Culture, Living in Germany

Winter is in full swing, which means the hottest debate going on between my German husband and me is also the coldest: lüften.

The fact that the German language fits the action of “airing out a room” into a simple six-letter verb is a sign of just how ingrained this concept is in German culture. But even after many years of living in this great country, I still struggle to wrap my head around why it is necessary to open all the windows in a cozy, heated room each morning and evening when it is 0°C/32°F outside!

To help both myself and my curious readers better understand this foreign (to non-Germans) concept, I have written up the following handy guide to airing out a room like a German.

Methods of Airing Out a Room


Poorly-insulated houses with lots of gaps and joints (Fugen) don’t need to air out their rooms because those gaps and joints are constantly allowing fresh air to pass through — i.e. Fugenlüftung. Fugenlüftung is not efficient. Fugenlüftung is not a proper method for lüften.

Most houses in the US are built with wood framing, and the exterior walls are constructed with 4×6 boards (i.e. approximately 6 inches (15 cm) thick). German houses are built with cinder blocks, and the standard thickness for an exterior wall is 14 inches (36 cm)!

The downside to this highly-efficient construction method is that the air quality inside can deteriorate quickly. Without any new air coming in,  carbon dioxide and humidity levels rise, and the air becomes, as the Germans like to say, “bad.”


The way to improve this “bad” air is to regularly air out the room, and the most common method for doing this in German is by opening the window (Fenster). But a good German does not just open the window willy-nilly. There is an art to how and when the window should be opened for maximum efficiency. Here are two popular methods for doing this:


By leaving the window open slightly (or, in Germany, tipped open), you are doing a continuous ventilation (Dauerlüftung). This is obviously only practical when the temperate outside is also the temperature that you would like it to be inside. If this is not the case, then one of the other ventilation methods are recommended.


Impact ventilation! My ultimate nemesis in the winter months, but something deemed absolutely necessary by my German husband.

Stosslüftung involves opening your window completely each morning and evening for at least 5 minutes, allowing fresh air to circulate throughout the room.

My first introduction to this concept came when I was first studying abroad in Germany. I guess my university had issues with ignorant Americans not properly airing rooms in the past because as soon as the fall came, the American exchange students living in university housing received the following email:

I can still remember the feeling of reading this email in complete disbelief. It was cold outside! It couldn’t really be necessary to open my window twice per day… could it?

When I started dating a German guy, he would often comment on the air quality in my apartment as well as my peculiar heating habits. In my half-assed effort to air out my apartment, I would often end up opening the window, closing it, blasting my heat at full-power until my room became a sauna, turn it off until it became an icebox, and repeat.

In the seven years since, I have finally learned the proper heating and ventilation methods, but it doesn’t mean I like them.


Cross ventilation (Querlüften) is the ideal method of ventilation. Instead of just airing out a single room, you open up windows throughout the house or apartment so that the bad air can flow out and the fresh air can flow in more efficiently.

And the List Goes On…

Schachtlüftung, Dachaufsatzlüftung — the list of German compound words that end with lüften goes on and on, but I think I covered the most important ones for anyone to be able to air out a room like a German.

If you are looking for a more detailed and comprehensive overview of proper lüften techniques, check out Baunetzwissen or the PaX Lexikon.

Do you air out your house or apartment in the winter? What’s your go-to method of doing so?


It’s hard to pin down what authentic “American food” really is. Apple pie? Whatever’s on the McDonald’s menu? Battered and deep-fried oreos? Anything with over 2,000 calories per serving?

I don’t know, but one thing’s for sure — this ain’t it:

American Food at the German Supermarket American Food at the German Supermarket

This is a recent weekly ad for the German discount grocery store Penny. While the colors may fool you into thinking that they are offering a selection of American goodies, very few products actually resemble anything you would find any American’s kitchen. Hamburger Sauce, anyone? How about Pulled Pork Soup?

Last time Penny had its American week, I tried the Tex-Mex Pizza with Hot Dog-Stuffed Crust. As you can probably guess, it was pretty gross, and I actually ended up only eating the hot dog-stuffed crust. But since so many people were interested in the German’s twisted concept of what counts as American food, I decided to ask on the Welcome to Germerica Facebook page what I should try from the latest selection of Penny’s American food. Unfortunately for me, the consensus was that I should try the absolute least appealing items from the advertisement: Pulled Pork Soup, Jarred Hot Dogs, and Bacon Mac & Cheese. So, I went shopping…

For some mysterious reason, Pulled Pork Soup was out of stock (who was buying that?!), but I did still pick up three items: Jarred Hot Dogs, Bacon Mac & Cheese, and Salted Microwave Popcorn. The salted microwave popcorn is the one thing that I always pick up whenever the German supermarkets have their American weeks (the Germans prefer sweet popcorn {gross}, and when I am able to find salted popcorn, it’s typically more expensive).

