PODCAST

The Germany Experience

Shaun Behrens

Life in Germany, as seen through the eyes of outsiders. Featuring the stories of foreigners who moved to Germany - either temporarily or permanently - and tips and advice for life in Germany. Get an inside view of the joys, the frustrations, and the quirks of adapting to the culture and learning German. New episodes every Wednesday.

Trailer abspielen
The Germany Experience Trailer
19-05-2019
The Germany Experience Trailer
The Germany Experience is a podcast about experiencing Germany through the eyes of outsiders - like immigrants, expats, tourists, and more. Here is a trailer to give you a taste of the kinds of conversations and stories you'll hear.Also featuring current topics and discussions about life in Germany as a foreigner, The Germany Experience should be in the podcast players of anyone with an interest in what it's like to live in Germany. Visit the show's site: Expat Life GermanyFollow on InstagramFollow the Facebook PageFollow on Twitter
Lessons from changing jobs in Germany (Alexandrea from the USA)
vor 4 Tagen
Lessons from changing jobs in Germany (Alexandrea from the USA)
Alexandrea from the USA (and former guest on the podcast) left her job in Hamburg for one in Frankfurt. However, she realized almost immediately that the new job was not a good fit. She left during her trial period and found her way to her current job in Berlin. After moving cities and jobs several times, Alex has learnt a few valuable lessons, and she joins me to share them. She has a list of what you should ask prospective employers, she gives some tips about what you should know about jobs in Germany, and she discusses why you need to have the courage to walk away from a job that is not a good fit. She also drops some airtight advice for working in a German workplace.Alex's current project: She Transforms ITAlex on Twitter: Deutsch_afAlex on Instagram: @DeutschafAlex on LinkedIn: YOU ENJOY THIS PODCASTYou can support the show in various ways: BUY THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE PODCAST A COFFEE – there are a lot of costs associated with running a podcast, like expenses for hosting the audio and the tools used to record the episodes. Every donation will go towards the monthly expenses of keeping The Germany Experience going. And it will make my heart happy!SPREAD THE WORD – share your favorite episode in an expats in Germany Facebook group, on Twitter, or any of the other social channels. Or if you know someone who might need this podcast in their life, tell them about it!WRITE A REVIEW – write a review about The Germany Experience on my site, on Apple Podcasts, or on Spotify (or anywhere else you can think of). Get 30% off of WunderblaWunderbla offers you short, personalized and fun online German lessons, along with a test of your current German level. If you purchase before June 28th, 2022, you will get a 30% discount. Purchase here.Or sign up for a free trial to test it before you buy.JOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUP:  Visit the official podcast website: to the YouTube channel: the podcast: me: info@thegermanyexperience.deSupport the show
Helping families to meet like-minded families (Dzhangar from MatchFamilies)
15-06-2022
Helping families to meet like-minded families (Dzhangar from MatchFamilies)
During Dzhangar's first years in Germany, he noticed what many foreigners notice: how difficult it was for his family to meet other like-minded families. And making friends is crucial. It helps to make you feel more at home, and it gives you a support system for when you need help. So Dzhangar quit his job and started working on an app that would help families connect with each other. That app is MatchFamilies. He joins me in this episode to discuss his initial troubles in Germany, what it was like quitting his job to start a new company, and he explains how the app works. Download the MatchFamilies appThe episode with Amaia from Expat & Spouses Monitor: The Expat Spouses Report - the results are in BUY THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE PODCAST A COFFEE If you like this podcast, donate! There are a lot of costs associated with running a podcast, like expenses for hosting the audio and the tools used to record the episodes. Every donation will go towards the monthly expenses of keeping The Germany Experience going. And it will make my heart happy!Get 30% off of WunderblaWunderbla offers you short, personalized and fun online German lessons, along with a test of your current German level. If you purchase before June 28th, 2022, you will get a 30% discount. Purchase here. Or sign up for a free trial to test it before you buy. JOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUP:  Visit the official podcast website: to the YouTube channel: the podcast:  Contact me: info@thegermanyexperience.deSmells Like HumansLike spending time with funny friends talking about curious human behavior. Listen on: Apple Podcasts   SpotifySupport the show
