Stuttgart Information Needed - Mothering Forums

Stuttgart Information Needed

Court87's Avatar Court87 (TS)
05:44 AM Liked: 0
#1 of 7
08-29-2008 | Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2008
Hello Ladies,

This seems like a great forum! I have searched the forum and seen several posts in regards to Stuttgart - all with very helpful information. I still felt the need to start my own thread specific to our situation and my questions - so I hope you don't mind and I hope to receive some insightful responses! :-)

My husband and I are in our late 20s and both work as government contractors. His company wants to relocate him(us) to Stuttgart, Germany to fill a vacancy that they think he will be the perfect fit for. I will have to leave my current job (which is not an issue) and will likely try to find work there myself. My company actually has a few jobs in Stuttgart so I may even be able to transfer (based on my husband getting the transfer first). Before doing so, I need to ensure that my 18 month old daughter is being taken care of and that her needs are met so that we can both work overseas full-time - otherwise, I will stay home with her in Germany while my husband works.

I have several questions that I hope you can help me with! :-)

In general, what is it like for an american family living in Stuttgart?

What type of activities are there for us to do? For my husband and I (active couple in their late 20s)? For my 18 month old daughter? And for us to do as a family?

What is the housing like there? Where do govt contractors typically stay and what is the average costs for housing?

How expensive is it to live in Germany in general (food, gas, etc)?

What is the cuisine like there?

What childcare options are available for toddlers (my daughter will likely be 2 years old at the time of our move or at least 22 months old)?

Does anyone have any personal experiences and/or recommendations for childcare for my daughter?

My husband and I were both in the Navy and lived in Italy for 3 years so we have lived abroad before - BUT we've never lived in (or visited) Germany and this time we would be non-military and with our 18 month old daughter. So this will be unfamiliar turf to us. I know that I won't know for sure how things will work out until we actually move but I want to try to do as much groundwork as possible. If my husband's transfer is approved, we will likely take a trip there to check the area out before making any permanent commitments. This move could be for 1-2 years. Before I move my daughter away from my family here, I want to see how this move could benefit all of us (culturally, etc).

Any information would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks for reading

Courtney
Jezzy's Avatar Jezzy
11:20 AM Liked: 0
#2 of 7
08-29-2008 | Posts: 2,184
Joined: Sep 2006
Hi, I live about 45 min. south of Stuttgart. I don't know a lot about the city.
I know that Stuttgart has a great Zoo called the Whilhelma. I have been there a few times with my kids. It is the home of a good soccar team VFB. There are lots of concerts held in the areanas there. I have been to Santana and the Red Hot Chili Peppers Took my son to 50 cent to name a few,.

The cost of living here in Germany is pretty high. Gas alone is about 9.50 dollars a gallon. Housing will probably be pretty expencive in Stuttgart as well as groceries.

there is an army base in Stuttgart. I don't remember what it was called. Maybe you could find someone from the army to give you more info.

I love the southern Germany cousine.

The housing IN Stuttgart would probably be an appartment.

As for childcare. Here in Germany every child 3- school age goes to kindergarten. I can only speak for myself and my kids. They went to Kindi in the morning. Came home for lunch and if they felt like it I would take them back to kindi in the afternoon till 4 pm. It is possible because Stuttgart is such a big city that Kindergarten starts at the age of 2.

If not I would look for a nanny. Which shouldn't be a problem in Stuttgart.

If you have anymore questions I would be happy to try to answer. I have been living here for 16 years. (non military)
oceane's Avatar oceane
02:56 PM Liked: 10
#3 of 7
08-29-2008 | Posts: 2,572
Joined: May 2007
Food prices are ok though, at least compared to how much of the income you spend on food. only special items are more expensive than in the US I think. gas is really expensive but you don't necessarily need a car in a city, there we usually have excellent public transport, and Germans ride their bikes quite a bit.

