11 Comments on "My husband is getting stationed in Stuttgart, Germany in October. Any survival tips to avoid culture shock?"

  1. Does he know how to drink beer?

    Get him a german translation dictionary – preferably electronic – and let him try some authentic german beer before he goes – it does NOT taste like american beer – he may be in for a shock lol.


    And tell him NOT to mention Hitler – thats a no no over there.

  2. Sorry to tell you this, but Germany will be a pretty sheltered life too. And the worst thing you will encounter is not finding all the food you have grown accustomed to in the US.

  3. Well Stuttgart is a great city.
    I suggest, depending if you’re living on a military base or not, to learn basic German phrases. The culture is definitely different. There are many more suburbs then cities. Get familiar with resteraunts. They’re different. You don’t get water, you have to ask for it. Good luck.

  4. Dont mention the war

  5. hope you’re not vegetarian:)

    people drink a lot, and smoke a lot. my family comes from all over germany/austria… i’ve visited once, and i loved how social most people were, lots of festivals and parties!

  6. Edited!

    Wow that’s great. We just recently PSCed to Spangdahlem Germany. It was a little over-whelming at first but we just love it here now. We have been here since October 1st. We have seen so many unbelieveable things. There are castles just about everywhere and the Christmas markets are really great. It is so beautiful.

    A few of the others mentioned that restaurants will be the biggest thing. That is true, you can’t always eat at the restaurants you are used to. But we have Taco Bell, Burger King and Popeyes so we’re all set with fast food. It took us a little while to work up the courage to try out our German. I would say that the language barrier is biggest problem for most people. To help that situation, I would start learning some basic phrases right now. Even though many Germans do speak English they really appreciate it when you try to speak their language. It is very helpful to know your numbers, and how to say Good Day (Guten Tag) Hello (Hallo), Yes and No , Thank you and then how to ask for directions and how to order food from a German menu etc. There are some great phrase books out there but it really helps to hear how the words are pronounced. It is easier then it seems at first. Here’s some links to free language websites.



    Small fee websites : http://www.babbel.com


    The best thing you can do is just be open to new experiences and as soon as you can, get out and see this beautiful country. Some people come here and then just stay on base the whole time because they are scared to go out and do anything. If you do that then you will hate it here. Now of course keep in mind that it will take some time to settle in. Waiting for our car was the worst, But there is a bus here and taxi’s of course. There are some differences in just about every aspect of everyday life. For example always hand a tip directly to your waiter/waitress. It is an insult to them if you put it on the table. They have quiet hours from 1 to 3 here(atleast in the villages near us they do.) Meaning if you live off base you can not mow your lawn or blast music etc during those hours. Oh and make sure you always keep Euro coins in your pocket. Most restrooms have a small fee, normally from .30 to 50 Cents(Euro) But in my opinion it is totally worth it because in my experience the restrooms have always been extremely clean. ;o) Also in most stores, in order to use a shopping cart, you have to insert a .50 or 1 Euro coin in the shopping cart to unlock it from the cart in front of it and then when you bring it back and put the lock back in the cart your coin pops back out. Again , a bit of a hassle, but atleast there are no lose carts rolling across the parking lots to slam into your car.

    I am not sure about the Stuttgart area but here it rains quite abit. We left Baltimore at 89 degrees F. in October and arrived to a chilly and rainy 33 degrees. So just check out the weather before you come so you can be prepared.

    Okay assuming I haven’t bored you to tears, I havea few more things to say. There is a lot of walking involved here, so bring your walking shoes. Finally, don’t take to heart everything that people tell you about moving overseas. Some people have really bad experiences and then scare newcomers to death with their horror stories. The best way for you to come into this is to expect things with your move and then when you arrive here to NOT go as planned. That way IF they don’t you will be prepared and you will be able to deal with it better. Now of course by that I mean any little changes that at the time seem to be a BIG DEAL but only because you are anxious about getting you stuff packed and getting to your new home. And while you are here, TRAVEL and see as much as you can. The sooner the better. I really got more comfortable with it here when we got off base and saw some of the beauiful sights.

    Sorry for the extremely long entry. I probably told you way more than you wanted to know but I was in your position this time last year. And I was really nervous but nobody really answered any of my questions.. So I hope this helps. And good luck at your new base.


    feel free to email me if you have any other questions or if you just want to talk about your move. Moving anywhere can be stressful especially if you don’t know what to expect. I really think you will love it here.

  7. I grew up not far from Stuttgart. It is a beautiful area. You have absolutely nothing to worry about. Most likely you will have some culture shock. But that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Just different.Contrary to popular believe, Germans do not drink beer all day. My guess is, they drink mineral water the most. You will be able to buy most of american items at the commissary, but I suggest you also go to German stores and try new things.And I think the biggest mistake you can make, is to stay on base/post all the time.You will miss so much.
    Go online and find info about Stuttgart, look at pictures.You will be glad you got to go to Germany.

  8. Just accept that thinks may be different from what you are used to in the USA

  9. af wife is your best source of information, I would say. She’s gone through it all, at least. I can only tell you that the difference between German and American life is not as big as it may seem. Germany is a western culture, and there are some different rules, but unless you have teenage kids, most of them wont even be that dramatic for you. We drive on the same side, most of the street signs are the same, starbucks and other coffee stores are everywhere… we eat a little different food, and we love to have our wine and beer fests.
    Everyone learns English in school, with more or less success, but don’t be surprised if people will just jump at you with their English once they figured out you are American. That might not always help you much, but… hey, they’re trying! šŸ˜‰
    Most of the time, people will be patient and friendly when you try to talk German. I can remember standing in line for fifteen minutes at a bakery in Heidelberg, waiting for an American family to choose and try to pronounce the words correctly, and nobody complained at all. We all had a great time listening to them trying to pronounce the word “NuƟschnecke” (a sweet kind of danish with nuts).
    Most of your usual foods you will get at the PX, but, like some others said, go out and explore the German grocery stores and inner city stores. Stuttgard is great for going shopping (and it’s pretty, to boot), as are all the surrounding cities. Go out and take day trips. You are close to France, close to some of the best wine regions, close to the Rhine river, close to the black forrest. 2 hours, and you’re in Munich. Do not make the mistake to just stay on base!

    Have lots of fun, and don’t stress out about the move. It’s gonna be worth it!

  10. you’ll find everything in Germany that you can find in America, you may just have problems with the language if you can’t speak German

  11. Go and do a language course NOW! You will solve a lot of problems and misunderstandings by speaking German.
    Other than that, you will find that Stuttgart is like any other big city.
    Have fun and don’t worry;)
    As for 1st answer – German beer is different to American beer – it tastes better and yes, mention the war if you must, but then you must be prepared to answer for the death of 2 million Native Americans:)

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