German traditions or superstitions? (Nina from Germany)
08-06-2022
German traditions or superstitions? (Nina from Germany)
If you've ever wished a German "Happy birthday" before their actual birthday, you will no doubt have quickly learnt that it's just not done. It's just a tradition based on superstition, but many Germans abide by it. So, is it tradition, or actually superstition? Shaun has his opinion, and he talks with Nina, a German, about it. They also cover the "Eisheilige" belief that you shouldn't sow certain plants before middle of May, drinking traditions, and more. We also cover what the daddy long legs spider is called in German.Show notes: Shaun and Nina's other podcast: Die Deutsche und der AusländerNina's other episodes on The Germany ExperienceGerman news report about a spider in the carDONATE TO SUPPORT THE SHOWIf you like this podcast, donate! There are a lot of costs associated with running a podcast, like expenses for hosting the audio and the tools used to record the episodes. Every donation will go towards the monthly expenses of keeping The Germany Experience going. And it will make my heart happy! JOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUP:  Visit the official podcast website: to the YouTube channel: the podcast:  Contact me: info@thegermanyexperience.deSmells Like HumansLike spending time with funny friends talking about curious human behavior. Listen on: Apple Podcasts   SpotifySupport the show
Eurovision Song Contest 2022 recap, the importance of community, and redefining your identity (Beth from the USA)
17-05-2022
Eurovision Song Contest 2022 recap, the importance of community, and redefining your identity (Beth from the USA)
Beth comes back on the podcast to discuss how she recently found herself post-pandemic in a world that had shrunk to just her job and her family. While this isn't a bad thing, Beth was lacking a feeling of community. She also discovered that she needs to redefine her identity now that she no longer does the activities that used to define her: volleyball and fencing. Beth also helps me recap the Eurovision Song Contest 2022.Previous episodes with Beth: The 5 phases of culture shockFeeling weighed down by the pandemic, and making the trip back homeForeigner friendships, moving back home, and “F**k it” moments (Beth & Amy from the USA)JOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUP:  Visit the official podcast website: to the YouTube channel: the podcast:  Contact me: info@thegermanyexperience.deSmells Like HumansLike spending time with funny friends talking about curious human behavior. Listen on: Apple Podcasts   SpotifySupport the show
Using your own culture to integrate in Germany (Saehee from the USA)
12-05-2022
Using your own culture to integrate in Germany (Saehee from the USA)
When Saehee, a Korean American, first moved from the States to Germany, she struggled to adjust for many different reasons.  This led to her feeling depressed and lonely. But that would all change once she started getting back to what she loves. Listen to the story of how Saehee was able to move herself beyond difficult times with the help of therapy, embracing her culture, and focusing on her love for cooking and food. Saehee's websites: Korea KonnectKosari KimchiSaehee on Instagram: @saeheechang Saehee on Facebook: Kosari KimchiI contributed to The Expat Cast episode about having children abroad: Deciding to Have Kids or Not When Living AbroadJOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUP:  Visit the official podcast website: to the YouTube channel: the podcast:  Contact me: info@thegermanyexperience.deSmells Like HumansLike spending time with funny friends talking about curious human behavior. Listen on: Apple Podcasts   SpotifySupport the show
States of Liberation: gay rights and discrimination in Cold War Germany (Samuel Clowes Huneke)
20-04-2022
States of Liberation: gay rights and discrimination in Cold War Germany (Samuel Clowes Huneke)
