Best Expat Blogs 2019

 

First of all, I would like to thank Sparpedia.ch for nominating me for the Best Expat Blogs 2019 Award. This is the first award I receive this year, a great achievement for me as a blogger and a confirmation that my reader base is now bigger than just my family and friends 😉 .

Having said that, I would also like to thank all my readers for following my expat and traveller journey. If you are new to My Expat World: Welcome to this adventure.

My Expat World is a expat blog created to share my journey, inspire others to move abroad and to help expats (and future expats) in Germany to better understand this amazing country.

My name is Hor and I am a traveller and brunch lover. I enjoy outdoor activities, to discover new places and I LOVE the snow. Find more about me here.

If you want to know more about this award and vote for me 😉 just click on the banner above.

Once again, thank you Sparpedia.ch!

 

 

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Post Series: La vie en Allemagne

Pour certaines personnes, voyager à l’étranger n’est pas qu’une question du tourisme et de découverte de nouveaux paysages. Chaque jour, de plus en plus de personnes dans le monde prennent la décision de quitter leur pays, leurs racines, leur famille afin de commencer une nouvelle vie dans un pays étranger.

Mais, quelle est la motivation de ces personnes pour quitter leurs origines et s’expatrier?

Bien sûr, les raisons, diverses, d’une telle décision appartiennent à chaque personne. Toutefois, vous trouverez ici les 6 causes les plus communes qui favorisent un déménagement à l’étranger:

De meilleures possibilités d’emploi

Habiter dans une autre partie du monde va vous permettre d’accéder à des nouveaux marchés de travail, où il peut être plus facile de trouver des opportunités de travail correspondant à votre profil et expérience professionnels.

L’amour et Famille

Ou alors, la raison principale pour quitter son pays est de suivre ou de se rapprocher des personnes aimées.

La découverte de nouveaux horizons

Nombreuses personnes ont envie d’explorer de nouveaux horizons, de s’intégrer dans une nouvelle culture, d’apprendre une nouvelle langue et, en même temps, d’expérimenter un changement radical dans sa vie. Déménager dans un nouveau pays avec une nouvelle culture peut être une opportunité de découvrir le monde et d’avoir de nouvelles expériences.

La météo 

Le beau temps est une des principales raisons pour déménager dans un autre pays. Saviez-vous que 62,2% des jeunes britanniques sont disposés à déménager dans un pays plus chaud?

Le développement personnel 

Bien que l’expression “développement personnel” représente un concept très vaste, de nombreuses personnes considèrent qu’apprendre une nouvelle langue, s’adapter à un nouveau style de vie, avoir un nouveau poste de travail ou avoir l’opportunité de rencontrer des gens sont des étapes importantes pour le développement personnel.

La qualité de vie

La qualité de vie, un concept très large qui est utilisé pour élaborer l’enquête internationale de qualité de vie Mercer. Cette enquête, qui évalue la qualité de vie de 231 pays du monde, a pour objectif de vendre des outils d’analyse aux entreprises. Celles-ci peuvent ainsi mieux définir leur lieu d’implantation, ou par exemple mieux évaluer la grille des salaires de leurs employés á l’étranger, en fonction des caractéristiques de chaque destination.

Allemagne

Si vous en êtes arrivés jusqu’ici, ça veut dire que vous êtes intéressés par commencer une nouvelle vie à l’étranger et, peut être, que vous souhaitez déménager en Allemagne. Mais, comment est la vie en Allemagne?

Pour vivre en Allemagne, il est préférable de parler allemand ou d’avoir quelques notions. Cependant, vous pourrez ne parler qu’anglais pendant que vous commencez à apprendre la langue de Goethe; les allemands maitrisent généralement bien la langue de Shakespeare.

Coût de la vie

Le coût de la vie en Allemagne varie d’une ville à l’autre, ce n’est pas la même chose d’habiter à Münich ou Düsseldorf, que à Recklinghausen. En général, le coût de la vie est moins élevé qu’en France, surtout en termes d’alimentation. Cependant, les transports ont un coût plus élevé, il faut compter 2.80€ pour un ticket de métro/bus et 70€-80€ pour un abonnement mensuel.

Se loger

Historiquement, les allemands ont plutôt tendance à louer qu’à acheter. À Berlin, par exemple, il faut compter en moyenne par mois 700€ pour un studio en centre-ville et 1.300 euros pour un appartement de 3 pièces. À Recklinghausen, un studio en centre-ville coûte en moyenne 250€ par mois. Au contraire, à Munich, le loyer d’un studio dans le centre s’élève à 995€ contre 800€ à Düsseldorf et 695€ à Stuttgart. Les loyers ont en effet beaucoup augmenté ces dernières années dans certaines villes comme Munich, Cologne, Berlin ou Düsseldorf.

La gastronomie

La cuisine allemande est une cuisine simple et traditionnelle. Les spécialités régionales sont à base de pommes de terre, de saucisses, de chou et de viande de porc. Vous devrez absolument goûter des “Bratkartoffel” (pommes de terre sautées), le “Strudel” et le “Schweinhaxe” (jarret de porc).  Une autre spécialité incontournable en Allemagne est le pain, on en trouve partout dans le pays. Vous allez trouver du pain blanc, du pain noir, du pain aux céréales… il y en a pour tous les goûts.

Quand on parle de gastronomie allemande, on ne peut pas oublier de parler de Bière. Car oui, chaque ville à sa propre bière. Si à Cologne, on boit de la “Kölsch”, à Dusseldörf on boit de l’”Altbier” et à Munich on boit de la “Weizen”. Et oui, la bière en Allemagne est une affaire sérieuse, en fait c’est la boisson nationale.