I don't have any children but by active couple you mean sports/partying etc? I also don't live in Stuttgart but depending on the state you're in, cafes, coffee shops etc may allow smoking which is a huge hassle in my opinion. it's getting better, just something to consider if you like to hang out with your child and get a coffee.

since Stuttgart is fairly big you should have no problem finding clubs, playgrounds, classes, restaurants, museums etc to check out.
Hollycrand's Avatar Hollycrand
07:50 PM Liked: 14
#4 of 7
08-29-2008 | Posts: 1,557
Joined: Apr 2004
I lived in Stuttgart for ten years, and had both my children there. We enjoyed it, and had no affiliation with the military.
As a gov't contracter, would you have access to US military base privileges? It's an important question, because if you can go shopping on post you can save a bit of money on groceries and gasoline. However, I know that most contract workers these days don't have base privileges (but there are exceptions).
You'd most likely be working around S-Vaihingen or Böblingen, and living off post. It is possible to find houses/row houses to rent, but housing can be expensive, so it'd be easier to rent an apartment. Many US contract companies have contacts for housing, or their own housing they rent out to employees, so you might want to ask.
Gasoline and food are costly, but there are places (Lidl, Aldi, Plus) that offer good quality food at discount prices. If you have to shop on the economy.
As for childcare, this might be a bit more difficult. Most Germam women are Stay at home mothers, though if you look around you can find a Tagesmutter (day care provider) in your area. Most will only speak German, but then your child will have some exposure to German at a very young age. You can try to sign her up for day care at a state run place, but they give priority to working single mothers and tax paying residents who are low income. The average waiting time for a child under 3 is 2 years. If your daughter is three by the time you come, every child who is three is GUARANTEED a kindergarten(pre-school) place. The state-run all day pre-schools (there are only a handful) are open from 6am to 6pm, but most are half day: 7.30 to 1.30pm. You could either find a Tagesmutter, try to work from home, or do a part-time job.
Stuttgart cuisine. There are a lot of italians and Greeks in the area, so a lot of that cuisine. Typical Swabian cuisine (Swabia is the region Stuttgart is located in) is beef/pork with roasted onions and gravy (brown sauce), or Käsespätzle, which is egg noodles covered with cheese and roasted onions and put into the oven. Have to go...will continue later.
Court87's Avatar Court87 (TS)
07:59 AM Liked: 0
#5 of 7
09-17-2008 | Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2008
Hello,

Sorry for my late response. I am just logging in again since my post. Thank you all so much for responding. It looks like we will be moving there. My husband and I are going to take a trip there in November. As of now, it looks like we will be moving there in December or hopefully - right after the new year (so we can bring it in with our family/friends in the states before we go). But my husband may not be able to hold his company off that long.

What is the weather like there? Is it really cold?

It's interested to read that children age 3 (sometimes 2) and up can be in pre-school/kindergarten. So most of the teachers there speak German? I will have to learn some German then.

To answer your question Holly, my husband was told we would have base privileges. Hopefully that will be the case because it looks like we would save a considerable amount of money.

If there are any military or govt contractors in and/or near Stuttgart, I would love to hear from you as well.

Thanks again
Hollycrand's Avatar Hollycrand
02:07 AM Liked: 14
#6 of 7
09-19-2008 | Posts: 1,557
Joined: Apr 2004
Check out the International Women's Club in Stuttgart. A few MDC moms are members (if you want to know which ones, I can PM you the names).

Winters can be pretty cold there, but it all depends on where you're coming from in the States. Definitely colder than the West Coast...but perhaps not as cold as the Northeast (though not too far)
GraceBW's Avatar GraceBW
10:37 AM Liked: 0
#7 of 7
09-25-2008 | Posts: 21
Joined: Sep 2008
Hello

I was excited to find this site. My husband (military), daughter (13) and I just moved here. Although he is in the Army we are living off post in Rohr.

I am also pregnant with twins ( 17 weeks) -due in jan/Feb.

I left my job working for a conservation non-profit in teh states and would love to find some opportunity - volunteer or paid to keep the brain juices flowing- or just plain conservsation- any suggestions?? I did apply to the International Women's Club

I am looking forward to taking advantage of the local markets - but I am not used to the college dorm sized fridge - wow!


Suggestions?

Grace
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