Advice needed on moving to Berlin

5 Replies



Hello, I'm sure these questions are asked all the time but I need some advice on moving to Berlin from Shanghai. My partner is considering a job offer in Berlin, he would actually be working in the southern area of the city, near to Schonefeld Airport. We have two kids, 3 and 5 years and would be looking for bilingual school for them, they are currently both in Mandarin/English kindergarten here. The salary offered is 80000EUR/year and I'd like to get an idea if this is enough to rent a decent home, pay school fees, maybe lease a car and still be able to live comfortably? Also, I'm an Australian civil/environmental engineer and I'd like to return to work so I'm wondering what my job prospects would be like. Any opinions/advice would be much appreciated. Thanks,


Bunky B-332242 1289292899

Would you have to live near his place of work? Around Schonefeld is quite residential and the airport itself is outside of the city? The transport links in Berlin (including to Schonefeld) are excellent - there are also fast trains which only stop at a few stations which get you there in double quick time. This would enable you to live somewhere closer to the heart of the city where there will be more going on for you and your children. Are you looking for a mandarin/english kindergarten here to keep up these languages or an english/german (of which there are plenty). Here's a link to one of them so you can get an idea of what's on offer

There is also a place called "The Center" which offers loads of classes for children in English, plenty to keep them occupied in their free time

Berlin also has a few forest schools which are great for small children where they learn in the outdoors and I think some of them might be bilingual.

vthompson 1289304422

Thanks for the quick reply. We would certainly look at living closer to the city centre and my husband commuting, especially if we found a good school for the children. We will be looking for a German/English school, like the one you sent the link too, which I like the look of very much. The Centre also looks great - thanks for those good tips. I gather that for the bilingual kindergartens and primary schools it is a matter of moving to the area and then applying to the local schools.

Kira-335177 1289379619

If you're interested in a forest school there is the Robin Hood forest kindergarten which is bilingual English German. It's in Pankow address at Beuthstraße 51/52, 13156 Berlin. The phone number is 0176/20 68 10 74 or you can e-mail them for more information: Don't think they have a website.

Cormac-332413 1289460027

re: your work prospects - I work for a company of consulting engineers which sometimes employs freelancers for short term projects. The only negative in your case might be the fact that there is a lot of overseas travel involved but I don't know if you might be limited in that respect because of your children? I am sure we are not the only company to employ freelancers in this way. I can ask around for you regarding other companies = when would you be in Berlin roughly?

vthompson 1289541827

Thanks so much for the responses. The Robin Hood School looks very interesting and I'll certainly check it out - my kids love the sound of forest school.

As for the job, it's great to hear that there may be opportunities there. My concern is really that German language ability would be a requirement. Thanks for the offer to ask around for me. We will not be in Berlin until mid-Jan so I guess I'll be looking seriously from the end of Jan.

Thanks again for everyone's advice.

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