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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My family an I have discussed moving from the US to Germany and I recently graduated with a Bachelors in Environmental Science. How do I begin job hunting in Germany while still in the US? My husband is a tattooist and will be looking as well. I just don't know the first thing about becoming an expat. Thank you for your input. :confused2:
 

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Job hunting at distance right after graduation may be a tough way to go about it. When I went looking for jobs in Germany I found that it was my experience in the US that attracted the most interest. It could be wise to find a job in the US and work there for a few years before trying to branch out to Germany or elsewhere.

Obviously, it helps if you can speak, read and write German at a reasonable level and if you have some sort of "international" experience - extensive travel or working on international projects.

What is it about Germany that attracts you? That may also provide some ideas how you can proceed.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have been interning throughout college and have a total of three years in internships for water quality and water advocacy. Duolingo has been useful in learning German, but I am still very much a beginner - I can recognize some words, order food and drinks mostly, speak formal phrases like "Thanks (Danke)" or "Excuse me (Entschuldigung)". The reason we are attracted to Germany is, and I have never been, so I may have some misconceptions, the cultural appreciation for intellectuals, the architectural aesthetics and tendency to rebuild rather than feed urban sprawl, environmental opportunities considering the successes of renewable energy development, the food appreciation, the country is touted as a good place to raise a family (we have a five year old), and these are all the reasons why I can think up at the moment. Please, feel free to correct me if I have been inundated with a bunch of misconceptions. Any advice is helpful.
 

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It might not be a bad idea to plan a family holiday to go visit Germany before you throw yourself into looking for jobs there. While there is a big difference between experiencing a country on holiday and actually living there, it's a good idea to at least visit before you decide on a place.

What you've heard about Germany isn't wrong by any means. However you need to actually experience it to decide whether the country is for you (and whether it's worthwhile trying to learn the language and all).
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Since the question hasn't been asked yet, do you have EU nationality or would you rely on job sponsorship to obtain a visa? With an environmental science degree there might be possibilities, but I suspect that tattooist is not quite as high on the list of sought-after occupations.

More to the point, you should certainly go and actually spend some time in the place before deciding if it's truly an option for a long-term move. Job-hunting online from the US can work in certain situations (relatively skilled individuals in the IT world) but I'd be less certain for a recent graduate with only basic command of the language, without much work experience, and who'd require visa sponsorship.
 

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Try to find US renewable companies having an office in Germany and offer your sevices as an environmental practitioner to monitor EIAs. They may even send you over!

There are plenty of tattoo shops in the bigger cities. Surely you can make online contact via some "tatto forum". Look near US air bases. Start in Frankfurt and Wiesbaden.
 

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There are certainly a great many tattoos in Germany. This does not necessarily mean that an American-citizen tattooist would be given a work permit to practice his or her trade.
 

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Now that I think about, one probably needs to have completed a three-year apprenticeship and be properly certified by the relevant authorities in order to work as a tattooist in Germany. Given the training and qualifications needed to sell shoes, I can't imagine anything less for sticking needles into skin.
 

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The old joke when I was living in Germany was that you need to do a three-year course of study and/or apprenticeship to enter just about any profession in Germany. So Nononymous has a point.

The other thing I was going to bring up is that you mention that you've heard that Germany is "a good place to raise a family." I have heard quite a few German expats complain that Germany isn't terribly "child friendly" and that they prefer their chosen country on that score. One factor is that pre-school places are very hard to come by, and attitudes toward working mothers can be kind of severe. Again, it's the sort of thing you'd have to check out for yourself on a reconnaissance visit.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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One factor is that pre-school places are very hard to come by, and attitudes toward working mothers can be kind of severe. Again, it's the sort of thing you'd have to check out for yourself on a reconnaissance visit.
Cheers,
Bev
This is hugely dependent on the region.

There are indeed areas where it is still viewed as best/normal/encouraged thing to do to be a stay-at-home mum until the children are out of primary school.

I never had that problem in Berlin - day care as well as after school care was available and affordable but this also depends on demand (how many children were born in a specific year).
 

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Now that I think about, one probably needs to have completed a three-year apprenticeship and be properly certified by the relevant authorities in order to work as a tattooist in Germany. Given the training and qualifications needed to sell shoes, I can't imagine anything less for sticking needles into skin.
Apparently not.

Along with holistic healers and plastic surgeons, tattoo artists seem to be able to just open shop in Germany (if they have the right to work).

The mind boggles.
 

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Along with holistic healers and plastic surgeons, tattoo artists seem to be able to just open shop in Germany (if they have the right to work).
Somehow this doesn't totally surprise me. If it didn't exist as a profession at the end of the 19th century, then it's probably not as likely to be tightly regulated.

I'm sure the OP fled long ago, at the first mention of visas and work permits. Nevertheless, I wanted to point out that while there are many great things about living in Germany, not all is wonderful. Certainly there are many neighbourhoods in Berlin where "cultural appreciation for intellectuals... architectural aesthetics... food appreciation... a good place to raise a family" are not the first things that spring to mind.
 

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I have viewed a lot of your post and responses. You seem to have a great bit of knowledge that i hope to tap into. I have retired form 20 plus years in Military and wish to retire to Germany. The only connection to the country is my time stationed there. I have my retirement and draw my SS disability from injuries suffered over my career, I wish to find out if I get to keep those benefits if I move to Germany if I can move at all if I will not be looking for a job but just to retire. I see a lot of post that you have to have a job or go to school and a course in language proficiency. Will these be a problem?
 

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I won't assume that was aimed at me - too modest - but at regular contributors in general.

I can't answer the question about keeping your disability and retirement benefits if you move to Germany - that's between you and the US government.

You likely would not be allowed to live in Germany. There is no retirement visa as such. The most common means for US citizens to live in Germany are working (which means obtaining a work permit, which is not easy to do unless you're in a high-demand occupation or you've been sent over by a US employer) or going to university or being married to an EU/EEA citizen. That being said, an American citizen could enter the country and within 90 days walk into the Ausländerbehörde (foreigner's office) and ask if they could stay a year or two, demonstrating that they have pension income or savings, and with luck that request might be granted and renewed. But such residence would be on an ad hoc basis, at the whim of the local authorities. There is no formal retiree program in Germany, as there is in Portugal.

Note that for any stay beyond 90 days you would be required to carry adequate private health insurance, which could be quite expensive; you can't use the German public system. (However, I remember hearing somewhere that health insurance for military veterans was valid outside the US, which is not the case for Medicare. Worth looking into, at any rate.)
 
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