the European Commission provides the website "Europass" in order to "make your skills and qualifications clearly and easily understood in Europe". At the Europass-website you can create your CV (Curriculum Vitae) online. An online-form helps job applicants to write a correct CV, which fulfils high standards regarding substance and form. 

A convincing cover letter
A good cover letter tells your potential employer exactly why you are the person who will solve his problems. In other words, writing a cover letter is briefing a potential employer with decision-relevant information. 
The best German website about the topic "job application" we found is jova-nova.com (unfortunately, it is in German only). The author explains that you should completely waive the introduction in your letter and begin with the most important argument which speaks for you - namely your current (or most recent) job function. The author provides a shortlist of the most important hints regarding a cover letter for free.

Apply for a work/residence permit in Germany
In our section "How to Apply for a Work Permit" we provide a downloadable booklet for $10 only including detailed and comprehensive explanations regarding this topic for everybody who wishes to work in Germany. ]]>
<![CDATA[Online communities]]>Fri, 26 Oct 2012 21:06:56 GMThttp://workingingermany.weebly.com/blog/online-communitiesOnline communities, sharing information about Germany, visa, work permits, jobs and many other things are for example:
<![CDATA[PUBLIC TRANSPORT IN GERMANY (AND EUROPEAN CAPITALS)]]>Fri, 26 Oct 2012 20:55:19 GMThttp://workingingermany.weebly.com/blog/public-transport-in-germany-and-european-capitalsFRANKFURT (Germany)
Suburban and underground train network
Homepage of Frankfurt’s public transport

KÖLN (COLOGNE) (Germany)
Suburban and underground train network (with points of interest)
Suburban and underground train network (standard format)
Bus network
Homepage of Cologne’s public transport
Cologne Welcome Card

Map of suburban and underground train network 
Map of tram (streetcar) network (with suburban and underground trains in grey color) 
Fare zones, inner circles (1. Zone, containing 4 Rings)
Ticket-Navigator Express
Mobile Services
Homepage of Munich's public transport

Map of suburban and underground train network
Fare zones, inner circles
Homepage of Nuremberg's public transport

Bus network
Homepage of Ratisbona's public transportation

Map of suburban train and bus network
Fare zones, inner circles
Homepage of Augsburg's public transportation

HAMBURG (Germany)
Suburban and underground train network
Bus network
Homepage of Hamburg's public transportation

Suburban and underground train network
Bus, suburban and underground train network (detailed view)
Fare-zone map
Flyer with maps and information in English
Homepage of Stuttgart’s public transport

BERLIN (Germany)
Map of suburban and underground train network
Map of tram (streetcar) network
Homepage of Berlin's public transportation

VIENNA (WIEN) (Austria)
Suburban and underground train network
City-map with underground lines (recommendation)
Fare-zone map
Homepage of Vienna’s public transport

PRAGUE (PRAHA) (Czech republic)
Suburban and underground train network
Bus network
Fare-zone map 
Homepage of Prague’s public transport 
<![CDATA[German courses free of costs]]>Fri, 26 Oct 2012 20:46:03 GMThttp://workingingermany.weebly.com/blog/german-courses-free-of-costsGermany's international broadcaster "Deutsche Welle" provides elaborated German courses for online learning free of costs. The courses can also be printed out  for offline learning. Deutsche Welle is presenting events and developments in Germany by broadcasting around the globe in 30 languages. ]]><![CDATA[Public broadcasting fee]]>Fri, 26 Oct 2012 20:26:09 GMThttp://workingingermany.weebly.com/blog/public-broadcasting-feeIn Germany, most people have to pay a monthly license fee for their TV and radio.
From 2013 on, there will be some changes concerning under which circumstances one will have to pay:
Following the principle "one flat, one fee", each household will have to pay a license fee of €17.98 per month. It does not matter if the members of the household have a TV or a radio nor does it matter how many they have.  
If you are living in a shared flat you will be lucky, because you will probably have to pay less then before.
The broadcasting services published a flyer with further information.
You can register with the public broadcasting services online. For membership cancellation you will have to send a letter. ]]>
<![CDATA[How to reduce your electricity, gas and mobile phone bills]]>Fri, 26 Oct 2012 19:54:14 GMThttp://workingingermany.weebly.com/blog/how-to-reduce-your-electricity-gas-and-mobile-phone-bilsVerivox is an online portal where you can easily compare different suppliers of electricity, gas, mobile phone and internet tariffs, car-insurances and financial products.  
Consumer advocates recently complained that while Verivox lists many cheap electricity tariffs for example, which can lead to significant reductions of monthly bill sizes, many Germans seem to be too lazy to change their electricity provider and consequently are still paying too much.  ]]>