Trailing Spouses Collective Update

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One of the main features of being a trailing spouses, is constantly moving. Many of us have now moved onto new adventures and countries, so I’m afraid this website will no longer be updated. And for those new to Bielefeld, welcome! Reach out to other expats and form new groups, post notices in language schools, check in at the university Welcome center. And keep exploring!

short term accomodation

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We do a lot of travelling as a family and I find it much easier to stay in an apartment rather than a hotel. It’s often cheaper too and you have washing machine, kitchen etc to use. I have had good success with Airbnb where people can rent out a room or their whole home. I have used them all over the world, often renting from other families so my boys have toys and books to play with. There are a quite few options here in Bielefeld, so very useful if you have friends and family coming and they are looking for a place to stay. Or if you need a place short term.

Broadcasting License Fees

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This a very useful piece of information from Bielefeld University’s Welcome Center. You need to pay even if you don’t own a TV – internet, radio, smart phones count too! So basically no-one is exempt…

Broadcasting License Fees – Rundfunkbeiträge

Everyone who stays longer than three months in Germany must register and pay broadcasting license fees. You pay €17.98 per month for each household. This means that a flat-sharing community, family, or couple, only have to pay one charge per month.

Why do they collect fees for broadcasting?
The Broadcasting License Fees are a way of financing broadcasting stations subject to public law. The costs cover the usage of television, radio, computer, and smartphone. Since the fees are paid per household, it does not matter how many broadcasting devices are used by the members of a household.

Are there exceptions?
None, unless you are severely physically handicapped (deaf or blind).

How can I pay the fee?
You can get applications online or at city hall, Niederwall 23, 33597 Bielefeld. You will need a German bank account to make the payment via giro transfer or direct debit. Make sure to cancel your contract at least six weeks before you leave Germany in order to stop payments.

More Information

Kulture Gala Theatre Bielefeld

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This Saturday January 24th 8 pm is the annual Kulturgala byTheatre Bielefeld. It’s a fun evening of a bit of everything – dance, theater, comedy, poetry slam, music, art and photography. But hurry as tickets are almost sold out.



Free Sunday concerts near the University

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Thanks Pollyester for the tip!
At Haus Wellensiek ( former Christus church), Wellensiek 108 a, 33619 Bielefeld
You can get there with tram line 4 (stop Wellensiek) or bus line 21/62 (stop Wellensiek-Sued), after that it is
500 meters (tram) or 250 meters (bus stop) walk.

The concerts are free, you can give donations on the way out. You can see information on their other events on their facebook page.

30.11.2014, 18 Uhr ›Idyll und Abgrund‹
Werke von Schubert, Brahms, Ravel, Honegger und Widmann
Florian Schwartz, Klavier
11.01.2015, 18 Uhr ›Saitenwechsel‹ Ein Vergleich mit historischen und modernen Instrumenten
Sonaten von A. Vivaldi und J. S. Bach
Sigurd Müller, Barockcello und Cello, Martina Buchholz-Suzuki, Cembalo, Claudia Kohl, Klavier
22.02.2015, 18 Uhr
›Kammermusik am Abend‹
Werke für Violine und Klavier von Strawinsky, Mozart und Brahms
Erika Ifflaender-Gehl, Violine, Claudia Kohl, Klavier
15.03.2015, 18 Uhr
›Quartett plus Klarinette‹ Werke für Streichquartett und Klarinette u.a. von Mozart und Beethoven
Quartetto d’Archi Bielefeld, Jens Ubbelohde, Klarinette
26.04.2015, 18 Uhr
›Klaviermusik zum (Be)greifen nah‹ Werke von Bach, Schumann, Chopin, Bartók und Gershwin
Claudia Kohl, Klavier
31.05.2015, 18 Uhr
›Romantisches Dreieck‹
Klaviertrios von Clara Schumann, R.Schumann und J. Brahms
Trio l’onda (E.Ifflaender-Gehl, S.Müller, Cl.Kohl)
21.06.2015, 18 Uhr
›Mittsommer‹ mit der finnischen Pianistin Eeva Matilla


Bio / Organic supermarkets in Bielefeld

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We have three good organic supermarkets in Bielefeld – Denn’s Biomarkt have just opened a store in the Nord Park shopping center. I also like Dengel biomarkt (they have two locations). Or if you are looking for somewhere more central Loewenzahn in the Altstadt is also good (and have tasty warm savoury snacks in their deli).




Nature adventures for kids

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Do your kids like to be outside? My kids love exploring in the woods and parks regardless of the weather. Here are two  places who offer nature classes for children from 2 to 13 years. They do wonderfully creative things with the kids, tell stories, dress up as pirates,  build fairy houses, and learn a lot about their nature surroundings. Some classes are ongoing – once a week for six or so weeks, others are workshops or in school holidays. There are also classes for parents to join in with their kids.






english speaking doctors and other languages


I have added this to our doctor’s / dentists etc page but here is useful brochure which lists doctors and specialists in Bielefeld who also speak other languages including English, French, Turkish, Russian, Polish etc. It’s a few years out of date but might be a good starting point.








Bielefeld celebrates 800th anniversary

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I have missed most of Bielefeld’s 800 year anniversary celebrations but there are still plenty of events and exhibitions happening for the rest of the year all over town. Some really interesting things happening so check it out. You can also pick up a brochure of all the events and find out more at the tourist office.


Online supermarket delivery

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Coming from the UK, I love doing my supermarket shopping online (offered by all the big British supermarkets). So I’m very excited to see Rewe is offering online shopping and delivery here in Bielefeld for orders over 40 euros. The prices are same as in the store, and the online selection has just about everything I usually buy. The first three deliveries are free and after that’s it’s between 2 – 7 euros depending on delivery time. At the moment though all delivery slots are only 1 euro. They offer two hour slots to choose from and delivery up to 9 pm in the evening and also on Saturdays. Stairs are no problem. You change and add things to your order until the day before.  I look forward to trying this out and having my shopping appear in my kitchen! I will report back soon.

UPDATE: My order was easy to complete on-line and turned up on time. Frozen goods were still frozen too. I will definately continue to use them for my weekly shop.

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