Photo copyright dpa
Hello everyone! My name is Oksana, and I am here to tell you my Germany story. I am from Estonia, and I am 25. I studied and worked in England for almost seven years and then one day when I became bored from work and depressed from constant rain, I decided to move to Germany. So I’ve swapped my cozy office chair for three kids who I au-paired for for half a year. I like travelling, cooking, jogging, meeting new people, and discovering new opportunities. This is Oksana’s second post on the YG blog. You can read the first here and the second here.
Kissing my fiancee good bye at Manchester Airport without knowing exactly when we would see each other again, I took an hour and a half plane trip to Stuttgart, where I was picked up by my guest mum. The kids were already in bed when we got to my new home, but she assured me they were excited about having an au pair.
The family had their own rules and I had to be up at 6 am to help with breakfast, that has to be served at 6:45 am during the week and at 8 am on the weekends. I couldn’t say much and was very nervous, because kids are a huge responsibility, and I had absolutely no experience babysitting whatsoever. On the top of that I am known for not being patient, and I thought I’d screw everything up, but no I did not.
On the second day of my arrival we went to the Rathaus (city hall) where I was officially registered as a new resident of the town. Then we sorted the insurance out (an essential thing in Germany) and went to the VHS (language school) to enroll for an upcoming German course. I had A1.1 certificate from Goethe institute and the secretary we spoke to suggested I carry on with A1.2.
After having my first lesson it was clear that I was wasting my time and needed to change the course for a higher level. I had spent a week in an A2.1 class when I was told to leave it because according to the rules the number of students can not exceed 20 per every level. I was truly disappointed. Not only was I disappointed, but I also had to wait for a month in order to join a course again.
To my happiness the VHS has contacted the guest mother saying I could try another level, A2.2, and if I was happy with it, I could stay there.
Oh my God… when I went there I wasn’t able to make a sentence and didn’t understand what the teacher was saying. It looked to me that others could actually speak decent German. By the end of the lesson the teacher said I need to go back down one level. I told her that there was no chance. She didn’t believe I could make it, bu in a week’s time I had learned about 500 words and reached the same level as the majority of my course mates. I didn’t do it because she had doubts about me, I did it because I wanted to be as good as others were. Besides, I couldn’t waste my time and needed to improve the language asap.
The family has helped me a lot with that. The guest mother has stablished a rule: if I do make a mistake the kids have to correct me. It was the very helpful and I do appreciate they all did.