Dec. 7, 2020

Coming to Germany during a pandemic (Cassie from Australia)

Coming to Germany during a pandemic (Cassie from Australia)

Cassie from Australia wanted to continue her music studies in Germany, and her plans were already underway when the pandemic struck. It put her plans on hold, but Cassie was still able to push through and move to Weimar. I discuss with her what it was like to move to Germany during a pandemic, and what her first impressions of Germany are.

Cassie on Instagram: @cassie_slater

SEGEPADFO Charity Challenge
Nicole of The Expat Cast and I are going head-to-head to raise money for Über den Tellerrand - in specific, we're supporting a project of theirs to build a mobile kitchen. To find out more and to donate, visit our SEGEPADFO page:

We're also doing challenges along the way, so stay tuned to both our shows for updates along the way.

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What follows is a direct machine transcription of the podcast episode. Please note that there will be some anomalies and incorrect transcribing, since it was done by AI and not by a human. 

Cassie  0:00  
I've had scenarios where I, I've accidentally bumped someone I'm like, Oh, sorry. And they're like, what? Four.

Unknown Speaker  0:08  
I'm just like, Oh look,

Shaun B  0:11  
sorry for sorry.

It's the Germany experience the podcast about life in Germany as seen through the eyes of outsiders. I'm your host, Shaun, and visit for episodes, information about the show and a lot more. Now, this week's guest is someone who arrived in Germany from Australia, in the middle of a global pandemic. And we'll get to her story in a second. But before we do that, I want to talk about the charity challenge that is happening with Nicole of the expect cost and me right now. It's the Advent challenge. We call it segi pedco, which is the second ever Germany expect podcasts Advent donations face off. And basically what it is, is we go head to head to see who can raise the most money for charity. And I have to say this at the moment right now. Nicole is winning. Now it's, it's early days. So we're we just had the second advent, which means we've got to advance left, I'm not that far behind Nicole. So this time to catch up. So what I need you to do, as listeners of the Germany experience is go to Follow the link there and donate. And when you donate, be sure to write "the Germany experience" in the public comments field. And if you want to know what you're donating to this year, we've chosen Uber den elegant as our charity of choice. And specifically, we're promoting a project of theirs in Freiburg, where the money will go to the construction of a portable kitchen, which will help the Freiburg branch, expand and improve their events. And if you want to hear more about the charity, and about the project that we're supporting, take a listen to this clip from an interview that Nicole did with Tara from Ubud intelligent. And you can hear the full interview over at the expert cost. So go and listen to it there if you want. But here's just a clip of what the charity is about and what project we're supporting.

Tara from Ueber den Tellerrand  2:18  
And we didn't turn up and we create opportunities for people from different cultural backgrounds to come together to get to know each other and, and hopefully build friendships or learn from one another. Through bringing people together, we would like to get rid of the stereotypes that we have from each other and the judgments. I mean, everybody has them based on the things that we read the here we watch for one way or another all bias so what we're trying to do is to bring people together, so that we can learn from each other and we can see that we have much more in common than those differences that we were always thinking of. so evident telephone usually has culinary events. So we usually get together to cook through building a mobile slash portable handcart kitchen, which is called boiler. So very creative person called Buta pepper sack designed this boiler this portable kitchen as a part of her Bachelor thesis and gave the design to evident telecon as an organization. How it works is that it's, it's a kitchen that you could basically take everywhere. And we can invite people to get together and have an interactive cooking session and experience outside.

Shaun B  3:47  
So go over to or click the link in the show notes and get donating. Now, we've also decided that we're doing a bunch of challenges along the way. And last week, if you remember, Nicole challenged me to come up with a jingle for SEGEPADFO. By this week, now I be honest, that jingle is written it exists, but I haven't recorded it yet. We I'm getting to that. But I decided to counter challenge, Nicole. And what I've asked her to do is to provide some backing vocals for the ciggy pedo jingle. So that is going to happen this week. She's going to provide her buttery smooth singing vocals to the segi pedo jingle that I'm putting together. And we'll you'll hear the result of that hopefully very soon. So I'm looking forward to that. And we also put together a video promo which you can find on my Facebook page. And while we were doing that, we actually ended up with a lot of bloopers. So what we decided is if we get a combined donation total of 200 years, we'll release the bloopers from that promo and believe it or not for two podcasters There are a lot of bloopers for a two minute promo, it is quite surprising actually. So if you want to hear that, make sure you get to donating and hopefully we can hit the 200 euro combined mark and then we'll then we'll release the bloopers video for you to see the mistakes that we made. Now on to my guest this week, what is it like to plan to move to Germany and then to move to Germany in the middle of a global pandemic? I wondered that myself. So when Cassie from Australia left me a voicemail message about arriving in Germany during this time, I just had to invite her on the show and see if you'd be willing to tell her story. And she was. So Cassie started planning to continue her musical studies in Germany at the beginning of the year. And then of course, the pandemic came along it put a temporary hold on those plans. And in the end, she still managed to make the move. So I talked to her about her mindset during this turbulent year. Why she stuck with her plans and the first impressions of Germany now that she's here. Here's Cassie from Australia.

