Personal Enrichment Avenues in Germany
Moving abroad can be difficult for spouses who have left respected careers, business networks and emotional support of friends and family. Take control of your routine — learn about the new job market and seek employment, find volunteer opportunities and further your education.
- NAF Positions: NAF positions support installations through services in Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) and Force Support Squadrons (FSS). Hours range from regular, full-time to flexible part-time with varying employment benefits. Federal positions are listed through the Office of Personnel Management at www.usajobs.gov with the exception of NAF positions, which are listed at www.nafjobs.org.
- DODEA-Europe: These schools offer full-time positions, substitute teachers, administrative staff and educational aids. Go to www.dodea.edu/Europe/offices/hr.
- Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES): Apply at http://odin.aafes.com/employment or through local human resources offices.
- Defense Commissary Agency (DECA): Jobs at commissaries.
- Defense Contractors: Job opportunities in technology, management, accounting and administration are available with contracting firms. Your installation’s contracting office and A&FRC or ACS office will have information about vacancies.
- Home-based businesses
If you own a home-based business, you should:
- Contact your installation’s Legal Office before establishing a business.
- Obtain a German business license with your local German trade office (Gewerbeamt).
- Find a German tax adviser (Steuerberater).
- Not use military privileges, such as your APO box.
On the Economy
The SOFA in Germany permits military spouses to work on the local economy. You will be subject to German laws and taxes.
Volunteering can help you gain experience and network for paid positions. Visit AFRC/ACS, the American Red Cross and the United Service Organizations (USO).
Taking the time to advance your education can help you excel in the future. Educational opportunities on installations in Germany come with a variety of programs at universities partnered with the DOD.
- Central Texas College Europe: www.ctcd.edu/ locations/Europe Primarily associate degrees and practical training. The Advanced Skills Education Program develops leadership qualities within non-commissioned and junior officers. Offers face-to-face and online courses.
- Community College of the Air Force: https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/Barnes/CCAF/. Accredited degrees and courses for qualified personnel.
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University: http://worldwide.erau.edu/euromilitary Certifications, undergraduate and graduate degrees. Offers face-to-face and online courses.
- University of Maryland University College: www.europe.umuc.edu Undergraduate and graduate certificates as well as associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs. Offers face-to-face and online courses.
- The University of Oklahoma (OU): https://outreach.ou.edu/ Online and independent study options for some classes. Face-to-face advanced degrees available.
- Other schools: Many U.S.-based schools offer online courses or have European satellite locations, and some European universities offer programs for English speakers. For tuition assistance and financial aid information, visit www.military.com/education,
www.militaryta.com or your Education Office.
OTHER PERSONAL ENRICHMENT AVENUES
- Start DIY projects you’ve always wanted to do.
- Spend time in the gym and establish healthy habits.
- Travel, travel, travel! Living in Germany means traveling between other European countries is easier than ever.
- Start a blog – whether it be travel, fitness, military living, etc. Contribute your articles to www.europe.stripes.com for a chance to get published online and in various magazines.
Find what works for your goals and dreams - whether you land a great job, volunteer with an amazing organization, further your education or find other ways for personal enrichment. What matters is utilizing your time in Germany to benefit your future to the best of your ability.
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