Germans in the UK – Christine‘s answers

Germans in the UK is a series in which some of my German friends and contacts tell us about their experience of living and working in the UK.

I decided to start the series because a number of my customers want to know about life in the UK. Some of them want to live here. Whilst I can talk about some differences that I’ve noticed, I’m English, I’ve always lived here and I can’t comment on what it’s like to move to another country.
Therefore I asked some people who can give a first-hand report on moving to the UK from Germany.


1.How long have you been living in the UK?

23 years

2. What are two important things that you did in terms of preparation before you left Germany?

I learnt English, and I got a number of German things ready that I did not know if they were available in the UK

3. How did you go about finding somewhere to live?

We asked the local mosque to help us.

4. How did you go about making new friends and meeting new people when you got here?

I went to the Ladies’ Circle.

5. What would you say is different here in terms of applying for jobs. Is there anything that surprised you?

Everything is far less formal and less stressy than in Germany. There are many more job opportunities and so it is relatively easier to find a job.

6. Do you know any good websites, books or other resources for people who want to improve their English?:

I would suggest a good pictorial dictionary for those advanced learners who need to communicate about something specific- for example which part of a sewing machine they need to have replaced, or a specific part of a ship . Often we don’t know these words in our own native language either.

7. What or who has helped you most in terms of developing your language skills?

Studying at University. I mean, just getting a degree, not necessarily a language degree.

8. Have you noticed any big differences in terms of how people do business, what happens in business meetings or how colleagues relate to one another here?

Again the atmosphere seems much more relaxed in the UK, people joke and are not very formal. But I am not a business person, so I don’t know many details.

9. Is there anything that you wish someone had told you about life in the UK or anything that took time to get used to?

How cold it is in winter, and how windy. It is a different type of cold, and one that seems to go through everything. Also how expensive apartments are. I think that was quite a shock. Oh, yeah, and how few benefits people get- everything that is cheap in Germany- such as swimming pools, buses etc. are so expensive here. Nothing is subsidised.

10. What food or drinks do you miss most? What are the first things that you buy when you go back to Germany?

Breze, the Southern German variety, and Bavarian butter, and smoked fish….

Further articles in this series

If you would like to answer these questions as well or to view the other articles in this series, go to the main Germans in the UK page.

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