Cassie  6:06  
I'm from Australia. I grew up on the Gold Coast. So I grew up on the beach and then studied in Brisbane in Queensland and then I moved down to Melbourne to do some more study. And yeah, now I'm in Germany and fine Ma.

Shaun B  6:19  
Now you Weimar is not as a city that I hear a lot of people going to

Cassie  6:22  
night it's it's quite random. It's very small, but really beautiful. Yeah,

Shaun B  6:28  
it's actually on my list of cities that I really desperately want to visit because it's it's got a lot of history there of course with good. And Shiller I think that they either were born there, or they spent a large time of their career there.

Cassie  6:40  
Yeah, exactly. It's incredible. Like, I would definitely recommend, especially in summer I imagine it will be so beautiful. And it's just crazy. like God has houses here. It's Yeah, it's fascinating coming from Australia and seeing all this history here. It's Yeah, incredible.

Shaun B  6:55  
Did you know Goethe and Schiller before you left Australia? Is that something you've learned recently with your move?

Cassie  7:01  
I'd obviously heard of them. But yeah, being here and the Germans are so proud of them. You can't help

Shaun B  7:09  
but I guess it's like us and Shakespeare.

Cassie  7:11  
Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

Shaun B  7:12  
Yeah. I have like, it's very embarrassing to admit, but I actually had never heard of either Goethe or Schiller before I moved to Germany. And it's very embarrassing. In fact, I heard about them for the first time in German courses when I was doing some German courses in South Africa before I left and then our teacher but happened to mention good inshallah. My god, this seemed like a big deal.

Cassie  7:33  
Yeah, just a bit. Yeah. You kind of need to get up to speed quickly once you get.

Shaun B  7:37  
Yeah. So you're in Weimar. So yeah, it's not it's not that big. As far as I know. It's like 60 to 70,000 people if I'm really,

Cassie  7:45  
yeah, I'm coming from Melbourne. Yeah, I'm getting used to the small town last time.

Very different.

Shaun B  7:52  
Yeah, I can imagine I can, I can definitely imagine. So we'll get to why you're there. In fact, let's do that now. So why are you in Germany and specifically Weimar?

Cassie  8:03  
Yes. So I'm a musician. I play the flute. And basically, I always wanted to go to Germany to do some further study. And I was put in touch with a really good flute teacher, he teaches here in Weimar, and basically, that led me to audition here, and then I was offered a place to do my masters. So yeah, that's basically why I'm here in this small town.

Shaun B  8:29  
It's, um, yeah, that was my biggest question. Like, what brings someone to vinyl but I can imagine with having such a big cultural scene that there must be a lot of music stuff going on

Cassie  8:38  
there. Yeah, there's a really good Hochschule here. And it's really important for musicians to learn from really good teachers. So that's really the main reason. Wow, that's

Shaun B  8:47  
very exciting.

Cassie  8:49  
Yeah, it is. It's fun. It's nice to finally be here because it's been in the works especially with COVID it's taken a lot longer to actually get here so I'm just glad to Yeah, have made it

Shaun B  9:01  
Yeah. So I know a lot of people who've had to put their plans on hold or it's kind of like fallen away their pens to come to Germany because of the whole Coronavirus thing. So tell me how the lead up to this. What kind of hoops that you have to jump through. And did it look at some point like you maybe weren't going to be coming?

