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Die Kaffeestube Teil 2 - virtual Kaffeeklatsch in Germany and Austria

(952 Posts)
cheaspicks Wed 22-Aug-12 09:57:01

Chat for those living in a German-speaking country, or anyone else who is interested.

wantingmore Fri 24-Aug-12 16:10:49

Hi everyone.
I just moved to Berlin a month ago with DH, DD1(11), DD2 (5) as DH got a job here.
None of us speak German but we are trying to learn.(also google translate helps!!)
Im finding it quite tough at the moment as we are in temp apartment looking for permanent. Also no europe schools will take DD1 so she will have to go to German public school so Im worried how that is going to work out but we have no other choice.

admylin Fri 24-Aug-12 17:20:56

muppet sounds like it was all abit much for your niece, and for you! Atleast you'll know how NOT to do it when your time comes! And I'm definately working on the dc to wait on me abit more. Dd had a flapjack experiment running in the kitchen this afternoon and I made sure she tidied everything up afterwards (I'm usualyl soft and play chef's assistant when she experiments).

Hi and welcomewantingmore - I lived in Berlin for 3 years in Mitte. It was OK but not the right area for families. Hope you find something soon.

My shoulder isn't any better so don't know what the point of the injection was except to give me a nice big bruise.

Sorry about your shoulder admylin

Hello wantingmore - is your dd academic? If so I have heard of gymnasium accepting students in her position as guest students for a year - like a foreign exchange student even though they live in the country - it's a bit of a get-around exploiting being an English (rather than Turkish or other less "fashionable" language) native speaker, but could help her out?

Need to retrieve my own dd from her friend down the road - friend (along with 2 others) was here all morning and for lunch, I turfed them out so I could take mine to the shops, then Dd went straight over to this friend's when we got back... blimin' social butterflies little girls grin

My youngest seems to have grown an impossible amount in the 3 days I was away, I think I miniaturised him in my mind... MIL also cut my middle one's hair while he was there, I don't like it sad too short, he looks as if he's just been conscripted...

NoHunIntended Fri 24-Aug-12 22:19:50

Hi, and welcome, CakeBump. Not sure I understand why our have been signed off work? Hope you are ok, and congratulations on the pregnancy and marriage!

admylin, hope your shoulder gets better soon.

Nutella, pain about Mothercare not delivering. What about Amazon?

wantingmore, what are you wanting more of? smile

Attic, your MIL cut your child's hair without asking you? I would be absolutely furious!

A bit about me for the newbies. My husband and I moved to Frankfurt in April, from London, as DH got a job here, and we want a life of adventure and travel for our family (currently consisting of us and DS, 22mo), so central Europe seemed as good a place to start as any. I don't see us being here for more than a couple of years, depending on work/finances. We are also going to homeschool/deschool/worldschool our DC, which is illegal here, though I know there are some get outs for non-natives, so another reason to move on before DS gets to school age.

Hope you all have a good weekend.

wantingmore Fri 24-Aug-12 22:22:19

Hi admylin thank you. Hope your shoulder gets better soon.

Hi TheEnglishWomanInTheAttic thanks for the info but my DD isnt very academic. Sorry about your sons haircut. I would be livid if my MIL did that.

wantingmore Fri 24-Aug-12 22:27:09

Xpost NoHunIntended i chose my name a long time ago when i wanted more from my life well i still do but anyway.
Have a good weekend too

worldcitizen Fri 24-Aug-12 22:32:31

NoHunIntended I lived in Frankfurt for 6 years!!!!!!

worldcitizen Fri 24-Aug-12 22:38:49

wantingmore what do you mean exactly with your dd not being accepted by a Euro school?

Have you called them. Did you go there? For example to the Nelson Mandela school?

wantingmore Fri 24-Aug-12 22:48:33

worldcitizen Nelson Mandela was the first school we contacted they said they had no place and even if someone cancelled their place we wouldnt get it as too many people ahead of us. Quentin Blake never got back to us and we have heard lots of bad things about them.
Charles Dickins said they had a place but then withdrew it as my DD didnt know french because her class would have learnt french the year before 5 days a week.

worldcitizen Fri 24-Aug-12 23:03:22

wanting I am so sorry to hear that.

