How to Get Your German Settlement Permit

Newsflash! On April 10, I became an official permanent resident of Germany! If you’re the holder of an EU Blue Card, you know that one of this visa’s top benefits is the early eligibility to switch from employment-dependent residence permit to permanent residency. So, here’s how to get your German settlement permit. Blue Card holders in Germany who…

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Five Things to Know About Living in Germany

Today marks the start of my fourth year living in Germany: this bureaucracy-crazed, rule-abiding, frankly-opinionated country. I learned so much in my three years here—and, if the expat stats don’t lie, this year should kick off a phase of feeling more at home. I’ve collected the info I’m supposed to need, my language skills are…

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3 Reasons to Visit Potsdam

“Wait, can we stop?” I asked. “I want to get a pic of that castle.” Tim politely refused, and I sank back into the passenger seat, disappointed, not knowing that the surprise day trip from Berlin he’d planned involved not just one castle, but over 17 of them. The surprise? We were headed to visit…

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Beyoncé and Jay-Z at Berlin’s Olympiastadion

We walked under the Olympic hoops as one big motley crowd. There was a girl dressed as a unicorn. A guy with an arm full of Disney tattoos. Africans, Americans, Eastern Europeans. Interracial couples, a girl in a wheelchair, a group of gay men sporting eyeliner more expertly applied than mine. Into a stadium redesigned…

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Culture Shock #7: Fußball

For me, watching soccer in Germany is like making new friends. Whenever you’re trying to establish a friendship, there comes a point that requires you to show something real. Something deep. Whether that’s admitting an obsession with astrology or sharing a love of trashy sitcoms, it’s a make-or-break moment that will either settle you deep…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Place

Eye of the Storm — Berlin, Germany Prompt via The Daily Post The last few weeks have been a nonstop whirlwind of travel (a 12-day advertising shoot in Vancouver, posts to come!), the subsequent scramble for post-production, 80+ hour work weeks, and the most welcome and blissful start of the Berlin summer. With so much…

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How to Move Your Dog Abroad

If you’re an expat dog-owner, one of the hardest decisions you’ll make is whether to move your dog abroad with you when you leave. For many of us, it’s simple. Absolutely, the pup is coming with. The challenge? How to get them overseas to their home. When we decided to move our Heidi to Berlin,…

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Year Zwei: Germany

A popular song in German radio last year had a catchy, twangy hook: “I got no roots but my home was never on the ground.” I heard it every time I got in a cab, in stores, in coffeeshops—and inevitably, it became what the Germans call an ohrwurm, or earworm. It was stuck in my…

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Guten Truthahn Tag! An Expat Thanksgiving

“Is this your first Thanksgiving?” asked my creative director, when I introduced her to Tim at our office Thanksgiving celebration. “Oh, no,” he replied cheekily. “I’ve had 27. I just didn’t know it was a holiday then.” Smart-assery aside, Germans obviously don’t celebrate the quintessential American holiday. It’s a little strange to treat such a…

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From Hamburg to the Haupstadt

The other day I looked at the calendar and realized it’s been a month since I moved to Berlin. In that month, a ton of things have happened. To whit: Another move. Since I was 17, I’ve moved 17 times. Which is kind of staggering. But it also makes the moving process a bit ritualistic.…

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