DiscoverThe Germany Experience
The Germany Experience

The Germany Experience

Author: Shaun Behrens

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Life in Germany, as seen through the eyes of outsiders (previously called "Expat Life Germany").
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When you move to Germany, like with other countries, you might find yourself needing to re-invent yourself due to the language and the culture. For example: if you were funny and outgoing in your home country, you might suddenly feel like you're introverted and "boring" in social situations in Germany. And how do you deal with feeling that you can't show Germans the real "you"?I discuss this issue with the two hosts of Americans In Germany Drinking Whiskey, Geoff and Alex. We also hear about how they came to be in Germany, and just how much whiskey they actually drink every week.   OTHER SHOW NOTES:Contribute to the Expats & Spouses Monitor research project by completing their survey: Expat and Spouses Monitor 2021 JOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUP Visit the official The Germany Experience website Contact me: info@thegermanyexperience.de
What are common misconceptions that foreigners have about the job application process in Germany? What makes a good CV? What are assessment centers? We try to answer some of these questions in this episode. To do it, I'm joined by Ivan from Bulgaria (and previous guest on the show), who has extensive experience working as an HR consultant in Germany - and has also applied for jobs in Germany himself. He shares his insights gathered from several years of experience.If you have specific questions for Ivan about the job application process in Germany, send them to info@thegermanyexperience.de, and we'll get him back on a later episode to answer them. Also, listen to a 2019 episode I did about finding a job in Germany: Finding and getting a job in GermanyFind Ivan on Instagram: @Ivan.og.vasilevAlso, follow Can You German?, the Instagram page Ivan runs together with Ricardo from Brazil. The episode about Can You German? that featured Ivan: Wurst/arsch/schwein idioms, why “Der/Die/Das” is weird, and sitting down to pee in Germany (Ricardo from Brazil & Ivan from Bulgaria)OTHER SHOW NOTES:Contribute to the Expats & Spouses Monitor research project by completing their survey: Expat and Spouses Monitor 2021JOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUPVisit the official The Germany Experience websiteContact me: info@thegermanyexperience.de
Amaia, originally from Spain but now living in Düsseldorf, Germany, started the Expats and Spouses Monitor with Dr. Carlos Morales. Their goal: it is a research project that aims to understand the living and working conditions of expatriates and their spouses or partners living in Germany. With this data, they hope to help stakeholders, such as German employers, implement policies and measures to improve integration of expats. The Expat and Spouses monitor is running a survey until 8th March 2021. If you are an expat living in Germany and want to share your experiences, complete the survey anonymously here: https://www.research.net/r/CNY959Y To get more information about why they started the project and what it's all about, Amaia joins me on the podcast. We also discuss the gender expatriation gap, what we know about expat spouses, and how better information can help German employers understand the benefits expats can bring to their organizations. Visit the Expats and Spouses Monitor site. Amaia also founded the International Business Women in Düsseldorf, which aims to create safe spaces for women in Düsseldorf to talk about their challenges, dreams and self-development possibilities.OTHER SHOW NOTES: My new podcast, in German: Die Deutsche und der AusländerA 5 star review from a German listener who finds the show entertaining, but infuriating :)JOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUPVisit the official The Germany Experience websiteContact me: info@thegermanyexperience.de
What are the standard costs of living you can expect in Germany? Do you really need so much insurance in Germany? And why pay the Rundfunkbeitrag if you don't watch German TV?Jen is from Guatemala and is the co-founder of Simple Germany. She joins me to discuss her story, and the cost of living in Germany. As a basis for our discussion, we use her blog post, The Cost of Living in Germany in 2021 (Real-Life Case Study). We cover everything from rent, mobile phone contracts, insurance, taxes, and much more.But it's not just a discussion about costs; it's also a peek into Jen's life here in Germany with her wife, and her story. Also, be sure to check out the Simple Germany YouTube Channel.Other notes:Cost of living numbers for Germany on NumbeoUrban Sports ClubJOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUPVisit the official The Germany Experience websiteContact me: info@thegermanyexperience.de
The SEGEPADFO charity challenge, where I went up against Nicole of The Expat Cast to see who could raise the most money for  a project by Über den Tellerrand, is over. Who won the challenge, and how much we raised, is all in this update episode. Plus: I'll tell you when I'll be back with new episodes. Thank you to everyone who donated! See our video promo outtakes: SEGEPADFO video promo outtakesThe project we were supporting: Portable kitchen for Über den Tellerrand Freiburg
Jenna is from Canada who is living in Düsseldorf. She is the creator of Life in Duesseldorf, has just started the Life in Germany YouTube channel. We discuss why she moved to Germany, her recent bout of COVID-19, and why she loves German barbecue culture.Jenna on Instagram: @lifeindusSEGEPADFO UPDATE:Nicole of The Expat Cast and I are going head-to-head to raise money for Über den Tellerrand - in specific, we're supporting a project of theirs to build a mobile kitchen. To find out more and to donate, visit our SEGEPADFO page:https://thegermanyexperience.de/charity2020Be sure to type "The Germany Experience" in the public comments field when you donate so that we know which show you're donating on behalf of!At the beginning of the drive, Nicole challenged me to write a jingle for SEGEPADFO. Then I counter-challenged her to sing backing vocals on it. Listen to the episode to hear the result :)OTHER SHOW NOTES:Google Trends top searches of 2020 for GermanyJOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUPVisit the official The Germany Experience websiteContact me: info@thegermanyexperience.de
Cassie from Australia wanted to continue her music studies in Germany, and her plans were already underway when the pandemic struck. It put her plans on hold, but Cassie was still able to push through and move to Weimar. I discuss with her what it was like to move to Germany during a pandemic, and what her first impressions of Germany are. Cassie on Instagram: @cassie_slaterSEGEPADFO Charity ChallengeNicole of The Expat Cast and I are going head-to-head to raise money for Über den Tellerrand - in specific, we're supporting a project of theirs to build a mobile kitchen. To find out more and to donate, visit our SEGEPADFO page:https://thegermanyexperience.de/charity2020We're also doing challenges along the way, so stay tuned to both our shows for updates along the way. POSTCARDS FROM 2020:What was 2020 like for you? What did you learn? And most importantly, what message do you want to give to others? I want to compile your responses and put together an episode called Postcards from 2020. Send me your contributions: write me a message at TheGermanyExperience.de/contact, leave me a voice message through my website, or write me an email at info@thegermanyexperience.de.JOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUPVisit the official The Germany Experience websiteContact me: info@thegermanyexperience.de
Alicia is a soul and blues singer currently living in Germany. She moved from Texas, USA to Germany complete her studies just over a year ago. I discuss with Alicia what her mindset is after moving countries in such a turbulent year, what her feelings on Germany are, and how she was able to speak out for Black Lives Matter from Germany. Watch Alicia's BLM speech in HannoverVisit Alicia's website to watch videos of her performing and to learn more about her: Alicia Cibola MusicFollow her on Instagram: aliciacibolaAlicia on YouTube: Alicia CibolaSEGEPADFO:Advent time is also time for me to face off with my sworn rival, Nicole of The Expat Cast, to see who can raise the most money for charity. This year, the cause is funding a mobile kitchen in Freiburg for Über den Tellerrand. Über den Tellerrand aims to  create opportunities for people of different cultures to meet and and to integrate.For more information, visit TheGermanyExperience.de/Charity2020 POSTCARDS FROM 2020:What was 2020 like for you? What did you learn? And most importantly, what message do you want to give to others? I want to compile your responses and put together an episode called Postcards from 2020. Send me your contributions: write me a message at TheGermanyExperience.de/contact, leave me a voice message through my website, or write me an email at info@thegermanyexperience.de.JOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUPVisit the official The Germany Experience websiteContact me: info@thegermanyexperience.de
You probably know Antoinette Emily from her YouTube channel. Originally from New Zealand, she moved to Germany to be with her then-boyfriend (now-husband) over 10 years ago. We discuss the story of how she came to Germany, the importance of having international friends in Germany, raising bilingual children, why you probably shouldn't build a house in Germany, and, of course, her YouTube channel. Antoinette's YouTube channel: Antoinette EmilyAntoinette on Instagram: @antoinette_nzGERMAN UNCOVERED COURSE - BLACK FRIDAY DISCOUNT!The German Uncovered language course, plus bonsues, is discounted by $200 until 30th November 2020! You get the story-based language course, PLUS access to the German Grammar for Beginners and the German Accent and Pronunciation Masterclass courses. The discount code is BLKCM2020 . Use this link:German Uncovered Course - Black Friday Discount(I am an affiliate partner of Fluent Language, so if you sign up for that course using my link, you will be helping the show!)JOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUPVisit the official The Germany Experience websiteContact me: info@thegermanyexperience.de
Sneha from India moved to Germany in 2011, when her ex-husband got a job in Munich. A professional Indian classical dancer, Sneha was expecting something similar to New York, where people knew about the artform of Indian classical dance. Instead, she found herself constantly having to explain to Germans that it wasn't Bollywood dancing that she does...Sneha explains how she quickly started establishing herself in her artform in Germany by putting on shows, and then later teaching young girls the art of Bharatanatyam. She also takes us through the story of how, when her personal life began falling apart, Munich showed her love and gave her life. And, we discuss the uncertainty that artists face when they choose to dedicate their life to their passion.Sneha on Instagram:  snetanzSneha's dance institute: abhinayaindischertanzGERMAN UNCOVERED COURSE - BLACK FRIDAY DISCOUNT!The German Uncovered language course, plus bonsues, is discounted by $200 until 30th November 2020! You get the story-based language course, PLUS access to the German Grammar for Beginners and the German Accent and Pronunciation Masterclass courses. The discount code is BLKCM2020 . Use this link: German Uncovered Course - Black Friday Discount(I am an affiliate partner of Fluent Language, so if you sign up for that course using my link, you will be helping the show!)OTHER NOTESMy guest appearances on Geopats NaPodPoMo:43: Podcast Rebranding & Community with Shaun of The Germany Experience Podcast44: Beginning Podcast Challenges with Shaun of The Germany Experience PodcastMy YouTube channel: The Germany Experience on YouTube JOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUPVisit the official The Germany Experience websiteContact me: info@thegermanyexperience.de
Back in May 2020, I had Linda of the Travelteening blog on the podcast to talk about moving to Germany and traveling around with teenagers. Now, I have the teenagers on! Anna and Alex talk about their move to Germany, their lives here, and about traveling with family. OTHER SHOW NOTESLockdown ignored: Munich police shut down child's birthday party with 100+ guestsMy "Warteschlangenungeduldigkeit" post on Instagram Bavarian Infection Protocol Ordinance in German: Infektionsschutzmaßnahmenverordnung GERMAN UNCOVERED STORY-BASED LANGUAGE COURSEGerman Uncovered is a comprehensive German course for beginners, where you learn German through an exciting story. After each chapter, you learn vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation based on what you read in the story. Disclaimer: I am an affiliate partner of German Uncovered, and I will earn a commission if you sign up using the links below).Try out the course for free: Experience Story-Based German Learning for FreeAnd sign up for German Uncovered: German UncoveredJOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUPVisit the official The Germany Experience websiteContact me: info@thegermanyexperience.de
You sent in your questions, and I put them to Germans to get the answers. It's Ask A German time!The three German guests are the always funny and entertaining hosts of the German podcast, Ach! They answer the questions that listeners sent in over the past few months, and in the process shed some light on some issues foreigners in Germany know all too well. We even come up with a new crime in Germany: Warteschlangeungeduldigkeit (waiting line impatience). Their website: das-a.chFollow Ach! on Twitter: das_achThe questions that we covered:Are Germans obsessed with fruit?What's up with German pillows?What are the best onomatopoeic German words?What things would they change about Germany?Why are credit cards still not the preferred payment method in Germany?What should foreigners in Germany do less of?Why do some German toilets have a shelf or platform?Some things we mentioned:Dominik's previous The Germany Experience guest appearance: The top 10 grossing movies in GermanyThe Ach! episode mentioned as an example: MAURICE G. FLITCROFT: PROFI-GOLFER, KRANFÜHRER, LEGENDEThe pillow question comes from Steph Fuccio of the Geopats podcast.The episode where I interview the writers of "From the Burgeramt to the Bedroom": The essential book for new expats in GermanyDominik's dream pillow that he didn't want to "promote": https://www.bett1.de/produkte/bodyguard-stutzkissen-plusThe Schtzngrmm onomatopoeic poem: https://www.lyrikline.org/de/gedichte/schtzngrmm-1230The episode with Amy: Sandals and socks, making friends with Germans, and "selfishly" staying in GermanyThe Asterix & Obelix episode that demonstrates German bureaucracy: Permit #A38 (Passierschein A38)A note of correction: I mentioned I spoke to a Brazilian and a "Belgian" in a recent episode about German idioms...of course, Ivan is from Bulgaria. In the heat of conversation, my brain substituted "Belgian" in. Thanks a lot, brain (and apologies to Ivan).JOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUPVisit the official The Germany Experience websiteContact me: info@thegermanyexperience.de
Fiona and her husband are opera singers from the UK who moved to Germany for work. I first met her when she appeared on the episode about Parkrun in Germany, and I wanted to find out more about her path to journey and experiences here...so I invited her back on the show. In our chat, she talks about how she learnt about the "Mittagsruhe" rule in Germany, what a "Kinderladen" is and why it's a help for integrating, the effects or Brexit on her life, and "Geisterfahrers" (wrong-way drivers). Fiona on Instagram: @volbeat_floFiona on Twitter: hoppersgirlYou can watch videos of her singing opera here and here.SHOW NOTES:In the episode I referred to the Spiegel report, but here is a full article on the coronavirus survey: Umfrage: Fast ein Drittel für härtere Corona-MaßnahmenThe Danish band Fiona loves: VolbeatNumber of UK citizens emigrating to EU has risen by 30% since Brexit voteJOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUPVisit the official The Germany Experience websiteContact me: info@thegermanyexperience.de
Ricardo from Brazil and Ivan from Bulgaria are the people behind the Can You German? Instagram account. They met by chance in Germany, where they became friends. Later, when Ivan was stuck in Brazil due to COVID-19, they spent a lot of time together, and it was during this time that Can You German? was born. We discuss their Instagram page, why German is obsessed with idioms that have to do with sausage, ass, and pigs, and the culture shock for men when they learn that sitting down to pee in German is the norm. Follow Can You German? on Instagram: @canyougerman OTHER SHOW NOTES:The Langenscheidt youth word of 2020 is "Lost"The Germany Experience was featured in Almonds + Sunset's 7 Inspiring Expat Podcasts to Listen to Right Now listGerman signs for sitting down to peeThe Dark series website: https://dark.netflix.io/ ASK A GERMAN: SEND ME YOUR QUESTIONSI have lined up three "qualified" Germans (i.e. they're German) to answer your questions! So if you have a question (or questions) that you have been wanting to ask Germans but never have, now's the time! Get in touch and send me your questions in one of the following ways:Go to thegermanyexperience.de/contact and send me your questionMail me: info@thegermanyexperience.deYou can also leave me a voicemail on my website by clicking on the little microphone icon on the bottom right of your screen.JOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUPVisit the official The Germany Experience websiteContact me: info@thegermanyexperience.deGERMAN UNCOVERED STORY-BASED LANGUAGE COURSEGerman Uncovered is a comprehensive German course for beginners, where you learn German through an exciting story. After each chapter, you learn vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation based on what you read in the story. Disclaimer: I am an affiliate partner of German Uncovered, and I will earn a commission if you sign up using the links below).Try out the course for free: Experience Story-Based German Learning for FreeAnd sign up for German Uncovered: German Uncovered
Elysse is the host of Elysse Speaks, a YouTube channel about her experiences learning multiple languages (including sign language). One of the languages she speaks is German, and I invited her on the podcast to talk about German, what would have been good to know before learning German, and why learning German is like being in a complicated but cool relationship. Elysse's video that we base our discussion on: What I wish I knew BEFORE learning GermanSubscribe to Elysse's YouTube channel: Elysse SpeaksFollow her on Instagram: @elyssespeaksElysse's German learning resources:The Easy German podcastitalki: Learn a language onlineGerman Grammar Drills by Ed SwickLearn German on LingoliaASK A GERMAN: SEND ME YOUR QUESTIONSI have lined up three "qualified" Germans (i.e. they're German) to answer your questions! So if you have a question (or questions) that you have been wanting to ask Germans but never have, now's the time! Get in touch and send me your questions in one of the following ways:Go to thegermanyexperience.de/contact and send me your questionMail me: info@thegermanyexperience.deYou can also leave me a voicemail on my website by clicking on the little microphone icon on the bottom right of your screen.JOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUPVisit the official The Germany Experience websiteContact me: info@thegermanyexperience.de GERMAN UNCOVERED STORY-BASED LANGUAGE COURSEGerman Uncovered is a comprehensive German course for beginners, where you learn German through an exciting story. After each chapter, you learn vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation based on what you read in the story. Disclaimer: I am an affiliate partner of German Uncovered, and I will earn a commission if you sign up using the links below). Try out the course for free: Experience Story-Based German Learning for FreeAnd sign up for German Uncovered: German Uncovered
Sarah from Canada came to Munich 4 years ago to get her Masters degree. At first the plan was to stay two years (which at the time she felt was too long). But soon she fell in love with Munich and found many reasons to stay. Sarah discusses those reasons with me, as well as how she went about learning German, the magic of the word, "Doch", and her observations of environmentalism in Germany.Sarah also hosts a podcast about international life with a focus on relationships called Falling Hard, and she has a blog about environmentalism and the economy called Circular Not Infinite. Her Instagram is @Sar.Cotter. You should also follow her podcast on Instagram: @fallinghardpodcastLater in the episode, I also talk to Kerstin, creator of the German Uncovered story-based language course. Try out the course for free: Experience Story-Based German Learning for FreeAnd sign up for German Uncovered: German Uncovered Note: I am an affiliate partner with Fluent Language (because I like the concept of the course), so if you sign up for the course using those links, you'll also be helping The Germany Experience podcast. OTHER NOTESMy guest appearance on the Americans Drinking Whiskey in Germany podcast: Making Friends with GermansMy guest appearances on Ach! bonus episodes: Bonus 152 and Bonus 153JOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUPVisit the official The Germany Experience websiteContact me: info@thegermanyexperience.de 
