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Want to get the hell out but it makes so much sense to stay for the masters

114 posts in this topic

I speak as a graduate student advisor: finish the bachelors. Its not even a year. Just make it through the winter (more time to study!) then its over. You are experiencing the "last bit before the end", and its hard work mentally. Hang on, you are nearly there.

 

Consider applying for a Masters elsewhere in DE. Moving costs aren't so high as back to the states, and you will be "postgrad" with "German credentials". And a new start can be good. Focus on look for a place that has an international masters, or more english (or even a masters in english, or with some courses in english), and then you will not need to stay around Germans all the time. Europe is great when you can experience "European mobility" - many EU funds are only released for projects with a condition of interEU mobility, and if you choose the correct Masters program, you wil experience a melting pot of people from different backgrounds, unlike what you are experiencing now. But you need to finish the bachelors, before you can get there.

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15 hours ago, renemp said:

Has anyone had a similar dilemma?

 

I lived in Switzerland for almost 4 years and absolutely hated it. I regretted staying so long.

 

15 hours ago, renemp said:

the foreigners know exactly what I am talking about. Of all the foreigners I know, there was only one who actually liked it here.

 

On the other hand, I actually like Germany (for the most part) and get along well with many Germans.

 

You should finish your bachelor's degree. A partly completed degree is pretty much worthless. On the other hand, there is really nothing compelling you stay here for your masters.

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Cologne can be a weird place, but it's not like you're the only POC there, so I don't think that's the main issue.

 

Yes, people can be dicks, but I have to say that your posts ooze loathing and condescension, which makes me wonder if you might not have a chip on your shoulder. You know the old saying about how if you meet assholes all day, it's likely that you're the asshole.

 

I second the suggestion to stick it out and finish your degree, then move to a different German city for your master's - maybe some place bigger, like Hamburg or Berlin, that doesn't have that claustrophobic feeling I always had whenever I spent time in Cologne. You'll be able to step back and reset your relationship with the country and its people from a different perspective.

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12 minutes ago, ZA1234 said:

I speak as a graduate student advisor: finish the bachelors. Its not even a year. Just make it through the winter (more time to study!) then its over. You are experiencing the "last bit before the end", and its hard work mentally. Hang on, you are nearly there.

 

Consider applying for a Masters elsewhere in DE. Moving costs aren't so high as back to the states, and you will be "postgrad" with "German credentials". And a new start can be good. Focus on look for a place that has an international masters, or more english (or even a masters in english, or with some courses in english), and then you will not need to stay around Germans all the time. Europe is great when you can experience "European mobility" - many EU funds are only released for projects with a condition of interEU mobility, and if you choose the correct Masters program, you wil experience a melting pot of people from different backgrounds, unlike what you are experiencing now. But you need to finish the bachelors, before you can get there.

Thank you for the insight. Yes I plan on finishing the Bachelors. Absolutely. I would in a heartbeat move to a different EU country if they allowed taking out a loan for international students. But given being Non-EU no banks would offer me a loan to pay for tuition. I can speak French and thought about going to France. Will look into it again to see if it is possible.

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10 minutes ago, engelchen said:

 

I lived in Switzerland for almost 4 years and absolutely hated it. I regretted staying so long.

 

 

On the other hand, I actually like Germany (for the most part) and get along well with many Germans.

 

You should finish your bachelor's degree. A partly completed degree is pretty much worthless. On the other hand, there is really nothing compelling you stay here for your masters.

 

I never planned on quitting the bachelors. I am finishing it no question about it. The post was more on the lines of if I should stay for the masters if it makes educational and financial sense. Moving to a different EU country would cost more because I have to pay Non-EU tuition. That would be no problem if I could take out a loan but banks don't offer Non-EU students loans

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1 hour ago, CincyInDE said:

 

In other words, "Put up with the racism, closing doors in your face, and cliquey bullshit.  Shut your mouth except to say thank you."

