The Ramstein Eh to Z is a very valuable guide which will help orient you to your new community. It contains a wealth of information including a translation section with basic German words and phrases, information about local customs and cultural practices, maintenance tips for your household appliances (which are quite different from Canada!) and so many other things you didn't even know you needed to know. Taking the time to read it thoroughly will be time well spent.
Shops and services:
As a NATO installation and headquarters for U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein Air Base has a number of shopping venues of its own. On base, you'll find a commissary and AAFES base exchange (department store). In Kaiserslautern, the largest town in the area, you'll find even larger grocery stores, a Saturday farmer’s market, fashionable boutiques and “high street” shops.
If you're not yet familiar with the area, take a look at this local map before you head out.
Medical and dental
The 435th Medical Group maintains a clinic on the Ramstein Air Base. And although many specialties are available here, all in-patient care is provided at nearby Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, which is less than 15 minutes away. If you're looking for a private doctor or hospital, there are numerous options on the local economy:
Regardless of your location, Canadian Forces doctors will consult with you or your local doctor on request. If you have concerns about your medical care or just need reassurance about the care you are receiving, please contact one of the Canadian healthcare professionals.
Schools and child care
Canadian school-aged children attend the US Department of Defense Dependent Schools within the Kaiserslautern Military Community (KMC). There is also a wide array of educational opportunities provided in the KMC for adults.
You may choose to enrol your children in German schools rather than American schools. To do so, you must visit the school in or near the village in which you lives to register your child. Information regarding the German education system and related aspects can be found on the German Eduserver Portal.
The Dependent Education website deals with the education and related care of DND dependent students both inside and outside of Canada, providing a list of world education sites and links to the Canadian Forces International Schools. The site also provides information on screening procedures and guidelines, education allowances, education compatibility and language instruction.
When living in a foreign country, everyday tasks such as shopping, banking and commuting can become difficult. A basic understanding of the native language is essential. You can learn German, Dutch, French, and other languages through Rosetta Stone, or try out a local option.
Need a quick translation? AltaVista Babelfish will help you translate from English to French and French to English, as well as many other language combinations.
Need an online dictionary? Try this one. It provides word translation from English to French, Spanish, Italian, as well as English-only word definitions.
Dining and entertainment
This area of Germany is dotted with castles, steeped in legend, and praised by countless poets, painters and musicians. There are many options for entertainment here and the local wines are prized by connoisseurs all over the world.
Other dining and entertainment options: