Category Archives: Working in Germany

An Au Pair’s Story: The Ups and the Downs

by Krysten Bacon

Photo coypright  McPHOTO, dpa

Photo coypright McPHOTO, dpa

I’m not a perfect guardian and I was a bad au pair. My temper ran short and my cooking skills didn’t exist and all I wanted to do was go out in Berlin, dance, ride my bike, and talk to boys. But I was an au pair. So I had to work.

I went out in the mornings and late at night and made it, somehow, in time every day to pick Jason up from the Kita, but sometimes we were tired and rode the trains. Sometimes we were rushed and ate french fries. We watched movies. Sometimes I was so frustrated and tired of the six year old who couldn’t take care of himself and followed me around all day and needed to be read bedtime stories, so sometimes at night I just closed his curtains and closed his door and then closed my door, too.

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Working in Germany: Tips for ESL Teachers

PK sechs Monate nach Amoklauf in Winnenden

After obtaining degrees in English Literature and English Secondary Education,Sean Lords packed up his bags and left for Seoul, South Korea where he lived for three years teaching English abroad. Sean has since returned to the States and is currently at work on his Master’s degree.

When traveling internationally, the ability to speak English is a valuable skill. Because many are interested in learning this language that is now spoken across the globe, travelers and citizens of many countries will often attempt to use you (a native speaker of English) to practice on. How do you say____ in English? In an attempt to better their fluency, non-native speakers of English may at first flatter and then annoy you—but don’t despair, there is a mutually agreeable compromise at hand!

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Au Pair Chronicles: A Porsche on the Autobahn

My first time driving in Germany...was in a sleek little Porsche! Photo (cc) oliverlindner

A lot of my blog readers and people I meet ask me how it happened that I decided to move to Germany. Well, the short answer is that I got a job au pairing in Frankfurt. But the long answer I’m addressing in a serial. This is part seven. You can read one segment each Friday on Click Clack Gorilla about how I decided to move to Germany and become an au pair, or catch up on the segments already published here.

“We’d like to see you in the office.”

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Teaching English in Germany: FAQ

Interested in teaching English in Germany? Read on...

A lot of readers want to know more about moving to Germany. About to take the same journey themselves (or trying to match dreams with realities) they (you!) write to me with questions about visas and salaries and job oppurtunites. I’ve done a FAQ about moving to Germany to answer all of the questions about how I got here and how I got a visa and a job and a place to live. And here comes the FAQ for the folks who want to come over to teach English.  Keep in mind that I taught English from 2006 to the beginning of 2008, so some of this information could be outdated.  Check with the consulate to be sure!

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Au Pair Chronicles: The First Weeks

The first au pair test: can you get along with the kids? Photo (cc) flickr user GerryT

For the first week I wasn’t expected to work. Instead Janet drove me to the Ausländers- behorde (alien’s office) to fill out visa paperwork, to the central train station to find a photo machine that took passport-sized photos, to a language school to take placement tests, and to another office where I was issued the Frankfurt Pass that would get me discounts at museums and a free membership at the library.

The paperwork was easy, that first time. Health insurance, visa application, address registration—Janet was organized and experienced because every year there had been a new au pair to lead through the bureaucratic gauntlet.

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Moving to Germany: Day One

Frankfurt am Main was the setting for my year as an au pair in Germany. Photo copyright Nicolette Stewart

Cracked out on plane sleep and bad movies, I watched the twins babble at me across the back seat of the car. I was disconnected and strung out: a shadow watching myself watching them from somewhere over my shoulder. I’ve heard that moving forward and backward through time zones shortens your life expectancy. Then again, so does every minute you are alive.

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Moving to Germany: Arrival

A lot of my blog readers and people I meet ask me how it happened that I decided to move to Germany. Well, the short answer is that I got a job au pairing in Frankfurt. But the long answer I’m addressing in a serial. This is part three. You can read one segment each Friday on Click Clack Gorilla about how I decided to move to Germany and become an au pair, or catch up on the segments already published here.

Touch down in Germany! Photo (cc) flickr user Axel Schwenke

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