Tag Archives: expat life

Moving to Germany: Making Friends

by Melissa Alvarado

Photo: Public domain. Photographer: Matt Hobbs

Photo: Public domain. Photographer: Matt Hobbs

At the end of last year I received great news: I got a full scholarship to study in Germany. My whole family was excited and, well, why not? Everything about this new experience was exciting for me and for them. I tried to play it cool, taking one step at a time, telling my friends, my family, and everybody in the most calm way possible, but the tears, the congratulations, the parties, and all the related things didn’t stop (and I didn’t complain).

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Reading in German: A Blog Hop and a Read Along

Photo copyright dpa

Photo copyright dpa

So guys.  This week in Frankfurt books are taking over the city.  Book Fair Week.  It’s my absolute favorite.  To celebrate, this month’s blog hop is all about books and reading (or trying to) in German and in Germany.  There are several ways to join in, so gather ’round and listen up.

Firstly, you can write a post about reading in German.  So this could be a book review of a German book, or the tragic tale of your attempts to read something more complex than See Spot Run.  It could be a rant about finding English-language books in German book stores. (Or, you know, about how the covers are printed in the opposite direction of English books, thus RUINING YOUR ENTIRE BOOKSHELF. Ehem.)  It could even be a story about trying to make a recipe from a German cook book.  If a book or reading is involved, we’re game.

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The Week in Germany: Street Signs, Airports, Pumpkins, and Beer

Photo copyright dpa

Photo copyright dpa

The history of Berlin street names, illustrated.

I always wonder about the stories and the people behind the names on the street signs I see.  This project will help educate you about them in pretty illustrated form.

You, too, can visit the Munich Flughafen.

“One of the stops on bus 635 is the München Flughafen Besucherpark, or Munich Airport Visitor’s Park.  I could see from passing by that it had a bunch of old aircraft to look at, and an observation hill that looked over the airport, and I made a promise to myself to actually stop when I had time, instead of just noticing it on the way to or from the airport.”  Read more on Doin’ Time on the Donau.

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The Week in Germany: Voting, Blogging, and Learning German

DSCF0075

People who live, work, and pay taxes in Germany should be allowed to vote in Germany.

I know I would appreciate having the chance.  Monday on The Local

SPD Vice-President Ralf Stegner said on Sunday that “people who live, work, pay taxes, should also be allowed to vote. Why should we withhold this essential civil right from them?””  Read the entire article here.

Advice for bloggers in Europe. How to make the money happen.

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The Week in Germany: Gifts, Food, Movies

I heart Deutschland.  A street artist has modified traffic lights to show the love.  Photo copyright dpa

I heart Deutschland. A street artist has modified traffic lights to show the love. Photo copyright dpa

German Food: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

“If you ask Germans about their cuisine, they will get that faraway look in their eyes which one gets from some a lot of thinking. Finally, if the people you ask are anything like my German friends, they’ll probably tell you that it’s very bland and tasteless. But they will point out that you can easily buy cuisine from all over the world in Germany which is the plus side.”  Read the entire blog on My Life in Germany.

While we’re talking about food…

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Real Expat Life: Things I Won’t Miss About Germany

by Shannon Miller

Photo courtesy Beginnings in Bayern

Photo courtesy Beginnings in Bayern

When you move abroad you go through phases. First you’re in wonder. Everything is different and new and exciting and an adventure! Then the frustration. It’s different and it’s hard and I JUST DON’T LIKE IT. Then, you come to terms with it, make the best of it, and then you’re fully integrated and you’ve passed the culture shock test, right?

Har har! ;)

I’m of the opinion that no matter how long you live in a place, there will always be things that drive you crazy about it (this can also be said of “back home” too, lest you think I’m picking unfairly on good ole Deutschland). I also think that as an expat blogger, I should be honest about what life is really like–ups, downs, and in betweens. I love Germany, but sometimes it irks me. And that’s ok!

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The Everyday Expat: Understanding Cultural Awareness

Photo copyright dpa

Photo copyright dpa

Culture shock is often discussed when people consider moving abroad. Differences between home and destination country cultures can be confusing and difficult to navigate and the radical change in lifestyle can be harder than you might have imagined. Yet one of the best ways of preparing for ‘culture shock’ is by working on your cultural awareness – something which is less debated but in reality much more important for the success of your expat life long term.

Cultural awareness can be prepared for in advance but it is, above all else, something which is actively practised. Reading about your destination country before you go, especially advice from other expats, can give you a really good understanding of where you’re moving to, but once you’re there, remember to observe, ask questions politely and avoid making assumptions about the way people should or will behave.

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