Summer 2018 in Berlin.

What’s summer like in Berlin? Well, there’s a lot of sunshine. A lot of afternoons spent spread out on picnic blankets, grazing on hummus and carrots and drinking beer. A lot of visits to the many lakes around the city, to escape the heat. A lot of cycling to meet friends, to watch sunsets from rooftops or by the canal. A lot of al fresco dining, and drinking. A lot of parties on boats and disco balls reflecting shards of sunlight across our faces. A lot of watching football on big screens in parks, and piling into local pubs afterwards for one more round. A lot of this.

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How to celebrate International Women’s Day in Berlin.

Update: read the 2019 version of this post.

March 8 is International Women’s Day, or Frauen*kampftag in Germany, which, for the unacquainted (welcome out from under your rock), is a day to commemorate the fight for women’s rights, and to celebrate how far we’ve come. This year’s theme is #PressforProgress, in response to recent movements in journalism to fight for equality, like the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements.

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Looking back at 2017.

Well, that’s it then. 2017 is done and dusted, as of today. In fact, in Australia (and, okay, New Zealand first) it’s already well into the new year. Here in Berlin, the fresh new start we’ve all been waiting for is a matter of hours away. And I think it’s important to take stock of the good memories of your year, to remember how far you’ve come. So here’s what I’ve achieved in 2017, and some New Year resolutions.

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My summer in Berlin.

I swear it just started, but summer seems to be disappearing before my very eyes. And while everyone’s told me Berlin summer is amazing, I think this summer the weather hasn’t been that great. There’s been a lot of rainy days and storms. While I’m hoping for a pretty amazing late summer, I thought I’d look back on a few of the things that have made this summer in Berlin so great.

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Learning German in Berlin

I moved to Berlin in April 2017, and I didn’t know any German except for how to say hello, please and thank you. I initially planned to do an intensive course for a month, three hours a day for four nights a week. But then I realised that I was moving to Berlin at the start of summer, and I didn’t want to spend four nights a week in a classroom (on top of working full-time), when I could be out enjoying everything that Berlin has to offer in the long summer evenings.

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Going to the Ausländerbehörde in Berlin (without an appointment).

If you’re moving to Germany (specifically Berlin) for work or study, and you’re planning to get a visa while you’re in Berlin, you’ll need to go to the Foreigners Office (Ausländerbehörde) to get your visa. It’s possible to go without an appointment (as I did) however it will require camping out overnight. I’ll explain in detail how to go about that below.

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Why I moved to Berlin.

My first impression of Berlin was the May Day weekend. At the time I was 22, living in London, and travelling as much as I could while working full time as a copywriter at MADE. London is the perfect place to base yourself while travelling, because of the sheer quantity of cheap flights to Europe from any of its five airports. And while London is an amazing city itself, Berlin is a whole different beast.

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