“Once I went to review in Germany, I didn’t know a phrase of German”

Having your Master’s application turned down at Oxford could be a chance. The proof, the course of the British Phoebe Brunt. “Before applying to Augsburg, I applied to Oxford. When I received the rejection letter, I was disappointed but also relieved because studying there for postgraduate studies would have cost me several tens of thousands of pounds, whereas in Germany I could study almost for free” , she says in Tea Schedules🇧🇷

It’s up to her “transatlantic education”, between California – where she spent her early childhood – and England where she grew up, which Phoebe attributes to her taste for travel. In 2016, after three years of higher education in the UK, she decided “packing”. “The fallout from Brexit was still uncertain and, like many other postgraduate students in the UK, I wasn’t sure what was in store for me, but I didn’t want to wait to see the world.”

Phoebe says that when she arrived in Augsburg, where she had enrolled in a Masters in British and American Studies, she didn’t speak a word of German. “The university agreed to enroll me as a ‘beginner German’ student. It took me a while to master the language. On the other hand, it was easy to make friends because around 30% of Augsburg’s inhabitants are immigrants. In addition to my dear German friends, I was able to meet other people from Russia, Kazakhstan, India, Italy or Ireland.”

successful integration

In total, it took Phoebe four years to complete her postgraduate degree – twice as long if she had continued her studies in the UK, but she doesn’t regret the decision. In addition to the maximum score obtained in her thesis, she was able to benefit from residency status in January 2020, when the UK officially separated from Europe, thanks to her work as an English teacher and tutor for undergraduate university students.

Now employed in Munich at a company that publishes educational content, she lives with her partner in the suburbs of Augsburg. “If you had told me ten years ago that I would live in Bavaria, I would not have believed you. But we made a house here and I am very happy.”

If Phoebe managed to integrate so well in Germany, despite her initial language impairment, it is undoubtedly because this was not her first stay abroad. After her childhood in the US, she was able to test her adaptability during a summer spent in Thailand teaching English and a gap year in Spain, where she worked as an au pair in a family.

Also, attention: recent studies show that the lack of proficiency in German explains a large part of the abnormal dropout registered among foreign undergraduate students enrolled in German universities – including among those who considered themselves to have sufficient command of the language.

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