First up: Jarred Hot Dogs

In order to properly review the jarred hot dogs, I also picked up a normal package of hot dogs. Interestingly, the normal hot dogs were the exact same price per gram, and they had the exact same ingredients and nutritional facts. However, the shape and color were definitely quite different. Below you can see comparisons of how they looked pre- and post-cooking (I fried them in a pan).

Jarred Hot Dog Review

The non-jarred variety is much more visually appealing. They browned very well, and the skin became nice and crispy. The jarred hot dogs, on the other hand, ended up looking like a fat detached finger that had soaked in the bathtub too long.

My taste test confirmed that you can judge a hot dog by its cover. The jarred hot dogs were quite soft, and the casing was chewy. My husband also easily picked out the jarred hot dog in a blind taste taste.

However, the jarred hot dogs were still edible (and I did finish the jar, believe it or not). I can imagine that they are quite useful for long camping trips, but I wouldn’t suggest buying them for any situations outside of that.

5/10 – would recommend for survivalists

Next up: Bacon Mac & Cheese.

Immediately upon opening up the package, I was very disappointed to realize that this was not an imitation of boxed Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. Instead, it was an imitation of Easy Mac – the noodles and powder were already mixed together, and I was just supposed to heat it in water for about 7 minutes or however long it takes to become sauce-y.

Despite measuring the water correctly and heating it on the stove, I was cooking my noodles for about 15 minutes and the sauce still was not thickening. So, I called it quits and went ahead to plating this abomination.

Even if I were to ignore soup-iness of the mac and cheese, the flavor was still disgusting. The sauce just tasted like milky water mixed with onion powder and liquid smoke.

0/10 – wouldn’t recommend for anyone

Oh, and good news! Just a couple days after purchasing these products, my husband was shopping at Penny and found the Pulled Pork Soup! I still haven’t tried it, but I promise to post another taste test here once I feel courageous enough to open up the can.

What do you consider typical “American food”? Would you purchase (or even eat) and of these products?

Expat Life

Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of running “I Am Germany,” a Twitter  account that is curated by a new resident of Germany each week (if you are on Twitter and don’t follow the account yet, I highly suggest it!) — unfortunately, I also had the displeasure of having to deal with a load of German bureaucracy.

Right at the start of the week, I realized that it had been over 6 weeks since I had applied for my new residence permit (Aufenthaltstitel), and my caseworker had told me that I should contact him if I hadn’t received it by the 6-week mark. To make matters more desperate, I was getting ready to leave for an international vacation the following week. So, I called the foreigners’ office (Ausländerbehörde) to ask when my residence permit would be ready, and thus began my latest adventure with German bureaucracy.

Calling the Ausländerbehörde

After calling the Ausländerbehörde and getting passed around from one person to the next, I finally got some good news: my residence permit had been ready at the local office for a few weeks. The bad news: it has not yet been “processed.” Uh huh.

After a little begging and complaining on my end (and a sexist comment on his end), the man on the phone finally agreed to finish processing my residence permit that day. Good news, but the conversation still left a bad taste in my mouth. So, I tweeted this tongue-in-cheek comment, which attracted some amazing responses.

In case you don’t get the reference: The Killers – Human

Visiting the Bürgeramt

The following day, I headed to the Citizens’ Office (Bürgeramt) right when it opened at 8am — the exact time that the man on the phone had told me I should go in order to pick up my new residence permit. Check out my thread of tweets to see what a bumpy ride that turned out to be…

In review, my morning played out as follows:
– I arrived at the Bürgeramt at 8am
– I waited for 20 minutes to be seen by a Beamtin
– the Beamtin could not find my new residence permit but could see that it had been “processed”
– the Beamtin suggested that my residence permit was probably on the desk of the Beamter that had processed it the previous day
– aforementioned Beamter wasn’t answering his phone
– the Beamtin then suggested that my residence permit could be in the basement
– I was sent back to the waiting area while they looked in the basement
– 25 minutes later, the Beamtin called me back to her desk
I received my residence permit!!!

All is well that ends well, I suppose! Although I missed the last train that would have gotten me to work on time, they did finally find my residence permit in the basement (still don’t know why or what the hell that means), and I can continue to live and work in Germany, my Wahlheimat.