Déménager en Allemagne n’est pas très exotique ni dépaysant aux premiers abords mais ce pays a de nombreux avantages à offrir aux expatriés français. Proche de la France, bonne qualité de vie, coût modéré de la vie, des opportunités d’emploi; autant de raisons de s’expatrier en Allemagne…

Et maintenant, allez-vous trouver les vôtres?

The 5 best cafés in Düsseldorf

Cakes, among other sweet treats, are a hugely important part of German culture. Germans would rather get together for cake and coffee on a weekend afternoon, than at home for cocktails and ham, like in France, or for dinner, like in other countries. Across the country you can find many coffee places which bake their own delicious, homemade cakes every day.

But an afternoon coffee and cake break isn´t just for the weekend. Germans love to enjoy a nice piece of cake accompanied with a cup of coffee also during the week.

Also, when it comes to birthday celebrations tradition dictates that the birthday person has to bake or buy a cake to share with other people. Each year on my birthday I buy some homemade cakes – sorry, I do not know how to cook- for my friends and for my colleagues. In fact, every time it is someone´s birthday at the office, the main table is full of cake and cookies.

Of course, our modern times mean that people living in germany have less time for recreational breaks – people should work- but with such strong traditions like socializing around a piece of cake, also known as Kaffee und Kuchen or Kaffeezeit, german bakers need to have a sizable repertoire of cakes.

Since german baking is something traditional, you might think that traditional cafés are the only places where you can enjoy a Kaffe und Kuchen. Not at all! German bakery is all around!

Now, let me share with you the 5 best cafés in Düsseldorf to taste delicious cakes and good coffee.

Sulis Cafe

If you follow the blog since some time ago, Sulis Cafe shouldn´t sound new to you. This cozy cafeteria was mentioned in my old post about the best places to have brunch in Düsseldorf , however, this place is more than a mere place to brunch. Sulis´ cakes are known due to their high quality ingredients and their delicious taste

Sulis – the owner of the cafeteria – prepares a vast repertoire of cakes based on traditional recipes every day, so that their customers can feel like at home when they visit his café.

One thing I like a lot about this place is that in winter it is a cozy café where you can enjoy one of the offered tea specialities while eating a cake and in summer you can enjoy the sun sitting outdoor, in the spacious terrace.

Take a look at the website to find out more: Sulis Cafe (if you have a diary allergy or intolerance don´t worry Sulis is well prepared 😉 you can find soy milk here).

Nikan Café

Do you like croissants? What about fresh milled coffee? And pralinés and cakes?

Yes, Nikan Café offers a wide variety of patisserie and bakery, from german cakes to unique french pralinés, all of them accompanied with fresh milled coffee brought from exotic places such as Ecuador, Colombia or Kenya. In fact, if you are a coffee lover I highly recommend you to buy here your next package of coffee.

Does it sound interesting? Check Nikan´s website to learn more: Nikan Café (oat and soy milk are available in this café).

Cafe Hüftgold

This little coffee place has a very comfy atmosphere, making it easy to conduct any kind of conversations for hours on end. Its homemade cakes are pieces of heaven brought to earth. The staff is always nice and coffee and teas are made with love.

This cafeteria is the perfect place to enjoy a unique Kaffee und Kuchen moment in winter and in summer also – they have a spacious terrace decorated with wooden tables.

You can find more information in the website: Cafe Hüftgold  (I´m sure that they have soy milk, and they might also have oat milk).

Espresso Perfetto

Located in  Friedrichstadt, this rosa, cute place serves one of the best coffees in town. In fact, they are also known for offering barista trainings for those interested in learning how to prepare nice coffee.

Among its bakery you can find delicious cakes such as the hazelnut or the apple-almond one. Furthermore, if you enter this cozy coffee place during lunch time, you can always try one of their tasty ciabattas.

Find more information about this place in its website: Espresso Perfetto Düsseldorf.

Cafe Knülle

And last but not least, a small bar/café that I discovered some weeks ago: Cafe Knülle.

Gilbert Knülle opened this establishment in 1988 and since then the charm of this place remains intact. Legendary is not only its breakfast offer – try the delicious croissants – but also its coffee specialities, made with an ancient espresso machine, its varieties of tea and its homemade cakes.

Of course you can always combine a cake with a glass of French or Italian wine, or even with a cold alt beer 😉

Cafe Knülle does not have a website, therefore, if you are curious enough to visit it you can find it in Oberbilker Allee 24. (This place is also ready to serve you a good coffee with soy milk 🙂 ).

A present for vegans…

Carrot Cake

If you are a vegan living or visiting Düsseldorf, this place should be in your bucket list. This lovely, cozy cafeteria is the ideal place to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea while eating one of its incredible homemade vegan cakes, such as the chocolate one, the nougat cake or the berry one. Some of them are even gluten-free!

The place is closed on Monday and Tuesday, however, they offer delicious vegan brunches during weekends.

Check the website for more information: Carrot Cake

 

Your turn

What about you? Did you already know these coffee places? Do you have any favourite café in Düsseldorf?

The above mentioned coffee places where chosen based on my personal opinion. Since I love to try new things and to discover new places, I would be really happy if you leave a comment below sharing any other café that you love and you want to recommend us! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

*Please, note that I am not an English native speaker. Therefore, you may find some spelling mistakes in this post. Feel free to let me know it and help me improve my English level.

New Regulations in Germany 2019

 

For more expensive train tickets to a new packaging law, many changes have come to Germany since the beginning of the year.

As we enter the New Year many new laws and regulations take effect in our host country. Therefore, whether you already live in Germany or whether you are planning to move to this beautiful, welcoming country, it is good for you to discover what changes have been implemented since the 1st of January 2019.

