The Process of Writing a Term Paper in Grad School

I have four term papers (Hausarbeiten in German) due in March. Instead of just writing them now, however, I have decided to procrastinate by sharing my process for writing a term paper. via GIPHY If getting my Master’s has taught me nothing, at least it has made me a master in writing 18-page papers in exactly one week. I don’t even flinch anymore when every single one of my professors assign a Hausarbeit each semester, usually requiring somewhere between 15 to 20 pages of well-researched thought. Heck, last semester I managed to whip out six Hausarbeiten on vastly different topics within in two Continue Reading

The Total Cost of My Master’s Degree Program in Germany

Yesterday, I made the final payment for my Master’s degree program! And since I never had to take out any loans for this degree, that means that the whole program is paid off over 8 months before I will graduate! Now that the last payment has been made, let’s take a look at how much getting my Master’s degree in Germany cost in total. First, let me answer some questions you may have regarding tuition in Germany. Didn’t you once write that Germany doesn’t charge tuition?Yes, I did. Public universities in Germany do not charge tuition (to foreigner students or Continue Reading

The Costs of Studying in Germany (and how I afford it)

Public universities in Germany are (almost) free. Just about everyone knows that by now. Even foreigners are eligible to study for free in Germany. Even if you only have to pay a couple hundred Euro per semester for school, however, there are still other costs to consider before applying to German universities. To help people figure out just how much studying in Germany costs, here is a look at my finances and how I afford to live in Germany while getting my Master’s degree. The BBC published an article in June 2015 about how American students finance their studies in Germany. Continue Reading

My Second Semester of Grad School in Germany

My third semester of grad school starts today (which is also my final semester of classes! YAY!). Unfortunately, I still have one more term paper to write from last semester (oops), but it will get done within the next two weeks (hopefully), so I figured I will write this post anyways. Here is a review of my second semester of graduate school in Germany. 7 grad school coursesIn order to graduate in 2 years, my program requires students to take 6 courses per semester. Why did I take 7? Masochism, basically. But I survived! 6 term papersThe good news: I didn’t 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

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

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

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

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