It's conventional knowledge that West Germany was more liberal and progressive than East Germany. Then it stands to reason that West Germany was more accepting of gay rights. But was this really the case? Of course, these things are always very nuanced, and Samuel Clowes Huneke joins me to discuss it in detail. He's written a book called "States of Liberation", and we discuss it in our interview. We also discuss the similarities and differences between East and West Germany in terms of gay rights, we talk about some of the interesting characters that Samuel discovered during his research, and we consider the current situation in Germany.Get the book on Amazon: States of LiberationSamuel on Twitter: @schunekeSamuel's Website: THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUP:  Visit the official podcast website: to the YouTube channel: the podcast:  Contact me: info@thegermanyexperience.deSmells Like HumansLike spending time with funny friends talking about curious human behavior. Listen on: Apple Podcasts   SpotifySupport the show
Language barrier problems, and overcoming the challenges involved with reporting sexual assault (Mei Chi from Hong Kong)
06-04-2022
Language barrier problems, and overcoming the challenges involved with reporting sexual assault (Mei Chi from Hong Kong)
When Mei Chi arrived in Germany, she faced several challenges caused by the language and cultural barrier. Not understanding German can result in some minor inconveniences that make funny stories later on, but other misunderstandings can be more serious. All this highlighted how important it is to have help at the right time, and Mei Chi started a platform called BookaLocal. In this episode she discusses her own hardships, and also explains the purpose behind BookaLocal. BookaLocal also offers pro bono support for victims of sexual assaults in Germany, and Mei Chi shares her own experiences of this with us. BookaLocal WebsiteJOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUP:  Visit the official podcast website: to the YouTube channel: the podcast:  Contact me: info@thegermanyexperience.deSmells Like HumansLike spending time with funny friends talking about curious human behavior. Listen on: Apple Podcasts   SpotifySupport the show
Writing a Eurovision song, and traveling to the Arctic and Antarctic (Fadi from the UK)
02-03-2022
Writing a Eurovision song, and traveling to the Arctic and Antarctic (Fadi from the UK)
Fadi Gaziri returns to the show to talk about writing a song for the Eurovision song contest. We talk about why we love the Eurovision song contest so much, what makes a good Eurovision song, and how countries select their entries. Listen to the end of the episode to hear Fadi's Eurovision song entry. Fadi also talks about scoring music for German TV shows and working as a musician on cruises to the Arctic and Antarctic. The book Fadi wrote: ZE GERMANS: An expat's guide to living in GermanyThe video for Fadi's Eurovision song entry: Rettermädchen ESC2022 GermanyFadi's Website: NDR documentary that Fadi scored: Was ist damals passiert? Meine KinderverschickungJOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUP:  Visit the official podcast website: to the YouTube channel: the podcast:  Contact me: info@thegermanyexperience.deSmells Like HumansLike spending time with funny friends talking about curious human behavior. Listen on: Apple Podcasts   SpotifySupport the show
Choosing a rural life, coming to Germany as a lawyer, and a giant tea cup (Rachel from South Africa)
23-02-2022
Choosing a rural life, coming to Germany as a lawyer, and a giant tea cup (Rachel from South Africa)
It only took 106 episodes, but Shaun finally has a South African guest on the podcast! Rachel is a lawyer (also a first) who has only been in Germany for a few weeks. She discusses her first impressions of Germany, choosing between a corporate and a startup when she was looking for a job, and why she is leaning towards a more rural life in Germany. She also explains why winter jackets are such foreign things to people from the southern hemisphere and we marvel over her very large tea cup.Rachel on Instagram: @RachInBerlinSome links from the episode: Smile at Amazon (donate to charity with your purchases)Clarkson's FarmJOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUP:  Visit the official podcast website: to the YouTube channel: the podcast:  Contact me: info@thegermanyexperience.deSmells Like HumansLike spending time with funny friends talking about curious human behavior. Listen on: Apple Podcasts   SpotifySupport the show
Visa struggles, escaping the pandemic on an organic farm, and being a musician in Germany (Laura Osburn from Canada)
16-02-2022
Visa struggles, escaping the pandemic on an organic farm, and being a musician in Germany (Laura Osburn from Canada)
