+49 (0) 421 9600-10
27 June 2017 - Merle Burghart

Brits in Bremen: Fiona Moore

Life quality
Emigrated from England, arrived in Bremen

Fiona Moore
Living in Bremen for 17 years: Fiona Moore has found a new home in the Hanseatic city © Bremeninvest/Merle Burghart

Fiona Moore is originally from Burton-on-Trent, near Birmingham, and now works as a freelance translator in Bremen. She fell in love with Bremen in her early twenties. That was back in 2000, but 17 years later she is still as enchanted by the city as she was on the first day. Below she tells us about settling in Bremen, about her family and about being fortunate to have found a home in here.

Fiona, tell us a little about yourself...
I'm 39 years old and was born in the UK. My husband is Spanish and we have two children. I've been living in Bremen for 17 years. We recently took on German citizenship, which is great as we now have dual nationality.
 
Why is becoming a German citizen so important to you?
The Brexit vote was the deciding factor for me. Having an EU passport and being able to vote were the two main reasons. My identity is not bound up with my passport, that's just a piece of paper, but life is so much easier with an EU passport. Otherwise I might have had to apply for a visa every three years after Brexit. And I wanted to be able to vote.
 
What brought you to Bremen from the UK?
I came to Bremen right after graduating. I didn't know at the time what to do with my life and I was offered an internship here. I came here with the idea of staying a year, but then I got hooked. Bremen really got under my skin.
 
Did you speak German before you came here?
I studied French and German at university. When I got here, my level of German was OK. But once you're here and have a proper conversation, there's a world of difference! At least I had the fundamentals and was able to get by, but in the beginning people would always speak to me in English. They really enjoy speaking English here and want to practice it at every opportunity. They're quite cosmopolitan and like to communicate.

Bremen's city centre
Bremen's city centre attracts people from around the world: the town hall and the Roland statue have been UNESCO World Heritage sites since 2004. © Bremeninvest/Ingo Wagner

How difficult was it for you to settle here?
Both my husband and I were made to feel very welcome. It's said that people from northern Germany are reserved and a little unfriendly, and that you have to know them for a long time before they open up to you. But that hasn't been our experience at all. We quickly built up a network, and the family is now fully integrated.
 
So you never felt lonely…
No! I lived in student accommodation when I first arrived, which was good because I met loads of people my age. And that's also where I met my husband. And after a year I thought to myself: "Come on, stay a little longer." And, well – I'm still here!
 
How easy was it to get a job?
The internship fell into my lap; I didn't need to do anything. When that finished after a year, I temped for a bit before applying for a job at a translation agency. I stayed there for six years. When I fell pregnant ten years ago, I set up my own company – and it has been going very well ever since. The translation market is booming, and my colleague and I are very pleased. Working for yourself means you can be very flexible, especially when you have children. I can work from the office or from home.

What are the differences between Bremen and the UK?
My children are now eight and ten, and I have to say they're a lot more independent than I think they'd be back in England. They cycle on their own a lot – to play sports, to go to the shops… My sister in England doesn't let her children cycle to school on their own. In Bremen, it's the norm, but then the city is very bike-friendly. And I think the system has been designed that way. You can get everywhere by bike. Children don't have to cycle on the roads as the whole route is by cycle path. And all the children do that. That's the culture here, this focus on independence.

Short distances, plenty of green spaces and getting around by bike
Short distances, plenty of green spaces and getting around by bike. Living in Bremen is brilliant © Bremeninvest/Ing Wagner

And what about similarities between Bremen and the UK?
Haha, the weather is the same. Three days of summer. Similarities with Burton-on-Trent? They both have a river and a lot of breweries. So, river and beer. But Burton-on-Trent lacks the cultural diversity. Bremen just has a lot more to offer. Whenever you have visitors, you always notice how many options there are for things to do and see. My parents really love Bremen too!
If you come from a big city, you might laugh at Bremen, but there's plenty to do here if you look for it. If you open yourself up to it, you just have to love Bremen!
 
What do you do in your spare time?
I go to the cinema a lot, and the museums in Bremen and Bremerhaven are also great. We almost always get an annual season ticket for the Universum Bremen – that's really good. We live near the Rhododendron Park. When everything is in bloom in May it's just out of this world. Amazing. The Klimahaus and the German Emigration Centre are also worth a visit. And the Christmas markets are spectacular. Every year at Christmas, we get a lot of visits from friends and family – they all want to go to the Christmas markets.
 