Every year, the Langenscheidt publishing house searches for the youth word of that year. It's happening again, and Nina from Germany (who previously appeared in the Fasching episode back in February) helps me explain the words and the memes behind them. We also try and figure out if the youth actually uses these words...The words we discuss: Schabernack, Mittwoch, Sauftrag, Wild, Lost, Köftespiess, Digga, Cringe, and Mashallah Some links to things we mention in the discussion: Langenscheidt's search for 2020's youth wordRezo's "Der Zerstörung der CDU" videoPhillip Amthor's reply to RezoIt's Wednesday my dudes viral memeXatar only wants a Köftespiess when he's out of prisonLil Lightzkins - KöftespiessCan You German? Instagram accountAlman Memes Instagram accountFollow Nina on Instragram.JOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUPVisit the official The Germany Experience websiteContact me: info@thegermanyexperience.de Learn German with German Uncovered A comprehensive German course for beginners, where you learn German through an exciting story.Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
For foreigners living in Germany, you might be thinking that you live in a country that is doing a lot to combat global warming. After all, Germany signed the Paris Agreement, and it put together the Klimapaket (climate package). But according to my guest this week, Patrick Niedermayer, Germany isn't doing enough.This episode is a deep dive into what climate change is, what Germany has done (and why it isn't sufficient), and what foreigners living in Germany can do about the situation.Patrick’s blog (German): https://patrick-niedermayer.de/blogPatrick on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/patrickndmr/Get involved on 25th September 2020 and join a Fridays for Future demonstration near you! Key take-aways from my discussion with Patrick:The CO2 in our atmosphere has increased exponentially since the industrial revolution: the increase in the last 100 years is the same as the increase in the previous 10.000 years.It’s not too late to limit the increase in average temperatures (although we can’t reverse it anymore)The Paris Agreement was good, but Germany (and other countries) are not adhering to itFor Patrick, there are two aspects to climate justice: firstly, the industrialized countries expecting developing countries not to use coal and other fossil fuels to build wealth, and secondly, the people in power are the ones who have caused our current situation (albeit not intentionally), while the ones demanding change are the ones who have to live with the consequences of inaction.Germany is doing something to combat climate change, but not enough; they’ve cut funding for projects like solar power, they have not acted on the Paris Agreement, and the Klimapaket is disappointing.Foreigners can’t vote, but being political isn’t only about voting: you can still go and protest and make your voice heard.What foreigners living in Germany can do:When looking at changes you can make, look for the things with the least amount of effort on your part, but which have a big impact on reducing your carbon footprintSwitch to green energy (ökostrom) for your apartment or house.Try to switch to electric cars or scooters if it’s possibleZero wasteReduce meat consumptionEducate yourselfLinks and information:Fridays For FutureTipping points in climate changeThe Ice AlbedoThe Paris AgreementCO2 calculators:WWF CO2 footprint calculator (English, but UK-focused) Umweltbundesamt rechner (German)JOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUPVisit the official The Germany Experience websiteContact me: info@thegermanyexperience.de 
In this outtake from my interview with Emma from the USA, we discuss recent German history, and how to win freedom by pretending to be a swan.Follow Emma on InstagramJOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUPVisit the official The Germany Experience websiteContact me: info@thegermanyexperience.de  
Emma is a dancer who moved from New York City to Berlin. Even though Berlin is a big city, she still has to adjust to the slower pace of life here. She also discusses why there is more freedom to be adventurous with your career in Germany, why Germany is attractive to performing artists, the Visa that allows her to be here, and what you gain when you open yourself up to learning a new language. Follow Emma on Instagram.The 639 year organ musical composition: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/05/slowly-does-it-chord-changes-in-639-year-long-organ-pieceJOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUPVisit the official The Germany Experience websiteContact me: info@thegermanyexperience.de Learn German with German Uncovered A comprehensive German course for beginners, where you learn German through an exciting story.Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
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