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Germany: Ten months, no money. What to do?

Germany: Ten months, no money. What to do?

Old Feb 7th 2007, 6:38 am
  #1  
HeiligeGlut
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Posts: n/a
Default Germany: Ten months, no money. What to do?

Okay, here's my situation: I'm a 21-year-old American female, just
finished my degree in German. I'm in a program to go live in a German
town for ten months (give or take) to be an English teaching assistant
at a local school (so I'll be there throughout the school year,
roughly August to June, I think). They'll pay my air fare over and
back, plus 750 euros a month to live on. I'll be working about 12
hours a week at the school. I'll have little to no money of my own to
take over (just finished working my way through school, so I'm broke).

My questions, then:
How much is it going to cost me to live? I'd be happy with a room in
someone's attic, if I could find one, so think bare minimum
requirements for that question. Assume also that I'll probably be in
a smallish town and probably also in the former East.
What's the cheapest way to travel around? Are Eurail passes worth
it? I'll probably be staying in Germany mostly (due both to finances
and preference), so would a Deutschbahn card be better?
What should I do? Any suggestions are welcome. Things to see, stuff
to try, etc.
How hard is it to pick up a couple of hours a week working somewhere
to make some extra cash? I hear it's really hard to get working
papers in Germany if you're not German - will I be in big trouble if I
work illegally?

Essentially, I've got ten months in Germany and a VERY limited
budget. Any advice would be appreciated.
 
Old Feb 7th 2007, 7:08 am
  #2  
-Iceman
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Default Re: Germany: Ten months, no money. What to do?

On Feb 7, 2:38 pm, "HeiligeGlut" <[email protected]> wrote:
> My questions, then:
> How much is it going to cost me to live? I'd be happy with a room in
> someone's attic, if I could find one, so think bare minimum
> requirements for that question. Assume also that I'll probably be in
> a smallish town and probably also in the former East.
> What's the cheapest way to travel around?


In Western Europe, the bus. Look at Eurolines.

In Eastern Europe almost all of the trains and buses are very cheap.

Low-cost airlines like Ryanair and Air Berlin often have very good
prices, but don't discount the cost and time involved in getting to
some of the airports they use, which can be far from city centers (in
some cities they do use convenient airports).

> Are Eurail passes worth it?


Generally not, unless you plan on a lot of inter-country trips in
Western Europe.

> Essentially, I've got ten months in Germany and a VERY limited
> budget. Any advice would be appreciated.


Consider trips into Eastern Europe, much of which is way cheaper than
Western Europe.
 
Old Feb 7th 2007, 7:20 am
  #3  
-PeterL
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Germany: Ten months, no money. What to do?

On Feb 7, 11:38 am, "HeiligeGlut" <[email protected]> wrote:
> Okay, here's my situation: I'm a 21-year-old American female, just
> finished my degree in German. I'm in a program to go live in a German
> town for ten months (give or take) to be an English teaching assistant
> at a local school (so I'll be there throughout the school year,
> roughly August to June, I think). They'll pay my air fare over and
> back, plus 750 euros a month to live on. I'll be working about 12
> hours a week at the school. I'll have little to no money of my own to
> take over (just finished working my way through school, so I'm broke).
>
> My questions, then:
> How much is it going to cost me to live? I'd be happy with a room in
> someone's attic, if I could find one, so think bare minimum
> requirements for that question. Assume also that I'll probably be in
> a smallish town and probably also in the former East.
> What's the cheapest way to travel around? Are Eurail passes worth
> it? I'll probably be staying in Germany mostly (due both to finances
> and preference), so would a Deutschbahn card be better?
> What should I do? Any suggestions are welcome. Things to see, stuff
> to try, etc.
> How hard is it to pick up a couple of hours a week working somewhere
> to make some extra cash? I hear it's really hard to get working
> papers in Germany if you're not German - will I be in big trouble if I
> work illegally?


There are plenty of unofficial jobs one can do anywhere in the world.
With your skills you may want to check out translation opportunities.
You can do this on the web.