Is Bremen an international city?
Definitely! There are a lot of Brits and Spaniards here. My neighbour is English, and I have another who's French. I think that says it all. Bremen has a history of being cosmopolitan, and the city very much remains so. It's very multicultural, and that's a good thing.
 
Why would you recommend Bremen to other people from the UK?
There's a great choice of arts and entertainment, for example the Breminale arts festival, arthouse cinemas and theatre. And the city is quite compact. Even the airport – you can drive right up to the terminal. You don't get that very often. And there's always a slice of nature close by to escape to. You're in the Bürgerpark in no time. Bremen is great for families. I always feel safe, even when I go out by myself in the evening or am out and about on my bike.
And you get so much more house for your money here! If we had gone back to the UK, there's no way we could've bought the type of house we have here. And we would be commuting for two hours. Here it takes me twenty minutes by bike to get to work. It's just brilliant that everything is so close together here.
 
What would your advice be to people who are new to Bremen?
The first step to integration is learning the language. Become part of society. There are many opportunities to integrate, for example through the local sports club.
 
And what about getting to know the city?
Anyone wanting to experience Bremen should simply go for a walk through the city. Start in the Viertel – I adore all the little shops and cafés there. Then continue on to the Kunsthalle art gallery and walk across the beautiful market square. It's incredible. As you continue on, you can see Bremen's history and how the city has evolved. Then you arrive in Überseestadt, which also has plenty to offer. No matter where in Bremen you are, it's always buzzing. Those old dockside warehouses and all that. I really like Bremen.
 



Want to find out more about Bremen?

If you are interested in moving to Bremen from abroad, please feel free to contact Andreas Gerber, head of the international relocation team at WFB, tel: +49 (0)421 960 0123, andreas.gerber@wfb-bremen.de.


Our window on Bremen will show you what else the city has to offer: the bremen.de city website has all kinds of additional information, plus useful tips on how to plan your own, personal leisure activities.

Startups
15 August 2017
Metal foams from Bremen: two brothers get their business off to a strong start

The founders of Mac Panther Materials, two brothers from Bremen, produce an open-cell metal foam for use in a number of different applications. Its secret lies in the production process that is based on a brilliant and yet simple idea.

Science
10 August 2017
Engineers from Bremen are working on the electric drive system of the future

An engine under the bonnet drives the wheels – this is the configuration that has been powering cars for over a hundred years. However, wheel hub motors – i.e. motors in the hub of the wheel, not under the bonnet – promise many advantages. Electric drive systems make this possible.

Digital/Industry 4.0
8 August 2017
Silicon Valley: not just for the corporate giants

The digital revolution has reached every branch of industry. Many of the technological trends associated with the Industrial Internet of Things originated in Silicon Valley. Rene van den Hoevel, managing director of the German American Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco, and Christoph Ranze, managing director of encoway GmbH and executive board member of the association bremen digitalmedia, explain why it is not only large corporations who should be looking closely at the epicentre of technological advancement.

Quality of life
1 August 2017
Why Bremen is Germany’s coffee capital

Almost half of all coffee beans imported into Germany pass through Bremen’s ports. Coffee roasters such as Lloyd Caffee and Cross Coffee have helped to cement the image of Bremen as Germany’s coffee capital.

Maritime industry and logistics
25 July 2017
German Dry Docks 4.0: Shipbuilding on course for the future

In the space of just a few years, the maritime city of Bremerhaven has developed into a service centre for the seafaring and shipbuilding industry. At the centre of it all is the company German Dry Docks, whose managing director, Guido Försterling, has already heralded the era of ‘seafaring 4.0’.

Digital/Industry 4.0
20 July 2017
ELiSE – using diatoms to explore bionics

Bionics is the application of forms and functions found in nature to technology. Marine biologist Dr Christian Hamm and his team of researchers in Bremerhaven are leading figures in this field thanks to ELiSE. They are particularly interested in the tiny, yet incredibly complex, diatoms – nature’s experts in lightweight construction.

Investing in Bremen
18 July 2017
United Kingdom's EU exit and the impact on customs issues

How will Brexit affect the trading of goods between the UK and the EU? Our guest contributor Anja Markmann, who is responsible for customs and international trade law at Bremen Chamber of Commerce, explains what is likely to change from April 2019 onwards.

Science
4 July 2017
Ultrafast defrosting with ultrasound

A new process has been attracting attention in the food industry. Developed by the Bremerhaven Institute for Food Technology and Bioprocess Engineering, the new method enables deep frozen fish to be defrosted in record time. And the fish tastes as fresh as the day it was caught.