Ready to discover more? Let´s start then!

Family

  • A new law on Day Care arises – The idea behind this law is to improve the supply of child daycare centers in the whole country by offering longer opening hours, better services such as lunchrooms and a completely free daycare center to low-income families.
  • The monetary help known as  Kindergeld” increases as follows:
    • €204 per month for the first child
    • €210 per month for the second child
    • €235 per month from the third child onwards
  • In case of divorce child support increases as follows:
    • 0-7 years: €354 per month
    • 7-12 years: €406 per month
    • 13-18 years: €467 per month

Housing

  • The tenant’s contribution rate for modernization costs the landlord has incurred will be reduced from 11% to 8%. Good news if you are planning to rent a renewed flat!
  • A cap will be introduced for the amount by which the landlord may raise the rent to €3 per square meter within six years. However, in cases where the Kaltmiete’s price does not exceed €7 per square meter, the cap will be limited to €2 per square meter.

Social Security

  • Diverse gender – A new German law, approved in December 2018, introduces a third gender option on birth certificates, passports, driver’s licenses, and other legal documents. This means that people born with reproductive anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male (also known as intersex) are now recognized by the German government.
  • New Packaging Law – From a customer point of view, this law will allow you to know if you are buying a product with a single-use packaging (Einweg) or if it is reusable (Mehrweg).
  • Fuel labeling – The European Union harmonized the set of fuel label to provide drivers with better information on the fuels. The three new labels will be as follows:
    • Gasoline-type fuels: Marked by an “E” inside a circle
    • Diesel-type fuels: Marked by a “B” inside a square
    • Gaseous-type fuels: Mentioning the specific subtype within a rhombus.

Work

  • Contributions to unemployment insurance, levied as a percent of income, decrease in 0.25 points.
  • The increase in the minimum wage from €8.84 to €9.19 per hours. Good news, don´t you think?.
  • In response to growing concerns over elderly care, a joint effort by Germany’s healthfamily and labor ministers is now in the pipeline. 13,000 positions will be opened this year to attract new applicants interested in working in this sector.
  • From now on, the monthly installment of the “Krankenkasse” (Health Insurance Company) will be equally paid between employees and employers. So far this installment was paid by employees. So this is good news, isn’t it?
  • Reintegration into the labor market of people who have been unemployed for a long time by creating subsidized jobs will be encouraged. The requirements for accessing this aid are as follows:
    • The unemployed person is at least 25 years old.
    • The unemployed person has received unemployment benefit II (also known as “Hartz IV”) for at least six years.
  • The right to go back to work full-time again arises – People who have reduced their working hours for at least one year, within five years, have now the right to go back to work full-time if they want to. This right, however, will only be applicable in companies that have more than 45 employees and as long as the person has a minimum of six months career in the company.
  • To consider a job a midijob the minimum monthly remuneration must not exceed €450 and the maximum monthly payment must not exceed €1,300.
  • Company bicycles and transport vouchers will be tax-free.

Your turn

Have you ever heard about all these new regulations? Do you think that I missed any important information? Is there any other new regulation/law you would like to share with us? In this case do not hesitate to leave a comment below or to contact me via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

 

Always glad to read your comments! 🙂

 

 

*Please, note that I am not an English native speaker. Therefore, you may find some spelling mistakes in this post. Feel free to let me know it and help me improve my English level.

 

Interesting facts about Germany (Part II)

Some weeks ago, and after some controversial comments of #germancolleague that I shared with you in Instagram, I wrote an interesting, funny post about the german language, culture and history, so that we all could better understand this beautiful country and its citizens.

Since knowledge does not take up any space, I am back to share with you more interesting facts about Germany, its geography, its beers and some inventions that we can attribute to this country.

Are you ready? Then, let´s discover more interesting facts about Germany!

Beer

  • The world’s oldest brewery is located north of Munich and it is operating since 1040.
  • There is a law about how to brew beer in Germany – The Purity Law (Rheinheitsgebot) allows only water, barley and hops to be used in the production of beer. This law came effective in April 1516 after the unification of Bavaria to maintain the “purity” of beer and to lessen the competition between brewers and bakers for the grain of wheat. If beer could only be made with barley… Less problems to get some wheat 😉
  • You can drink a different German beer every day for almost 15 years.
  • The Oktoberfest started as a wedding party – 6.700.000 liters of beer are consumed at this enormous festival, which takes place in September.
  • There are around 1.300 beer breweries in Germany, which produce over 5.000 types of beer.
  • Be aware of where you are when you order a beer in Germany – Each region and city have their own beer. If you order just a beer in Düsseldorf, you will get an Alt, in Köln you will get a Kölsch and in Munich a Weizen.
  • In Berlin you can order a beer which is not brown – The Berliner Weisse is a white beer with either raspberry- or woodruff-flavored syrup.

 

Geography

  • Germany has the world’s narrowest street – Located in the city of Reutlingen this street is called “Spreuerhofstrasse,” and it is approximately 31 centimeters at the narrowest point and nearly 50 centimeters at the widest.
  • Approximately one-third of Germany is still forested.
  • Germany is the fifth largest country in Europe, covering an area of 357.022 square kilometers.
  • Germany’s largest wooded area is the famous Black Forest –  A mountainous region full of pines and fir trees, which also contains the source of the Danube, one of Europe’s longest rivers.
  • Zugspitze is the highest mountain in Germany – Its name means “Windy peak” and you can take a cable car up to the top of the mountain to enjoy spectacular views of the Alps.
  • Germany shares borders with nine other countries – Germany´s neighbours are France, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Austria, Poland, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands.

