American to German Grade Conversion

The best possible GPA in the U.S. is a 4.0. The worst passing grade in Germany is a 4.0. You can see why accurately converting your grade when applying to schools in a different country is important. Unfortunately, converting grades between different countries is confusing. I first encountered this confusion when I was applying to Master’s programs in Germany, and I wanted to make sure my American GPA was high enough for the programs to which I was applying. Note: German grades are on a scale of 1.0 (best possible grade) to 4.0 (lowest passing grade). 5.0 is a failing Continue Reading

My 2 Year Expat Anniversary!

Today marks 2 straight years of living in Germany! While I feel like I should say something like, “The time has gone by so fast! I can’t believe it’s already been two years!” I am actually feeling the opposite. It’s more like, “Only two years? I feel like I’ve been living here for at least 5!” I suppose that is just because of all the things that have happened in these past two years. I flew to Germany on a one-way ticket on July 24, 2013. If you want to see a review of everything that happened in my first Continue Reading

Germany’s Obsession with Titles

Recently, I saw a poster on campus for a lecture called Warum ich als Wissenschaftler der Bibel glaube (Why I believe the bible as a scientist). However, it was not topic that caught my attention. Rather, it was the man’s name. Here is a picture of the bottom half of the poster: The name of the man who is giving the lecture is “Dir. U. Prof. A. D. Dr. Werner Gitt.” His titles take up more space on the poster than his actual name! What the heck do these letters even mean?! Well, let’s take a look… Dir. = DirectorU. Continue Reading

How to Exchange Your License for a German Driver’s License

Although all cities/states are different, here are the steps I took to get my foreign driver’s license exchanged for a German driver’s license: Contact the local Führerscheinstelle by phone or email, and ask what documents are needed to exchange your driver’s license Collect the required documents, which usually include: Foreign driver’s license Passport/Visa Biometric Photo Translation of Foreign Driver’s License (40€ at ADAC) Bring documents to the local Führerscheinstelle and pay the fee (35€) Pick up your German driver’s license a couple weeks later Getting my German driver’s license had been on my to-do list since the German boyfriend tried (unsuccessfully) to Continue Reading

School on My Birthday?!

I have a summer birthday. This means that throughout my whole life, my birthday celebrations were always filled with warm weather, swimming pools, barbecues, and most importantly, no school. This continued through college, as summer break for American universities typically lasts from mid-May through August. Now, however, as I am nearing the end of my second semester of graduate school in Germany, this no-school birthday streak is coming to an end. Me on my birthday last year, when Marco gave me way too many candy and sweets (and I was a lot more tan than I am this year because Continue Reading