Mönchengladbach is Germany’s “City in the Countryside”. Situated in the North Rhine-Westphalia region, it is just a few miles west of the Netherlands, right at the heart of the European continent. Mönchengladbach has a fascinating history – anyone planning on living in Mönchengladbach would be well advised to read up on the city’s evolution from a Prussian outpost, to a wartime conflict zone, to a city divided in two. Today, expats living in Mönchengladbach will discover that the city has two central railway stations, and twice the usual number of administrative buildings, a constant reminder of its conflicted past. The Schloss Rheydt houses the city museum as well as fine art exhibitions, and deals with the city’s history in great detail. Soccer is another major part of Mönchengladbach life. The local team, Borussia Mönchengladbach, is one of the best known teams in Germany, and the city’s vast soccer stadium is a testament to the team’s popularity and a great place for any expat in Mönchengladbach to get a feeling for the German love for soccer.
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Unsurprisingly, German is the main language spoken in Mönchengladbach. However, its proximity to the Dutch and Belgian borders means that these languages are also strongly represented in the city. If you are moving to Mönchengladbach from elsewhere in the European continent, this cosmopolitan mix of expatriates, locals and neighbors will not be anything new. However, even if you are relocating to Germany (or Europe) for the first time, you will find it easy to settle in. Expats have flocked to Germany for many years, attracted by the competitive salaries, quality of life, proximity to other European countries, and celebrated nightlife. While Mönchengladbach is much smaller and quieter than the likes of Munich or Berlin, it has all the charm that you would expect from a 21st-century European city, plus the added bonus of being close to the stunning German countryside. Speak to other expats on the InterNations forums to find out more about adjusting to the German way of life.
Mönchengladbach is a small but busy city, which is particularly well positioned for pan-European business. An expatriate working in Mönchengladbach could find themselves traveling to Eindhoven for a meeting one day, and Liege the next. The city’s two central train stations run regular routes across Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and beyond. As a result, anyone planning on working in Mönchengladbach would find it useful to learn a few words of other European languages, such as French, Dutch and Flemish. Join InterNations’ global expat community and use the forums and discussion groups to get useful tips from fellow expats living in Mönchengladbach or elsewhere, for example on how to make a good impression in business when speaking a foreign language.