Science
29 June 2017
Jacobs University in Bremen – home to students of 106 nationalities

For over 15 years, Jacobs University in Bremen has attracted young, talented individuals from all over the world. Students from 106 countries make up a community that contributes to academic achievement and produces graduates that are highly sought after by companies.

Investing in Bremen
20 June 2017
Production spaces to rent at Craftspace online

Photography studios, workshops and professional kitchens are rarely fully occupied round the clock. So why not let others share them? The german start-up Craftspace brings together providers of production spaces with entrepreneurs, small business owners and artists on a single online platform. It’s an arrangement that benefits everyone.

Quality of life
15 June 2017
The Bürgerpark – Bremen’s green oasis

It’s an adventure playground for kids, an idyllic sanctuary for couples, and a quiet retreat for those looking to escape from stress – from joggers and Nordic walkers to lovers of nature and culture, the Bürgerpark in the centre of Bremen has something for everyone. For the last 150 years, this protected heritage site in the centre of Bremen has relied solely on the support of donations to keep it open and well-maintained.

Aerospace
13 June 2017
Airbus’ site manager Dr André Walter: “For us, digitalisation means making work easier and more efficient”

A great deal of manual labour goes into aircraft construction. Despite this – or perhaps even because of it – Airbus is changing its approach to make increased use of digital technologies. It’s also researching the applications of new manufacturing technologies such as 3D printing. And not a moment too soon, as Airbus’ site manager in Bremen, Dr André Walter, explains in our interview.

Investing in Bremen
8 June 2017
DEME: Using Bremen as a base to focus on offshore projects

GeoSea, a subsidiary of the Belgian DEME group, is helping to construct of some of the largest offshore wind farms in the German North Sea – and in Bremen, the company has found the ideal location to carry out its work.

Investing in Bremen
7 June 2017
hey ju design – the inclusive design company

Art, design and people with disabilities make up the fascinating focus of the work of two young designers from Bremen. Working together with employees from community-based workshops, they develop and improve on designs for handmade products – and are continually thrilled by the potential they see in their co-designers.

BREXIT
1 June 2017
BREXIT: Future tax implications for international businesses

Companies wishing to access the European market should be careful about their choice of location. Brexit could result in significantly higher financial and tax burdens for UK-based companies. Under these circumstances, setting up a base on the continent might be a better option. Find out what challenges companies will be facing.

Investing in Bremen
30 May 2017
Leela Cotton – sustained success through sustainability

Environmentally friendly manufacturing and ethical standards are the principles on which the fair trade clothing sector is based. Leela Cotton, a successful German-Turkish textile company, produces clothes for children and adults that are not only stylish, but also make a positive contribution to the environment in the way they are manufactured.

Investing in Bremen
23 May 2017
Seven good reasons to base your IT business in Bremen

Why have so many IT companies chosen to establish themselves in Bremen? We asked five key business figures and researchers from various organisations to tell us what makes the city such an attractive location for the IT sector.

Investing in Bremen
18 May 2017
Full-colour 3D images under water

3D imaging with millimetre accuracy for underwater industrial activities and deep sea exploration – company founder Jakob Schwendner has a very clear goal. The first prototype of a camera with brand new sensor technology was built in Canada and presented to industry professionals at the Ocean Business conference in Southampton, United Kingdom, in April.

Automotive Industries
16 May 2017
Innovative Logistics at the Bremen Hansalinie Industrial Estate

The Bremen Hansalinie Industrial Estate is a successful business park that is currently undergoing expansion. Several major logistics companies have based themselves here, developing increasingly sophisticated processes that aim to optimise just-in-sequence production for the automotive industry.

Science
11 May 2017
Studying and researching in Bremen – a success story

Of all the states in Germany, Bremen has the highest density of major research institutions in relation to its population – a fact that also benefits those who study there. It offers a range of international education opportunities for prospective academics with strong practical relevance and research activities that span a diverse range of fields.

Investing in Bremen
9 May 2017
AlfaNet: The Bremen-based company that brings Taiwanese display screens to Europe

Weatherproof displays for transport services, and screens that don’t produce glare in bright sunlight – these are just some of the devices provided by AlfaNet Computer und Electronic Handels GmbH, a Bremen-based company founded nearly 25 years ago by Thomas Lie.

Investing in Bremen
4 May 2017
Chinese business people get to grips with vehicles made in Bremen

They came, they saw, they marvelled – Chinese business people in Bremen visited the Mercedes-Benz plant and were surprised to find that an automotive manufacturer with a vast robot workforce was also Bremen’s largest employer, with just under 13,000 (human) employees. But where do they all work?

Startups
2 May 2017
ACSK Clothing: The cosmopolitan clothing company taking a stand against fast fashion

Three continents, four countries, and Bremen at the centre of it all – a start-up could hardly be more international. The young entrepreneurs Ahmed Cheema and Stefan Kuzmanovski want to make sustainable manufacturing and the use of ethically sourced materials standard practice.

Life quality
25 April 2017
We love Bremen: seven declarations of affection

Bremen: Down-to-earth, yet always ready to surprise you. An attractive place to live, a city through which we can move easily and without stress – on foot along the river Weser, on two wheels through the many parks, or by tram through the city centre. People from different cities and countries tell us why they fell in love with Bremen and have made their lives here.

Digital/Industry 4.0
20 April 2017
This 3D metal printing plant manufactures titanium and aluminium components in Bremen

Lighter, more bespoke and more intricate: for companies open to new ideas in manufacturing and construction, metal parts produced by 3D printers present an economic alternative to conventional die cutting, rolling and milling. Leading the way is Materialise, a company with its own metal printing plant in Bremen.

Investing in Bremen
18 April 2017
Bremen's twin city: from one port to another

Bremen has been twinned with the city of Dalian in north-eastern China since 1985. Find out more about the similarities and connections that the two port cities share.

Quality of life
13 April 2017
German champions from the city on the Weser

Up to now, cricket has been very much a niche sport in Germany. But that is changing. In Bremen, a woman is calling the shots in this male-dominated sport – with great success. Her men’s team are the 2016 German cricket champions.

Digital/Industry 4.0
5 April 2017
Vision of the future – order picking with smart glasses and wearable computing solutions from Ubimax

Wearables and smart glasses provide hands-free digital information. A visit at the headquarter of the global market leader for Industrial Wearable Computing, Ubimax in Bremen.

Investing in Bremen
4 April 2017
At a glance: direct investments in Bremen in 2016

In 2016, companies invested a combined total of €229 million in the federal state of Bremen. Where do these investors hail from, how many jobs have they created, and what is their line of business? Our infographics provide an overview.

BREXIT
23 March 2017
Brexit and its consequences for the transport industry

How will the UK’s impending exit from the EU affect the logistics sector? Günther Hörbst, Managing Director of the Via Bremen Foundation, on the economic links between the United Kingdom and the EU

Investing in Bremen
21 March 2017
Forging a link between Bremen and China

The Chinese designer Haoyu Li combines his German design degree with Chinese business acumen. Now he is opening a design office in Bremen, with the aim of making it easier for Chinese products to enter the German market, and to bring German brands to China.

Quality of life
16 March 2017
Bremen – Germany's third-greenest city

The colours of the local football team are not the only thing that's green about Bremen, as you'll see when you take a stroll around its parks and open spaces. A look at the statistics shows that Bremen is not only Germany's tenth-largest city, it is also its third-greenest, offering plenty of space to enjoy nature.

BREXIT
14 March 2017
Last orders before closing time: Start your own business now before Brexit kicks in

Keen to remain in Bremen? Then why not combine residency status with self-employment? Manuel Kühn from Bremeninvest’s welcome service knows all about how a start-up could allow British citizens to beat Brexit and kill two birds with one stone.

9 March 2017
Successes, comebacks and newcomers: Bremen holds the key to the gates of Europe

The high standard of logistical expertise in the state of Bremen functioned as a key to open doors, making this a successful year for Bremen. 2016’s successes were marked by automobiles and steel, welcoming ambitious international companies.

Investing in Bremen
7 March 2017
"We have the right solution for any enquiry" – why it's so easy for international companies to set up business in Bremen

From initial idea to successful move. Andreas Gerber, who heads up the international relocation team at Bremeninvest, knows what international companies need to do to set up a business in Bremen. Here he tells us about the most important steps on the ...

Quality of life
2 March 2017
7 reasons why business people quickly feel at home in Bremen

Hard facts take top priority when it comes to the choice of location for international or domestic businesses. But the faster we feel comfortable outside the workplace in the everyday routines and culture of a foreign country, the sooner we feel at home. In addition to trade, science – and of course its port, Bremen has plenty to offer when it comes to quality of life.

Automotive Industries
28 February 2017
The biggest car park in Europe

BLG LOGISTICS GROUP AG & Co. KG’s AutoTerminal in Bremerhaven is a record-breaking automotive hub. Every year, the terminal handles some 2.3 million vehicles. But that’s not all.