Busting Misconceptions

Many of the followers of “I Am Germany” seemed surprised by my tweets so far that day. German citizens in particular seemed to have thought that when someone marries a German, then they automatically get permanent residency (or maybe even citizenship?). Either way, that’s just not true.

After getting married, I immediately applied for a new visa/residence permit (Aufenthaltstitel für Familienangehörige). My caseworker gave me a visa for just 1 year, and my husband and I had to sign some documents that said we would inform the foreigners’ office if we were to end our marriage. After one year of marriage, I returned to apply for an extension of that same visa. This time, my caseworker gave me 3 years.

It is only after a full three years of marriage that I will be eligible to apply for permanent residency or German citizenship. However, both of these come with many other prerequisites and contingencies. Marrying a German citizen is not an easy shortcut to German citizenship. 

German Efficiency

My personal highlight from this entire residence permit adventure came 3 days after I had already received my new permit:

German efficiency certainly does not extend to the country’s bureaucratic system.

German Language, Studying in Germany

TestDAF vs. DSH: Which German Language Exam Should You Take?

If you want to study at a German university (and not all of your courses are in English) then you will have to pass a German fluency exam. At most universities, you will have two exams to choose between: TestDAF or DSH.

So, if you are like me when I was applying to German universities, then the question you are asking yourself is: “Which German language exam is easier? DSH or TestDAF?

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. With so many differences between these exams, figuring out which one will be easiest for you depends on your personal strengths and learning style. So, to figure out which test is right for you, I have outlined the unique pros and cons of the TestDAF and the DSH.




1. Standardized Worldwide

The TestDAF is a completely standardized test. That means that it always follows the same format and has the same difficulty no matter where in the world you are. For studying purposes, this is a huge bonus, as you know exactly what types of what questions to expect and in which order.

If you choose the TestDAF, you can also utilize my TestDAF Study Guide, including specific tips for each of the sections: Hörverstehen, Leseverstehen, Schriftlicher Ausdruck, and Mündlicher Ausdruck.

2. No Grammar Section

Grammar is the absolute worst part of the German language. So, not having to answer questions about German grammar rules is an obvious bonus! Of course, you do still need to know the rules for the TestDAF writing exam and the TestDAF speaking exam, but what you don’t have to remember is which rule is called Konjuktiv I and which is Konjunktiv II.

3. 4 Hours in 1 Day

Whether this is actually a pro or con will depend on what kind of test-taker you are, but I like it. It’s like ripping off a bandage in one go. The TestDAF is four section, each of which takes 30-60 minutes, and you get short breaks between each section. After about 4 hours, you are completely done and can go home.

4. Take the Exam Anywhere in the World

There are TestDAF exam locations all around the world. This is very important for foreign applicants that are waiting for their acceptance to a German university before actually moving to Germany.



1. Cost

Taking the TestDAF costs a standard fee of 175€. Not exactly cheap, but there’s no way to get around it. However, the DSH is a little bit less expensive, depending on where you take it…

2. Speaking to a Computer

The speaking exam is the worst part of the TestDAF. Not just because it is (at least for me) the most nerve-wracking — but because you have to talk to a computer. Just picture it: you are sitting in a room with 20 other people, each sitting at their own terminal, with headphones on, screaming into a microphone. You click a play button to start the section, but clicking any button after that moment will ruin your entire exam. So, you better be careful, and you better start and stop talking at the right moments. Ugh.

3. Waiting for Results

After you are finished with the TestDAF, the exam gets shipped off to a grading center somewhere where a minion of German grammar experts evaluate your language proficiency. This process takes 6 six, and you receive your final results as a letter in the mail. Unless you enjoy having your heart beat out of your chest as you check the mailbox each day for a month, then this is a definite con.




1. Human Connection

The DSH is given at German universities, which means the exam is usually conducted by and graded by the university’s German teacher. By taking preparatory courses at the same university where you will take the exam, then you will have contact with this person – and they will serve as a valuable resource in ensuring that you are well-prepared for the exam.

Another facet of the human connection advantage is the oral exam. Unlike with the TestDaF, where responses are simply recorded by a computer, the DSH oral exam is a face-to-face conversation with your examiner. This makes the DSH oral exam much more forgiving, as you can build upon your responses, read the examiners’ response, correct mistakes, and explain yourself more naturally without such strict time restraints.

