How to tap into Germany’s thriving international scene

How to tap into Germany’s thriving international scene

by Karen Bradbury
Stripes Europe

Living in Germany and looking to broaden your social connections? In addition to connecting with fellow U.S. citizens and English speakers from the host nation, it’s possible to cast one’s net a bit wider and tap into Germany’s thriving international community. Here are a handful of places where world citizens mix and mingle, and you can too:

InterNations: InterNations is a 3.6 million member-strong association of expatriates, many of whom get together to network and socialize at bars and restaurants on a regular basis. This global organization has communities in 420 cities worldwide, including Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Wiesbaden-Mainz in Germany. InterNations offers opportunities for building business contacts, exchanging information about navigating the host country, or just enjoying a night on the town in the company of new faces. Two types of membership are available: basic membership, which is free, and Albatross Membership, which offers benefits including free or reduced entry fees to social events and additional networking features.

Language courses: Taking a German language class has not only the obvious benefit of helping you to better navigate daily life in your new surroundings; you’re likely to make friends with your classmates as well. Once lessons have finished for the day, it’s not uncommon for many of the students to get together over drinks or snacks to praise or bemoan the process of learning the language and settling into life in Germany.  When searching for language schools, check out the offerings of your local “Volkshochschule,” an institution for continuing education enjoyed by Germans and expats alike; these generally offer both day and evening language courses at a fairly reasonable cost. 

Meetups: Looking to hook up with an international crowd for outdoor adventures, yoga, wine tasting or socializing? Register with meetup.com to receive weekly invitations to whatever event one of the local hosts has conjured up, or organize an event yourself. Many opportunities for those interested in hiking are regularly posted on the site.

Toastmasters International: Does the thought of public speaking send cold chills down your spine? If so, the benefit of joining this club that’s all about mastering the art of delivering a persuasive argument is double. This non-profit educational organization teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network made up of more than 16,600 clubs in 143 countries. Budding Toastmasters hone their skills by delivering speeches to their peers in accordance with a step-by-step, skill-building framework in a supportive environment. Cities with clubs include Stuttgart and Wiesbaden.

Online forums: One of Germany’s most-frequented online English-language community websites is that of ToyTownGermany, where expat types seek advice, exchange tips, and discuss issues of common interest from Brexit to book clubs.

Other local organizations: Those who live in the Frankfurt-Rhein-Main region can take advantage of The Newcomers Network, an organization uniting expats from over 100 countries. 

 

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