 

29 minutes ago, renemp said:

 Unfortunately that is not my modus operandi

Sorry CincyInDe, I didn't catch your sarcasm at first.

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5 minutes ago, renemp said:

Moving to a different EU country would cost more because I have to pay Non-EU tuition. That would be no problem if I could take out a loan but banks don't offer Non-EU students loans

 

I understand the problem of not being an EU citizen only too well. However, why do you have to stay in Europe?

 

What exactly are you studying? For example, it makes no sense to move to Berlin if the course that is offered here is not that great.

 

20 minutes ago, ZA1234 said:

Focus on look for a place that has an international masters, or more english (or even a masters in english, or with some courses in english), and then you will not need to stay around Germans all the time.

 

Having studied here I have to disagree. I found the quality of many courses taught in English to be worse than those taught in German (I am not in STEM).

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13 minutes ago, El Jeffo said:

Cologne can be a weird place, but it's not like you're the only POC there, so I don't think that's the main issue.

 

Yes, people can be dicks, but I have to say that your posts ooze loathing and condescension, which makes me wonder if you might not have a chip on your shoulder. You know the old saying about how if you meet assholes all day, it's likely that you're the asshole.

 

I second the suggestion to stick it out and finish your degree, then move to a different German city for your master's - maybe some place bigger, like Hamburg or Berlin, that doesn't have that claustrophobic feeling I always had whenever I spent time in Cologne. You'll be able to step back and reset your relationship with the country and its people from a different perspective.

Just to point out, I am not in Cologne anymore. I was never in Cologne but in NRW then moved to a different Bundesland. I am in one of the biggest cities in Germany now.

 

It's funny. I have asked myself that same question "Am I the one who has shit their shoe?" I have to say I try my best to be neutral to everyone and not let my negative experiences incline me to behave differently when meeting someone new. Trust me, I make a conscious effort to do this. But like I said, I am of brown complexion. It's only when people hear my American accent is when they get intrigued by me.

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Your profile says you are based in Cologne so I am very surprised to hear you say that people here are racist or you get stares of disapproval when you are seen with a white woman as Cologne is known as one of the tolerant cities in Germany and it isn't something I have experienced in the 10 years I have lived here.

 

I don't have brown skin but I know quite a few Turkish-German and Iranian-German people (as well as white skinned Germans) and I have never come across any problems with having friends from different backgrounds or skin colour. Even when I (a very pale, white skinned man from the North of the UK) have been in relationships with Turkish-German women there hasn't been any problems. Are there racist people in Germany who may have 'stared' at you and think it's wrong for mixed-races to be in relationships? Of course, there are racist people everywhere and not just the white people. A lot of Turkish people don't think 'their' women shouldn't mix with white-skinned men.

 

From what you have said I would question whether the issue isn't people here but maybe you are behaving in a way, which is coming across as aggressive and the social skills, which are needed in the US are different that those in Germany in order to make friends. It sounds like you are struggling to fit in and make friends so you are blaming everyone else and not wanting to admit that you may have some responsibility yourself in your problems:

 

This sounds very aggressive - "Another thing is, the people here are just wimps. They talk shit behind your back and then when you confront them about it, they deny it."

This sounds like you have interrupted a conversation between several other people - "But when you ask them something „Wer bist du?“"

 

And you have lived in 3 places in Germany but it's not you that is the problem but everyone else? - "I've already moved twice. First to a small town then to another then I said screw it and moved to one of the biggest cities. I figured the bigger cities would be more open and internationally friendly. It's not the case. Doesn't matter where you go they are all the same."

 

You really only have a few choices:

 

 - Stick it out for a couple of years and do the MSc

 

 - Move elsewhere (back to the US?) and hope you fit in better there

 

 - Accept that you may have a part to play in your unhappiness as your social skills aren't working in Germany and try to change them. Maybe you are trying to hard to make friends and are coming across as desperate, maybe you are considered quite 'loud' as some Americans can to Europeans, maybe you come across as arrogant even though you don't mean to be, etc. You can either try speaking to people you know and asking them how you can improve you social skills or even go to a German psychiatrist and chat to them.


