Alisa is juggling it all
Alisa is a Londoner now living her fabulous life in Frankfurt. By day, she’s working in Marketing and by night, you can find her blogging, exercising, or being a social butterfly. She’s been in Frankfurt for 5 years and has been blogging about her experience and her travels there. Check out her blog here to read more about her personal experiences of living abroad, things to do in Frankfurt, and navigating life in Germany!
What initially brought you to Germany? And is it why you’re still here?
People often can’t believe it, but I just liked this place enough that I wanted to live here. It took one school trip to Berlin at 15 years old to convince me to study languages at university, and the rest was history.
What do you love most about living in Frankfurt/Germany?
Frankfurt offers the perfect balance between city life and nature. I live in the heart of Frankfurt and can be in the mountains in just half an hour – it doesn’t get much better than that.
What is the hardest part about living in Frankfurt/Germany?
I love being able to show my friends and family my home in Germany when they come to visit, but the hardest part of living abroad is not being able to see them more regularly.
When it comes to Germany specifically, I also struggle with the customer service. I’m from England where people are very polite, some would even say too polite. I think I’ve said enough on that one.
Let’s talk about your German language-learning journey. How did you start, how has the process been, how do you feel about your abilities now, etc.
The struggle has been very real but after pouring what felt like my soul into learning German, I’m glad to say that I’m now fluent. People often ask how long it took, but I think it’s more about how much you put in, and I really did give it my all. Graduating with a language degree certainly laid the foundation but the cement only set once I’d been in Germany for a few years.
Can you tell us about a time where you said the wrong thing or misunderstood something in a funny way?
Does this interview have an age restriction? I once wanted to describe a character as a ‘Hexe’ (witch) but instead said ‘Wichse.’ Google it 😀
Do you ever remember having an ‘Aha!’ moment when learning or practicing German?
I think I actually did a little dance when I could finally use the dative and accusative correctly. It’s just like a huge “Yes, I finally get it!”
On the other hand, after learning German since I was 12, it was only at 29 years old that I realised it’s “der Salat”, not “das Salat.” That was more of an “oh shame” moment though haha!
Do you have any favorite German word(s) or expression(s)?
Weird one, but ‘Taschenrechner’ is my favourite word. It’s a golden oldie that has stuck with me from my school days. Not quite sure why but it always makes me smile.
What are some of your favorite German pop culture recommendations? Books, TV shows, movies, podcasts, other activities?
Feuer & Brot is my go-to German podcast.
Quick tip: If you’re looking to improve your German, one of the best things I can recommend is watching series in German that I have already watched in English.
You also write a fun blog about being an international in Germany. What has the response to that been like along the journey and do you have any specific goals in mind for it?
I initially started my blog to practise writing, but when I moved abroad it became a way to keep family and friends up to date. However, the more I published, the more I found that other internationals could relate to my experiences. I’ve had some incredible feedback and met many people in similar situations to myself. My goal is to keep sharing my story, creating relatable content and building up memories to look back on.
In one of your blog posts you wrote ‘there is a difference between being international and being diverse’ with regard to corporate culture. Would you mind elaborating on that a little bit and share a bit of your experience?
In my experience, corporate culture often focuses on internationality. For example, displaying stats on how many employees come from various countries etc. There is however, not so much focus or action when it comes to diversity, which focuses on people of colour/ disability / gender/ age of employees at the company. I’ve worked in very international companies and it’s great, but it’s diversity that allows for representation and inclusivity.
(Click here to read her full post!)
Finally, in your opinion, what makes you a Power Frau?
When I look back, I’m just happy to be where I am today. I was persistent in reaching my long-term goal to move to Germany. I moved abroad on my own, built up a life for myself and have managed to stay well connected to friends and family back home. I run a blog alongside my full-time job and somehow manage to find the time to take on new challenges, explore and also rest. Don’t ask me how I do it because half the time, I don’t know myself, but I think this makes me pretty Power Frau-esque!