2. Fast Turnaround

Since the exam is graded right at the university where you took it, the turnaround can be very efficient. The actual time it takes to get your results will depend on how many people took the exam and the examiner’s schedule, but the DSH does generally boast a much faster turnaround than the TestDaF.

3. Less Expensive (Usually)

Once again, this one depends on where you are taking the exam, but the DSH can vary from as little as 50€ up to 170€ (about the price of the TestDaF).



1. Grammar Section

Grammar is by far the worst part about learning German. So, the fact that the DSH includes a grammar section all about those tricky little language rules is a pretty serious disadvantage. Nevertheless, it is important to have a good grasp on grammar rules no matter what, as poor grammar will result in a low grade on the writing and speaking portions of both the TestDaF and DSH.

2. Listening Section

In the TestDaF listening exam, you have the questions in front of you while you listen to a recording. For DSH, you have to listen to the recording while taking notes, after which you receive the questions. This can make the listening section of the DSH much more difficult than that of the TestDaF.

3. Subjectivity & Uncertainty

I am sure that the majority of DSH examiners perform their job with the utmost professionalism; however, it is often just a single person giving these exams, and it is entirely possible that their bad mood (or other subjective factors) could affect your grade – especially on the oral exam, as you literally have to have a conversation with that person.

The format and difficulty of the DSH can also vary depending on the university. In fact, some German universities are known for giving easy DSH exams, while others are known for their difficulty. So, if you do choose the DSH, I suggest doing some research to see what past test-takers say about the universities you are considering.

TestDaF vs. DSH - German language exams


Which exam are you planning to take (or have taken)? What are your reasons for picking it over the other exam?

Expat Insider, Expat Life, Featured, Working in Germany

Germany Offers Expats the Best Work-Life Balance

Expats in Germany may be unhappy with their social life, but a well-paying job can make up for having no friends, right? RIGHT?!

Okay, maybe not. But after failing so badly at making expats feel welcome, Germany excelled in the “Jobs & Education” section of the Expat Insider survey by InterNations.

In fact, the survey found that what makes Germany so attractive to foreigners is its good career prospects and job security — Germany ranked #7 of 65 countries in the career section of the survey. Of expats working in Germany, 67% rate their job security positively and 52% consider the state of the German economy very good (in contrast to only 19% worldwide).

Here are all of Germany’s rankings within the “Jobs & Education” section of the InterNations survey (of 65 countries):

  • Work-Life Balance: #20
  • Job Security: #2
  • Job & Career: #21

The main points contributing to expats’ happiness in this area include personal safety, political stability (16 year of Angela!), quality of the environment, school education and leisure activities for children.

Here are the overall stats for expat workers in Germany:

As I mentioned in the previous post, the US is the most represented nationality of expats in Germany. American expats working in Germany are particularly happy with their work-life balance, as German companies are required to offer at least 24 days of paid vacation per year and have significantly shorter working hours than US companies. In fact, employees in Germany only work an average of 1,371 hours per year compared to US employees’ 1,674 hours per year.

If you work in Germany, are you happy with your job? How does it compare to work life in your passport country?

Culture, Expat Insider, Expat Life, Featured

Expats Feel the Most Unwelcome in Germany

Germans are known for being cold and distant. And while stereotypes are unfair to the stereotyped, maybe – just maybe – they also sometimes hold a bit of truth.

Earlier this week, I introduced InterNation’s recent Expat Insider report, which analyzed the feelings of 12,500 expats around the world – nearly 800 of which were living in Germany.

If you believe the stereotype, then it should come as no surprise that Germany ranked particularly low in the section “Ease of Settling In” – just 10th from the bottom (#56) among the 65 most popular countries for expats. Other areas where Germany ranked quite low included:

  • Language: #56
  • Finding Friends: #59
  • Friendliness: #51
  • Feeling Welcome: #50


If you’ve ever taken 5 minutes of a German class or spent 5 minutes in the country (or read one of the my Mistranslation Mondays), then you know that German isn’t an easy language.

Globally, half of all expats report that it’s overall not easy to learn the language of the country they live in, but this figure is almost 20 percentage points higher in Germany, with 69% saying they struggle to pick up German. Only 5% of expats strongly agree that it is easy to live in Germany without a grasp of the local language. Internationally that percentage is far higher at 18%.

While the language is difficult, I find Germans very accommodating to foreigners that struggle with the language. The overwhelming majority of Germans under 40 can and will speak English. And in my experience, anyone that can’t speak English is open to (and thankful for) foreigners that speak broken German with a bad accent. However, I do agree that at least a loose grasp on the language is required for living here.


