Frankfurt/Nintendo Q&A

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Recently I have had an increase in the amount of people finding me on Facebook/Linkedin to ask me questions about working for Nintendo and living in Frankfurt. I write this blog because I want to help people, and while I don’t mind the odd person contacting me, I would prefer it if people used the things on my blog before going out to find me.

I have decided to write a post with all the most common questions I get asked, so hopefully this will get found before people click on the “send message” button!!

How do I get a job at Nintendo of Europe?

Have a look at this site for all the latest positions available and apply through that site. As much as I’d love to help everyone who applies, I actually can’t and it’s not fair if I do. Plus the fact I’m not really comfortable talking about work related things to people who randomly find me on the net. I’m sorry. Nintendo is a normal work place and so you should just treat this application as you would any other regular job out there.

What’s it like living in Germany?

It’s probably one of the best places to be in Europe right now. It’s pretty safe, clean and financially secure. German people are funny and interesting to observe and live amongst. It’s easy to find gluten free products, and I don’t think I’ve ever been to a place that’s more open to vegetarians and vegans. Organic is a complete way of life here and it’s easy to live a healthy life.

But aren’t the taxes super high there? Can I live a good life there?

Well, yes. I think I pay something like 45% in taxes (I may be wrong in that). I know working as an English teacher here is often a financially tough career, but most company workers are paid enough for the net salary to be enough to live well in Frankfurt. Some things are much cheaper here, like I don’t pay much on rent because I live in a great flatshare, and I don’t find food to be that expensive here. German supermarkets have fewer offers than, for example, British supermarkets. Don’t expect to fill your trolley with “buy one get one free” offers. But the overall price of food does tend to be cheaper. I tend to avoid the main supermarket, Rewe, and shop at Indian, Chinese and Turkish shops instead.

Eating out can get expensive. You can expect to pay around 10 euros for a meal, a beer is about 3 euros (here is a typical German restaurant’s menu) but soft drinks like coke can be the expensive part of the meal.

Mobile phone contracts vary greatly in price. I pay quite a lot for mine (around 50 a month) but asking around, most people pay much less than that for their smart phones. A lot of people use pay-as-you-go phones, as well. Check out this site for a list of mobile/cell phone companies.

The company has offered me a ___________ salary/What salary should I ask for?

I can’t really talk much about this. Luckily, Toytown forum has lots of advice!

Can I get home comforts easily?

Well, it depends what you want. I can get pretty much anything I crave from Japan (though not the magazines and books any more since the Japanese book shop closed). There are various Japanese and Chinese supermarkets around that can sell you anything from Calpis to natto. There are also a LOT of great Japanese restaurants around. For British things, British sauces and branded food items can be found in the department stores Galeria and Karstadt. Aldi also does “British week” sometimes, too. There are a lot of American expats here and you can find lots of American foods in the Rewe in the basement of My Zeil.

German clothes shopping is pretty crappy, but we have H&M, Zara and Primark here. ASOS.com has free international delivery so I use that most of the time.

From my recent messages, these seem to be all the most common questions. If I haven’t answered something that you want to know, check out Toytown for lots and lots of German life info, or just pop the question in the comments of this post.

Comments

  1. caffeinedreamer says:

    Thanks Charlotte!

  2. You find Germany to be open to vegetarians and vegans? Really? The ordinary supermarkets here are starting to have more vegetarian products (the Bio supermarkets always did), but at least in Karlsruhe most restauarants have about 2 vegetarian options and one of them is Käsespätzle, so far from vegan friendly! Frankfurt is a bigger city though, so maybe they’re more used to dealing with vegans there.

    • There are at least 5 vegetarian restaurants in Frankfurt, and I guess in a normal German restaurant you’d have eggs and green sauce here. I’m getting slightly sick of it, but in comparison to other European countries they do cater slightly more. It’s because of all these “yuppy” Germans in their 20s wanting a bio, clean lifestyle.
      Rewe has a few veggie options but I don’t shop there much. Like I said, I prefer getting lentils and veg from the Indian shops.

      • There is one vegetarian and vegan restaurant here, but it’s pretty expensive,

        Eggs and green sauce (not available around here) is vegetarian, but not vegan. I often wonder how vegans cope in a normal German restuarant.

      • I think it really depends on the size of the city. I live in a “smaller” city, Kaiserslautern, and we only have one restaurant that is not an ethnic place that has substantial vegetarian offerings. I do not think that there are vegan options, though. I do know that Mannheim has quite a few options, but it’s not close enough to visit just for a meal. I guess it’s kind of a good thing that there aren’t many options for me here because I’d want to go out to eat more often! I do have “restaurant envy” when I read about all the Frankfurt offerings 🙂

  3. I think vegetarian/vegan offerings depend on the size of the city. I’m in a “smaller” city, Kaiserslautern, and besides ethnic food places such as Asian restaurants with noodles, we only have one restaurant that has a significant offering of vegetarian food. I’m not sure that they have anything that is vegan at all. I’m just thankful that it’s very tasty, but otherwise, most of the other restaurants in town don’t appeal to me. I guess that’s a good thing because if I lived somewhere like Frankfurt with many good offerings, I would want to eat out often!

    • You’d think that with the army base there they’d put more veggie restaurants and stuff around there – I assume some of the people there would want that kind of thing. Yeah I eat out way too much…

      • Oops, totally posted twice! We do have a “plethora” of Mexican restaurants within about 15 km of KL, which definitely reflects the American population. Unfortunately, the food isn’t very good/authentic 🙁 I feel like the Old El Paso brand stuff, which can be bought at Rewe, might be more authentic, and that’s not saying much. I have been told that an Italian guy owns the place and a Pakistani guy cooks, and the person telling me this said that it appears that the main requirement for it to be “authentic” Mexican food is that the person owning/cooking there must have a mustache. Of course, that’s tongue in cheek. The restaurants I’ve really enjoyed with vegetarian and/or vegan food in the Pfalz area (or close) have been: Urban Vital in Kaiserslautern; Red in Heidelberg; and Heller’s in Mannheim. I have reviewed all three in my blog under the tag of “Vegetarian Food.”

  4. Hello, thanks for the info.
    I would just like to ask: about how long was the application process from first applying to an offer of job? Is there any leeway in choosing when you’d like to start?

    • It’s pretty long, I must admit. It can take even up to 6 months sometimes. It depends on your language and which team you applied for. If they know a big project is coming up then of course they’ll want to get new people in for that. But I’d say on the whole you can delay it by a few months if need be.

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