# Where would you live, Germany or USA?

1. Jul 6, 2013

### YYaaSSeeRR

hi
the title explains everything ...
many people tell me that the US is not as it seems in movies and the American-Lifestyle is not as cool as it appears.
what do you think about that?

Germany has been one of the cleanest countries in the world and the medical-care system there rocks ,while you get a lot of paid vacations so it just seem to be wonderful (or just better than the US).

what about going to college? when you start thinking about college in the US you start thinking about money as well and I can tell you ,college cost a lot in the US ,for example Cleveland State University is going to cost me around 40 k while it is an average school in the US.
but ,in Germany you will study for free and sometimes it will cost you around 500 Euros per year ,is not that too cheap?? :)

what about the opportunity to learn a new language ? for me my native language is Arabic and I would love to speak German as well ,plus my OK English.

in Cleveland I won't be able to go to college,work ...etc without a car and the public transportation SUCK ,but in Germany all what I have to do is buying a subway+bus ticket and that's it ...I will be able to go Wherever/Whenever using public transportation and not buying a car will save a lot of $for me,and you can buy a bike for fun btw :D what about the crime? my uncle lived in the US for 15 years and he can tell that you can't move as free as you want after 11 pm, plus the crime rate in the US is higher than Germany. what about Beer ?? LOL ,Beer in Germany rocks and I have been told from an American that Beer in the US tastes like water,is that true? anyway,please share what do you think about this here and I will be waiting for your thoughts. Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2013 2. Jul 6, 2013 ### Swegner99 I may be a little biased here, but America rocks. 3. Jul 6, 2013 ### mfb ### Staff: Mentor I may be a little biased here, but Germany rocks. :p I guess members who do not live in those countries are a bit less biased. Concerning languages, it is easy to learn English (+German, of course) in Germany, but probably harder to learn German in the US. 4. Jul 6, 2013 ### Evo ### Staff: Mentor So, switch to Germany. 5. Jul 6, 2013 ### Monique Staff Emeritus I don't understand why you are going to Cleveland if Germany appears so much better to you? I think both countries have pros and cons. For science there are few places in Germany I'd go to, life in academia is tough, people are underpaid and getting a permanent position is near to impossible. I work with many Germans and many are reluctant to go back to their own country. A PhD student in the Netherlands will go down in salary when she becomes a postdoc in Germany. Germany does appeal to me, because it's an old country and the social system is so much better, but then again the working spirit of the Americans is something I really miss in Europe. 6. Jul 6, 2013 ### SW VandeCarr Does Germany have the Grand Canyon? Does Germany have the best hamburgers? Can you ride a horse for miles in any direction you want in Germany? Does Germany have the Grammy Awards? A German has to come to the US for the Grammy. Has a German ever won a Grammy Award? Last edited: Jul 6, 2013 7. Jul 6, 2013 ### russ_watters ### Staff: Mentor I bet your bike and bus don't have heated and ventilated seats and dual zone climate control. :tongue: 8. Jul 6, 2013 ### Monique Staff Emeritus Those must be the strangest arguments ever and could be countered with a silly argument as to who has the best sausage, but maybe that's your point? 9. Jul 6, 2013 ### ModusPwnd The USA is actually older than Germany. But you probably mean something along the lines of cultural heritage and the like. 10. Jul 6, 2013 ### russ_watters ### Staff: Mentor Or frankfurters! Yeah, all they have is a dried-up Hasselhoff and Beck! Last edited: Jul 6, 2013 11. Jul 6, 2013 ### russ_watters ### Staff: Mentor Cleveland rocks: [YouTube]6vl5FWUMnNM[/YouTube] http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=6vl5FWUMnNM&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D6vl5FWUMnNM 12. Jul 6, 2013 ### mfb ### Staff: Mentor While "best" is subjective, we certainly have the most living Hamburgers ;). Can you do it in New York (city or state, does not matter)? Can you get lost in a desert in Germany? Hint: there is no desert in Germany. How many physicists have won a Grammy award? Sure. Many of them. Most of the time you don't need them, temperature variations between winter and summer are not as extreme as in the US. Buses and trains have air conditioning. 13. Jul 6, 2013 ### YYaaSSeeRR thanks for sharing your thoughts my friends... anyway,about the education quality I will get at Cleveland State university I have been in contact with a physics professor from Illinois Institute Of Technology and his conclusion is that the education quality I will get in Germany is much better when comparing to Cleveland State university. it's just a conflict going around in my mind all the day :) and there is 1 more thing ,I don't have a green card and I don't want to do a fraud marriage or something to get it (because I can't :D) so the US will cost me a fortune till I finish the school and when I do,the money I spend would be about 120 thousands dollars so I just think it is not worth it sometimes. can you name some of them please? tell me some of your experiences. what a short advice/answer :) lol,I don't know how to ride one :) 14. Jul 6, 2013 ### Bandersnatch You don't need a better argument than this one. It's so true. 15. Jul 6, 2013 ### lisab Staff Emeritus For "mainstream" beers, it's absolutely true. But there are ample microbreweries that make *awesome* beers. I haven't lived in Germany, only visited. My parents lived there for a couple years and loved it. My observations while visiting Germany: It felt very, very safe. Everything was clean and orderly, and the people were genuinely friendly and helpful. Good land use - open spaces were kept open and towns were high-density. Wonderful infrastructure. Beautiful country, I wouldn't mind living there, it's really a nice place. My first impression when I got back among Americans: wow, we are LOUD . But there is a certain something in Americans that I didn't see in Germans, a spark or energy. We seem to have a wider range of "normal" - and perhaps more acceptance of risk? So OP, where should you live...well there is no wrong answer. What is your ultimate goal, to emigrate? Just my$0.02.