>
> Essentially, I've got ten months in Germany and a VERY limited
> budget. Any advice would be appreciated.
 
Old Feb 7th 2007, 7:23 am
  #4  
Padraig Breathnach
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Germany: Ten months, no money. What to do?

"HeiligeGlut" <[email protected]> wrote:

>How hard is it to pick up a couple of hours a week working somewhere
>to make some extra cash? I hear it's really hard to get working
>papers in Germany if you're not German - will I be in big trouble if I
>work illegally?
>
I don't know specifically about Germany, but I know that in Ireland
and in France language assistants often supplement their modest pay by
giving some language tuition on a 1:1 basis. That tends to happen in
the black economy.

It would be considered unprofessional to give such tuition to one's
own students. Ask the established teachers in the school for guidance.

--
PB
The return address has been MUNGED
My travel writing: http://www.iol.ie/~draoi/
 
Old Feb 7th 2007, 7:26 am
  #5  
Keith Anderson
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Germany: Ten months, no money. What to do?

On 7 Feb 2007 11:38:05 -0800, "HeiligeGlut" <[email protected]> wrote:

>Okay, here's my situation: I'm a 21-year-old American female, just
>finished my degree in German. I'm in a program to go live in a German
>town for ten months (give or take) to be an English teaching assistant
>at a local school (so I'll be there throughout the school year,
>roughly August to June, I think). They'll pay my air fare over and
>back, plus 750 euros a month to live on. I'll be working about 12
>hours a week at the school. I'll have little to no money of my own to
>take over (just finished working my way through school, so I'm broke).
>
>My questions, then:
>How much is it going to cost me to live? I'd be happy with a room in
>someone's attic, if I could find one, so think bare minimum
>requirements for that question. Assume also that I'll probably be in
>a smallish town and probably also in the former East.

Still a demand for English language teaching in Germany, particularly
in the former East. If you're only working 12 hours a week as an
assistant, that should give you time to build up a freelance business.

>What's the cheapest way to travel around? Are Eurail passes worth
>it? I'll probably be staying in Germany mostly (due both to finances
>and preference), so would a Deutschbahn card be better?
>What should I do? Any suggestions are welcome. Things to see, stuff
>to try, etc.
>How hard is it to pick up a couple of hours a week working somewhere
>to make some extra cash?

See above.

> I hear it's really hard to get working
>papers in Germany if you're not German - will I be in big trouble if I
>work illegally?

Probably - so do it legitimately.
>
>Essentially, I've got ten months in Germany and a VERY limited
>budget. Any advice would be appreciated.

These sites (and the contacts they link to) may be of use:-

http://www.eltabb.com/welcome.php5

http://p219.ezboard.com/belt

http://www.expatica.com/

http://www.t-english.com/

http://www.transitionsabroad.com/publications/magazine/0201/teaching_in_germany.shtml

http://www.transitionsabroad.com/publications/magazine/0601/teaching_english_in_germany_as_a_freelancer.shtml

http://www.expatica.com/actual/article.asp?subchannel_id@&story_id%775




Keith, Bristol, UK
 
Old Feb 7th 2007, 7:43 am
  #6  
Erick T . Barkhuis
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Germany: Ten months, no money. What to do?

PeterL:

> There are plenty of unofficial jobs one can do anywhere in the world.
> With your skills you may want to check out translation opportunities.
> You can do this on the web.

In Germany, that would require you to start an official business first,
by means of a "Gewerbeanmeldung" at the local community.
Not too big a deal, because as long as your business income stays under
7500 euro a year, you're not required to get involved in VAT accounting
and you won't have to pay "Gewerbesteuer".
Of course, they will want some income taxes.

If you contemplate starting some business of your own, go to your local
IHK (Industrie und Handelskammer) for information. They have free
seminars for starting entrepeneurs that actually are worthwile.

Not many opportunities in the black circuit, since customers will be
companies requiring (and willing to pay decently for) translations. These
companies need formal bills.
The black circuit flourishes mainly in the transportation and
construction segments.


