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Beer Festivals in Germany

In Europe, Travel by Tom @ Abroad American8 Comments

If you’ve ever seen the beginning of the cinematic masterpiece that is Beerfest, you have a pretty good idea what Oktoberfest is like. Also, I’ve already written about that particular festival, so if you’re just interested in Oktoberfest, head over here: Munich’s Oktoberfest. On the contrary, this post will focus more broadly on beer festivals in Germany, so if you want to learn about this tradition, keep on scrolling. Coming over to Germany back in 2015, I arrived precisely in the …

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We’re All Ambassadors for Our Homes

In Living Abroad, Travel by Tom @ Abroad American6 Comments

Normally, we don’t think of traveling abroad as a way of representing our home internationally. Still, this is very much the case. Whether you like it or not, when you’re abroad, people will judge you based on your home and your home based on you. In this way, we are all informal ambassadors for our homes abroad, not only representing ourselves but also where we come from. Acting as Ambassadors for our Homes With that in mind, thoughtful international travelers watch their speech and their actions …

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Visas in Germany

In Living Abroad, Moving to Germany by Tom @ Abroad American14 Comments

The first thing you’ll need to tackle when trying to move to another country is your visa. If you don’t know, visas are essentially a pass to enter and/or stay in other countries. You may not know it, but just by having a US passport, you already automatically have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to many countries. In the case of Europe, the Schengen Agreement combined much of the continent into an area with the same set of access laws and regulations. …

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How to Get a Student Visa in Germany

In Living Abroad, Moving to Germany, Studying Abroad by Tom @ Abroad American9 Comments

So you’ve been admitted to a degree program in Germany, and now you’re starting to think about the next steps. The first thing you’ll need to tackle is getting your student visa in Germany. Let’s start at the beginning, what’s a visa anyway? This kind of visa does not come with an interest rate. Instead, “visas” are essentially a pass to enter and/or stay in other countries. You may not know it, but just by having a US passport, you already …

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Getting Around the Caucasus Region

In Travel by Tom @ Abroad American3 Comments

If you follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook (shameless plugs!) you probably already know that I recently traveled to the Caucasus Region. We visited the three largest countries (other than Russia) in the area: Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia. Normally, I wouldn’t write my first post from a trip about a topic like this. However, an over-heated, Soviet-era overnight train had me awake and ranting on Instagram at 4 AM. This post is an extension of that initial rant on …

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Encountering Other Americans Abroad

In Living Abroad, Travel by Tom @ Abroad American3 Comments

Even after traveling internationally just once, you will probably begin to notice how you, or other Americans abroad, might stick out like a sore thumb. Actually, I’m sure travelers from any country experience this after they get a bit of experience under their belts. There are lots of things you could notice, but that’s not what I’m going to focus on in this post. What I want to focus on instead is what it’s like to be in these situations …

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An Introduction to Iceland

In Exploring Iceland, Travel by Tom @ Abroad American14 Comments

For the first post in this series, I want to begin with a little introduction to the country at first. I think it might be worthwhile to properly set the scene for the upcoming posts. If you have no clue what this place is about, start here. Exploring Iceland is a series of posts describing my experiences touring the island in the summer of 2015. Geography and Geology In case you are completely unaware, Iceland is an island country in …

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How to Find and Visit the Doctor in Germany

In Living Abroad by Tom @ Abroad American12 Comments

Recently, I had the pleasure of having to use my health insurance for the first time. I’d had a cold that was just not going away, so I needed to visit a doctor. Problem was, I had no idea how to find a doctor in Germany. Finding a Doctor in Germany Ugh. Nobody wants to have to do this. But, there are times when you just need to go to a doctor. Of course, I had health insurance, as it …

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A Response to “Millennials, Don’t Travel – Yet”

In Lifestyle, Travel by Tom @ Abroad American9 Comments

Alright. Confusing title aside – this really got my jimmies rustled yesterday. Mentioning “millennials” pretty much is a sure-fire way to do that. So, yesterday, a friend linked to an article, which itself was a response to another article encouraging millennials to “stop traveling – for now”. After reading both articles, I quickly scribbled out a comment on the friend’s Facebook post about it. This is an elongated version of that comment, with all the necessary context you’d need to …

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Pfand and Recycling Bottles in Germany

