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!
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!
- Six months before our desired wedding date, my husband (then fiancé) and I were finally able to submit our German marriage registration!
- 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…
Just hanging out at my favorite place: the Ausländerbehörde. One hour in the waiting room, just to have a Beamter tell me I don’t have all the necessary documents, but he is going on vacation for 3 weeks so I won’t be able to come back to extend my visa until one week before it expires. #bureaucracy #Germany
- Marco and I celebrated our five-year anniversary! To find out how we met, make sure to check out his side of the story and my side of the story.
- 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.
- Following a month in which I had 4 appointments at the Ausländerbehörde, I received a new student visa and finished registering my upcoming marriage.
- 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 GRADUATED WITH MY MASTER’S DEGREE!
- I started searching for a full-time job in Germany.
- My husband and I got the keys to our new apartment!
- I renewed my US passport from Germany, which turned out to be less difficult than I expected!
- 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!
- 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.
- I was working a lot and not doing much else. Well, nothing besides eating a disgusting pizza…
- After spending the week working in the big city of Hamburg, I spent my weekends rediscovering my beautiful little city of Lüneburg.
- 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.
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: