Meet lovely Georgina, the next person to be featured in my Expat Living Interview Series. Originally from Monterrey, Mexico, she now lives in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
All About Georgina.
Born in the USA and raised in Mexico, I’m a highly energized and multicultural type of gal.
Where are you from?
Where are you living now and how long have you been there?
Frankfurt am Main, Germany. I’ve been here for 3 years – and counting!
Have you lived anywhere else around the world?
Yes, I’ve had the opportunity to live in several amazing places like Vancouver, Barcelona, Madrid and New York City.
Do you plan to stay in your current location or move somewhere else in the future?
I really like Frankfurt a lot, but I’m always open to the possibility of moving.
What’s your personal story? What made you decide to take the big leap and leave home?
I’ve been living abroad for several years now. When I moved away from NYC, I didn’t really have a plan – so I went back to Monterrey. After some time I decided that I wanted to work for a consulate or an embassy and as there was a slight chance for a job here in Frankfurt – I moved!
Do you ever miss home? What do you do to cope?
I miss home a lot – my family, friends and of course, the food. I’ve made really amazing friends – people that I can call family. What I usually do when I’m homesick is make tacos and invite people over. This makes me feel at home.
How do you blend in and be accepted by locals?
I believe Frankfurt is one of those cities where almost everyone is an expat. As there are so many national and international people coming and going, it’s pretty easy to blend in. You get an opportunity not only to meet other expats but people from all around Germany.
Did you have to learn a new language? If yes, what? How did you go about learning the language and how long did it take you to become fluent?
Yes, German. I still can’t say I’m fluent as Deutsche is a complex language that takes a lot of practice in order to become fully fluent. I’ve been taking German courses on/off at the Volkschule (public school) and even private lessons. It’s difficult to fully practice as Frankfurt is one of the most international cities in Germany. Most Germans speak English and actually like speaking English.
What has been the most shocking thing you learned about the local culture?
“Zusammen oder getrennt?”
When on a date and the waiter brings the check he/she will ask if you want to pay together or separate. You as the girl assume your date will naturally treat you but it’s not always the case in Germany. Girls, don’t forget to have cash on you!
Not only does this question make things a bit awkward (and the 2 or 3 seconds of silence that follows), what makes it worse is when your date says “getrennt.”
You think “Wait a minute, I thought you were inviting me out!” Inviting out here doesn’t necessarily mean he will take care of the bill.
What is your number one tip about how to live life as an ex-pat?
Be open minded to different cultures, ways of thinking and expression. Germans can be a bit direct and hard headed with their opinions so try to be flexible or at least, put it in one ear and take it out of the other if you don’t agree with them.
What do you love most about living abroad?
You get an opportunity to see so many social and cultural differences that will be great to take back home one day. Of course, you’ll always be the foreigner that people will find interesting and want to know more about the place you’re coming from.
Did you make the move solo? Or are you with a spouse or significant other, other members of your family, or friend(s)?
I moved to Germany on my own. I now live in a “WG” (shared flat) and my two roommates are like my German brother and my Italian sister.
What do you do work wise? Did you have a job before you arrived or did you look for work when you got there? If you didn’t have a job, how did (or do) you land work?
Before I moved to Germany, I worked in the fashion industry. The reason I came to Frankfurt was that I wanted to work doing something completely different than what I was doing. After 4 months of no success with this plan, I thought it was time to head back home and continue to do what I knew best.
That was until a friend told me that she had referred my contact details to a Recruitment Company (which had nothing to do with my background), two weeks before I planned on moving back. I had an interview and the rest is history. Now after three years, I found my new passion – recruitment.
Are you living abroad and would like to be included in the Expat Living interview series? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and you could be featured just like Georgina!
If you like these interviews and my personal take on living abroad, check out my Expat Living section.