--
Erick
 
Old Feb 7th 2007, 7:45 am
  #7  
Erick T . Barkhuis
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Germany: Ten months, no money. What to do?

Erick T. Barkhuis:

> If you contemplate starting some business of your own, go to your local
> IHK (Industrie und Handelskammer) for information. They have free
> seminars for starting entrepeneurs that actually are worthwile.

And on Usenet, d.e.b.s. is where you find plenty of information.
That newsgroup's FAQ is announced weekly as follows:


Die FAQ der Newsgroup debs findet man im Web unter
http://www.debs-faq.de
Die Einsteigerhinweise sind direkt �ber
http://debs-faq.de/l3de/Einsteigerhinweise/
zu erreichen.


--
Erick
 
Old Feb 7th 2007, 8:36 am
  #8  
Alfred Molon
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Germany: Ten months, no money. What to do?

In article <[email protected]> , Erick T.
Barkhuis says...

> In Germany, that would require you to start an official business first,
> by means of a "Gewerbeanmeldung" at the local community.

Are you sure a freelance translator has to register a "Gewerbe"?
--

Alfred Molon
http://www.molon.de - Photos of Asia, Africa and Europe
 
Old Feb 7th 2007, 6:20 pm
  #9  
justforpostings
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Germany: Ten months, no money. What to do?

On 7 Feb., 20:38, "HeiligeGlut" <[email protected]> wrote:
> Okay, here's my situation: I'm a 21-year-old American female, just
> finished my degree in German. I'm in a program to go live in a German
> town for ten months (give or take) to be an English teaching assistant
> at a local school (so I'll be there throughout the school year,
> roughly August to June, I think). They'll pay my air fare over and
> back, plus 750 euros a month to live on. I'll be working about 12
> hours a week at the school. I'll have little to no money of my own to
> take over (just finished working my way through school, so I'm broke).
>
> My questions, then:
> How much is it going to cost me to live? I'd be happy with a room in
> someone's attic, if I could find one, so think bare minimum
> requirements for that question.

What about joining a student program ?
Student fees in Germany are [still] inexistent to
symbolic and students get special advantages
such as health insurance, acces to campus
restaurants and lodging .....
Dont know about Germany, but in most
countries, limited part time jobs for students
are/were more or less tolerated without
needing a special working permit.
Check for universities websites: some have
informations on cost of living for their area.

And by the way: dont you need a work-permit
for the 12 hours a week teaching job - if yes,
why not asking for more hours ?

< Assume also that I'll probably be in
> a smallish town and probably also in the former East.
> What's the cheapest way to travel around?

Walking (?)
I met by chance some time ago a German
student on her way from Southern Switzerland
back to her home in Northern Germany -
she planned to walk as far as possible the
two vacation months after Abitur before
starting College. Sure not a challenge for
everybody ..... .

< Are Eurail passes worth
> it? I'll probably be staying in Germany mostly (due both to finances
> and preference), so would a Deutschbahn card be better?
> What should I do? Any suggestions are welcome. Things to see, stuff
> to try, etc.

Check for DB special offers and tickets
(such as weekend specials), plan ahead
to get better prices. Same for low-cost airlines
- but check for total cost of trip including
transportation from and to airports. Bus
services especially to East-European
countries can be cheap.

Youth hostels probably are a good option for
your trips: not only for the price, but also for
getting first hand information for other fellow
travellers ....

> How hard is it to pick up a couple of hours a week working somewhere
> to make some extra cash? I hear it's really hard to get working
> papers in Germany if you're not German - will I be in big trouble if I
> work illegally?

In larger cities easier to make some money with
"Privatstunden" - but cost of living tends to be higher

> Essentially, I've got ten months in Germany and a VERY limited
> budget. Any advice would be appreciated.
 
Old Feb 7th 2007, 6:50 pm
  #10  
Erick T . Barkhuis
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Germany: Ten months, no money. What to do?

Alfred Molon:
> In article <[email protected]> , Erick T.
> Barkhuis says...
>
> > In Germany, that would require you to start an official business first,
> > by means of a "Gewerbeanmeldung" at the local community.
>
> Are you sure a freelance translator has to register a "Gewerbe"?