 

Inventions

  • The first magazine was invented in Germany in 1663 – It was called Erbauliche Monaths Unterredungen (Edifying Monthly Discussions) and it was a philosophical magazine.
  • Do you like Fanta? – Then you may already know that Germans created this soda during the World War II due to the difficulty to import Coca Cola during Nazi times.
  • It is said that the first Christmas tree was created in Germany – Rather than being draped with illuminate lights and candies, the original tree was decorated with nuts and fruits such as apples.
  • Coffee filter paper was created in Germany – Melitta Bentz, a housewife of the city of Dresden, started to experiment to find a way to prevent coffee from becoming too bitter. When she tried using the blotting paper from her children’s school books, she had her “eureka” moment. It was 1908 when she patented her invention.
  • Have you ever heard about Haribo and its Gummy Bears? – The iconic Gummibärchen (Gummy bears) sweets were invented by Hans Riegel around 1920. He used acacia gum to create coloured candies. He started his own company to sell these tasty sweets in the city of Bonn around 1922. In fact, Haribo is just an abbreviation of Hans Riegel von Bonn.
  • Germans invented the first car – Carl Benz´s patent for a vehicle powered by a gas energy is often regarded as the birth certificate of the automobile.
  • You can credit the Germans for inventing the accordion – Christian Friedrich Buschmann was a german musical instrument maker who attached bellows to a portable keyboard with vibrating reeds. Naming it “Handäoline”, he patented this instrument in 1822. The first accordion was used in 1829.
  • Handball – This worldwide known game in which two teams pass a ball using their hands with the aim of throwing it into the goal of the other team, was invented in Germany.

 

Your turn!

Did you know any other interesting facts about german beer or geography? Did you know that Germany is the country thanks to which nowadays we can enjoy all these great inventions? Did you know other inventions we can credit Germans for?

If so, share them with us by leaving a comment below or via Social Networks. I hope you liked this post 🙂 Read you soon!

 

 

 

 

Paternity Leave: Rights and Job Protection in Germany

 

A couple of days ago I had an interesting conversation with both an American and a German guy about parental rights for employees in Germany. I think it was an interesting talk, because it was really enriching to better understand each country´s point of view about the necessities  and labour rights of parents-to-be.

To write this post, I thought that it would be interesting if I answer all the questions that the american (let´s call him Sam) asked to our german friend, so that we can better understand how parental leave works in Germany, which are your rights during this paid time off work and, last but not least, which are the most important german terms you should learn if you are expecting a baby in Germany.

 

How does the paternity leave work?

  • As an employee, you are entitled to parental leave until your child turns three.
  • Both parents can take time off work to enjoy their newborn (or newborns). Therefore, the parent intending to do this must apply seven weeks in advance. Do not worry because during this period your job will remain open to you and your contract cannot be terminated by your employer.
  • Parental leave can be taken by the mother and the father individually or jointly. Grandparents and other relatives can also take parental leave under certain circumstances, for example if the future parent is a minor.

What paternity pay and/or benefits can I claim?

  • Mothers are entitled to full pay during the first 14 weeks. This is known as mother protection time. However, both parents can claim some parental benefirs if they are on leave during the first 12 months after the birth.
  • This benefit is called “Elterngeld” and it is fully explained together with other important legal german words at the end of the post.
  • Important reminder: Those receiving parental benefit (Elterngeld) are still allowed to work part time up to 30 hours per week.

Can I extend my leave?

  • Usually, changes to parental leave or unplanned extensions must be agreed with the parent´s employer.
  • The extend leave is known as “Elterngeld Plus”. In this case, parents may get 28 months of financial support if  both parents work part time up to 30 hours per week at the same time. If so, the applicable percentage is the 65% of the difference between the average nett income before the birth plus earning post-birth.
  • The idea behind the “Elterngeld Plus” is to  “give mothers and fathers more time for family and greater flexibility”, said the former federal family minister Manuela Schwesig.
  • Important information: Parents can choose between Elterngeld or Elterngeld Plus, or they can combine both models. Let´s see this with some examples:

 

Can I travel while I am in paternity leave?

  • From a legal point of view, there is no problem to travel aborad while enjoying paternity leave. However, if you plan a long stay abroad you should be sure that the Krankenkasse (health insurance) takes over the cost in case of illness. In general, german health insurances covers up to six weeks when travelling outside the country. Afterwards, you have to insure yourself and your family privately.
  • Important information: This rule always applies – regardless of whether you travel during parental leave or just like that – but many people tend to forget it 😉

I struggle with the germans word, could you please explain me the most relevant ones?

Mutterschutz

This is the most important word: Maternity leave.

The “Mutterschutz” is considered a period of time to prepare yourself to welcome your baby, as well as a time to rest after the delivery.

Some important information you should take into account:

1. In total, the mutterschutz last 14 weeks. As a mother-to-be you can enjoy the 6 weeks before the delivery to prepare yourself for that moment. After the child´s birth you still have 8 weeks to rest and to enjoy your newborn (extended to 12 weeks in case of  multiple births).

2. The health insurance (Krankenkasse) covers a maximum of 13€ per day with a limit of 390€ per month, the rest is covered by your employer. Let´s see how it works with an example:

Frau Müller (traditional german name 😉 ) earned 2.800€ gross per month during the three months previous to the birth, which means that she earned 1.950€ net salary per month. If we calculate how much did she earn per day during the past 3 months, we can see that her net salary per day was 65€ (1.950*3 = 5.850€/90 = 65€). In this case, the Krankenkasse covers 13€ and the employer 52€.

3. In the case that Frau Müller had a private health insurance, she will receive 210€ in a single payment.

4. During maternity leave you will keep receiving your salary (Mutterschaftgeld)

5. Your job remains open to you and your contract cannot be terminated by your employer during the Mutterschutz because you are protected by Maternity Protection Act (Mutterschutzgesetz).

