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Goldzwerg – kids store

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I recently visited another new shop in the Siegfriedplatz neighourhood – Goldzwerg (relocated from Hamburg) which sells  the cutest kids clothes and toys. Well worth a browse.

Stapenhorststraße 44, 33615 Bielefeld

Dienstag bis Freitag 09.30 bis 16.00 Uhr

Samstag 10.00-14.00 Uhr

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Wednesday Night Concerts

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Teresa has the following tip about the Wednesday concerts at Rudolf Oetker Halle, (middle Wednesday of each month 8 pm). They are also broadcast live on WDR  3 radio and the best part is tickets are only €5!  They showcase music from around the world and have a great schedule of musicians from all different musical backgrounds. You can pick tickets up at the tourist information office, I hear they are very popular.

Namu

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We are always looking for indoor things to do with the kids on cold rainy weekends so we visited Bielefeld’s Natural History Museum NAMU . It was much smaller then I had expected (3 rooms upstairs, room in the basement and a small temporary exhibit space) but they had put a lot of thought into making natural history, particularly animal conservation, interesting for children. Mine (2 & 4) were rather too young to appreciate the conservation message, but they enjoyed the tactile feel of the exhibits. They particularly enjoyed the dinosaur stencils in the education room.

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German Integration Course

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For expats staying for more than a year in Germany and looking to learn German, the state sponsored Integration course is great way to learn. It is heavily subsidized – you only pay 1.20 €  an hour for up to 600 hours for language classes + 60 hours for an Orientation class (where they explain legal system, schools, culture etc). If you start at the beginning level A1, 600 hours will take you to the end of B1. (If you start midway you may have extra hours which you can use for B1+, but you can not take any higher levels than B1+ with the integration course.)

Many of us have had positive experiences with both Tandem and Bibis language schools and would recommend them. They will also process your integration course application for you with the Foreigners Authority  which is much easier than doing it yourself. It should take about 2 weeks to get approved and you will then receive a Berechtigungsschien certificate which allows you to register for classes.

The integration course is available for both EU citizens and non EU, planning to stay for more than year in Germany (and can show some sort of proof). It doesn’t matter if you married to a German or not, or your or your husband’s salary. I don’t believe students are eligible though.

Regular attendance is required, if you are absent for more three days in a row you will need to provide a doctors note. It is allowed though to take breaks in-between courses (each course is 5 weeks).  As an extra incentive, if you complete up to the B1 level and take the B1 exam within two years, you will receive 50% of your money back. If you fail the B1 exam, you are allowed 300 extra hours to repeat the last course.