Last edited: Jul 6, 2013
16. Jul 6, 2013

### jbunniii

Indeed, I would argue that America is in the same league as Belgium, and ahead of all other countries, in terms of the quality of its craft breweries.

However, I would also be inclined to choose just about any German city over Cleveland.

Last edited: Jul 6, 2013
17. Jul 6, 2013

### Staff: Mentor

You have to live someplace for most of year to get a decent exposure to the good and bad things. Then, you can decide yea or nay on the place. Plus, cities in countries like the US, France, Canada have very different atmospheres.

My view only:

Don't like Mexico City, New York City, Los Angeles, and Paris. Been there for long periods, disliked them all. Nice is great, as is Quebec (even in Winter). Albuquerque is both amazing and very depressing at the same time.

Cleveland is so far down my net worth scale that with a ranking system of 1 .. 10: it gets a minus 4.

So my idea is - do not automatically assume that because you hated you experience in Cleveland, Marseilles, or Toronto then all of the cities in the respective country are equally awful. Not true.

18. Jul 7, 2013

### jobyts

From what I heard from my friends who lived in Germany, working women is not a cool thing in Germany. If a woman is working, it kind of implies that you are not financially sound enough to run the family with just the husband's salary.

19. Jul 7, 2013

### Cthugha

The 18th century is over. Even in Germany.

As a German living in the US temporarily, let me share some of my observations. Let me start with the most important point:

1.: Beer. The large brands you can get everywhere in the US are pretty bad. However, there are microbreweries brewing some very good beers. However, the density of microbreweries varies strongly across the various states of the US. Here (Colorado), there are plenty, but most places are not blessed with such a variety.

2.: Language. Let's face it: German is a horrible language to learn. Having to learn German might be an acceptable punishment for war criminals. Learning it to a degree that allows you to follow university courses is even more complicated. English is way easier. So, if you go to Germany, you might want to pick a university offering their courses in English, too, and probably learn both languages.

3.: Public transport. A clear pro for Germany. As I told people at a recent conference here in the US that I walked from the airport to my hotel, they were very surprised that a sidewalk even existed. As the bus did not go all day most people rented a car or took a taxi. That system is better in Germany especially in crowded areas (Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Hamburg, Ruhrgebiet, Frankfurt, Stuttgart).

4.: Scientific career. If you plan to follow a scientific career after studying, this is a complicated path in Germany. There are almost no "low-level" reader/lecturer permanent positions, only "high level" tenured professors and very few permanent scientist positions. Getting tenured as a foreigner is pretty difficult as some grant applications may need to be written in German. However, if you intend to leave academia after studying, this is not that much of a problem.

5.: Social security/medical care. This is a matter of taste. In Germany, it is mandatory which in turn results in large deductions from your salary. In the US you have more freedom to choose what level of security you want. However, as not everyone is enrolled, it tends to be somewhat expensive.

6.: crime rate: That varies drastically from place to place. I think that is rather a question of the city you pick and neighborhood you live in or want to go to. However, the usage of firearms is way less common in Germany.

7.: Quality of education: Germany does not have top universities like the ivy league ones in the US. The concept is rather to have a minimum assured quality in teaching everywhere and delocalized excellent researchers. Germany is trying to enhance the visibility of some universities by giving them elite status, but I am not sure that will work. In Germany the quality of teaching/research across all the universities has a smaller spread compared to the US in my opinion. There are few excellent places, but also no really bad ones. So it depends on what you prefer (and can afford).

8.: Life style. Germany is way more bureaucratic than the US is. You can expect forms for everything. Germany has a pretty loose policy on alcohol (drinking beer is allowed by 16 and drinking in public is usually fine). People in the US seem to care somewhat less about non-standard life careers and generally value individual freedom to a larger extent. Also I noticed that in the US people tend to go to (and leave) parties pretty early, while in Europe it is more typical to start and end late.
You obviously also have a larger variety of landscapes and nature you can enjoy throughout the US. In Europe, there are instead way more sights of cultural and historical importance, if you find that more interesting.
In both countries the cost of living varies drastically from place to place. The cost of housing alone may vary by a factor of 2 or more between, say, New York and Tennessee in the US or Munich and the Ruhrgebiet or Leipzig in Germany. This is definitely another thing to consider before picking a place to go to.

As a disclaimer: I moved from Germany to Boulder, Colorado. Some of the people here told me, that means that I technically never really left Europe and never really arrived in the US or in other terms: Boulder seems to be pretty different from average US cities. However, when specifically talking about Cleveland, the same people told me that there are better places to go to than Cleveland - Like the Congo or some Gulag in Siberia. Cleveland is featured in the book "Don't Go There: The Travel Detective's Essential Guide to the Must-Miss Places of the World.". However, that is just hearsay. I hope that it is exaggerated and not that bad in reality.

20. Jul 7, 2013

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
I think you should come to the Netherlands then, I think it's better than Germany There must be a reason why so many Germans are crossing the border to study/work in NL. They do continue living in Germany, because houses are so much cheaper.

Well, the EMBL is a good research institute to join. But then I know Germans who worked there and left, because the atmosphere within the institute was too competitive.

I'm almost forced to work from 9–5, I'm forced to take at least two weeks of vacations in a row, colleagues argue with me when I say I don't need much vacation, colleagues get angry when students choose to work in the weekends. In the US it was the other end of the spectrum, people worked from 10–10 seven days a week, only sunday morning was reserved for going to church. At my current workplace if someone asks "how long does it take to do this experiment", the reply of colleagues would be "at least a year", while my reply would be "two months". I get dirty looks when I take the optimist hard-working approach, that's the difference in working spirit.

About the female working situation, also having kids and keeping working in Germany is very hard. There is little supportive infrastructure and as Cthugha there is a social stigma. Not sure how much better it is in the US though.