Expats Feel the Most Unwelcome in Germany

German Expats Unhappy

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 Continue Reading

3 Americans That are Only Famous in Germany

When it comes to fame, Germany has its own set of rules. The Germans have shot lots of foreign-born singers and bands into international stardom throughout the decades – the most famous example being The Beatles. Even today, there are Americans that can’t walk the streets of Germany without being recognized, yet hardly anyone in the U.S. has ever heard of them. Here are three of such Americans that are more famous, if not only famous, in Germany: Bruce Darnell source It’s hard to turn on German TV nowadays without seeing this American man’s face. Bruce Darnell is currently famous Continue Reading

How Germany Views the U.S. Elections

The time has finally come. The U.S. presidential elections are tomorrow, and we will soon know who the future President of the United States will be. And if you are an American, you better go vote (I already did)!Over the past few months, it has been just about impossible to turn on the TV here in Germany without seeing coverage of the U.S. presidential election. I can only imagine what it’s like to actually be in the U.S. right now… *shudders* But if you know anything about Germany, then it should already be pretty obvious that Clinton is favored among Continue Reading

Cashing Checks in Germany vs. USA

No matter how long you live abroad, you still come across little everyday things that will surprise you. Things that you know would be so simple in your home country, but are confusing, over-complicated, or even archaic in our host country. Today, I am talking about cashing and depositing checks in Germany versus the USA. As I already bragged about multiple times on my blog, I won an academic prize from the DAAD in July, and this prize included a check for 1,000€. Desperately needing the money to pay for my upcoming semester, I took it to the bank the Continue Reading

Forest Kindergarten in Germany

Would you send your 3-year-old to daycare in the middle of the forest? Even in the middle of winter?  The Germans do. Although not the most common kind of daycare in Germany, forest kindergarten (Waldkindergarten) is an increasingly popular form of daycare for young children to play, explore, and learn outside before having to start school when they turn 6 years old. Forest kindergartens have existed in Germany for nearly 50 years and are a state-recognized form of daycare. Today, there are over 1,000 forest kindergartens throughout Germany. For the past three years, I have lived across the street from Continue Reading

Learning to Drive Stick Shift, Part 2

Back in September 2013, my German fiancé gave me my first stick shift driving lesson. We went from driving circles in the parking lot to driving around a traffic-filled roundabout in about 15 minutes, which was too much too fast. I was terrified the entire time, and I never got back into the driver’s seat of a manual transmission car for the next 2.5 years. Over Easter this year, Marco and I drove 800 km (500 mi) south to spend the week at his childhood home in Ravensburg. As usual, Marco drove the entire way, as I fed and watered Continue Reading

Top 5 German TV Shows

German-produced TV series suck. Even Germans are quick to admit it. However, if you pay close attention, you can find a diamond in the rough every once in a while. I love TV. Unfortunately, it seems like 99% of what German TV stations broadcast is either American or British TV series or horrible German reality shows. Over the past few years, however, I have found some favorites. Here is my list of the top 5 best German TV shows: 1. Tatortreiniger Der Tatortreinger (crime scene cleaner) is a show all about Heiko Schotte (better known as Schotty), and the interesting Continue Reading

Marrying Young in Germany

If you didn’t already know, my German boyfriend asked me to marry him, thus becoming my German fiancé. Exciting, right?! While I have received nothing but congratulations and excitement from my family and close friends, I have noticed some questionable reactions from some of my German peers. Marco and I have been together for nearly 5 years. We love each other. We have decided we want to be together for the rest of our lives. So, he asked me to marry him. But that’s not the part the Germans have a problem with. The problem is that I am only 25 Continue Reading

How German Are You? | The Müller Meter

I was sitting in a 6-hour class last week, when I heard some of my fellow students talking about much “Müller” is in them. For a second, I thought they were talking about genealogy. But no, they were talking about the Müller Meter. ZDF, a German TV broadcaster, created the “Müller Meter” – a 15-question test to see how people compare to the average German.  Wie viel Müller steckt in Ihnen?Sind Sie die/der Durchschnittsdeutsche? Since I was the only foreigner in the room, everyone thought it would be pretty funny for me to take the test as well. The other Continue Reading

My New Year’s Eve in Germany

Now that 2016 is here (YAY!), the holiday season is officially over (BOO!). Although this was my second time spending Christmas and New Year’s in Germany, I was still able to experience a few traditions that I missed out on the first time around. Just like New Year’s Eve 2013, our final evening of 2015 started with Raclette and a bottle of Prosecco. Beginning on December 29th, just about every store in Germany sells fireworks for Silvester (New Year’s Eve). Being from Illinois, it still shocks me to see everything that is legal to buy here (even if it is Continue Reading