Ah well, you're right, it depends :-)
A translator in the _publishing_ business can opt for a status as
"Freiberufler".

--
Erick
 
Old Feb 7th 2007, 11:52 pm
  #11  
Martin Bienwald
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Germany: Ten months, no money. What to do?

HeiligeGlut wrote:

> How much is it going to cost me to live? I'd be happy with a room in
> someone's attic, if I could find one, so think bare minimum
> requirements for that question.

That greatly depends on where you are. Rent for a single room could be
anything from less than 100 to more than 300 euros a month depending on
the region. Munich, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, and Heidelberg are supposed to
be rather expensive regions, most of former East Germany is rather
inexpensive.

> What's the cheapest way to travel around?

Rail, bus, budget airlines. There are a lot of special fares you can
use.
Organized hitchhiking ("Mitfahrzentrale") might also be an option.

> Are Eurail passes worth it?

Probably not. Local passes or other special fares are the better deal in
most cases. You might want to subscribe to the de.etc.bahn.tarif+service
newsgroup; people there tend to be very helpful with finding inexpensive
travel options.

Living in Germany for 10 months, you will probably be considered a resident
(if temporary) and be eligible for Interrail and similar offers.

> I'll probably be staying in Germany mostly (due both to finances
> and preference), so would a Deutschbahn card be better?

A BahnCard might be a good idea. This exists in two versions: one giving 25%
discount on standard fares and some special offers (EUR 53) and another one
giving 50% discount on standard fares but nothing on special fares (EUR 212).
Both are valid for a year from any given date (e.g. Sep 24, 2007 to Sep 23,
2008).

If time isn't an issue, there are several regional train passes. They are
valid on local and regional trains only (so you won't travel very fast)
but are rather inexpensive. For weekends there is also a nationwide pass
for local and regional trains. Have a look at the Deutsche Bahn page:
www.bahn.de (most of the information is available in English).

> What should I do? Any suggestions are welcome. Things to see, stuff
> to try, etc.

What are you interested in? Germany may look small on a globe but still
has many more interesting sights than one could probably manage to see
even in ten months. Architecture - old or modern? Country scenery? Shopping?
Theater? Music? Sports? ...

Make friends with the locals and ask them for their recommendations.
You might see some interesting things not mentioned in any guide book.

... Martin
 
Old Feb 8th 2007, 1:32 am
  #12  
Frank Hucklenbroich
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Germany: Ten months, no money. What to do?

Am Wed, 7 Feb 2007 21:43:52 +0100 schrieb Erick T. Barkhuis:

> PeterL:
>
>> There are plenty of unofficial jobs one can do anywhere in the world.
>> With your skills you may want to check out translation opportunities.
>> You can do this on the web.
>
> In Germany, that would require you to start an official business first,
> by means of a "Gewerbeanmeldung" at the local community.

...which requires that you have a permanent resident permit
("Aufenthaltserlaubnis"). Without that you can't set up your own business -
how are you supposed to pay your taxes when you're out of the country? ;-)

Regards,

Frank
 
Old Feb 8th 2007, 1:58 am
  #13  
Erick T . Barkhuis
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Germany: Ten months, no money. What to do?

Frank Hucklenbroich:
> Am Wed, 7 Feb 2007 21:43:52 +0100 schrieb Erick T. Barkhuis:
>
> > PeterL:
> >
> >> There are plenty of unofficial jobs one can do anywhere in the world.
> >> With your skills you may want to check out translation opportunities.
> >> You can do this on the web.
> >
> > In Germany, that would require you to start an official business first,
> > by means of a "Gewerbeanmeldung" at the local community.
>
> ...which requires that you have a permanent resident permit
> ("Aufenthaltserlaubnis"). Without that you can't set up your own business -

For Americans (like OP) that holds true.
Other foreigners (from EU or "Vertragsl�nder") can set up an own business
with just the Freiz�gigkeitsbescheinigung, a document I still don't
understand the purpose of.