Laura Osburn is a singer/songwriter from Canada who came to Germany in January 2020 to work on her album and play live shows – and both those plans have been derailed by COVID. We talk about her struggles to get a long-term visa for Germany, how she spent the beginning of the pandemic on an organic farm, and the difficulties she's faced with getting her album recorded. Get in touch with Laura on Instagram: @lauraosburnsongstressListen to her music on Spotify: Laura Osburn on Spotify Her Website: Laura OsburnLaura in concert: Laura Osburn live from DIE LUKE in LudwigsburgJOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUP:  Visit the official podcast website: to the YouTube channel: the podcast:  Contact me: info@thegermanyexperience.deSmells Like HumansLike spending time with funny friends talking about curious human behavior. Listen on: Apple Podcasts   SpotifySupport the show
How to be a good dinner guest in a German home (Nina from Germany)
09-02-2022
How to be a good dinner guest in a German home (Nina from Germany)
Getting invited to a German's home for dinner is difficult enough, but if it happens, you're probably nearing the German's "inner circle". But how do you behave? What is good etiquette? Are there unwritten rules you need to know about? For foreigners, being a dinner guest in a German's home can feel like daunting minefield.But actually, it's really not. Allegedly German Nina joins me for this episode to take us step-by-step through being a dinner guest in a German's home, starting from getting a small gift through to how to signal that you're done eating your food.Listen to my German podcast with Nina: Die Deutsche und der Ausländer JOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUP:  Visit the official podcast website: to the YouTube channel: the podcast:  Contact me: info@thegermanyexperience.deSmells Like HumansLike spending time with funny friends talking about curious human behavior. Listen on: Apple Podcasts   SpotifySupport the show
Podcasts, why we love them, and how they help foreigners (Marina and Greta from Buongiorno Bitch)
02-02-2022
Podcasts, why we love them, and how they help foreigners (Marina and Greta from Buongiorno Bitch)
Marina is from Spain and Greta is from Italy, and together they host a podcast called Buongiorno Bitch. They join me to discuss our love for podcasts, and how they can help foreigners. We also talk about how both of them ended up in Germany, and how they made friends in an old-school 2010 way.Follow Buongiorno Bitch on Instagram: @Buongiorno BitchSome of the podcasts we mentioned in the show:Just Break UpGlücklich VerkopftGreta's favorite Zeit Online podcast: Ist das normal?Spanish podcasts that Marina listens to: Estirando el Chicle and Deforme Semanal Ideal TotalConan Needs a FriendArmchair Expert with Dax ShepardStuff You Should KnowItalian podcast by former guest Carmen Romano: Crucchi o Terroni siamo tutti FannulloniJOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUP:  Visit the official podcast website: to the YouTube channel: the podcast:  Contact me: info@thegermanyexperience.deSupport the show
Charity challenge wrap-up, and when The Germany Experience will be back
29-12-2021
Charity challenge wrap-up, and when The Germany Experience will be back
The 2021 charity challenge between Nicole of The Expat Cast and I is done, and we have a winner! We were able to raise a combined total of 1065€ for Kinderlachen, a charity that helps children in need. Thank you to everyone who donated for your kindness and generosity. To find out who won, take a listen to the wrap-up :)The Germany Experience will now be taking a break over the next few weeks, and will return in the last week of January. Wishing you a "guten Rutsch ins neues Jahr", and a very healthy and happy 2022!FOLLOW MY NEW PODCAST, 5 GERMAN SONGS, ON SPOTIFY:Get to know Germany through its music! In each episode, listen to five songs that define a certain aspect of Germany, along with explanations and deeper insights into the music: 5 German SongsJOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUP:  Visit the official podcast website: to the YouTube channel: the podcast:  Contact me: info@thegermanyexperience.de
2021 lows and highs and a charity challenge update with Nicole of the Expat Cast
22-12-2021
2021 lows and highs and a charity challenge update with Nicole of the Expat Cast
