Give me the dirt on Munich! - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-01-2009, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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There's a chance that we will have the opportunity to relocate semi-permanently (5-10 years) to Munich, next summer. I was there once when I was 20. I drank a lot of beer.

What kind of a city is it for families? For crunchy families? For crunchy families whose members might want to train as midwives while living there?

What do you love? What drives you bonkers?

FWIW, we are Americans who have been living in the UK for 8 years. Next summer we will have a baby and an almost-four-year-old.

Expat mama to my 7-year-old Halloween boy and my cheeky preschooler, who came before the midwife in January 2010... Gestating a new bean, debuting spring 2014!
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Old 07-20-2009, 09:40 AM
 
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We just visited Munich for a weekend--we've been living in Stuttgart for our second summer--and I read a bit about it before going. It is considered a progressive, "yuppie" city by some, although Bavaria around it is rather conservative. There is a lot of culture, a wonderful 3-mile-long central park (Englischer Garten), and of course a lot of beer. I had read that people sometimes sunbathe in the nude at the park, and although it was a cool day, at least one person did that while we visited. There is also supposed to be an active night life in the Swabian area (north of the park). When we were there, a very large gay pride festival was taking place. Though things got quite messy from the festival, most of the litter was cleaned up by the next day. Germans tend to be very tidy. Baked goods and chocolate are quite good here! In other towns in Germany we got tired of bratwurst, etc., but Munich has a wide variety of ethnic food as well.

Another plus: Munich is near the Bavarian Alps and a short ride from the wonderful Swiss Alps as well. Great for vacations!
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Old 07-25-2009, 02:02 PM
 
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I went to college and grad school in Munich. It's a wonderful town. Clean, diverse, rich in culture, so many things to do.
There are plenty of crunchy people. There are also religious people, conservative, hippie - you name it, everything is available. After all, it's 1.3 million city.

As for families, there are crunchy families around. There are birthing centers, non-vaxers, lots of organic stores....

To sum it up: great place to be. I'm really jealous!!! I'd move back in a heartbeat if it were possible.
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Old 09-14-2009, 04:32 AM
 
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I live in Slovenia, but we spend time in Bavaria every summer (my dh has roots there) and we always love our visits to Munich. It's very clean, diverse, and interesting -- I think I'd enjoy living there. Sorry I can't give more specifics (although I do know the open market is nice and a good place to buy pretty much any vegetable you're looking for) because I don't live there myself; I just don't think you'll regret going.

DD1 (Oct 99), DD2 (Sep 02), DD3 (Oct 09)
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Old 09-18-2009, 12:21 PM
 
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While I don't live in Muenchen, I can tell you a little bit about midwife training in Germany. All midwives here are medically certified nurse midwives, so basically they have to go through a lot of German schooling for this title. This is because they're covered by insurance and most of them also work part-time at hospitals. All hospitals employ midwives as opposed to regular nurses.

So, I'm unsure of the schooling transfer, but I believe that you would probably have to be rather proficient in German and attend a lot of courses for certification. Not easy, but certainly not impossible! And if you plan to do such a thing, this is the country to do it in. Maybe you could try to find a German midwife (Hebamme auf Deutsch) and talk to her specifically. It would be your best plan, that way you could have it all lined up when you got here. Good luck!

Mama to a wild girl and a chill lil' man , wife to a mad scientist , and resident of a country that I love to hate and hate to love.
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:33 AM
 
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Hi, Crunchy Mama!

By the way, I first had to look up what crunchy means. For similarly ignorant people like me, there's a rather good definition here:
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=crunchy
Well, can't judge how good it is actually, but at least it's very interesting...

If I may introduce myself - I'm a crunchy mama, too (now that I know what it means) and a German homebirth midwife. So I might be able to answer that question about training in Germany.

In Germany anybody who wants to become a midwife (whether she wants to work in a hospital, in a birth centre or attend homebirths in the future) has to go through the same training. The training lasts three years and takes place at special midwifery schools. Midwifery schools are attached to hospitals. So the theoretical part of the education (about 2/5 of the over all time) is done at the school and the practical part (about 3/5) is done mainly in the hospital. There is only a short duration of time allocated to shadowing/assisting an independent midwife, usually about 6 weeks. Both the practical and the theoretical part are full time and in addition to that the practical part is mostly shift work.

On completion of the three years and several examinations (oral, written and practical) one receives a midwifery certificate, which is NOT an academic degree. The German certificate is recognized in all other EU countries and usually recognized in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and many other countries as well. It is, however, as far as I know, not or not easily recognized in the U.S., just as U.S. midwives are not or not easily recognized in the EU. There might be ways around that, though, which I would advise to investigate beforehand.

I am not sure what the midwifery schools idea is on foreign applicants, but generally it should be possible to apply if you are fluent in German and if you can prove that you have got a school diploma that is equivalent to "Mittlere Reife" (=successfull completion of 10 grades in the German school system). A high school diploma should normally be deemed equivalent, I suppose.

It is best, however, that you enquire about the conditions directly at the school. Their address is:

Staatl. Berufsfachschule für Hebammen
am Klinikum der Universität München
Maistraße 11
80337 München

Tel.: +49 89 5160 - 4261
Fax: +49 89 5160 - 4912

A little warning: There are usually about 50 or so applicants for each place at a midwifery school. It helps to distinguish oneself from others, e.g. if one has spent some time shadowing a midwife.

Another little warning: They are not usually enthusiastic about applicants with small kids.

One more little warning: Working as a student midwife in a German hospital is usually emotionally exhausting.

On the plus side: Despite of all, it can be done! I managed and thousands of others managed as well, so if you really want to, you'll manage, too!

And a very big bonus: Midwifery schools do not charge school fees. In fact, you will even get a modest little salary for the practical work you do in the hospital.

Hope that was of some help to you! If you want to know more, ask!

Sisterly regards,
Nina
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Old 11-14-2009, 02:44 PM
 
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what's the cost of living like in Munich? (e.g. a central apartment or office space, whats the average rent)

Is there a large expat community?

What are the requirements for getting a family visa in Germany (e.g. if my husband is Austrian (EU) and I'm American)?

We are seriously considering moving there next summer when our lease is up in Austria, so I would love any specifics on what living there is like...

DS1 Dec 2009 fuzmalesling.gif DZ Twins July 2012 babyboy.gifbabygirl.gif

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Old 12-09-2009, 04:45 PM
 
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Munich is unfortunately an expensive place, compared to Berlin or other German cities. I paid 437 Euros for a studio apartment, which did not include utilities and was in a very decent area (Schwabing). Transportation is cheapo, the monthly tickets for the subway system are fair-priced. Supermarkets and Co are German average, however restaurants, movie theaters and bars are pricey compared to smaller cities. There are deals out there though.
Your DH is Austrian, right? Getting a visa for Germany will be easy if you need one at all. He is a EU citizen, so no probs for him at all, and usually is is easy to obtain a visa for a spouse. When you have some time on hand, go to the German consulate (or rather call) in Vienna to find out more
Oh and yes, there are many expats. When DH was an exchange student in MUC he had a huge group of Americans at his "disposal" - also all kinds of other people from all over the world. Back in the dorms it was like a UN meeting
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Back in the dorms it was like a UN meeting
giggle.

I guess expensive is relative, after living in nyc the last few years finding a studio apartment under 2000 a month sounds like a steal to me.

Thanks for the tips, I will look at the german consultate/vienna for some reason it didnt even occur that there would be one in austria

DS1 Dec 2009 fuzmalesling.gif DZ Twins July 2012 babyboy.gifbabygirl.gif

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