Europe, Expat Living, Germany, Lüneburg

Expat Living: Susan Nowak In Lüneburg, Germany.

August 30, 2011
Susan Nowak
(Last Updated On: February 16, 2014)

Expat Living – An Interview Series

The latest expat to be featured in my Expat Living interview series is Susan Nowak. Read all about her life in Northern Germany.

Susan Nowak

English woman, living in Germany for 10 years. Married to a German and has a 5 year old daughter.

Susan Nowak
Where are you from?

Saddleworth, Greater Manchester in the United Kingdom.

Where are you living now? How long have you been there?

I’ve been living in Northern German for almost 10 years. I’m now living in Lüneburg.

Susan's Beautiful Home
Have you lived anywhere else? Do you plan to stay in your current location or move somewhere else in the future?

I’ve also lived in Australia and Indonesia. No plans to leave Germany, unless I win the lottery when I might be tempted by my own island somewhere in the Indian Ocean.

What’s your story? What made you decide to take the big leap and leave home?

Learning another language (properly) was always on my “Bucket List”. I think I may have had an early mid-life crisis when I was 30. I gave up a well paid job, a nippy little convertible sports car and a tiny but perfectly formed loft conversion flat. Packed my things and moved to Kiel in North Germany where I had a German contact from my backpacking days 15 years earlier. I just thought “why not?”

Do you ever miss home? What do you do to cope?

I don’t miss home. This is my home now. I do miss people. And food! Mushy peas, Bisto, Vimto, Wenslydale Cheese … I cope by utilising budget airlines and online shopping.

How do you blend in and be accepted by locals?

Learn the language.

Keep your sense of humour.

Learn the language.

Learn the language.

Learn the language.

Did I mention it helps to learn the language?

How do you stay in contact with loved ones?

Easyjet. Skype. Email. Telephone.

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?

I learnt German. You have to be tough with yourself. I denied myself English TV, books, radio.

The word “fluent” is over used I think. I speak German fluently. I dream in German and quite often think in German.

But my German is certainly not perfect. I make many grammatical mistakes. I suspect if I stay here 100 years I’ll still mix up my genders (articles I mean…not people!!)

What has been the most shocking thing you learned about the local culture?


What is your number one tip about how to live life as an ex-pat?

Make an effort. Don’t be lazy. Avoid expat groups … otherwise you’ll never learn the language …which helps. I might of mentioned that already.

What do you love most about living abroad?

People make places. I love my husband and daughter. I love the German culture and am even, after 10 years, starting to get their sense of humour (yes they do have one!)

What has been your best experience to date in your new home?

Being mistaken for a native speaker, albeit with an “unidentifiable accent”.

Did you make the move solo? Or are you with a spouse or significant other, other members of your family, or friend(s)?

Solo. Free spirit me!

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?

I’m a freelance writer now. When I first got here, I taught English.

Find Susan

Read Susan’s parenting column on Parent Dish or follow her on Twitter.

Parent Dish: 

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1 Comment

  • Reply Expat Living: Susan Nowak In Lüneburg, Germany. September 14, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    […] did (or do) you land work? I’m a freelance writer now. When I first got here, I taught English. Expat Living: Susan Nowak in Lüneburg, Germany. Απάντηση με […]

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