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CityExperten Blog

Got a question or need some “how-to” advice to make life in NYC smooth sailing? Review our expert blog featuring topics ranging from parenting advice, product reviews the NY school system, important laws, taxes, moving tips, and more.

Having Trouble Finding German Kids’ Books?

Raising our children abroad is a beautiful thing, they are exposed to two languages. Growing up with this early exposure gives them a rare advantage to speak with proficiency as a native.

As parents, we talk, sing, read in our native language as much as possible to our children. They are growing up so fast, and we all experience the same challenges:

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Where to Start Your Search for the Right School…

When my daughter was born I was sure we would move back to Germany by the time she turns six, as I could not imagine raising her in the New York school system. All I had heard were horror stories of extreme competition to get into the right preschool which seemed to be the only guarantee of getting to Harvard or Yale…. We only heard about the unsatisfactory conditions of public schools and the horrendous cost of private institutions, not to mention universities.

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Tips to Ride Safely in a Taxi With Your Child

Do you ride safely in a Taxi or ride share service in NYC with your kids?

In big cities like New York, owning a car is rare and taking the taxi for short or long distances is the only way to go. This was a big difference, when moving from Germany to the U.S, and we were not aware of the challenges that would come with it.

Most germans that are  living in NYC will know the problem. You are transporting your child in a taxi, car service or ride share but you don’t want to haul your car seat along with you. And while in Germany most taxi services provide a car seat for your child, this is not the case in NYC.

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Exploring Elementary School Options in New York City

The elementary school system in New York City can be confusing and intimidating, with a wide range of public and private options. What’s more, the quality varies widely across the city. New York is home to top-notch schools that deliver an outstanding education year in and year out, while some continue to lag behind. This leads to a hypercompetitive process to get your child into the “best” program. What any parent should understand is that there is no such thing as the best elementary school in New York City, there is only the school that is best for your child and your family. This article will briefly explain each option to help families make an informed decision, highlighting what differentiates each type of school and describe the enrollment processes.

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Thinking About Hosting an Au Pair? Here are Some Basic Facts

 

Thinking about hosting an au pair?

Here are a few basic facts for international parents in the U.S.

In-home childcare is much more readily available in the US than in most parts of Europe. Especially for international parents hosting an au pair seems like the ideal childcare solution as au pairs can help assist in teaching an international parent’s language or bring a new language into the mix. Many families also love the cultural component of the program. For practical reasons hosting at au pair provides a lot of flexibility in terms of scheduling.

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Fall is here! Our secret spots to collect “Kastanien” in NYC

If you grew up in Germany, chances are that you were busy collecting “Kastanien” (chestnuts) about this time of year and turned them into little figurines with the help of tooth picks and glue.

A staple in most parks in Germany, chestnut trees are a bit harder to find in NYC. But not to worry! We found an app where you can locate certain trees all around the city. The official name for the chestnuts as we know them from Germany is “Horse Chestnut”. Those are not the edible kind you will find in the supermarket.

Here are a few spots where you can go on a chestnut tree hunt:

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Where & Why to get a flu shot in New York

 

While in Germany the flu shot is usually only recommend for children (6 months and up), people over 60, and high risk groups like pregnant women and those with chronic illnesses –  you almost can’t escape the flu shot mania living in New York…. As so many people live in one spot the risks of infection is much higher, so you should definitely think about the option.

The NYC Health Map is a fantastic resource to find out where you can go get a flu shot. It’s generally included in your health insurance plan.  Check with your insurance provider to see what they can get you and then use the list below!

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Boxing Lunch – A Daily Challenge

Now, that everyone is back to school and the daily grind is taking over, there is one topic coming up again and again– school lunch.

Besides preparing breakfast and getting everybody ready to leave the house, this is a daily challenge every parent with school-age kids has to face. Those of  you who are new to parenthood might wonder at this point –can it really be that difficult to make and pack a sandwich, throw in a juice box and cut some fruits and vegetables? 

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How to watch German TV shows in the US?

There are several options to get German TV programs into your living room. If you have kids growing up multilingual, carefully selected shows can be a great way to expand their vocabulary and understanding.

One option is YouTV, the first and only German legal online TV recorder accessible worldwide. German expats around the world can access almost the entire German TV program and record individual shows. By recording a show, it will be stored in a cloud and can be played back regardless of time zones at any time. Of course, this is also possible in HD on your SmartTV or your Roku device.

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I am not Volunteering at my Kid’s School – or Should I?

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When I first came to the US, I thought parents here just liked to be involved in their kid’s school. But now I know that there are many reasons why the schools need parent support: lack of funding, teacher’s rights and state and federal requirements. As a working mom, I just can’t be part in all of it and be successful in them.

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