Emma in Euroland

Tea, Cake and Travel: a year abroad in Germany

A Ringing in my Ears

Many many forms...

It would seem that everyone in the Benson household is currently preparing for something. Mum’s getting ready for our family coming to stay and is decorating the back bedroom. My brother is getting ready to go out into the real world and filling in job applications. Dad’s winding down for the summer as schools are about to close for the long 6 weeks holiday. I am of course getting ready to go away to Germany. This is a potentially stressful environment, and it is at times. But there’s also a sense of excitement too. We all seem to be sharing in the anticipation of what’s to come.

The ringing in my ears this morning is not just metaphorical. Some steam seems to have got into one of our burglar sensors and so the alarm has been going off for a while. I couldn’t work out what it was at first since my room is the other side of the house to the alarm. I kept getting up to check my car alarm wasn’t going off! Very surreal indeed. It has stopped now, thankfully. But the metaphorical ringing has not been quite so simple to turn off. I have been lying awake at night making lists in my head, trying to decide what I need to get done tomorrow or what I might have forgotten. Every day I seem to get an email with another form to fill in and send somewhere. I seem to be getting there though.

2 days ago, I received another brown envelope. It wasn’t quite so ominous this time though, as I had some idea what it was. It was my official invitation to the preparation course I have to go to before my language assistant posting. This was very exciting news indeed. The package contained all the information I needed including an itinary. This has finally allowed me to book my flights! I finally know exactly when I am going and exactly how long I have to prepare. Mum has insisted that someone will come to see me off which is especially lovely. There is something empowering about travelling alone, something exciting but it will be nice to have someone join me until I really leave on my big adventure.

Also included in the envelope was another form which I needed to send back, confirming my acceptance of my place on the course. I also added my name to the bus transfer, making it a lot easier to get to the rural monestry where I shall be going. What an exciting way to start my year abroad eh?! But more on this later :).

Yesterday, after another load of paperwork was filled out I received a rather disappointing student finance application. I am eligible for a lot less than I had envisioned, owing to the fact the I am earning money whilst I am away. I suppose I should have seen that coming in advance, but it hadn’t really occured to me. There was a serious postive though: my first payment will come in in August. Usually, the first payment comes in at the end of September. Money when I first arrive has been a worry for me since I will get paid a month in arrears and won’t start work until October. The British Council recommends that you arrive in country with around 1500 Euros to cover initial expenses such as deposits on accommodation, travelcards, any necessary resources for your post and other potential costs. I was particularly concerned about raising this money and have got myself a job to earn as much money as I can before I go. However, this new development has greatly reduced the target and made things a lot more achieveable. I can’t complain really can I? 🙂

To-Do List (so far!)

  1. Student Finance – DONE
  2. Acceptance of post sent to British Council – DONE
  3. Acceptance of post sent to Germany – DONE
  4. Current necessary forms sent to International Office – DONE
  5. Confirmation of place on preparation course – DONE
  6. Flights booked – DONE
  7. Trains booked – not even started!
  8. Organise clothes to take – I have less than 3 months, how will I ever do it?!
  9. Prepare lessons on British Culture – some ideas brewing…
  10. Accommodation – potentially sorted, if not, its in the pipeline certainly…

Having written this down here, it doesn’t seem quite so daunting. I have got quite a lot done and I still have until the end of September to get everything else sorted. So, keep your fingers crossed everyone (I’ve even got my toes crossed!) and I’ll keep you updated about how things are going :). Now my flights are booked, I’m definately going! :D. I do have two 20kg bags booked though. That might sound like a lot, but 40kg for my whole life?! Impossible!



  1. Jemma

    Hey 🙂 Just saw your blog on TYA and noticed you’re going to Thueringen. I’m going to Jena and just wanted to let you know (if you didn’t know already), that there’s a Facebook group for all assistants going to Thueringen:


    Think you have to request an invite to it- it would be nice if you joined as so far there’s only 8 of us, looks like it’s going to be a really small group of assistants in Thueringen!:)

    • Oh that’s amazing, thank you! I guess we’ll all be going to the same PAD course then? x

      • Jemma

        As far as I know, everyone going to Thueringen is going 24th-27th September 🙂 as far as I’m aware, I think we might be the only English assistants going on the course, though we might be accompanied by French, Spanish assistants etc. 🙂 x

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