We tend to think that living abroad is always a great experience, especially because people only show the bright side of it on social media. However, it’s not always like that! I personally went through bad moments that made me realise how nice Brazil is and how special Brazilian people are. On today’s post, I’m going to tell you a little bit about my experience in Hannover, Germany.
First of all, what to say about Germany? It’s simply one of the most developed countries in the world and the most important economy in Europe. Who wouldn’t be proud of belonging such a rich country? As I always thought like that, I decided to do a short exchange program through Rotary International. In 2010, back when I was 18 years old, I spent 40 days in Germany studying the official language. The idea was to do a course for 2 months, but I came home earlier. I just couldn’t adapt! The Germans were very intolerant and rude. Most of them didn’t speak English and didn’t make any effort to try, as if I had to speak German.
I saw a lot of xenophobia. I was the only western person in my course, so my friends were all Asians, Arabics and Africans. Unfortunately, I saw some of them being mistreated. There was this Muslim girl in my class people were looking at giving the side eye, because she was wearing the veil.
Some might say that I’m writing this because of the 7×1, but I promise it’s not that haha! Cultural shocks can be very positive, as they can make us grow and learn how to deal with differences, but in my case it wasn’t fun to feel prejudiced against for being a foreigner.
Since I had the opportunity to travel around Germany, I realised that in big cities like Berlin people have different mentality and are more open to foreigners.
However, I lived in a very small town called Lemmie, 40 minutes away from Hannover, where people were very close-minded.
Luckily, my host family and my neighbours were nice to me. I think the problem was that I had very high expectations before going to Germany and it was a shock to see how different people are. They are like the opposite of Brazilians! I didn’t feel Germans were welcoming at all, so I often felt very lonely. Back then, it was summertime in Brazil and I saw loads of pictures of my friends having fun, which made me miss home even more. Probably the snow made everything worse! As I wasn’t happy at all, I decided to come back home earlier, after spending 40 days in Germany, and that was the best decision I made!
Unfortunately, this was my impression of Germany. I want to show you that there is no shame in saying that you didn’t like to travel or live abroad. My sister once told me something that is very true: “being in Europe does not always mean being happy”. We can also go through hard times!
Don’t get me wrong: Germany is a beautiful country, extremely developed and full of history. The beers are also incredible, as well as the German sausages haha! It was a pleasure to visit the country, but it’s just not the kind of place I’d like to live in, you know?
Has anyone else had a bad experience abroad?