It’s commonly said that there is a difference between Berlin and Germany. Sure, German is spoken here, German food is eaten here, and the German government convenes here, but the experience one receives in Berlin is generally thought to be incomparable with most other German cities. I experienced that firsthand back in Autumn when the BCGS group traveled to München. Everything seemed more conservative and slowed-down. That proved to be a great trip, but at the same time, the amount of museum visits and excursions on our itinerary gave it a bit of a hectic and touristy feel. This past weekend however, I had the opportunity to head north to the small town of Fliegenfelde, located just outside of Lübeck, where I was able to enjoy a radical change of pace from the sometimes stressful Berlin atmosphere.
This is a preview of One Year in Berlin: A Trip to Lübeck.
Many people in the past have asked me how I obtained the right to live and work in Germany; particularly as a student. Although the answer is somewhat short and sweet, the process you take to have the eligibility to stay is somewhat not. Many people juggle with the concept of living and working abroad and there are various reasons as to why they choose to go or not. Hopefully, after reading this short narrative, you can cross getting a visa off of your reasons not to become an expat!
This is a preview of How I Got a Visa for Germany (And How You Can Get One Too!).
After several weeks of juggling term papers, rugby practices, and even a bit of traveling, I’ve finally seemed to settle back into a somewhat normal rhythm here in Berlin. One major advantage of studying in Europe for a full year (as opposed to one semester) is the enormous amount of free time I have in between terms. For about two months my only academic obligation is to choose my courses for the summer. Otherwise, I can more or less do anything I want until mid-April.
This is a preview of One Year in Berlin: An Internship.
Die Welt wird jeden Tag kleiner. Ich bin in Long Island aufgewachsen aber ich habe mich nie gefühlt, dass ich isoliert bin. Natürlich habe ich eine besondere Beziehung mit meinem Heim in New York, aber ich möchte glauben, dass ich ein Teil von einer großen Gemeinschaft bin. Ich wäre beides kurzsichtig und arrogant, wenn ich dächte, dass mein Leben keine Verbindung mit fremden Menschen zu tun hat. Wir leben in einer Zeit der Globalisierung und deshalb müssen wir lernen, mit verschiedenen Leuten zu interagieren. Mit dem Internet wissen wir sofort, was tausende von Meilen weg passiert ist. Mit neuer Technologie können wir ohne Schwierigkeit mit Freunden in fernen Ländern sprechen. Ich frage daher, warum sollte meine Bildung in New York bleiben?
This is a preview of One Year in Berlin: Warum Berlin? (in German).
When you imagine going to (and living) in another country, there seems to never be a perfect way that you can capture its essence with your imagination. Considering Germany is a fully developed, 1st-world country, I was naturally under the impression that its infrastructure, population, and overall culture would not vary much from my own country, but seconds after stepping off the plane in Frankfurt Am Main, I realized this could not be further from the truth.
Despite all of the pictures I composed in my head, nothing could truly explain the differences between the United States and Germany. The surreal feeling that smacks you in the face upon arrival is one of the hardest wake up calls you will ever get in your life and although extremely tired and jetlagged, I simply could not get my emotions under control.
This is a preview of Moving to Germany: First Impressions.
Last week I started thinking about all of my friends in New York returning home for the long Thanksgiving weekend. After a semester full of essays, exams, and problem sets it’s always nice to spend some time with family and enjoy a few home cooked meals. On Thursday morning, however, I wasn’t in my living room on Long Island, but rather in a crowded subway car on my way to the university. Here in Berlin (and pretty much everywhere else outside the U.S.) Thanksgiving is just another day. There are no giant balloons floating around the city, no smells of turkey, stuffing, or pumpkin pie wafting through the air, and certainly no football games. Just the whirring sound of German bicycle spokes and the flashing red and green lights of the Ampelmänchen.
This is a preview of One Year in Berlin: Celebrating Thanksgiving Abroad.
If you had asked me two years ago if I would be here in Cologne, Germany, the fourth largest city in the country, I would have likely laughed in your face and asked, “With what money?!”
However, approaching my final year of college and with no clear plans other than graduating, I felt the pressure building; coinciding with this pressure, an urge to explore myself and the world. After all, how much can you really know about yourself if you’ve never been uncomfortable, or left to fend for yourself in the unknown?
This is a preview of Expat Life: How I Found a Job and Moved to Germany.