Creative / Media
23 February 2017
Co-working in Bremen - nine places where you can find a new office community

Going it alone is rarely an easy option. Co-working enables entrepreneurs to work in a shared space and experience the benefits and synergies that come with this. There are nine co-working spaces in Bremen – which one is right for you?

Welcome Service
21 February 2017
Cutting through red tape with our welcome service

Permits and authorisations, a mountain of applications and a language barrier too. These are just some of the difficulties you face when starting a business abroad. Luckily, an advice centre opened in Bremen in early 2015 that can help you through the jungle: Bremeninvest’s welcome service.

Investing in Bremen
16 February 2017
World Trade Center Bremen: everything under one roof

Geographical distance and cultural differences make it hard to relocate or start up a company in another country. Luckily, help is at hand from the team at the World Trade Center (WTC) in Bremen. They'll do all they can to make your international business a success.

Aerospace
15 February 2017
"Bremen has everything that a hub for the space industry needs"

In December 2016 ministers from the European Space Agency (ESA) member states met to determine the roadmap for the European space sector for the years ahead. Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Bremen submitted joint recommendations. In the following interview Dr Peter Vits, Bremen's State Coordinator for the Space Sector, talks about Bremen's strengths and opportunities.

Aerospace
14 February 2017
Take-off for Bremen: what makes the city a hub for aerospace expertise

The sky is not the limit, at least not in Bremen. All parts of the aerospace sector are represented in the city, from R&D to production. Aeroplane wings, Ariane rockets and Galileo satellites – Bremen is one of the leading locations in the international aerospace industry. Here are five factors behind Bremen’s story of success.

Aerospace
31 January 2017
“50 per cent of the exhibition space has already been reserved”

In 2015 Bremen won the right to host the International Astronautical Congress for the second time, after having successfully held the event in 2003. Its bid was the result of a collaboration between the Bremen regional government and Bremen’s space industry and space research sector. Event partners include the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the German Aerospace Centre.

Automotive Industries
27 January 2017
E-mobility: why electric vehicles are on the up in Bremen

The Bremen region has long been a pioneer in electric mobility and is now set to enjoy further success after Mercedes-Benz and Borgward announced that they will be making electric vehicles in the city.

Automotive Industries
24 January 2017
Five reasons why Bremen is a leading automotive hub

Bremen knows how to make cars: the Mercedes-Benz plant by the Weser river has been in operation for almost 40 years, is the focal point of the city’s automotive industry and automotive clusters, and is now the company’s biggest global facility in terms of vehicle production numbers. Reason enough for an ever-growing number of suppliers and logistics firms to base themselves in Bremen.

Investing in Bremen
21 December 2016
Sigma Textil GmbH: how Muhammad-Farhan Aslam turned his father's business around

Sometimes you have to learn from other people's mistakes and trust your instincts. That is what Muhammad-Farhan Aslam believed when he took over his father's business. Not only did he change the business model, but he also shelved his own plans to move to England. Instead he stayed in Bremen. And it turned out to be one of many good decisions that he made.

Maritime economy and logistics
14 December 2016
The Cargo Distribution Centre (GVZ) in Bremen: a logistics hub with a bright future

For 30 years, the Cargo Distribution Centre in Bremen has delivered excellence – as an investment location and a logistics hub. Today more than 150 companies employing approximately 8,000 people are based at the site. It offers direct links to the ports, the autobahn and has a close proximity to Bremen City Airport.

Investing in Bremen
7 December 2016
Bremeninvest guidelines for foreign nationals setting up businesses in Bremen

Language barriers, unfamiliar legal and fiscal systems, qualifications that need to be recognised. There are many additional hurdles that entrepreneurs have to overcome when setting up a new branch or a new company in a different country. Bremeninvest is committed to offering you advice and support from the outset.

Investing in Bremen
1 December 2016
Innovative spinal surgery company NuVasive finds success in Bremen

You might expect a Bremen-based company specialising in innovative instruments and implants for spinal surgery to be located at the Technology Park. But you'd be wrong. NuVasive Germany GmbH has its head office at the heart of the city centre next to Wallanlagen Park. Now employing a team of 44 people, the company generates annual revenue of more than €10 million – a figure that looks set to rise.

Investing in Bremen
30 November 2016
Chinese LED business finds success in Bremen

David Zhou came to Bremen three years ago with the aim of conquering the market – and a new continent – with LEDs. He started his business selling LED lighting and electronics at the World Trade Centre at Bremen Airport and has gradually built it up over the past few years.