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Old 11-21-2013, 01:55 PM
 
97 posts, read 155,867 times
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Hi forumers,

This question is for Germans or Americans who lived in both countries for quite a long period of time.

I currently live in the UK but I am considering moving back to United States or move forward to Germany. I have been in Germany for a short period of time, but have never lived there on permanent basis.

In Germany I am considering south region: Baden-Württemberg or Bavaria

In United States I consider Midwest or Northeast: Minnesota, Colorado or Maine, Massachusetts (but can consider any other places)

Next is my question:

How comparable the life quality between this two counties (regions I mentioned)?

• Disposable income
• Social support
• Medical care
• Anything else what you see as important

I appreciate your opinion on this matter
Thank you
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Old 11-22-2013, 03:31 AM
 
Location: the dairyland
1,227 posts, read 2,033,878 times
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I lived in Germany for a very long time and also in the Midwest, Wisconsin to be exact. Quality of life is very difficult to quantify in my opinion and it depends a lot on your expectations.
For me personally the quality of life in both countries is very similar. In Germany I had the exact same things, be it a car, a nice apartment, cell phone etc. What makes the US more appealing to me is my potential significant other , lots of great friends and the wide open spaces. Also love the Great Lakes.

Surprisingly, rentals in the Milwaukee area are much more expensive than rentals back in Germany. If you're planning on buying, the US will be cheaper, but of course that also depends on where exactly. My parents' house in the middle of nowhere, Germany, is probably much cheaper than a house in a fancy suburb of Chicago, Milwaukee or Minneapolis.

Disposable income may be higher or lower, depending on your profession. The average is higher in the United States, but many people have to pay for medical care out of their own pockets or have a plan with high deductibles, which can significantly reduce the disposable income.

Do you speak any German? If not that will definitely limit your employment options in Germany and you should rather move to the States. If you have a visa that is...
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Old 11-22-2013, 04:30 AM
 
Location: Minsk, Belarus
677 posts, read 794,044 times
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Rob702, in your experience, do regular Germans speak good English?
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Old 11-22-2013, 05:19 AM
 
97 posts, read 155,867 times
Reputation: 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob702 View Post
I lived in Germany for a very long time and also in the Midwest, Wisconsin to be exact. Quality of life is very difficult to quantify in my opinion and it depends a lot on your expectations.
For me personally the quality of life in both countries is very similar. In Germany I had the exact same things, be it a car, a nice apartment, cell phone etc. What makes the US more appealing to me is my potential significant other , lots of great friends and the wide open spaces. Also love the Great Lakes.

Surprisingly, rentals in the Milwaukee area are much more expensive than rentals back in Germany. If you're planning on buying, the US will be cheaper, but of course that also depends on where exactly. My parents' house in the middle of nowhere, Germany, is probably much cheaper than a house in a fancy suburb of Chicago, Milwaukee or Minneapolis.

Disposable income may be higher or lower, depending on your profession. The average is higher in the United States, but many people have to pay for medical care out of their own pockets or have a plan with high deductibles, which can significantly reduce the disposable income.

Do you speak any German? If not that will definitely limit your employment options in Germany and you should rather move to the States. If you have a visa that is...
Hi Rob. Thank you very much for your answer. No, I speak German just a little, but I am learning it currently.
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Monnem Germany/ from San Diego
2,296 posts, read 2,654,574 times
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Check out the expat forum Toytowngermany.com. Take the more negative posts with a grain of salt- people like to complain and sometimes go on about how things were better at home.... I moved here for my now ex wife I have been living in Germany for 14 years now and am here to stay and don´t regret it..
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:14 AM
 
36,607 posts, read 18,829,750 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marmel View Post
Rob702, in your experience, do regular Germans speak good English?
I lived in Germany for a few years, and that's a hard one to answer. Most educated Germans do in fact speak fairly good English, but they tend to be a bit reticent - being well-spoken is important in Germany (speaking correct German is hard and they take pride in it) and so they shy away from English from fear of appearing uneducated. In white-collar jobs, most will be able to communicate.

As for the man-in-the-street, it was a bit of a crapshoot in my experience - probably close to 50-50, once you're not in tourist areas.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Outer Space
1,524 posts, read 3,589,636 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane_in_LA View Post
As for the man-in-the-street, it was a bit of a crapshoot in my experience - probably close to 50-50, once you're not in tourist areas.
Pretty much. I met as many people who didn't speak it as did in cities. Out in the rural areas...may drop as low as 25%. At least it was much rarer that people would attempt to switch and I never pushed the issue as I never had to.

This was my experience with northern Germany though where I have by far spent the most time. I spent a few months around Mannheim and Heidelberg and met more people who spoke English, but I take my experiences there with a huge grain of salt as there is a huge US military installation in the area.

The Netherlands seems like a far better bet in that department. I understand but don't speak Dutch. My English success rate was much higher there than ever was in Germany. Just my experience with it.

Unless you have some special skill like engineer or software developer, etc, don't expect much from the job market if you don't speak intermediate to fluent German. English is a huge plus, but you'll need German to function in the work place.
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Old 11-23-2013, 04:16 AM
 
Location: Minsk, Belarus
677 posts, read 794,044 times
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Thanks, that's interesting to know because there's a common opinion that "all Germans speak English, especially younger ones"
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Old 11-23-2013, 05:00 AM
 
97 posts, read 155,867 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marmel View Post
Thanks, that's interesting to know because there's a common opinion that "all Germans speak English, especially younger ones"
Yes, I have heard it many times, but during my visits to Germany I didn’t see very many Germans who can speak English fluently. I would say that Swedish speak English way better.
Of course there are always some Germans who speak English.
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Old 11-23-2013, 04:37 PM
 
Location: the dairyland
1,227 posts, read 2,033,878 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marmel View Post
Thanks, that's interesting to know because there's a common opinion that "all Germans speak English, especially younger ones"
They do speak English, they are just not all super fluent because they don't have to use it on a daily basis. Since Germans are perfectionists they are also intimidated to speak with native speakers unless they feel 99% confident.

OP if you do not want to work as an English teacher or for a large English-speaking company you'll have quite a hard time finding an appropriate job. Speaking German just a "little" is definitely too little.
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