Recorded as an Instagram Live on 21 December 2021. Nicole of The Expat Cast joins me to discuss our low and high points of 2021, and to give an update on our annual charity challenge, this year called ThrEGEPADFO. I also read out the low and high points of some listeners and Instagram followers. We're also joined at one point by Lawin, host of the Pop Your Cultural Cherry podcast.GO AND DONATE IN THE GERMANY PODCASTERS' ADVENT CHARITY CHALLENGE:Nicole of The Expat Cast and I are once again competing in our annual charity challenge to see which podcast can raise the most money for our chosen cause. This year, it's Kinderlachen, which helps children across Germany who are in need or ill. The project I am supporting on focuses on  helping children who face unexpected difficulties due to serious illness, an accident or other personal circumstances.In this episode, I recite my THREGEPADFO poem as a response to Nicole's challenge!Learn more and donate here!FOLLOW MY NEW PODCAST, 5 GERMAN SONGS, ON SPOTIFY:Get to know Germany through its music! In each episode, listen to five songs that define a certain aspect of Germany, along with explanations and deeper insights into the music: 5 German SongsJOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUP:  Visit the official podcast website: to the YouTube channel: the podcast:  Contact me: info@thegermanyexperience.deSupport the show
Making German easier with “-chen” endings, a PhD as a job, and Germans take long to say goodbye (Jeanette from the USA)
15-12-2021
Making German easier with “-chen” endings, a PhD as a job, and Germans take long to say goodbye (Jeanette from the USA)
Jeanette from the USA moved to Germany to continue her studies, and ended up in a PhD program in Aachen. She discusses her experiences making friends while studying, learning German, and her life as a PhD student in Germany. The children's book author Jeanette mentioned in her discussion: Janosch+++Send me your highs and lows of 2021! I'd love to read them on the show with a special guest next week! Send to: info@thegermanyexperience.de, or leave me a voice message on The Germany Experience (click on the microphone icon on the bottom right of your screen and follow the instructions to leave a voice mail).+++GO AND DONATE IN THE GERMANY PODCASTERS' ADVENT CHARITY CHALLENGE: Nicole of The Expat Cast and I are once again competing in our annual charity challenge to see which podcast can raise the most money for our chosen cause. This year, it's Kinderlachen, which helps children across Germany who are in need or ill. The project I am supporting on focuses on  helping children who face unexpected difficulties due to serious illness, an accident or other personal circumstances.In this episode, I recite my THREGEPADFO poem as a response to Nicole's challenge! Learn more and donate here!FOLLOW MY NEW PODCAST, 5 GERMAN SONGS, ON SPOTIFY: Get to know Germany through its music! In each episode, listen to five songs that define a certain aspect of Germany, along with explanations and deeper insights into the music: 5 German SongsJOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUP:  Visit the official podcast website: to the YouTube channel: the podcast:  Contact me: info@thegermanyexperience.de
Episode 100: Funny and memorable The Germany Experience moments
07-12-2021
Episode 100: Funny and memorable The Germany Experience moments
DONATE in the ThrEGEPADFO CHARITY CHALLENGE!It's the 100th episode of The Germany Experience!  To celebrate, I take a look at just a few of the many memorable moments I've had on the show. Including clips from the following previous episodes: Church bells and bicycles (Shannon from the USA)Bonus Episode - A German experiences the Ausländerbehörde (Nina from Germany)Leaving Germany after a decade (Natalie from the UK)Feeling weighed down by the pandemic, and making the trip back home (Beth from the USA)Ask a German (Dominik, Jürgen & Philipp from Ach?)Sparkling wine receptions, digitization, WG living, and coming to Germany on a scholarship (Alex from the USA"Was guckst du?": A 20 year love/hate relationship with Germany (Elizabeth from the USA)Do you have a favorite moment of The Germany Experience? I would love to hear it! Get in touch on social media (links below) or mail me: info@thegermanyexperience.deIt's THREGEPADFO time!Nicole of The Expat Cast and I are once again competing in our annual charity challenge to see which podcast can raise the most money for our chosen cause. This year, it's Kinderlachen, which helps children across Germany who are in need or ill. The project I am supporting on focuses on  helping children who face unexpected difficulties due to serious illness, an accident or other personal circumstances.Learn more and donate here!JOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUP:  Visit the official podcast website: to the YouTube channel: the podcast:  Contact me: info@thegermanyexperience.de
The leaving Germany episode
01-12-2021
The leaving Germany episode