> how are you supposed to pay your taxes when you're out of the country? ;-)

Send a check? Use Paypal? :-)


--
Erick
[looking out the window and seeing some snow...finally]
 
Old Feb 8th 2007, 3:05 am
  #14  
Volker Hetzer
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Germany: Ten months, no money. What to do?

HeiligeGlut schrieb:
> Okay, here's my situation: I'm a 21-year-old American female, just
> finished my degree in German. I'm in a program to go live in a German
> town for ten months (give or take) to be an English teaching assistant
> at a local school (so I'll be there throughout the school year,
> roughly August to June, I think). They'll pay my air fare over and
> back, plus 750 euros a month to live on. I'll be working about 12
> hours a week at the school. I'll have little to no money of my own to
> take over (just finished working my way through school, so I'm broke).
If you are in a program, are you a student then?

> My questions, then:
> How much is it going to cost me to live? I'd be happy with a room in
> someone's attic, if I could find one, so think bare minimum
> requirements for that question. Assume also that I'll probably be in
> a smallish town and probably also in the former East.
Let's get the bad news over first:
Be prepared (like every american going abroad) to be asked about the
Iraq war and Bush, something many of us feel strongly about.
However, if you can navigate that particular set of cliffs you should
be fine.

> What's the cheapest way to travel around? Are Eurail passes worth
> it? I'll probably be staying in Germany mostly (due both to finances
> and preference), so would a Deutschbahn card be better?
BahnCards come in several varieties student/adult and 25%/50%.
Additionally there are often special offers if you plan your trips
a few weeks beforehand.
But this is something that can be done when you have arrived in germany
and found your bearings. Here you can get an overview:
http://www.bahn.de/p/view/international/englisch/travelservice/price_overview.shtml

Others mentioned buses (slow) and organized hitchhiking ("Mitfahrzentrale").

> What should I do? Any suggestions are welcome. Things to see, stuff
> to try, etc.
You are in east Germany, so Dresden should be high on your list. If you like
to look at historical treasure vaults you have to book tickets for the
"Gruenes Gewoelbe" in advance:
http://www.skd-dresden.de/en/museen/gruenes_gewoelbe.html
There are lots of festivals in summer too.
Another very nice city is Goerlitz. Apart from the beauty of the city itself
you can see the stark difference between the german part and the polish part
on the other side of the river.
Then there are Quedlinburg, Weimar, Meissen and Eisenach, all beautiful
cities.
As for Landscape, there is "saxon switzerland" upriver of Dresden,
which is great in summer. It's a national park, albeit very small by
american standards:
http://www.nationalpark-saechsische-schweiz.de/startseite/index.php?lang_id=2&version=0
Also it's got a picturesque open air theater in one of the valleys.

There is the "Spreewald" too, with small rivers like Venice, only it's
not a city but forest with small houses in:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spreewald

And there's the coast of the baltic see with Ruegen, Usedom, Hiddensee
and some other islands.

Personally I don't like Berlin at all but everybody visits it.

On the northern coast, there's Stralsund, Rostock and the baltic sea
islands.

Outside of east germany I can only speak for bavaria. Munich is
IMHO a great city, the alps are fantastic too, about two hours by
train south of Munich.

> How hard is it to pick up a couple of hours a week working somewhere
> to make some extra cash? I hear it's really hard to get working
> papers in Germany if you're not German - will I be in big trouble if I
> work illegally?
Personally I don't think you should have a problem giving some
after-school lessons to pupils. Something else foreigners often do
is go serving in pubs. Just talk to the teacher you are assisting.

> Essentially, I've got ten months in Germany and a VERY limited
> budget. Any advice would be appreciated.
For traveling around maybe you could get a youth hostel pass?

Lots of Greetings!
Volker
--
For email replies, please substitute the obvious.
 
Old Feb 8th 2007, 3:54 am
  #15  
Zubenelgenubi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Germany: Ten months, no money. What to do?

You said you were working 12 hours a week for a school in Germany. How
can you do that without a work permit?
 

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