A lot of times people who struggle to fit in (and not just here in Germany) don't know when to keep quiet and think they have to impress people or give them a reason to like them. The more they want people to like them, the more they open their mouths and the more they open their mouths, the more they annoy people. Being popular isn't about getting people to like you but not annoying people as people will generally like people (or at least be polite and say, "Hello") provided you don't annoy them. You may not be best friends with people but they will acknowledge you.

 

In the end the choice is yours but with the good education standard here, financial issues, etc. then it sounds like you will be staying here and being unhappy for another 2 years of your life isn't good.

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16 minutes ago, warsteiner70 said:

Your profile says you are based in Cologne so I am very surprised to hear you say that people here are racist or you get stares of disapproval when you are seen with a white woman as Cologne is known as one of the tolerant cities in Germany and it isn't something I have experienced in the 10 years I have lived here.

 

Yes that was my previous location and I wasn't in Cologne. I was in NRW. Now I am not. Would rather not say where I currently am. I have traveled quite a bit in Germany, visiting many cities big and small and I would say Cologne is the most friendly of all major cities in Germany. If I knew that at the beginning, perhaps I would have just went there.

 

But to the rest of your post, I've thought about all of your points. I'm not a loud, obnoxious guy but what I have noticed is that when I tell someone that I am American, people here are so prejudice that they instantly judge you. Instead of trying to meet "me" they have this "me" already created based off of their own delusional prejudices. Don't get me wrong, I have met some nice people here and had some nice friendships but those have been few and far between.

 

I've traveled quite a bit in EU and in Asia before (Asia) and during (EU) my stay in Germany. I have yet to have such negative experiences as I have had in Germany. Before I came to Germany I did a solo-backpacking trip in France for two months. I had nothing but good times there and met some nice and interesting people.

 

So yeah, I put the blame on germans. I spent enough time brooding over questions like "What did I do wrong?" "Is it me?". I am confident in who I am and I have had no problems in any other country with any other set of people.

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20 minutes ago, renemp said:

So yeah, I put the blame on germans. I spent enough time brooding over questions like "What did I do wrong?" "Is it me?". I am confident in who I am and I have had no problems in any other country with any other set of people.

 

That's fair enough, there are quite a few foreigners who do the same and you certainly won't be alone on this board with that opinion :) Although it does mean that the next two years of your life while you complete the Masters will not be particularly nice but good luck with your studies.

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I’ve made a pretty neutral post in answer to your original post, and you answer in a passive aggressive way, to other posters you’ve simply been a dick. To top it off you post:

 

“...what I have noticed is that when I tell someone that I am American, people here are so prejudice that they instantly judge you. Instead of trying to meet "me" they have this "me" already created based off of their own delusional prejudices.”

 

it is exactly what you do (did). Good luck. 

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1 hour ago, renemp said:

Yes that was my previous location and I wasn't in Cologne. I was in NRW. Now I am not. Would rather not say where I currently am.

 

Garbage in, garbage out.

 

Without knowing where you are and which cities you've experienced it is impossible to evaluate your situation. The differences between regions in Germany are extreme.

 

1 hour ago, renemp said:

So yeah, I put the blame on germans. I spent enough time brooding over questions like "What did I do wrong?" "Is it me?". I am confident in who I am and I have had no problems in any other country with any other set of people.

 

Regardless of where you are now, it is obvious that it is too late for you. You've been shaped by your experiences (real or imagined) and I doubt that moving within Germany will change your perceptions.

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I think as a forum of mostly expats, we’ve all experienced something similar but were able to find the positives in living here (some of which you’ve already mentioned). If you find that the positives outweigh the negatives, then perhaps stick it out and maybe things will improve.

