Canada-Germany: My Youth Mobility Visa Story

Who knew that trusting my gut and risking everything would alter the course of my life? 

Berlin Wall, Germany

Seeing the Berlin Wall for the first time.

When I flew from Toronto to Berlin on a one-way ticket back in early 2012, I didn’t have a job or an internship lined up in Germany. I was 25 years old and I had just spent a year in Australia.

At the time, all I knew was that I was keen on continuing to live abroad. I was intrigued by the idea of immersing myself in German culture and society. I also wanted to be reunited with my German boyfriend, as we’d met in Australia.

The only plan I had was to figure everything out once I got to Germany.

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The press covering the press!

Local German newspaper The Braunschweiger Zeitung has featured my article about living in Braunschweig as an expat.

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[The text above translated from German into English:]

Brunswick!

The online news site The Local Germany presents an international audience with the best of Germany – in the English language. Braunschweig is mentioned rather often, just like recently.

Journalist Shelley Pascual from Toronto summarizes her life experiences in Brunswick. For her, it’s probably the most underrated city in Germany. She’s even met people from Berlin who don’t know where Braunschweig is.

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90-day travel ban: How I became an illegal alien in Germany

When I flew from Toronto to Berlin in January, I had no idea I was breaking the law. 

My family came to visit me in Germany back in 2014. At the time, I had been living in a city called Braunschweig for two years. I officially left Braunschweig in late 2015.

 

On the same day I found out, I booked a last minute flight from Frankfurt to Toronto.

I had less than 48 hours to pack my life into a suitcase before I flew home. Home home.

Even though I’d just been home! I’d spent three weeks in Toronto over the Christmas holidays and I flew back to Germany via Berlin in early January.

I had only been back across the pond for a month before I was told I had to leave.

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Homebound for the hols

I’m flying home for the hols tomorrow, and this time, it isn’t a surprise (three years ago, I showed up at my parents’ doorstep at 2 am in the middle of a snowstorm). Though I’m looking forward to it, I wish I were as ecstatic as I usually am when I go home, especially since I only see all my fam and friends on average once a year. But I’ve had a lot on my mind these past few months.

Homesickness

Inukshuk_Me

Whenever I tell people I live abroad, they usually have the same reaction. Germans are often so shocked, they can’t help but chuckle, “Why would anyone want to leave a prosperous country of such vast land and natural beauty?” Others are initially intrigued and praise me for my courage but then quickly mumble something about not being able to do it themselves because they’d get homesick or miss their families too much.

It’s true. Not being able to see my family on a whim straight up sucks. Especially when the times get tough. I can recall several occasions when all I wanted was to curl up in my mom’s arms for a good, honest cry fest.

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