In Europe, Living Abroad, Travel by Tom @ Abroad AmericanLeave a Comment

Germans love to recycle. Well, I’m not really sure if they love it, or if they just do it because they should. Either way, Germany consistently has one of the highest rates of recycling in Europe, at around 60% of all waste. I’d assume a big part of that is the Pfand system for bottles, especially beer bottles. Another part is the fact that the whole country uses the same system of waste management. For example, each neighborhood has these big …

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Redwoods State Park and Driving Up the 101

In The American West, Travel by Tom @ Abroad American2 Comments

Redwoods State Park and Driving Up the 101 is the seventh post in my “The American West” series about a National Park-themed camping road trip I took in early summer, 2015. The Drive After our short visit to the Golden Gate, we hit the road again and merged onto the 101, headed north. This post is about our day-long drive from that point, up to Patrick’s Point State Park and our day hike in Redwoods State Park the next day. These …

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10 of the World’s Cheapest Destinations to Travel to in 2017

In Travel by Tom @ Abroad American1 Comment

Sarah over at contacted me about guest-posting this infographic to Abroad American a couple weeks ago. Click here for the original post. It demonstrates that your destination has a lot of impact on the cost of your travels, and that travel doesn’t always have to be expensive. It’s all about finding those lesser-known places before everyone else does! Choosing the best place to travel to can be overwhelming, but with a thoughtful approach, you can easily narrow down your options. …

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The Cliffs of Moher Tour

In Europe, Travel by Tom @ Abroad American10 Comments

Of all the sights in Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher are probably one of the most well-known. They tower over the water on the western coast of the island, forming a stark edge between land and sea. To put the picture below into some perspective, the cliffs are over 700 feet above the water at their highest point. Shiiiieeeet. I can’t imagine what the view from a boat on the water would be like. The Cliffs of Moher As we …

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Going Home (for the Holidays)

In Living Abroad, Travel by Tom @ Abroad AmericanLeave a Comment

Alright, it’s time for a reflective holiday-related post, especially given the circumstances. At this moment, I’m sitting at an airport restaurant/bar in Copenhagen, going home for the holidays. I’ll spend the next 2+ weeks in Chicago with family and friends celebrating the holidays, all the while stuffing my face with as much Chicago-style food as possible. I haven’t been back in the States since November 2015, but that was just for 3 days for a wedding. I moved to Germany …

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How to Find Master’s Programs in Germany

In Studying Abroad by Tom @ Abroad American6 Comments

Before you can head to Germany for your master’s, you have to apply; but before you apply, you have to find a program to apply to. In this post, I’ll briefly explain the tools and process I used to find master’s programs in Germany. This won’t be a very long post, as you’ll have to do the legwork yourself, but I have some links and some tips to share. I’ll give you some context for the variety of master’s programs in …

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Ljubljana, Slovenia, a (not so) Hidden Gem

In City Guides, Europe, Travel by Tom @ Abroad American18 Comments

Back in May, we took a little weekend getaway to Ljubljana, Slovenia. As it turns out, a long weekend is a perfect amount of time to thoroughly experience this southern European city. Relatively speaking, it’s small, but for what it lacks in size, it makes up for in charm. Normally, I’m not one to talk about the “character” or “charm” of different places. However, Ljubljana is a different story. There was something indescribably attractive about the city that still sticks …

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Study in Germany: Applying to Master’s Programs

In Studying Abroad by Tom @ Abroad American6 Comments

I’ve been meaning to write something like this for some time. I was finally spurred into writing about applying to study in Germany by being connected with someone currently looking to study here. This week, a friend of mine reached out to me on behalf of someone he knew was looking to study in Germany for his master’s degree. He asked if I was willing to help out his friend by answering a few questions. Of course, I obliged. It turns …

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3 Mistakes I Made Moving to Germany

In Lifestyle, Living Abroad, Moving to Germany by Tom @ Abroad American2 Comments

Moving to Germany has been one of the best decisions of my life. It’s about 15 months since I first landed in Munich after that one-way flight from Chicago. It’s turned out very well, but that isn’t to say the move was effortless or flawless. I certainly made a few mistakes before and in the middle of moving to Germany. 1. Not finding an apartment before moving to Germany The first mistake I made moving to Germany is really a …