Cassie  9:19  
Yeah, it's it was an interesting time. It was actually crazy because I came here in January to do an audition and I flew to China Southern and had a massive layover in China and was here for a week and then went back to Australia and it def and Corona definitely was around during that time but right. But I just think it's insane that I actually made a trip earlier this year. Anyway, so that happened and I was offered a place. Once I found out once I go back to Australia so I packed up my place in Melbourne in preparation to start In the summer semester, which is in April, right? And then I stopped in Queensland on the way to do some work. And I had my suitcase and all my summer European gear, my suitcase ready to move over. And during that time, the borders closed by the German borders and the Australian border. So I was stuck in Queensland.

Shaun B  10:24  
What was your feeling? Then? Did you did you? Were you utterly disappointed? Or are you just kind of caught up in whatever was going on

Cassie  10:31  
then? Yeah, I mean, it was everything was changing daily. It was so hard to know what what to do or whether to try and then get turned away. Once I got got to Germany. I really wasn't sure. Anyway, I made the decision to stay in Australia and just hope that hope that it would open up again soon, but but it turned out to be six months that I was in Australia before I could actually get here. So yeah,

Shaun B  10:56  
yeah. How did you know you could How was the time right after six months? Well, it was it because Germany had eased up there lockdowns or what what made it that you could get finally get to Germany.

Cassie  11:06  
Um, it was actually also quite difficult to leave Australia, they put in a travel ban for Australians to leave. And you had to apply for an exemption and provide and provide like, numerous job documents approved saying that you had a legitimate reason to leave the country. And so I decided to apply for a student visa while still in Australia. And just to back up my application. And yeah, and so once that that all happened, the German boat is reopened. And it was also I also tried to get over here for the start of the next semester in September. So yeah, that was a few things that that I had to get done.

Shaun B  11:52  
Would you were determined to make it happen?

Cassie  11:54  
Oh, yeah. funding the student visa was like, was like my first taste of jevin. bureaucracy. It was insane. It was actually during COVID Oh, my gosh, I can

Shaun B  12:08  
I can I cannot even imagine. So to get from Australia to Germany is a pretty long flight in normal circumstances. But of course, you've got the whole Coronavirus thing happening now, how is that flight for you? What did that look like? Well, I

Cassie  12:23  
actually have my flight already booked for April. So fortunately, that airline actually honored the flight when I flew later in the year. So I didn't have to pay anything extra despite the prices being much higher. But It normally takes about 25 hours, I think over two flights, but I had to add an extra flight into state within Australia. So took it definitely took longer around 30 hours to get here. I also I remember checking into my flight and asking the the attendant, I asked Can I get a vote myself, please? And he and he just laughed at me. He's like, oh, you'll be fine. And I got on the plane. And there was about probably about 10 other people on one of those massive international planes. Both flights there was probably under 20 people, which is so bizarre. This bizarre,

Shaun B  13:23  
but amazing. You'll never have another flight like that again.

Cassie  13:26  
I know I slept so well. I got the rotor myself.

I've never slept well at a plot.

Shaun B  13:32  
That is that is like that. That is the dream in some crazy way. But do you have to wear a mask the whole time?

Cassie  13:37  
Yeah to ask. But it's bizarre because you take the mask off when you ate and the attendants were in the full the full protective PPA gave me Yeah,

Shaun B  13:51  
that's crazy.

Cassie  13:53  
And the airports were so quiet. Yeah. And Abu Dhabi it was everything was just closed. And I was just walking. It was very eerie. It's like a Yeah, Thriller movie when you're just walking through a dead airport by yourself. Yeah,

Shaun B  14:06  
it's like, what was that? There was 28 days later that has an amazing intro sequence with with the guy just waking up in hospital and then walking through London. And I think it's a hole of quite a few minutes and no one's around. That's what Coronavirus makes some cities feel like I think when

Cassie  14:21  
in any of those videos what people are doing those drone shots and yeah, the cities are just dead. It's It's so like apocalypse.

Shaun B  14:29  
It is it is really apocalyptic. It really is. And now of course, I get I'm assuming that because you grew up at the beach, you had pretty mild winters. And now we're heading into a winter here in Germany. How is that for you? Is that or have you experienced European winters before?

Cassie  14:48  
Not really not to this extent it's getting extremely cold and yeah, and there's frost everywhere. It's insane. I'm excited this morning I checked the weather and there's a little snowflake, but anyway Yeah, but it's really cold. I need to buy some proper winter clothes. Yeah. Yeah.

