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FAU goes adidas

Welcome to the World of Sports. Foto: Anh Tran

On Tuesday, 19th June, I had the chance to attend the event “FAU goes adidas”, a celebration to commemorate FAU’s 275th anniversary. We arrived at the adidas World of Sports around 9 A.M. and were welcomed at the “Consumer Center”. Attending this event, I have learned a lot about the power of collaboration, my power as a consumer, and what all of this means for my future career. The sort of things that rarely cross your mind in a classroom.

The power of collaboration

Nowadays, we heard a lot about open source and collaboration among companies and start-ups. There has been a shift from protecting your know-how and keeping everything in-house to an open approach when it comes to innovation. We probably own at least one T-shirt with a Climacool label or a pair of Boost shoes without knowing all the sophisticated technology and intense research behind them. Listening to the presentations by both FAU professors and adidas employees, I was blown away by the research and development jointly carried out by the university and adidas. There are three different layers in the Climacool t-shirt so the sweat can easily evaporate, and you stay dry. The shoes are designed to serve different running styles. With all that in mind, I feel better about paying a premium price for a t-shirt.

We can all claim to know how to run SPSS or analyse data on our CV, but I have never applied it to create something cool like a pair of sneakers. So, it was inspiring to see that memorizing those two-hundred-something slide deck for the exam and all the knowledge you gather could actually be worth it one day.

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Hannah and the deep South of the USA – Holiday Season, Exam Period and the new semester

Here you can read Part one of Hannah’s experience.

Winter in Carolina. Photo: Hannah Riemann

I can’t believe my time at Duke University is almost over! The last few months were a hell of a ride and I hardly had time to catch a breath let alone sit down and write down my experiences down for you. I am sorry, friends! So, let’s start from the beginning with me moving to a new house at the end of my first semester, celebrating American Thanksgiving, Exam Period coming up and preparing for Christmas. It was a very busy, but also very fun time!

So first things first: American Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Break

Over Thanksgiving we got a few days off from school, which was very nice and gave us a chance to relax and rest before the stressful exam period started. On Thanksgiving, itself a few friends and I booked a table at a very nice BBQ Restaurant in downtown Durham, because they offered a typical Thanksgiving dinner for a decent price. There was no way we would have been able to cook a turkey and this way we didn’t have to cook anything and also didn’t have any cleaning up to do. The food was delicious! At one point, I almost thought the table was going to burst under all the delicious food. We had mashed potatoes, corn, sweet potatoes, turkey, ham, pulled pork, stuffing, soy nuggets (so the vegetarians didn’t have to starve either), hash brown, corn bread, beans, pumpkin pie, pecan pie and much much more! Just thinking of it makes me crave it again. It was so much food that even though we were six people we weren’t even close to finishing it and had to take the rest of it home. This way we had a second Thanksgiving Dinner the next day: Two for One, Yay!

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Getting your residence permit application in Nürnberg

Every international student in Germany knows that they need to apply for a residence permit before their visa expires. The residence permit usually allows students to continue staying and studying in the country for another year (depending on the student’s country of birth). The process of obtaining a residence permit can be complicated, involving prolonging waiting time. I first contacted the Ausländerbehörde at the beginning of December, and will be receiving my residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) in the middle of April. But this is also due to my missing documents and holidays. Otherwise, I should have received it sometime in February. It is important to keep in mind that the employees at Ausländerbehörde are extremely busy. They know that your visa is expiring soon and will contact you about eight weeks before and ask for documents for your residence permit. So you can wait for them to contact you and just follow their instructions.

But if you are anxious and a bit of a control freak like me, then read on. I first came to the Einwohneramt Stadt Nürnberg, took a form called “Antrag Aufenthaltstitel” and filled out my basic information (name, birthday,…etc.), my wish to renew my visa, and how I can financially support myself during my stay in Germany. Now, you can prove this in three ways. The first way, also the most common way, is to have around 8,700 euros in a blocked account. The second way is to have a scholarship. The third option is to have a German citizen sponsor you. The German citizen would have to go to the Ausländerbehörde, bring all his or her documents regarding income, tax…etc. and fill out a form stating that he or she is responsible for you. The document is called “Verpflichtungserklärung”, and is valid for five years. You then send the document along with the rest of your application.

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The orientation courses at FAU

Two chilean students enjoy the orientation course. Photo: Anh Tran

It is common to feel anxious and clueless when one first moves to a new country, especially to Germany, where there are many rules and regulations. The International Affairs office at FAU has done a great job in reducing the new exchange students’ anxiety and help them settle down. I was very excited to join the orientation course organized by the International Affairs office and to learn about formality in Germany, insurance, housing rules and obligations, and intercultural differences.

Although I am no longer considered a fresh comer, I still find the orientation course beneficial, and I wish I had known this when I first came to Germany. During the orientation, I learned about the move-in protocol that I needed to check my room conditions and report any damage to my landlord when I first moved in. It was also helpful to be reminded to open the window and let the air circulate three times a day. This is because houses in Germany normally do not have ventilators. But most importantly, it was very useful to go over the separation of garbage and recycling procedure in Germany. They can be tricky, and I’m sure I did not separate my trash correctly for the first few tries.

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