In the Expat Insider survey, expats in Germany placed Germany far right on the scale of friendliness. The only countries that expats find more “reserved and calm” than Germany are Denmark, Switzerland, Japan, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.

Friendliness of Countries to Foreigners

Finding Friends & Feeling Welcome

Knowing that expats find the Germans so un-friendly, then it follows that these expats also find it difficult to find friends, causing Germany to be ranked at 59 of 65 countries. InterNations reported that many expats in Germany tend to stay in the “expat/foreigner bubble”, where they have a social circle solely comprised of fellow foreigners.

The metric of “feeling welcome” was visualized in the below graphic. Respondents placed Germany pretty central along the axis from “Constant & Traditional” to “Dynamic & Innovative.” However, Germany is at the far left end of the “Rational & Distant” to “Emotional & Welcoming” scale.

What do you think about these results? Do you agree? Disagree? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Expat Insider, Expat Life

Expats in Germany Are American, Female, & In a Relationship

Female? Check. In a relationship? Check. US-American? Check. Turns out, I am a completely average expat in Germany. Go figure.

InterNations, a popular expat network, recently released its annual Expat Insider report. Of the over 12,500 respondents, Germany was the most-represented nation – nearly 800 expats in Germany participated in the survey (I didn’t, in case you were curious). Survey participants were asked to rate up to 43 different factors concerning various aspects of life abroad on a scale of 1 to 7.

Demographics of Expats in Germany

The figure above shows the demographics of the expat respondents in Germany. Most of the expats in Germany came from the US, just like me. In fact, of all Americans that responded to the survey, 9% were living in Germany. The majority were also female and in a relationship. The only area where I don’t represent the average expat is age (whew!).

Life in Germany for Expats

Overall, Germany seems to be a pretty good place to live for expats – it ranked #10 in Quality of Life, which was driven by Germany’s economic security and stable job prospects. I definitely agree with the high ranking in this area. As many of you know, I just found a full-time job in Germany earlier this year. My workplace is very international, especially in the technical departments, where many German companies find the need to recruit international talent.

Unfortunately, expats in Germany do not feel very welcome by the locals, causing Germany to be ranked in the bottom 10 of countries in the area of “ease of settling in.” I will look more into why this is in the coming days in a mini Expat Insider Series. So check back soon!

If you are an expat (or any “person living abroad” as I don’t love the “expat” label), how would you rate your quality of life? Is it higher than it would be in your home country?

Featured, Living in Germany

German Apartment Tour (Built 1462)

After finishing my Master’s degree, getting married, and starting a new jobwhew! – my German husband and I decided it was time to upgrade our living situation.

Our old apartment was fine, but it was also a bit boring. So, we told ourselves that we would only move if we found something amazing – and we did. Our new apartment is directly in the historic city center, which means we are within walking distance to all of the best shops, restaurants and bars that our city has to offer. The building itself was built 1462-1463, although the top floors were not converted into apartments until 2011. This means our apartment is the best of both worlds – German Altbau (old building) flair with modern renovations.

Before we start the tour, here are the basics of the apartment:

  • Size: 89 sq m/958 sq ft
  • Rooms: 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom
  • Floor: 3rd floor apartment, extending up 2.5 floors

Let’s start the tour on the 1st floor of the apartment (the 3rd floor of the building). Here we have the bathroom, kitchen, and the largest bedroom. This floor has low ceilings, crooked beams, and lots of steps between different floor levels (those may all sound like negative features, but I love it).

Altbau German Bathroom

Altbau German Bathroom

The bathroom is a nice size, but due to the many beams, the builders obviously had to get creative when fitting in the shower/tub. I know it may not look like it in the picture, but it is possible (even for tall people) to stand up and move around comfortably in the shower. We are also lucky to have a window in the bathroom (that nobody can see into).

Altbau German Kitchen

Altbau German Kitchen

Just like our last apartment, we were lucky to find an apartment that came with a built-in kitchen (you often have to buy your own in Germany, even when renting an apartment). If you look at our kitchen counters, you will once again see the builders’ creativity in working around the particularities of this old building. Our counter has 4 different levels, which means there is a comfortable height for chopping no matter how tall you are! The shelf that we mounted to hold our pots/pans/utensils also highlights how crooked the ceiling is.

Altbau German Bedroom

Altbau German Bedroom

Our bedroom has the lowest ceilings of any room in the apartment, which means that Marco (who is 6 feet tall) does have to duck in some areas. Because of this, we put my dresser in the low area, so he doesn’t have to duck around that beam too often.

