- Recommended Expat Blogs: Germany
- Chad: WorldThruOurEyes
- Andrew: Grounded Traveler
- Kae Lani: A Travel Broad
- Olesya and Jasper: Hmsies
- Aaron and Meghan: Submerged Oaks
- Tiffany: No Ordinary Homestead
- Laurel: Monkeys and Mountains
- Peter: Wiesbaden As A Foreign Language
- Jasmine: Expat Relocation
- Ilze: Let the Journey Begin
- Kate: The Lotus Creative
- Meredith: Kaffee und Kuchen
- Oh God, My Wife Is German
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Germany, etc.
My name is Evgenia (in short, Eve or Jenya) and I am originally from Russia. I grew up in Kirov – a city about 1000 km North/East from Moscow. As a child, back then still in the USSR, I always wanted to travel the world and try to experience an expat life. And my dream came true! I studied English in the UK when I was only 14 years old and then lived in the USA for two years during my university years, and after graduating in Linguistics/Translations I moved to Italy to study Italian. I fell in love with the country and I remained there for 7 years. About two years ago, I moved to Cologne to study for my second Master’s Degree in International Media.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
My friend Inga from Estonia and I started the blog called MultiCOOLty in September 2013. Having seen that there was no website or blog that concentrated on the topic of multiculturalism, we decided to create such a photo blog with short stories about fascinating people with migrant backgrounds. According to statistics, almost every fifth person living in Germany has a migration background. Multicoolty.com aims to promote integration and diversity that migration brings to the country and to show the multicultural side of Germany. Multicoolty.com concentrates on the faces and stories behind the statistics and wants to break the widely spread stereotypes about multiculturalism and Germany by presenting different opinions and views.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
To be honest, all of them are my favorites! A story that resonates the most my life and how I see my experience in Germany is the following: More global than Indian
Tell us about the ways your new life in Germany differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
I tend to compare my life in Germany with the one in Italy. I must say that it took me some time to adjust to the German way of doing things. Germany is very different from Italy. There is hardly any sun and hot days in Cologne in summer, German food leaves much to be desired for a non-meat eater and the people tend to be more rigid, not spontaneous, and cold. But every day I start to appreciate more and more the fact that Germany is well regulated and things do work here! After all, you can also find some great Italian and international restaurants in Cologne.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Germany? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
I do not think you are ever prepared for what awaits you in life. How can you?
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
When I first moved to Germany from Italy I heard everywhere on the streets that people use the word “ciao” meaning in Italian both “hello” and “goodbye”, so every time I went to a restaurant, a public place or when I met some friends I would always say “ciao” convinced to have said “hello”. Only after a few months a German friend told me that “ciao” in German meant only “goodbye”. Now I recon that face most people had when I said “ciao”: Why is she saying “goodbye”, she just got here!
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Germany?
- Prepare yourself mentally that Germany and Germans are different;
- Try to learn the basics of German;
- Be open minded and once in Germany get involved as much as possible.
How is the expat community in Germany? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
Cologne is really international; there are various expat clubs of Americans, Italians, Africans and Spanish etc. I never had a hard time finding like-minded people; in fact, most of my friends (let’s say about 80 %) are expats from all parts of the world.
How would you summarize your expat life in Germany in a single, catchy sentence?
A new exciting challenge!