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Working in Berlin or Vienna without German

Travel Forums Europe Working in Berlin or Vienna without German

1. Posted by Melchior (First Time Poster 1 posts) 8y

I plan to go to Germany or Austria to do my master, and my partner is considering coming with me.
He's only fluent in English and Polish and I was concerned about him finding a "proper" job in the german-speaking. countries.
He is a programmer and has a good job in London. He's very good in what he does. He would look for a technical job.
He's starting German lessons now, but obviously he'll only have basic level in the moment we decide to leave England.
I have the choice to go to Berlin, Munich or Vienna and I was wondering which one of those cities will be easier for him to live in.
Can someone give me some info?

2. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 8y

I would make the decision where to study on where your partner can find a job. Programmer's are highly sought after, if he is really that good potential employers should not be too fussy about his language skills.

The pro's and con's of each city:

- close to Poland (I assume your partner is from there)
- good and cheap fligh connections to London (if you want to stay in contact with friends or family in London)
- very hip and artsy right now, with great night life, just the place to be for young people
- lowest cost of living out of the 3 cities
- lots of cold-war history
- maybe the least friendly to finding a job, as unemployment is high
- Polish language skills might be a bonus in finding a job
- pay is going to be lower than in Munich and a lot lower than in London

(If you both are gay, go to Berlin. Next to Cologne Berlin is the most-gay friendly city in both Germany and Austria. I'm saying this bc Melchior is a male name and you talk about your partner as "him".)

- low unemployment
- lots of infrastructure to English-speaking people (lawyers, estate and relocation agents) that can make moving for high-skilled foreigners a pleasant experience
- very active expat community
- great if you are into outdoors (like skiing, hiking, rock-climbing) as the Alps are very close
- "typical (stereotypical IMO) German" city, if you expect beer, lederhosen and oompha-brass-bands in Germany you won't be dissappointed by moving to Munich
- heavy Bavarian dialect spoken

- high cost of living, hard to find affordable places to live
- lots of competition with young professionals from Hungary, Slovakia and Czech R.
- heavy dialect compared to (Northern) Standard German

Finally, it would be useful if you gave some info on citizenship of yourself and your partner. It might have an impact on getting residency permit if you are not both EU citizens.

[ Edit: Edited on Oct 29, 2008, at 8:07 AM by t_maia ]

3. Posted by pandy (Budding Member 7 posts) 7y

Personally, I would go to Munich, as there's always more chance of getting a job there, IMO.

I still haven't learnt to speak German properly and it's a big pain. Pursue this vigorously. I have yet to have success in this department but there must be some way out there for language idiots like me.

I'd avoid berlin. Too much educated competition X not enough positions + disappointment.

Good luck whatever you decide.