I arrived from Iraq (Baghdad) to Magdeburg at the end of March 2022, to work remotely as a software developer in a company called Ultra Tendency.
Working from home is not easy for a person who like to socialize with other people and learn from their cluture. Working from home was my first barrier to interact with the German people, and the language (German) was also a factor that kept me away from making a simple conversation with any person there. I was socially disconnected from the city.
At the first year, it was hard for me, because I didn’t make any connection (new friends) at the city, and this is also due to the nature of my work from home: 90% of my time is at my room, working usually from 09:00 till 17:00 or 18:00. Lunch or quick shopping in between; and only at the weekends I can have time to explore or try to find communities and be part of them.
I am a social person, I like to engage in conversations with different topics about life with different people from different backgrounds. Being in Magdeburg, made me realize that no social life in Germany, as a total, is the norm here. But, i succedded in mitigating this isolation to a satisfiable degree.
In 2023, I’ve done the following activities to have more social life, and most of the groups I knew were from Facebook:
👋🏼 Social Communities
• Enjoy Magdeburg This group on Facebook introduced me to new friends when events happened here in Magdeburg. We went to music festivals, played bowling and volleyball too. They arrange one or two events per month.
• Wednesday English Stammtisch here I also met new people (although not leterally occured every Wednesday), and sometimes, have meetings of families with children. It occurs on Wedensdays, two or three times per month, and sometimes, none.
• Sprachcafé at einewelt haus Magdeburg I had it a couple of weeks ago, but you need to know basic German language level (at least B1) to understand what is going on. Check their Instagram account for updates because they post their new events regularly.
Since I work from home, I wanted to have some physical activity at the weekend, especially at the sommer. Concidentally, I found a person from Poland on Facebook who wants to play volleyball in Magdeburg, and then we agreed to invite more people in Enjoy Magdeburg group mentioned above. However I’ve found a volleyball facebook group, and the person responsible was posting weekly:
• Freizeit Volleyballfreunde Magdeburg/Umgebung
We were playing at Montego Beach Volleyball (it costs 12 €/hour)
The other location I’ve found, was with a gruop of the Otoo Von Guireke University students, who were playing almost daily 😅.
They play on a free vollebay playground, and you can go there and join them easily. You can also ask them to add you to their WhatsApp group, where they agree wether they’ll play today or not.
This is optional, but going to the gym helps you be healthier physically and mentally. At the gym, I thought, I will know new people every day (like we have it herer in Iraq), but actually, you’ll see focused poeple on their training, and putting their headphones, so, the gym is a place to go there, do your trainings, and then go back home. But, you might meed social people once in a month maybe, who will approach you to ask about something, and then you can start the conversation (e.g., where are you from, whats your work, et..).
For me, I was going to EasyFitness gym.
I am a foodie person. I like to try cusines all the time. However, Magdeburg don’t have that much of choices to try with (e.g., not as diverse in restaurants as with Hamburg). So, I stayed with two main restaurants that I can go: Damaskus Haus and Flinke Pfanne (Hasselbachplatz). I love the shwarama prepaired by Damaskus Haus, especially on weekends, where they put meat shawarma.
More discussions to read
If you would like to read more about people suggestions and recommendations:
• Socially Disconnected from the City (Magdeburg)
• Wohngegend Neustädter Feld
And also, follow this Subreddit for Magdeburg, to find more about what people asks and their answers:
• Magdeburg on Reddit
And feel free to contact me if you have other questions or any suggestions to enhance this post.
Viel Spaß! 😀
February 4, 2024