 

Elterngeld

Elterngeld is a tax-financed payment for couples who became parents. This subsidy will be paid during the first 14 months after the child´s birth and it must be divided between both parents.

The amount of the elterngeld is based on the after taxes income of the parent which ask for it. A person who earns less than 1.000€ per month will get between 100% and 67% of his net income, however, a person with a net income higher than 1.240€ per month will receive 65% of it (with a limit of 1.800€ per month).

Who can get this subsidy?

  • People who recently became parents
  • Parents of adoptive children
  • If the parents of the newborn didn´t work in the months previous to the child´s birth, they will receive a subsidy of only 300€ per month
  • Multiple births – In this case the parental allowance increases by 300€ for each additional child
  • If the beneficiary earned more than 250.000€ in the calendar year preceding the child´s birth, there is no entitlement to Elterngeld

Elternzeit

Elternzeit is a paternal leave provided by the employer, which can be taken any moment during the first three years of the newborn´s life.

This parental leave can be a full suspension of working hours or a reduction of the working day.

Both parents have the right to go on parental leave. Let me show you some examples to better explain how it works (these are real cases of friends of mine):

– Example A: Some friends of mine decided to divide their Elternzeit between both of them, therefore, each of them took 6 months of paternal leave (first the mother, and the last 6 months the father). Both parents enjoyed a full-time paternal leave so that they could enjoy the first year of life of their son.

– Example B: Other friends of mine decided to divide their Elternzeit in a different way. In this case, the mother took a 12 months parental leave after Mutterschutz and the father enjoyed 2 months of parental leave, one month in August (to enjoy some summer time with his daugther) and the second month once his wife´s parental leave ended, so he could spend some time with his daugther before she started the kita (kindergarden for babies).

During Elternzeit both parents are protected by law, any termination of employment is invalid during this period. That means that neither the employer nor the employee can terminate the employment contract.

When should I apply for Elternzeiz?

7 weeks in advance.

This is easier for mothers-to-be, since they have 8 weeks medical leave after the child´s birth. However, fathers have to ask for parental leave 7 weeks before the birth takes place, if they want to go on family leave right after the child´s birth.

Your turn

What about you? Did you have children in Germany? Have you ever ask for parental leave in Germany? Was the process complicated?

I still remember the american´s face when our German friend explained him how does the Elternzeit (Parental Leave) works. Alhtough, to be honest, also in Spain we don´t have such a great work-life balance. In fact, this is a quite sensitive topic in my home country…

How does work-life balance work in your home country? Do you also benefit of parental allowences, elternzeit and such things? Feel free to share your experience by leaving a comment below 🙂 or via social networks.

 

 

New brunch places in Düsseldorf

One of the things I love the most about Düsseldorf is the possibility to enjoy a delicious brunch during the weekend. Almost every restaurant or coffeehouse in the city is ready to offer different kind of brunches to their clients.

If you already follow me on Twitter this post won´t be a surprise for you, since you probably already know that I am a brunch lover and that one of my favorite hobbies is to discover different brunch places around the city.

Some time ago I wrote a post talking about some of the nicest places to have brunch in Düsseldorf

Today I want to show you new coffeehouses and restaurants that I have discovered since then (and which I would love to recommend you).

Ready for a culinary visit through Düsseldorf? Let´s go!

Stadtmitte

Rosie´s

If you like international meals, Rosie´s is your place to be!

In the menu you can find a worldwide variety: American brunch, Monaco breakfast, Spanish brunch… All of them are well prepared, with high quality ingredients, and quite fast served.

Food is not the only positive thing about this restaurant. The crew is always really nice and attentive, in fact, if you want to modify your dish (let´s say you are a Nutella lover and you would rather eat more Nutella than strawberry jam) you won´t have any problem. They are quite open to adapt the ingredients for you.

Food alert: They have gluten free bread, different kinds of milk and vegan dishes.

Address:

Adersstraße 21, 40215 Düsseldorf

Alex

Do you want to go for brunch but you are not sure what to eat? Then come to Alex Düsseldorf.

Every Sunday they offer a buffet with a huge variety of food, such as salmon, german style fries, soups, cold meat and different kind of desserts. They also offer nice coffee and fresh orange juice.

Food alert: They have soja milk

Address:

Kasernenstraße 48, 40213 Düsseldorf

Pempelfort

Sulis

A nice, cozy place where to enjoy tasty classic brunch recipes and delicious cakes.

Sulis is a cozy coffeehouse where you can easily feel at home. They even have a special computer friendly area in case people need to use their laptop while enjoying a nice meal.

Hint: Make a reservation if you plan to go on Sunday, it is always crowded.

Address:

Tußmannstraße 5, 40477 Düsseldorf

Carrot Cake

This is the perfect place to enjoy a vegan meal even if you are not vegan.

During the weekends Carrot Cake offers a nice breakfast, which includes fruits, yogurt and jam. Coffees and teas are prepared with love, as well as their amazing, tasty cakes. If I should choose one, I would go for the brownie… But to be honest, it is really hard to decide, all of them are tasty!

I highly recommend this place! Some friends of mine, which are not vegan, and which had a misconception about vegan meals, went to Carrot Cake and they were highly surprised!

Address:

Moltkerstraße 75, 40479 Düsseldorf

Derendorf

Mangold

American Pancakes, Avocado Brunch, Eggs Benedict, Canadian Breakfast… I mean… Here you can find whatever you want to eat! Just imagine something and order it 😉

It can be really crowded during the weekends, so do not hesitate to make a reservation to avoid problems finding a free table.

