To be very honest, I never ever had the money to travel. But somehow I make it work. As hard as my parents tried to teach me to save my money, keep track of my savings and checking accounts with one of them fancy adding books, it never stuck. I hated it. That’s what online banking was for. But it has never stopped me from buying that ticket and booking that hotel.
I just had to have it!
Before I moved to Europe, I was working a full-time, 40-hour, Monday-Friday job. I loved my job, I loved my spunky customers and I loved my coworkers. I saw myself settling down and spending the rest of my life working there.
This is a preview of Big Life Questions: Work or Travel?.
Living for the holidays is something common to I and most of my friends back in the UK. Working very hard is commonplace, and after family, taking care of yourself, renovating your home, seeing your friends you don’t end up with a whole heap of free time to ‘be’.
When we arrived in Germany (and lived in hotels for three months) quiet time (1pm-3pm), shops closing at 8pm and very little being open on Sundays wasn’t a big deal, in fact it was refreshing and really relaxing, which was great considering the stress of the moves so far. However when we moved into our apartment (which came with its very own set of rules) I began to understand other expats hostile reactions to what they saw as the restrictive elements of German life.
This is a preview of Expat Life: How Germany Has Changed Me.
After an 11-month adventure in Berlin I’ve arrived safely in the United States. I’m trying my best to readjust to the American culture but part of my mind is still stuck back in Germany. I could probably write an entire book about my experiences abroad, and one day I just might, but for now I’ll have to keeps things short. On Tuesday morning four of my closest friends in Berlin were kind enough to accompany me to Tegel Airport and bid me farewell before my flight. The night before had been full of laughs and stories in our favorite brewery, where I enjoyed my final sip of fresh German pilsner for the year. The morning after had a slightly different tone though. I was thrilled to have my friends by my side until the very end but there was a bittersweet feeling to everything.
This is a preview of One Year in Berlin: Returning to the United States.
The end-of-term workload has begun to pile up quickly. While I’ve been managing to chip slowly away at my three final papers, a game theory exam is still looming on the horizon. To top it off, I’ve got a German C-1 level proficiency exam next week, which will determine if I have the language skills to directly enroll in a master’s program here in Berlin. I’m familiar with the stress from the winter semester, but it’s nevertheless going to be a long couple of weeks before everything is officially over. Luckily however, the World Cup (German: Weltmeisterschaft, or simply WM) is in full swing and helps to take my mind off of all the work. It’s become all the more exciting now that Deutschland has moved on to the final round of the tournament after this week’s remarkable 7:1 victory over Brazil.
This is a preview of One Year in Germany: WM Fever.
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!).