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Home Is Where the Heart Is - Teaching English in Berlin, Germany
Written by: Megan Cape
Last Updated: January 20, 2021
While receiving my TEFL certificate from the International TEFL Academy, I pondered the possible cities I wanted to live in.
From Madrid to Argentina, thoughts of Istanbul and Rio De Janeiro, I finally landed on Berlin, Germany and I couldn't be happier with my decision.
When I first moved to San Francisco after graduating college, it took me a solid year until I finally felt at home. When I moved to Berlin, it took me about 3 months to feel at home. I have never felt like I belong in a place as much as I do here. From the people, to the events and activities, to the lifestyle, to the scenery, etc. I feel like Berlin fits me so well.
Leaving your home country is not an easy thing to do, and trying to figure the best place to go is definitely not an easy task and does take risk.
You can do as much research as your brain can possibly handle, but you will never actually know what it's like to live there until you finally take the plunge.
Honestly, I didn't do much research on Berlin before I got here. I didn't even know that there would be snow on the ground upon my arrival in January, but I did know it was my favorite city when traveling Western Europe 4 years ago so I went with my instinct, got my TEFL certificate, saved up some money, packed up things, and took off for Berlin!
I have to admit the first couple of months I was here I was FREEZING! I even had to leave for a couple weeks and go to London (ironic, I know) to get away from cold. While I was staying in London I started to question my choice in Berlin. I considered my other options and if I would have the possibility to move to another country.
I had been searching for a job for about a month at this time and had no bites. I had contacted another English teacher here, whom I had found on Couchsurfing.org and she basically told me, “I hope you have a plan B because you will not be able to find a job in Berlin”. I tried to stay positive and persistent with my job search and I knew if I kept my spirits high things would turn around. And it did just that. I found a job, the sun started shining, and the earth started to warm, Berlin started to come alive and so did my soul.
They say Las Vegas is the city that never sleeps, but compared to Berlin, Vegas is a preteen with a bedtime of 11 pm.
It’s amazing to think that one can feel at home in another country where the culture can be so different.
There is someone, somewhere in Berlin at all times doing something amazing, whether it's dancing under the sunrise to deep house, creating street art in Kreuzberg, or eating a gemuse döner at the famous Mustafa's, people are making the most out of their days/nights/mornings in Berlin and I'm right there doing the same things. There is something about the feeling of leaving a club at 8am and walking down the streets of Berlin. The birds are chirping, the air is crisp, and you can smell the bread from the local bakeries. You may feel tired when leaving the club, after dancing all night long, but once the cool breeze of the air hits your face, you get a fresh breath of energy to make the walk home.
Yes, Germany and the United States are not completely far off from one another, but there are definitely many cultural differences. For one thing, the language. I have been in attempt to learn German, but it is a very difficult language to learn. I walk down the streets and everything is in another language, and yes I may not understand a lot of it, but for some reason I still feel at home here. It’s an amazing feeling that can sometimes be hard to describe, but I know in my heart that Berlin is the place for me in this moment in time. I can definitely say that I love Berlin, and Berlin loves me too.
Feedback from our Alumni who are now teaching English in Germany:
- Berlin, Germany English Teaching Q&A with Megan Cape
- Frankfurt, Germany Q&A with Michael McGuire
- Frankfurt, Germany Q&A with Noah Franc
- Hopes of the Past, Dreams of the Future - Noah Franc
- Trust me, it's worth it! - By Michael McGuire
- General Job Search Tips from an American English Teacher in Germany - Noah Franc
- Getting a Work Permit to Teach English in Germany - Noah Franc
- The Language Farm and Teaching English in Germany - Megan Cape
Megan Cape is a 26 year old with the dream of traveling the world. After graduating 3 1/2 years ago with a bachelor's degree in Communication, and still no idea what she wanted to do with her life, she decided to set out on an adventure of teaching and living abroad.
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