Food alert: They do not offer alternatives to regular milk but they are really friendly if you have any allergy or intolerance and you need to order some additional ingredients.

Address:

Glockenstraße 20, 40476 Düsseldorf

Kwadrat

Right now, Kwadrat is the place to be if you want to have a cool brunch.

In the menu you can find traditional breakfasts (croissants with nutella and butter), different kind of scramble eggs and some extras such as yogurt, muesli and toasts.

Food alert: Depending on your food allergies or intolerances I wouldn´t recommend you this place since they don´t offer many alternatives

Address:

Blücherstraße 51, 40477 Düsseldorf

Spoerl Fabrik

During the weekend, at brunch time, you can choose between their variety of breakfasts or the lunch menu. They are quite classical in terms of weekend-breakfast, however, the place is really nice both in winter and summer time (they have a huge terrace).

Many people love this place and I wanted to recommend it to you, although I did not have a good experience (here comes a “Food alert”).

Due to my food intolerances I asked for alternatives (gluten free bread and soja milk), which they didn´t have. Usually it is not a problem for me. What I usually do is to order something and to change some ingredients (more fries instead of eggs for example).

In this case, the waitress told me that they couldn´t not adapt the dishes for me and that I had to order what I saw in the menu.

The moral of this story is: If you have food allergies or intolerances…. Maybe this is not a place for you… 😦

Address:

Tußmannstraße 70, 40477 Düsseldorf

#YourSundayBrunch

I hope you like these recommendations and that you have time to try some of these places. In that case, feel free to share your brunch with me via Twitter or IG.

If you feel like recommending any other place to have brunch in Düsseldorf leave a comment below 😉

Las playas de Düsseldorf

 

Desde mediados de Abril las temperaturas en Düsseldorf no bajan de los 20 grados (con un par de días como excepción) y los expertos dicen que este tiempo veraniego va a durar 7 semanas más por lo menos.

Si vives en Düsseldorf o al rededores seguro que llevas semanas deseando ir a la playa, sentarte en un chiringuito, tomar algo fresquito y remojar los pies en el agua.

¡En ese caso este es tu post!

Esta semana te traigo un par de playas en las que vas a poder disfrutar de esta ola de calor que se ha instalado en NRW y que parece que no nos quiere dejar (en el fondo esta situación nos está haciendo ilusión a todos… 😉 )

Las playas de Düsseldorf

Kleiner Strand am Rhein

Situada frente al famoso Media Hafen, esta pequeña playa es la mejor opción si quieres darte un chapuzón rápido sin tener que coger el transporte público o el coche, ya que se puede ir andando desde el Altstadt por la Rheinpromenade.

Benrather Rheinufer

Si quieres disfrutar del sol, el río y un buen paseo en bici, Benrather Rheinufer es tu lugar.

Situada muy cerca de Benratherschloss esta playita es accesible con la bicicleta, de hecho, la mejor manera para acceder a ella es en bici o dando un paseo, ya que esto te permitirá ver los jardines y zonas verdes de Benrath. ¡Precioso!

Seaside Beach Baldeney

Situada entre Düsseldorf y Essen esta playa artificial es perfecta para pasar el día, disfrutar del sol, tomar algo y hacer actividades como windsurf, escalada o minigolf.

Lo bueno de esta playa es que está pensada para pasar todo el día, por lo que vas a encontrar hamacas, zonas verdes, distintos puestos de comida, vestuarios, zona chill out, zonas de actividades, minigolf… Digamos que no es una playa salvaje como las anteriores, sino que es un área preparada para pasar un buen rato.

La entrada cuesta 3,50€ por persona. Si quieres más información puedes encontrarla en su página web: Seaside Beach Baldeney

Lörick

Aunque esta zona es más conocida por sus enormes piscinas (más información aquí), Lörick cuenta con una “playa” donde poder bañarse, tomar el sol, pasear con el perro y hacer barbacoas.

La manera más fácil de acceder a ella es con la bici, ya que tanto si vas con transporte público como en coche hay un buen paseo hasta llegar a la arena.

Unterbacher See

Por último te voy a hablar de la playa por excelencia, el lugar donde cada verano los habitantes de Düsseldorf pasan sus findes de semana, la “Mallorca” de esta zona: Unterbacher See

¿Por qué es tan famosa?

  1. Su cercanía a Düsseldorf: Se puede acceder facilmente a ella en bici, tranporte público y coche
  2. Hay zona de acampada: Unterbacher See cuenta con un área preparada con casetas para aquellos aventureros que deseen pasar el fin de semana en la playa
  3. Actividades: Esta playa cuenta con cursos de vela, zona de volleyball, barco panoramico, minigolf…
  4. Comida: Además de puestos de comida y bebida, también dispone de una zona para hacer barbacoa
  5. El lago: A diferencia de otras “playas” en esta el baño está totalmente permitido, de hecho, tienen un socorrista que controla a los bañistas para que no cometan ninguna tonteria.
  6. El lugar es ideal para grupos de amigos, familias, parejas, gente a la que apetece pasar un rato consigo mismo.. Vamos, que es la zona perfecta para cualquier persona que se quiera relajar bajo el sol

¿List@ para disfrutar del sol en una hamaca y en buena compañía? 😉

¡Te deseo un caluroso y gran fin de semana!

Y ya sabes, si conoces alguna playa más por esta zona que te gustaría recomendar no dudes en compartirla con nosotros dejando un comentario.

Los Seguros en Alemania

Siempre decimos que los alemanes son muy previsores, que tienen muchas normas y que lo planean todo con mucha antelación.

Si llevas tiempo siguiendo el blog te habrás dado cuenta que esto no son topicazos, sino que los alemanes no dejan nada a la improvisación por naturaleza.

