How I Found a New Apartment in Germany

After graduating with my Master’s degree, I felt like I was moving into a new stage of my life. I’m no longer a student. I will soon begin a full-time job. I’m married! To mark this new stage of life, I also decided it was time to move. So, that’s what I did! Unfortunately, I live in a very popular city where there are a lot more people looking to rent apartments than there are apartments to rent. With a little patience and a lot of luck, however, I was able to find an amazing apartment. Here is how I Continue Reading

A Month of German Bureaucracy

I had four appointments at the Bürgeramt in the month of September. Yes, you read that correctly: four appointments in four weeks. Here’s a review of each of those appointments, just to give you an idea of how amazingly thorough (and sometimes redundant) German bureaucracy is for us foreigners. Appointment #1: Ausländerbehörde My student visa was going to run out on September 30th. However, due to other bureaucratic circumstances, I had to enroll for another semester at my university. So, I needed to renew my student visa for at least 6 more months. When I made this appointment per email, Continue Reading

How Moving to Germany Affected My Carbon Footprint

It is a fact that Germany releases much less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere per capita than the United States. This is due to a mixture of factors that include large investments in renewable energy and an overall environmental consciousness among German citizens. This got me thinking: Has moving to Germany helped my carbon footprint to shrink? First, let’s look at some numbers:Tons of CO₂ Produced Per Capita in 1990USA: 19Germany: 15.2 Tons of CO₂ Produced Per Capita in 2010USA: 19Germany: 12.3Information received from Carbon Footprint of Nations.This means Germany has actually improved its carbon emissions by nearly 3 tons 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

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

How Much Does it Cost to Fly between the USA and Germany?

I have flown between Germany and the U.S. a total of 4 times in the past 4 years. With my upcoming trip to the U.S. in September, this number will soon be 5. Every time I have made this transatlantic flight, I have done it with a different airline and had a connection through a different airport. And since the German boyfriend and I were able to snag such a great deal for our upcoming trip (with yet another airline), it got me thinking about what I have paid to fly between the U.S. and Germany in the past. So, Continue Reading

How to Get a Job with a German Student Visa

Studying in Germany is great! It is way cheaper than in the U.S. (as long as you go to a public school), there are great universities, and there is a huge selection of interesting degree programs (many that are even in English!). Regardless of how cheap the tuition is, however, moving abroad is never cheap, and you will probably want to get a part-time job during your studies. Step 1: Read Your Visa Carefully Before looking for a job, you need to know exactly what type of work you are allowed to do, and how many hours you are allowed Continue Reading

My First Experience with German Public Healthcare

Although I have been living in Germany for well over a year now, I had never actually gotten German health insurance. This all changed when I started my Master’s in Germany, however, as being enrolled in a German university made me eligible for public health insurance. Since I have Type 1 Diabetes, a chronic disease that could easily eat up a couple hundred dollars a month in medication and doctor’s visits while I was living in the U.S. (and that’s with private insurance), I was very excited about enrolling in German public health insurance. Although I signed up in October, Continue Reading

The 3 Types of Student Visas in Germany

Germany offers foreigners the opportunity to apply for three different types of student visas: the language course visa, the student application visa, and the student visa. After receiving a student visa last week for my Master’s studies, I have now officially had each of these three types of student visas sometime within the last year. So, since I am now a professional German student visa applicant, I figured I would share some of my knowledge with you. Here are each of the three types of German student visas and how to get them: 1. Language Course Visa The language course visa is Continue Reading