Not every Germany experience ends with permanent residency or German citizenship. For some, the plan was never to stay for longer than a few years, or things change during the stay, or some other unforeseen occurrence (cough COVID) makes it necessary to leave. This episode focuses on the stories of three previous guests who have since left the country. I talk to them about their time in Germany, why they left, what they miss about Germany, and what their life is like now. My guests are all Canadian, and their stories are all tied together by Toronto. Here are the episodes they previously appeared on: Sarah S: Through the Eyes of a Newly-Arrived ExpatSarah C: The attraction of Munich, the versatility of “Doch!”, and environmentalism in Germany Amy: A serial expat in GermanyCheck out the Common Ground podcast: THREGEPADFO time!Nicole of The Expat Cast and I are once again competing in our annual charity challenge to see which podcast can raise the most money for our chosen cause. This year, it's Kinderlachen, which helps children across Germany who are in need or ill. The project I am supporting on focuses on  helping children who face unexpected difficulties due to serious illness, an accident or other personal circumstances.Learn more and donate here!JOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUP:  Visit the official podcast website: to the YouTube channel: the podcast:  Contact me: info@thegermanyexperience.de
Anatomy of a German job interview (Lisa Janz from Job Coach Germany)
24-11-2021
Anatomy of a German job interview (Lisa Janz from Job Coach Germany)
What can you expect in a German job interview? What's expected of you? Lisa Janz, the woman behind Job Coach Germany, joins me to explain what the five phases of a typical job interview are, and gives some insights into what interviewers are looking for. She even has some psychological tricks to boost your chances of making a positive impression.Lisa was formerly in HR , so knows the process from the inside. Nowadays, she focuses on helping people find the job that is right for them in Germany. Lisa's Website: was a previously a guest on the episode called,  What do you want from a job in Germany?It's THREGEPADFO time! Nicole of The Expat Cast and I are once again competing in our annual charity challenge to see which podcast can raise the most money for our chosen cause. This year, it's Kinderlachen, which helps children across Germany who are in need or ill. The project I am supporting on focuses on  helping children who face unexpected difficulties due to serious illness, an accident or other personal circumstances.Learn more and donate here!JOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUP:  Visit the official podcast website: to the YouTube channel: the podcast:  Contact me: info@thegermanyexperience.de
Health insurance in Germany Q&A, with Techniker Krankenkasse
17-11-2021
Health insurance in Germany Q&A, with Techniker Krankenkasse
You sent in your questions about health insurance in Germany, and this week a representative from Techniker Krankenkasse, Nina, is here to answer them.  You can also get an idea of what to expect from a health insurance fund by hearing how TK does things and what they offer. If you are considering signing up for health insurance with TK, use my link: is an affiliate link, so if you sign up with it, you'll be helping out the podcast. The questions that Nina answers: How does health insurance work in Germany?What do I have to do if I get ill?What are the differences between Gesetzlich (statutory) and Privat (private) health insurance?Why is it so difficult to get an appointment with a specialist? Can I apply for health insurance without a German address?What are IGEL treatments?Do couples go onto the same insurance?What should foreigners expect from a health insurance provider?JOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUP:  Visit the official podcast website: to the YouTube channel: the podcast:  Contact me: info@thegermanyexperience.de
"Was guckst du?": A 20 year love/hate relationship with Germany (Elizabeth from the USA)
10-11-2021
"Was guckst du?": A 20 year love/hate relationship with Germany (Elizabeth from the USA)
Elizabeth first spent time in Germany as a student, and she fell in love with the place. But, by the time her year was up, she was ready to return back home to the States. However, when she got home, she immediately started missing Germany. This began a pattern that would persist for years: Elizabeth would move to Germany, but would eventually move back to the USA again. In more recent years, though, she has wanted to make the move more permanent and has been actively searching for jobs in Germany. Elizabeth joins me to explain her 20+ years relationship with Germany, the reasons that she kept leaving Germany, the habit Germans have of staring, and bringing her dog, Fritz, with her to Germany. Find Elizabeth on Instagram: @hello.there.deutschlandJOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUP:  Visit the official podcast website: to the YouTube channel: the podcast:  Contact me: info@thegermanyexperience.de