Anticiparse a los acontecimientos y la capacidad de organización está en su sangre.

Es esta capacidad previsora la que ha hecho que los alemanes sean expertos en el tema de los seguros. ¡En Alemania he descubierto más tipos de seguros de los que jamás hubiese imaginado!. ¿Sabías que existen seguros para las gafas, los dientes, los animales y la bici?

Esta semana te voy a contar cuales, de entre toda la paleta de seguros existentes en el mercado, son los seguros más importantes (y necesarios) que deberías contratar en Alemania.

Seguro de responsabilidad civil (Haftpflichtversicherung)

Aunque legalmente este seguro no es obligatorio, cualquier ciudadano de a pie te dirá que sí que lo es. ¿Por qué? Porque el 90% de los alemanes cuentan con este seguro de responsabilidad civil.

¿En que consiste?

Te pongo un ejemplo: Imagina que estás en la calle con amigos tomando algo tranquilamente y sin querer tiras al suelo el móvil de uno de ellos y se rompe la pantalla. Lo que en España podría quedar en un:

“Jo tío, lo siento muchísimo. Déjame que te ayude, yo conozco un lugar donde lo pueden arreglar.”

Ó:

“Ya lo siento, dime cuanto cuesta la reparación y te pago. Además, ahora que me acuerdo, tengo un Samsung viejo en casa que te puedo dejar hasta que te lo arreglen”.

En Alemania se queda en:

“Lo siento mucho. Voy a decírselo a mi seguro ahora mismo y ellos te lo pagan”.

Sí, el seguro de responsabilidad civil se encarga de cubrir daños que tú puedas causar a terceros. Por eso este seguro es tan importante para los alemanes. Qué es mejor, ¿prevenir o curar? (Responde pensando como un alemán 😉 ).

Seguro de hogar (Hausversicherung)

En realidad no sé muy bien cómo funciona esto en España, pero en Alemania es necesario tener un seguro de hogar incluso cuando se vive de alquiler (La mayoría de alemanes vive de alquiler), es decir, tanto el arrendatario como el arrendador deben tener un seguro de hogar.

¿Qué cubre este seguro?

En el caso del inquilino este seguro cubrirá daños causados por vandalismo, robo, incendio y problemas meteorológicos. Sin embargo, este seguro no cubre deterioros en el apartamento o casa, ya que de estos se debe responsabilizar el propietario.

Seguro médico (Krankenversicherung)

Este es el seguro obligatorio por excelencia en Alemania.

Tanto si ya vives en Alemania, cómo si estás pensando en mudarte a este país, debes tener muy en cuenta que necesitas formar parte de una Krankenkasse, que no es nada más que una entidad que gestiona el seguro médico público.

Una vez te hayas asegurado recibirás una tarjeta sanitaria, tanto alemana como europea, y todas las prestaciones básicas estarán cubiertas.

Si aún no sabes que Krankenkasse te interesa más (ó incluso si sería mejor para ti contratar un seguro privado), echa un ojo a este post que escribí hace tiempo sobre cómo ir al médico en Alemania.

¿Qué porcentaje de mi sueldo va a parar al seguro médico?

Si te decides por un seguro público, recuerda que una parte de tu sueldo va a parar al seguro médico. En concreto, sería el 15,6% del salario íntegro, pero de esta cantidad el 7,3% lo paga la empresa.

Seguro para costes legales (Rechtsschutzversicherung)

Este seguro no es obligatorio, aunque en Alemania está en el top 5 de “seguros que todo alemán tiene”.

El “Rechtsschutzversicherung” es de gran utilidad en caso de tener algún problema legal, ya que no sólo sirve a la hora de ir a juicio, sino que también es muy interesante en caso de necesitar asesoramiento legal.

¿Cuando se utiliza este seguro?

Te voy a contar un caso real de un compañero mío (alemán of course!).

Este compañero, llamémosle Müller, iba a un gimnasio. Justo en la época de Navidad el gimnasio cambió de dueño, este renovó parte del local y eliminó algunas de las actividades que ofrecían (entre ellas la clase a la que acudía semanalmente Müller).

Müller descubrió todo esto un día que fue al gimnasio y se encontró con que la actividad a la que acudía regularmente ya no existía. Cuando quiso informarse sobre que estaba pasando, el dueño del gimnasio le dijo que la actividad a la que él acudía ya no existía y que podía seguir acudiendo semanalmente al gimnasio, pero que debía realizar otra actividad.

Como te imagina a Müller esto no le hizo ni  pizca de gracia y pidió darse de baja, a lo que el dueño le dijo que imposible (del tema de las bajas en los gimnasios alemanes ya te hablaré otro día que es un mundo). ¿Imaginas la cara de Müller? Visto lo visto este se puso en contacto con su seguro y durante semanas recibió asesoramiento y una mediación entre él y el dueño del gimnasio hasta alcanzar un acuerdo.

¿Hubieses hecho lo mismo en el caso de Müller?

Seguro de animales (Tierversicherung)

Este seguro no es obligatorio… Si no tienes animales.

Los dueños de perros, gatos, caballos, etc… tienen obligación de tener este seguro.

¿En qué consiste?

Aquí lo que se asegura no es al animal en sí, sino el daño que pueda causar el animal a otras personas.

Imagina que tienes un perro precioso y que lo sacas a pasear al parque. Por alguna razón tu perro muerde a un hombre que estaba sentado en la hierba leyendo el periódico tranquilamente. ¿Qué pasa ahora? En este caso, a parte de disculparte, te tocará llamar a tu seguro para que cubran todos los gastos que tu perro ocasione a este hombre (gastos médicos por ejemplo).

