Germany Offers Expats the Best Work-Life Balance

Foreigners Love Working in Germany

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 Continue Reading

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

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

Global Expat Survey 2017

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. The figure above shows the demographics of the expat respondents in Germany. Most of the expats in Continue Reading

My 4 Year Expat Anniversary!

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 Continue Reading

Renewing a US Passport in Germany

Rain is wet. Fire is hot. Passports expire.  I had to renew my American passport this year, and since I live in Germany, I had the option of traveling to one of the three locations in Germany: the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, the Consulate General in Frankfurt, the Consulate General in Munich, or the Consular Agency in Bremen. [Note: US citizens over 16 years old with an undamaged passport that was issued within the last 15 years are able to renew their US passports via mail. However, you have to pay the fee via check in USD or the credit Continue Reading

Why I’m Not Moving Back to the USA

My thesis defense will take place exactly one week from today. As soon as that day is over, there is no longer anything requiring me to stay in this country. Still, I am not moving back to the U.S. and I don’t have plans to do in the future. As anyone that knows me (or reads this blog) would guess, I have long-term plans to stay in Germany. Although I miss my family and friends every day, I truly believe that my quality of life is much higher in Germany than it is in the U.S. Why? Well, let me Continue Reading

The State of Germerica #2

Back in June, there was so much going on that I decided to write a post about the State of Germerica – that is, the general state of what’s going on in my life. Well, a lot has gone on since then, and I am not sure how to organize that all into a sensible blog post, so here we go again. Today’s post will proceed by topic. First up on the docket is… Apartment HuntingI want to move! As of November 1st, Marco and I have been living in our current apartment for exactly 3 years. That’s a long Continue Reading

Registering to Vote from Abroad & Requesting an Absentee Ballot

If you are an American living outside of the U.S., you need to request your ballot for the federal election by October 8, 2016 (in most states), even if you are already registered to vote.  Do it. Now. If you don’t know how to register to vote or request a ballot from abroad, then read on. Earlier this year, when the U.S. presidential campaign was just starting to heat up, I started to feel quite guilty about the fact that I have never voted. Having moved so often since the age of 18, it just always seemed so complicated and Continue Reading

Torschlusspanik & Permit Problems

I am graduating. Soon. So, I am panicking. Now. In German, the panic as something is coming to an end is known as Torschlusspanik, which translates literally to gate-closing panic. The castle’s gates are closing, the enemies are encroaching, and you need to get through those gates ASAP. But you still have to herd your sheep, pack up your belongings, gather your wife and children. There’s not enough time. AHHH!!! I have been writing my thesis since about mid-May, and it is just about done. Still, I am terrified to turn it in. Even more terrified to get feedback on 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