Do they not have a rule, to accommodate newcomers? So, if you and your husband just arrived in Germany a month ago, your dd should be ahaed on the waiting list, isn't that usually the rule???

How about the John F. Kennedy school. Are they too far from where you're living now?
They also take British kids, if their parents have just arrived in the country, however they are all the way in the SW area of Berlin.

I am so sorry to hear about this.

NoHunIntended Sat 25-Aug-12 01:36:38

smile @ wantingmore wanting more! I hope you are content with what you have! smile Sorry to hear about the school problems. It is a rubbish system.

worldcitizen, feel free to offer me any ideas for what to do in Frankfurt!

Wantingmore are European schools private schools? If you can afford private fees maybe another kind of private school could suit your dd - perhaps a small "alternative" school could be easier for her to find her feet in? The Aktiveschule often have foreign language immersion - intended for German children to learn English, but often means an English native speaking teacher on hand a lot, all the time at a bigger school, 1 or 2 full days at a tiny one (at least it did at the one I taught at - the one I worked at was new and financially struggling and didn't treat their staff brilliantly - kept forgetting we weren't working purely for the joy of it - but I would definitely consider it for an older child without much German). Which class would she go into? A lot of them only go to 6th class, but going back a year may also benefit her language wise. There seems to be a very new Montessori in Berlin that goes right through to 18.

NoHun people who work with children in Germany do seem to be signed off work quite easily when pregnant, due to risk of catching the various childhood illnesses that can affect an unborn baby badly, I think that's why cakebump might be signed off. I wish I'd thought of it when I was preg with DC3 and working in a primary here wink as it was a non conventional school where much sitting on the floor occurred ... Maybe I wasn't eligible as, already having 2 small children, I was probably already immune to everything smile

Life's too short to be livid about DS1's hair, he's nearly 5 and it's not his first hair cut or anything, he doesn't have long hair generally, just not this short (and although it is even it does look home cut, as in there is no attempt at style as you would get at the hairdresser, I prefer to pay to have the kids hair cut) He isn't bothered or worried about it, which is the main thing, I am just rather un-impressed. It'll look OK in a month or so I'm sure.

wantingmore Sat 25-Aug-12 08:00:30

TheEnglishWomanInTheAttic the schools i have mentioned are not private they are free. Unfortunately we can not afford private if we could we would have no problem getting her into a school.

wantingmore Sat 25-Aug-12 08:04:30

Thank you worldcitizen i havent heard about any rule like that for europe schools but i have heard of it with german schools.

itsMYNutella Sat 25-Aug-12 08:14:33

Wantingmore that does sound like a total nightmare! Hope you manage to get something sorted for her.

Englishwoman my Mum used to cut our hair, it wasn't great but it was ok (we had to have Dad approved haircuts anyway). I'm pretty sure my ILs wouldn't attempt hair cutting... Thankfully. Good that DS isn't bothered.
Impressed by DD's stamina in London. I bet she had an amazing time smile It would take me a few weeks to squeeze in all the stuff I love to do... It would be so hard to make a short list confused

Hi Cakebump <waves> <then hangs head in shame for not pointing you here earlier> how was the wedding? I've been keeping an eye out for you on the DEC thread so sorry if I've missed your update.

The Mothercare delivery was free to my brother's UK address and I'll transfer him the money for the postage here so no biggie (Mothercare charge started at £10 + £1 per KG), but thanks for the tips about Muslins I will purchase more for comparisons sake grin

CakeBump Sat 25-Aug-12 08:30:42

That's it in a nutshell English - I was found to have no immunity to a virus called CMV, and as I work with small children I was given the "beschäftigungsverbot" which means I'm legally unable to continue in my role.