Altbau German Bedroom

Altbau Closet Solution

Due to our apartment’s peculiarities, we also had to come up with an innovative solution for creating closet space. Germans don’t do built-in closets, and those giant wardrobes that most Germans use would certainly not fit anywhere in the apartment. Instead, we hung hanging rods along the wall behind the bedroom door and hung sliding curtains from the ceiling in front of it.

And yes, we do have a TV in our bedroom. Don’t judge – this is the first time Marco or I have ever had a TV in our bedroom, and we like it!

Altbau German Apartment

The second floor is the reason we fell in love with this apartment. The pictures should be enough to understand why.

Altbau German Dining Room

Altbau German Living Room

On the second floor, we have our living/dining room, a sitting area, and a second bedroom. I didn’t include any pictures of the second bedroom because it’s still a work in progress.

Altbau German Living Room

Altbau German Windows

Another peculiarity of city center Altbau living – views like this. I actually don’t mind it though. When the evening sun reflects off of the tile roofs, it lights up our living room in a warm orange.

Altbau German Stairs Altbau German Loft

From our second floor, we have a set of very steep stairs that go up into a third-floor loft. There we have a bit of storage space (not pictured, obviously) and a desk. It’s a really great space for working and looking down on the living/dining room.

View from the Loft

Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention another highlight of this apartment – the garden! Even though our apartment is directly in the city center, we have a private garden, which we only have to share with the 1 other apartment in the building. This is our view when we look down on the garden from the living room.

German City Center Garden

If you haven’t gotten enough of our beautiful new apartment, then you can also check out this apartment tour video I made for my family. Please excuse the poor quality, this was recorded on my phone 😀


I turned 27 last month.

When I turned 25, I made a 30 before 30 list  a list of 30 goals I want to accomplish before I turn 30 years old. Last year, I updated this list, highlighting the 4 goals I was able to complete in the first year. Now is the time to check in and see what progress I made while I was 26!

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Expat Life

Four years ago today, I flew to Germany on a one-way ticket and haven’t left (for more than two weeks) ever since. And this past year of my expat life has been the biggest one yet!

Four years living in Germany

When I first came to Germany in July 2013, my main motivation was to pursue my Master’s degree. Well (spoiler alert!), I accomplished that at the end of 2016, which meant that I had to decide whether I would go back to my home country or stay in my adoptive one. If you know anything about me, then you know this decision wasn’t very difficult. I chose to stay in Germany, and search for a full-time job.

To find out more about everything I’ve accomplished during my fourth year in Germany, read on!

JULY 2016

  • After submitting the registration, we were also able to officially set our wedding date and location: December 30, 2016 in the Lüneburg Water Tower.
  • Otherwise, I was deep in the process of writing my Master’s thesis during this month, and I didn’t have much time or brain capacity for much else.


  • After devoting a few months to my Master’s thesis, the end of my degree was in sight, and I began to panic. As usual, the Germans have a word for that: Torschlusspanik.
  • I also ran into some new permit problems and had to spend way too much time at the Ausländerbehörde


  • I voted! At 26 years old, this was actually my first time ever voting. Although shameful, I hope that I can inspire a few of my fellow expats to also register and vote from abroad.


  • I picked up my Master’s thesis from the printer (do you like how they spelled my name?) and turned it in to the university!


  • I finally got to know my neighbor of 3 years, Mrs. Nobody.
  • I celebrated my FIFTH Thanksgiving in Germany with the lovely Jordan Wagner




  • I started searching for a full-time job in Germany.
  • My husband and I got the keys to our new apartment!
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MARCH 2017

  • As the winter semester came to an end, so did my time as a student. This also meant that I could no longer hold my student job, and finding a full-time job became more critical than ever…
  • In the meantime, I took a short trip to visit grandma in sunny Florida!

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APRIL 2017

  • 24 applications, 8 interviews, and 2 job offers later – I began working a big-girl full-time job! Read more about my job search in Germany.

MAY 2017

  • I was working a lot and not doing much else. Well, nothing besides eating a disgusting pizza

JUNE 2017

  • After spending the week working in the big city of Hamburg, I spent my weekends rediscovering my beautiful little city of Lüneburg.
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JULY 2017

  • I spent 2 weeks in my favorite city, Chicago! It was also my first time spending the 4th of July in the US since 2013.
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Now I am back in Germany, and even after four years of living in this country, I am still loving my life here! If you are wondering what I did during my first 3 years in Germany, check out the links below:

Here’s to another great year!