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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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Working in Germany as an international student

Student jobs can be found at FAU's job search engine "Stellenwerk": www.stellenwerk-fau.de (screenshot)

Student jobs can be found at FAU’s job search engine „Stellenwerk“: www.stellenwerk-fau.de (screenshot)

In Germany, it is quite common for students to have a part-time job and be financially independent. In addition to earning extra money, having a part-time job gives students a chance to explore their career options. You will find out which kind of job or which business function in a company is best suited to your preferences and abilities. A part-time job is a great way to find out what you like or don’t like. In this article, I will talk about my own experience of having different part-time jobs as an international student. Weiterlesen

Introducing the Digital Tech Academy

The Team of FAU’s Digital Tech Academy. Photo: DTA

Many organizations are now involved in cultivating talents and provide them with necessary skills to succeed in the fast-paced, high-tech industry. Creative people are no longer alone in their quest for the next big thing since they can always seek for advice from experts or get help handling logistics behind their creative process. I was inspired by my interview with Karl (Carlos) Rabes and Lisa Wittenzellner from the FAU Digital Tech Academy, a new FAU project that seeks and supports digital entrepreneurs.

What is Digital Tech Academy and how was it initiated?

The idea of the FAU Digital Tech Academy arose from the notion that entrepreneurship and digitalization touch everyone’s life. It is important to form a group at FAU that shares the same passion for entrepreneurship and digitization. The Digital Tech Fellows program, one part of the Digital Tech Academy, is an opportunity for all FAU students to pursue their passion for digitization, entrepreneurship, and innovation by realizing novel ideas with the help of professionals from industry. We are a small team of four people and are currently screening more than 150 applications to narrow the field down to only about 25 participants for the first batch of the Digital Tech Fellows program. This is the one-year extracurricular program, open to all enrolled students at the FAU (with a new batch starting each semester). Therein participants get to know each other and form their own group to work on innovative ideas that they are interested in.

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New Year’s Eve celebration

Raclette is a typical dinner at ew Year’s Eve celebrations. Photo: Anh Tran

I was very excited for my first ever New Year’s Eve (Silvester) celebration in Germany. The celebration here is quite different compared to the one in Vietnam. In Vietnam, we celebrate new year twice. The first celebration happens on December 31st like the rest of the world. The second is usually the bigger one and takes place in February, according to the lunar calendar.

For Vietnamese, end of the year celebration is often a time for family. It is important to have a clean house to welcome the new year. I remember as a kid my mom would make my sister and I clean our rooms. My mom cooks a feast and prays to our ancestors for luck and health for the upcoming year. Then we watch a very famous annual comedy show and wait till midnight to watch fireworks on the rooftop.

On the other hand, I notice that younger people in Germany usually gather and go out with friends on New Year’s Eve. We gathered at a friend’s apartment and had pizza as there were too many of us to cook. But it’s also common to make a Raclette dinner. A raclette contains a mini stove, where you can cook cheese, meat, cold cuts, and veggies together. It’s a bit similar to hot pot in Asia.

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