Four Happy Years

Happy 4-year anniversary, Marco! Unfortunately, we do not have many pictures together, but here are some of my favorites from over the years: October 2011: Rothenburg ob der Tauber May 2012: Chicago September 2012: Pfänder September 2012: Freiburg  October 2012: Schloss Neuschwanstein December 2012: Chicago (Macy’s)  August 2013: Rome December 2013: Nuremberg July 2014: Nuremberg July 2014: Nuremberg (we take a lot of pictures together whenever we go to Nuremberg) September 2014: Lüneburg October 2014: Austria I know it is cliche to say things like: “I don’t know where I would be without you.” But my life would be very Continue Reading

How to Make Homemade Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

If you didn’t already know, I love Reese’s peanut butter cups. Actually, I love all things peanut butter and chocolate, which is a shame since I live in Germany, where this type of candy really doesn’t exist.  After getting several shipments of Reese’s and other peanut butter and chocolate candy from my family in the U.S., I finally decided to try making my own, and it actually turned out great! Yes, those are the peanut butter cups that I made! Look at that magazine-worthy photography! To make this recipe you will need: 200 g chocolate 1/2 cup peanut butter 1/4 Continue Reading

Working as a Foreign Student in Germany

Foreign students enrolled at a German university are allowed to work 120 full days or 240 half days per year. This equates to working 20 hours per week (i.e. four hours per day, five days per week). I was lucky enough to find a job right when I started studying in Germany. I worked this job for the entire first year of my Master’s degree. My contract varied between 10 hours per week and 15 hours per week, both of which I found manageable during the semester.  In Germany, student jobs at a university are usually referred to as “studentische Continue Reading

My USA Shopping List

Anyone that lives outside of their home country knows that trips back home means shopping for all of the things that you have missed and/or are not available in your country of residence. Here is [part of] my U.S. shopping list for my trip to Chicago next week: Crest Whitestrips Whitening products are extremely rare in Germany, and Crest Whitestrips in particular are nonexistent. So, these are always a must-buy whenever Marco and I travel to the U.S. Carrot Cake Mix As a kid, my birthday cakes were always carrot. I never actually missed carrot cake since I have been Continue Reading

My Kind of Town (Chicago Is)

If you didn’t already know, Marco and I are flying to Chicago next week! Since I am from Chicago, and it is my favorite city in the world, I figured I would write a little tribute post before we board our plane. I have been trying to get myself pumped up for going back to the U.S. by checking out the latest things that are going on in and around Chicago. Earlier this year, Chicago launched a $2.2 million tourism campaign titled #ChicagoEpic. Not a big fan of that campaign name, but oh well. Here is the first commerical advertisement Continue Reading

Renewing My German Student Visa

When I was first accepted to graduate school in Germany, I went straight to the Ausländerbehörde (foreigner’s office) to get my German student visa. However, I was a little disappointed when, instead of receiving a visa for the entirety of my two-year program, I was only issued a one-year visa. So, I always knew that I would have to renew my residence permit before it expired on September 30, 2015. This is not only annoying because I had to go back to the soul-draining Ausländerbehörde, but a German student visa also costs around 70-120€ (it seems to be a different amount every Continue Reading

On Paid Vacation

Unfortunately, my contract for the part-time job I have had for the past year came to an end. In fact, today was my very last day. I’m not too sad, though, because I will still be paid until the end of September. How? Germany! I have been working a part-time job at my university since October 2014. The job is great, the pay is great, everything is great. Learning that I had paid vacation days made it even more great. At just 15 hours per week, I never expected I would have any kind of benefits. Heck, I worked full-time Continue Reading

Where’s My Summer Vacation?!

As long as you ignore the crippling debt it leaves vulnerable young adults with just as they are about to enter the job market, college in the U.S. is great! The campuses are immaculately manicured, there are loads of free activities to take part in, and you get a summer break that lasts three months! Three months! So, as I sit at my computer, taking a break from writing a term paper, I have to ask: where is my summer vacation?! Technically, German students do get quite a lot of time off between the summer and winter semester. This year, Continue Reading

30 Before 30

I turned 25 last month. So, I figured this a great time to make a 30 before 30 list — that is, a list of 30 goals I want to accomplish before I turn 30 years old. Deadline: July 8, 2020. 1. Finish my Master’s degreeThis one should be done by September 2016, which means it will probably be one of the first to be crossed off this list. 2. Attend a Bundesliga gameAlthough I have been living in Germany for over 2 years, I have still never been to a professional soccer game! 3. Find a job I loveThis would Continue Reading

Candy Bar Confusion

Do you know what’s in a Milky Way? What about a Mars? Well, depending on where you are from, you may be confused when buying these candy bars in a different country. Let’s start off with a little test. What kind of candy bar is this? What kind of candy bar is this? Answers: 1. If you answered Milky Way, then you are buying your candy bars in Germany/Europe.     If you answered 3 Musketeers, then you are buying them in the U.S. 2. If you answered Milky Way, then you are buying your candy bars in the U.S. Continue Reading