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Questions about living in Berlin

Travel Forums Europe Questions about living in Berlin

1. Posted by applegirl (Full Member 144 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi! We've just spent a fab time in Berlin and have fallen in love with the city (particularly Prenzlauer Berg/the eastern parts and Kreutzberg) we're now seriously wondering about what it would be like to live there and that has left us with a couple of questions. Hopefully some of which can be answered here ;)

What's the health care system like? Someone said that it's private and similar to the one in the States (!?) is that true? My husband has got diabetes (juvenile) and needs insulin etc - we've been living in Sweden where most medicin related to a lifethreatening condition is free and here in London where it's completely free.
Since we've both been freelancing occasionally, and will continue to do so this question is important, as we have understood it if the health care is privat you have to be employed by a company that pays your health insurance (otherwise you have to pay a massive amount of money yourself + it's always tricky/if not downright impossible to get any insurance that covers diabetes) Freelancing work also means you take on projects from different companies and from another country than the one you're living in. Any info, general or specific re the health care is most welcome

Paternity/Maternity leave... we're expecting our first child in December and so while this question will not relate to our first born, this question is interesting if we have more kids ;) A guy we talked to said that both parents have the same amount of time, about 18 months(?) maternity/paternity leave to split between them, so far that seem very equal (which is important for us!) and good. But then I read an article in Zitty (Berlin magazine) which seem to indicate that this is not the case. Might be that my german isn't that great and so I missunderstood the article. I would be most greatful if someone could enlighten me on this subject, i e how long is the mat/paternity leave, what % of your salary do you get, can you split the time equally between you?

These are the questions at the top of my head at the moment, but any general info about working/living in Germany is of interest.


2. Posted by stepsdevil (Budding Member 39 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi there,

I think you can find some good information on working and living in Germany via the bbc website. Also contact the British embassy. A website called Expatica may also be of use to you.

I also find Kreuzberg wonderful. I was there last week. I envy you if you're moving to Berlin. I've got to finish my studies and save some cash before I go!

Anyway, all the best, and good luck with your baby.


3. Posted by steff (Travel Guru 1162 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi applegirl,

sorry for not answering your questions earlier and I also don´t know if I can give you sufficient advice.
Generally, I would say the German health insurance system is quite good, it only costs a small amount of money when student or employee. Friends of mine who work as freelancers have compared insurances and are now paying a little bit more (think it´s around 150 Euro a month), but this should also cover your husband diabetes.
As far as maternity leave, I always thought you can´t split it up equally and only one of the parents gets 18 months of maternity leave.
Sorry, for not being a better help!