Tag Archives: expat in Germany

Erasmus Year: Das War Es

Photo copyright dpa / picture alliance

Photo copyright dpa / picture alliance

My Erasmus year has come full circle. Ten months ago I sat in an empty room with only Skype and my kettle for company, surrounded by white walls and unpacked suitcases. Yesterday morning I did the same, although the kettle had already deserted me. It sounds a bit sad when I put it like that, but it’s all for dramatic effect, dontcha know?

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Expat Survival Basics: Visa Facts

Photo copyright dpa / picture alliance

Photo copyright dpa / picture alliance

Want to work or study in Germany? Or just want to visit the country?  Read the requirements below & fill in the visa application forms at the end of this article.

Overview

  • EU nationals do not require a visa to enter the Federal Republic of Germany.
  • Non-EU nationals, generally speaking, require a visa for stays in Germany. A visa is not required for semi-annual visits of up to 90 days for nationals of those countries for which the European Community has abolished the visa requirement.
  • Schengen visa:
    • never issued in Germany
    • valid 3 months
    • valid for tourism & transit purposes or studies not lasting more than 3 months in a 6 months period.
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Expat Survival Basics: Ten Facts About German Health Insurance

Today myGermanExpert are here to share a few facts about getting health insurance in Germany. 

Photo (cc) flickr user Leo Reynolds

Photo (cc) flickr user Leo Reynolds

Since 2007, expatriates in Germany are obliged to be covered with a registered German health insurance.

Photo (cc) flickr user Leo Reynolds

Photo (cc) flickr user Leo Reynolds

While your overseas travel insurance was sufficient until you reached Germany, a German insurance is mandatory while in the country. You cannot be enrolled at the university (except for the citizens from EU & EEA) or apply for a residence permit unless you have a German insurance. You need to apply for it after registering your address in Germany. There are two kinds of health insurances: Public (GKV – Krankenversicherung) and Private (PKV – Private Krankenversicherung). The Public insurance is likely to be more economical than a private insurance and easier to apply for.

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Learning German: Bavarian Dialects

Key in door

Photo copyright dpa

Liv Hambrett is an Australian expat living in Germany.  Visit her blog, follow her on twitter, or buy a copy of Sincere Forms of Flattery, an anthology that includes her work.

And I am back to not understanding a single word of what is going on around me. I feel like I have rewound back to 2010, when I landed in Münster with three words of German – danke, bitte and polizei – and existed in perpetual terror the bus driver was going to want to say something to me over the speaker and I wouldn’t understand it (which happened, often. I still have the irrational feeling bus drivers will call me out in front of the whole bus based on a few consecutive Münster experiences.)

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German Cuisine: Summer Drinks

Photo copyright Liv Hambrett

Photo copyright Liv Hambrett

Too cold to remember summer?  Try one of Liv Hambrett’s favorite summer drinks to remind yourself.  Only four, five, six more months to go…

Perhaps because Summer is such a short-lived, hard-earned novelty over here, the Germans go bananas when it comes and celebrate it in all manner of ways. They crack out their sandals, dust off their mini-portable grills and grill turkey breast and pork steaks like maniacs. They flock to parks and cafes with outdoor seating – indeed cafes you hitherto had no idea could actually have outdoor seating, manage to cram their portion of the pathway full of chairs (topped with the obligatory blanket in case the weather turns) and stay there until the sun starts to dip. Spring-time Spargel madness gives way to summer-time strawberry madness. People eat ice cream all the time.

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Becoming German

Photo copyright dpa

Photo copyright dpa

Liv Hambrett is an Australian expat living in Germany.  Visit her blog, follow her on twitter, or buy a copy of Sincere Forms of Flattery, an anthology that includes her work.

In between noticing an awful lot about my adopted country-fellows, I seem to have taken on several of their virtues without quite realising it. In fact, it was only after I did a little fist pump upon buying a snug and stylish Autumn/early Winter jacket today – in the balmy midst of summer – that I realised I would never have considered buying a jacket, let alone a mid-season jacket in the middle of summer, before. Hell, up until I moved here, I essentially avoided buying coats and jackets altogether. Then I started thinking …

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Living in Germany: On German Directness

Photo copyright dpa

Photo copyright dpa

Liv Hambrett is an Australian expat living in Germany.  Visit her blog, follow her on twitter, or buy a copy of Sincere Forms of Flattery, an anthology that includes her work.

Often here, misunderstandings occur not so much as a result of linguistic fumbling, but because of a certain scale of directness, at the opposing ends of which sit my own heritage and my adopted home. How I react, disagree, say yes, make conversation, how I oil the cogs of social interaction, how I try to translate little phrases from English to German, the ones that mark certain points in a conversation … it all comes from my own socio-cultural norms, ones that tend to sit if not in direct opposition to the German ones, then at least somewhere on the other side of the fence.

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