 

While I still have some issues with Germans/Germany, I’ve have had much better opportunities here than in the States, so I decided to stay and things have continually improved. 

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3 hours ago, renemp said:

Thank you for the people who gave some nice words of encouragement.

 

That post came after you had picked out the negative ones and replied individually to them.

 

It is wearing feeling alien and being treated as an idiot or unwelcome, but that is mostly life. Germans do this to each other as well, and the way they get round it is by joining clubs and finding their happy group. I have gone to various things and been ignored or treated OK but not felt especially welcome, but recently I joined one of the local choirs and they were lovely. Almost all actual Germans, and super welcoming friendly. Another planet, not kidding. I couldn't believe it. I encouraged another friend, same nationality and situation as myself to go along, and wow, same story.

 

On TT we often encourage people who are unhappy to join a Verein and find like-minded people exactly as Germans do, and I think you would benefit from that somewhat cookie-cutter advice. It may take some effort to find 'your' group, but they are out there somewhere. It may be a tiny group, as Lisa says, but that's OK.

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2 hours ago, kiplette said:

 

That post came after you had picked out the negative ones and replied individually to them.

 

It is wearing feeling alien and being treated as an idiot or unwelcome, but that is mostly life. Germans do this to each other as well, and the way they get round it is by joining clubs and finding their happy group. I have gone to various things and been ignored or treated OK but not felt especially welcome, but recently I joined one of the local choirs and they were lovely. Almost all actual Germans, and super welcoming friendly. Another planet, not kidding. I couldn't believe it. I encouraged another friend, same nationality and situation as myself to go along, and wow, same story.

 

On TT we often encourage people who are unhappy to join a Verein and find like-minded people exactly as Germans do, and I think you would benefit from that somewhat cookie-cutter advice. It may take some effort to find 'your' group, but they are out there somewhere. It may be a tiny group, as Lisa says, but that's OK.

 

Haha I wouldn't look too deep into which comments I replied to first or second. That's a good recommendation. I'm going hiking with a group of people tomorrow so I'll see if the hiking groups turn out well.

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I'm in a choir too, also with lovely people. I think singing often just puts people in a good mood :)

 

Renemp, if you want to just have a good rant you might have noticed that this isn't quite the right place. A lot of us have been here for donkey's years and worked out how to behave so that people are more respectful, or have seen lots of facets of German society. Or just decided to focus on positives.

 

If you really want a nice old moan, get together with some more recent arrivals if possible, and do it IRL, as people are more likely to smile politely, nod along and comfort you in person, rather than trying to educate you :)

 

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@anne k I respectfully disagree.  Maybe the board has mellowed a bit in its overtly exasperated tone and for sure enough of those who are content in their situations do a shit-ton of shushing and scolding of anyone who dares to complain.

 

Toytown Germany is supposed to be about connecting with other foreigners and a HUGE part of that is having a good old moan, whether it be run-of-the-mill culture shock or actual persistent issues that never get fixed, ever, Because Germany.  No one is compelling you to read relative new arrivals' moans, rants, growing pains, troubles understanding, fitting in or getting along.  Sometimes a good old moan is just what the doctor ordered, and if not here, then where?  All you have to do is not read it, if it's boring and old hat to you.

 

A lot of people are/were the only foreigner in their village and being able to swap stories of shock and intrigue really got/gets them through tough times when they feel they are stuck in a crazy place, and all alone with their experiences.  I definitely don't agree with discouraging people from letting out their frustration or looking for others who are going through the same just because it's all been said already or it's boring to you personally. 

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On 18.10.2019, 12:50:50, engelchen said:

 

I lived in Switzerland for almost 4 years and absolutely hated it. I regretted staying so long.

 

 

On the other hand, I actually like Germany (for the most part) and get along well with many Germans.

 

You should finish your bachelor's degree. A partly completed degree is pretty much worthless. On the other hand, there is really nothing compelling you stay here for your masters.

 

I'd be curious to know why you hated Switzerland...

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