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From the USA to Germany: Room for Gelato

27 November, 2017 10:38  Erin Erin

Room for Gelato Jessica Howard, 29, born in Cincinnati, moved from Detroit, MI to Stuttgart, Germany with my husband and dog.

1.    Why did you move abroad?
My husband accepted a work assignment in Germany. His contract is for 3 years.

2.    How do you make a living?

I have a marketing background and have a part-time marketing job here in Germany. I also spend my spare time blogging about our life in Germany at

3.    How often do you communicate with home and how?
Oh man! I communicate with home every single day. I send text messages (thank goodness for iMessage!) with my mom, sister and best friend every day and FaceTime about once a week depending on if we’re traveling or not. Social media also makes everything really easy.

4.    What's your favorite thing about being an expat in Germany?

This is a hard question. I like the pace of life in Germany. It’s much slower than America. I also really like that my husband has 30 vacation days and we get to travel all around Europe together.

5.    What’s the worst thing about being an expat in Germany?
At first the language was the hardest thing. It was so difficult to communicate with everyone. Now that I’ve spent time learning the language, it’s easier now. Some days are harder than others, though. I will say that the hardest thing to get used to is that no stores are open on Sundays. It took a while to realize that I couldn’t go grocery shopping on Sundays!

6.    What do you miss most?
Besides my family and friends, I definitely miss Target the most!

7.    What did you do to meet people and integrate in your new home?
It helps that my husband works for a large corporation who has a big group of expats. I’ve met many friends through that and the International Women’s Club.

8.    What custom/ habits do you find most strange about your adopted culture?
Germans are stereotypically direct, which I’ve found to be true. At work, especially, it took some getting used to. It’s not strange but different.

9.    What is a myth about your adopted country?
That Germans aren’t nice. Everyone we’ve met has been super nice and helpful. It just takes a while to go from acquaintance to friend.

10.    Is the cost of living higher or lower than the last country you lived in and how has that made a difference in your life?
Housing is more expensive but food is less. It all balances out. We are lucky that we receive a housing stipend and we are able to live a great life.

11.    What advice would you give other expats?
I would say to know that you are not alone. I felt so isolated at first when I didn’t have any friends and wasn’t working but I found my way. Everything will get easier and you will find your grocery store, doctors and figure out how to use the dishwasher! Plus, the pros of being an expat always outweigh the cons.

Room for Gelato 12.    When and why did you start your blog?
I started my blog, Room for Gelato, as a way to share our experiences with family and friends back home. Now it’s turned into a great way to connect with other expats who want to move abroad or are abroad and want to swap stories. I love writing and love hearing from readers how my blog made them feel more comfortable about moving abroad!

Blog LinkJessica's blog, Room for Gelato

Guide for expatriates in Frankfurt, Germany

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