At first it was great - I've had a really easy pregnancy so far and I was able to take some of the strain off DH by helping in the restaurant. However school have now refused to pay me any more, and as the restaurant is new and struggling its a real worry. Our joint income at the moment is zero..... confused

Nutella the Dec thread was so big and fast moving I gave up with it after a while. Rather selfishly too, as because everything for me was going ok, I didn'T really have anything to add to it!!

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend. Its raining here in the Eifel and looks grey and miserable for the first time in weeks... I hope we get some hardy tourists in today!!

NoHunIntended Sat 25-Aug-12 08:48:14

Interesting about being signed off if you work for a school, thank for the explanation, Attic.

Nutella, I didn't use the muslins I bought when DS was born, he just wasn't a thrown uppy baby, so if I had my time again, I'd wait and see what we needed as and when.

NoHunIntended Sat 25-Aug-12 08:48:37

*throwy uppy

worldcitizen Sat 25-Aug-12 09:51:21

cakebump, wouldn't after the employer continued to pay the salary after so and so many weeks, the health insurance continue to pay you?

worldcitizen Sat 25-Aug-12 09:56:39

Admissions criteria for Nelson Mandela school in Berlin

The FLEX classes of the early primary school (our years 1 and 2 are taught together) accept students who are fluent in English or German. All applicants on the English side have to prove their (native speaker) fluency in an oral English test. All applicants on the German side must also do an English test to demonstrate that they have sufficient passive knowledge of English (see the partner tongue criteria for details). 75% of all places in year 1 are reserved for children from highly mobile families whose parents are either members of the diplomatic corps or employed by the German Foreign Office, the German federal government, visiting scholars, the international media or companies operating internationally. The remaining 25% are given to children from Berlin who do not belong to that group.

Our upper primary school requires that students have English or German as mother tongue and a good working knowledge of the second language. As in the lower primary school, applicants have to pass a language test before they can be admitted. If the number of successful applicants exceeds the number of free places, priority is given to children from highly mobile families.

Students entering the lower or upper secondary school must pass an admission test. Here, too, highly mobile applicants are admitted on a preferential basis. The student will be required to take an admission exam only if we have places available.

Class 1: Students are admitted to class 1 through the local authority (Bezirksamt). The Nelson Mandela English faculty tests all students who have applied for a place at the school. Each student is recommended for the English or German Mother Tongue on the basis of the tests. The testers’ results are binding. Prospective students are contacted directly by the local authority as to whether they have received a place for grade one.

Class 1 as of term 2: If places become available in the course of term one, students are admitted to the existing class one on the basis of the criteria for all existing classes.

Existing classes: All other classes admit students on the basis of availability in the following order of priority (class size may not exceed 26 students):

Children from families in which at least one parent works for the German foreign office
Children of families from abroad (priority is given to children from highly mobile families)
Siblings of students who are currently in school for at least one year
Children of families from Berlin who are highly mobile
Other children from Berlin
Additional criteria
All children can only be admitted if a place on the respective mother tongue side becomes available. The numerical balance between English mother tongue students and German mother tongue students must be maintained as described in the letter authorizing school operation (Genehmigungsschreiben) of the Nelson Mandela School. Children being admitted on the German mother tongue side must demonstrate sufficient knowledge of English to be able to follow the curriculum in the class in which they seek admission. This is assessed through an English test for partner tongue.

wantingmore Sat 25-Aug-12 10:09:03

worldcitizen thanks but i dont think it applies to us as we are not highly mobile. DH applied for a job here and we are planing on staying longterm. His job isnt any of the ones listed.

wow I never even knew there were non fee paying schools which taught in languages other than German! Is that a Berlin specific thing?

worldcitizen Sat 25-Aug-12 10:25:07

wanting are you the one who moved to Köpenick?

Sorry, I still have to learn how to remember who is who here. Will read part 1 of this thread later this evening.

CakeBump Sat 25-Aug-12 11:10:38

Apparently not world, although I have to say I'm totally dependent on DH to sort it out as I don't understand the policy wording.

Dealing with anything official is like wading through treacle. We've got a lawyer onto it this week so I'm waiting on his opinion, see if there's anything we can do next...

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