Y tú, ¿Conocías todos estos seguros?

Si has descubierto alguno que aún no tienes te recomiendo que lo contrates ya,  y si conoces algún otro seguro que quieras compartir con nosotros no dudes en dejar un comentario aquí debajo 😉

Por cierto, para terminar este post te dejo una página donde vas a poder comparar las distintas compañías de seguro dependiendo de tus necesidades  Check24

¡Espero que este post te haya sido de utilidad! Nos leemos en unos días con un nuevo post (aviso a navegantes, una nueva blog parade se está preparando… Seguiré informando en las redes sociales! :))

 

 

5 Tips for Getting a Job in Germany

Some time ago I got the chance to discover an online platform which helps expats to understand the german labor market and to get in contact with different employers. This platform, called Employland, is a great tool for international professionals who are looking for new challenges. Therefore, I invited Employland to share some advice with you. Are you ready? Let´s go!:

Planning your next career step in Germany? Not a bad idea. Opportunities for skilled workers and professionals from all over the world are only increasing here. The German economy has been growing steadily and there is a high demand for qualified workers, which cannot be satisfied within the German labor force. Long story short, the German labor market needs international professionals!

Employland, the internet-platform which brings together international professionals and employers in Germany, shares 5 tips for getting a job in Germany

1. Qualifications in high demand in Germany

Are you a nurse, a train conductor, an engineer, or an IT-professional? Then you’re in luck! These professions are some of the skill shortage professions in Germany. Due to Germany’s changing demographic and expanding economy, there is a high need and great lack of skilled labor in Germany. More than one million open job positions have been recorded recently.

Curious to know what other fields are experiencing a skills shortage in Germany? These professions are listed by the Federal Employment Agency in the so called White list, published twice a year.

An important note: Workers in the hotel and gastronomy industry do not appear on that list, but are always in high demand!

2. German language skills wanted for employment in Germany

In some professions, German proficiency is a must-have, as regulated by law. As a nurse, a doctor or a lawyer, for instance you need to prove you have German language proficiency. The required proficiency level may vary from state to state, but typically the B-Level is required.

Even though German language proficiency may not be mandatory for other professions, it is always a plus to have. The German labor market is still not very flexible when it comes to language.

Companies tend to expect employees to have German skills, but as always there are exceptions to the rule. While professionals having to deal with customers need to be proficient in German, IT-professionals may be able to find jobs not mandating German proficiency more easily.

In Germany, the majority of companies has exclusively German as their business language, but there are also some who have English as their business language and things are changing. The skills shortage and the need for international professionals will probably pressure companies to be more flexible when it comes to German language skills. But for now, it’s a good idea to practice your German.

3. Recognition of foreign qualifications in Germany

Even though it might not be mandatory for your particular profession, it may prove useful to have your foreign qualifications recognized. Whether or not you need to have your qualifications recognized depends on your profession. If you want to practice a regulated profession in Germany, you need to have your qualifications recognized.

Regulated professions include that of teacher, physiotherapist, nurse, and medical doctor, for example. If you want to exercise a profession that is not regulated (such as plumber, accountant, or electrician), you do not have to undergo the recognition procedure.

Exception: If you are third-country national and you want to exercise a non-academic profession in Germany, you need to have your qualifications recognized in order to obtain a residence title and practice this profession in Germany.

EU-/EEA-nationals who plan to work in a non-regulated profession in Germany do not need their qualifications recognized. However, they should still keep the following in mind: Training and education systems differ internationally.

Recruiters in Germany may not be able to assess foreign qualification efficiently. While they know which competencies and knowledge to expect from candidates who hold a Master`s or Bachelor`s Degree, your foreign degree may not tell them anything about the duration and content of your studies or training.

The recognition, which includes a description of your qualifications, helps German employers understand your skill and knowledge level. Thus, through qualification recognition you may raise your chances of getting a job.

4. Finding a job in Germany

How do you find a job in Germany? The Internet is obviously the most efficient way to find a job in Germany from abroad.

Check out job portals online, as well as German newspapers’ job markets online. Companies’ career websites are also a good place to look. You probably know social networks like LinkedIn, where you can create your profile.

Have you heard of our Internet platform? We bring together international professionals and German employers. Create your personal profile on our platform www.employland.de free of charge, so that employers from all over Germany can find and contact you.

5. Job Application in Germany

Make sure you know what companies in Germany expect from a job application.

The procedure and norms for applying for a job vary from country to country. For example, a cover letter is a must-have for a German job application, though it is uncommon in many other countries.

A cover letter is a running text in which you describe your motivation and your competencies. It does not reiterate the information that recruiters find in your CV. Instead, the cover letter is a good means to leave a compelling impression and display your personal skills.

Cover letters should be individual, crafted specifically to each company you contact. Recruiters use the cover letter to learn why you want to work in their company specifically, why you are passionate about that exact position, and why you are the one and only candidate to do the job.

Even though the CV seems to be common everywhere, be aware that the structure varies from country to country. A few examples of CV characteristics are how information is formatted, which information about former positions should be included, how detailed descriptions should be, and if a picture should be included. Be sure to have a good idea of how a CV in Germany typically looks before applying.

We wish you great success for your job search in Germany!

 

*About Employland:
Employland is an Internet platform which brings international professionals and companies in Germany together. Professionals from all over the world create their personal profiles free of charge on https://www.employland.de/en. Employers in Germany are able to view these profiles and contact prospective employees. Job placement is free of charge for professionals. In addition, Employland is also able to look after an employee’s residence and work permit and the recognition of qualifications, if requested.

Also check out the Employland blog which offers lots of information about life and work in Germany in German and English language.