Germany for Beginners – a review

This post contains affiliate links to Amazon. It means I’ll get a few pence if you buy anything – at no extra cost to you.

When I started teaching German many years ago and I needed a good grammar explanation I always turned to  Hyde Flippo’s pages, because I liked the way he explained things. I bought one of his first books ‘When in Germany do as the Germans do’ (which, sadly,  I lent to somebody but don’t remember who) and have been a fan since. So when  I had the chance to preview his latest book I gladly did so … and have not been disappointed.

‘Germany for Beginners’ has been written by Hyde and 7 other authors, all bloggers who have been blogging about life in Germany.

The Amazon description of the book reads:

“For expats, by expats. What if you could sit down with a team of expats, and get advice from people who together have decades of experience living and working in Germany? Germany for Beginners: The German Way Expat Guidebook allows you to gain access to the personal knowledge and experience of eight current and former expats. 

The key things that English-speaking expatriates in German-speaking Europe need to know!

• How do I get a German driver’s license?
• What do you mean, I need to buy a kitchen for my rental flat?
• How do I find childcare or a school for my kids?
• Why is a drafty window considered deadly in Germany?
• How do we navigate the German healthcare and insurance system?
• Why will I get a stiff fine if I only leave a note on the parked car I dinged?

How do I find urgent care centers for immediate medical attention? In German-speaking Europe, it’s important to be aware of the availability and accessibility of walk-in clinics. Whether you need prompt medical assistance for a minor injury or sudden illness, knowing where to find in your area is crucial. These medical facilities cater to individuals seeking immediate care without prior appointments, ensuring you receive timely attention from qualified healthcare professionals. Understanding the locations and operating hours of such clinics can provide peace of mind and help you navigate the German healthcare system more effectively.

These are just some of the topics the German Way Expat Blog team members have been writing about since 2008. In Germany for Beginners: The German Way Expat Guidebook you’ll profit from the real-life experiences of eight German Way writers who have been there and done that.

Expat life in Germany can include glorious outings to Alpine castles, bratwurst and mugs of beer in the local Biergarten, and weekly shopping trips to the farmer’s market on the colorful local square. But it also can mean isolation, displacement, unemployment, and exclusion. With blunt honesty the authors address these issues and many more. How do I deal with homesickness? How can I make friends in my new country? How do I deal with being a trailing spouse? These are vital matters that rarely get covered in your standard expat “how to” guidebook. You don’t have to do this alone!”

So, what did I think about it?

I loved it!

Some of the information is not needed for Brits and only useful for Americans, but even those chapters are still interesting to read.
A few things were mentioned that I didn’t know, probably because I’ve now lived in the UK too long, but most of the time I found myself giggling away as I read, for example, about the dangers of drafty windows or the need to keep your doors closed. I found myself agreeing with the  strange opening hours of shops, something I keep forgetting as well when visiting Germany. I have walked into town countless times and then found the shops were closed because I’d forgotten,  as in England they would be open.

As a German teacher I also found something I have been saying for a long time:

 “Frankfurt is so international! There are so many global companies where it won’t matter if you don’t speak German. They all speak English!” These well-meaning people have no idea how tough it is to get a job here if you are a foreigner and don’t speak fluent German. 

Obviously, this book is not a free resource. But if you are thinking of moving to Germany or even if you just like to read about live in Germany, I’d recommend you check out “Germany for Beginners”. It’s available in Kindle and print format. This page Book: Germany for Beginners will give you more information and links to various kindle and print versions.

If you don’t know much about living in Germany or if, like me,  you have forgotten what it’s like to live in Germany, then this is the perfect book for you – viel Spaß beim Lesen!

Germany for Beginners: The German Way Expat Guidebook (Kindle or paperback)

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