Shaun B  15:09  
Yeah. So you're you're still looking forward to winter.

Cassie  15:11  
Yeah, I think the novelty still there for me. I'm sure it will wear off soon. Yeah,

Shaun B  15:17  
I don't know. Because for me, like the snow and everything that still hasn't worn off the novelty of that every year, it's exciting. And every year it's fun, or makes it less fun is I don't know how it is in your apartment. But we have. We had vintage dienste winter service. When we lived in a previous apartment where each of us living in the apartment had to have a week of shoveling snow. During winter. It was in the contract and then so when it would snow an hour when it would come to our week, we were just like, please no snow this week, please. Because we were in charge of cleaning it up. So that made it less fun. But the novelty is still there for me after 13 years. Yeah,

Cassie  15:55  
I hope it stays the same for me. Yeah, I don't have any any vintage dates, though. That's good. Yeah, good, pretty.


Shaun B  16:07  
Um, how is your German by the way?

Cassie  16:11  
Uh, it's okay. I mean, I had all that time when I was stuck in Australia. So I decided that it would be a good opportunity to do some more study. So I was taking lessons. And I managed to do an intensive course before right before I left, which sort of prepped me, and I was sort of hearing it every day just before I flew. So that helped. My course is all in German. So I'm really like, forced to understand and I'm trying to speak more, I have lectures and like colleagues that I speak to in German, so it's okay.

Shaun B  16:46  
It's one way to learn pretty fast, I guess is if you're studying in German.

Cassie  16:51  
Yeah. You have to see, yeah, it's hot. It's tough language, though. Oh, my gosh, I'm just, I'm just accepting that I just make lots of mistakes every day. And most most of the time people still understand. So it's okay. That's,

Shaun B  17:03  
that's the most important thing. Like I figure if people understand me that it doesn't have to be perfect that that would. That's what got me through the early early days.

Cassie  17:10  
Yeah, definitely. And I was listening to your podcasts a lot. And like, a lot of people was sort of having a similar idea. And I was very stressed, because I wanted to be perfect all the time. But now it's just impossible.

Shaun B  17:23  
It's it's really not, it's really not. And even I can tell you, but But then again, I'm a bit lazy with learning German, and so on. But even after 13 years, I am very far from perfect. My grammar is a mess. It is a miss. grammar.

Cassie  17:36  
Oh my gosh, I feel like my brain is just like taking over like trying to like work out how to just structure a normal sentence like?

Shaun B  17:44  
Yeah. So do you think that gets in the way of your learning? Because you said, obviously, you've got a really good flute, professor or teacher or instructor? Do you think that's gonna get in the way of you learning the flute? Or is are you able to do it? Despite the language barrier?

Cassie  18:00  
I can understand, which is the main thing, I think that's most important. It's just so in that sense, no, I don't think so. It's more just like when you want to express yourself and respond. That's what I'm finding most frustrating is that I just feel like in German, I'm much more shy and hesitant to speak, which is frustrating, because Yeah, it is.

Shaun B  18:25  
So but you'd obviously studied quite far with the flute before you'd left Australia, right. This is something that you've studied for a while.

Cassie  18:32  
Yeah, I've been trying since I was like, 10 years old. And okay, any five now? So it's been? Well,

Shaun B  18:39  
it's been, it's been a while. And this is obviously the career that you want to you wanting to make this a career.

Cassie  18:44  
Yeah, exactly. I mean, it's bit difficult at the moment, because odds have been so affected by COVID. And fortunately, I'm still able to study at the moment, but there's no concerts or anything, which is really bad. Yeah, I believe things will open up soon. Yeah.

Shaun B  19:00  
I hope so. And there's positive signs of things like vaccinations that are coming soon. And who knows if that's gonna end and yeah, so I think we're, we're looking at a better 2021. But who actually knows at this point, Cassie,

Cassie  19:12  
I know, and I just have to accept that everything.

Shaun B  19:17  
Do you? What is the effect been on Weimar? Have you been able to experience the city yet? Or do you think that there's still a lot more to to experience?

Cassie  19:25  
Um, I actually feel kind of lucky that I'm in a small town in that sense, because the case numbers are low. There's like, I don't think there's been many this year at all. So I don't feel like I'm at risk as much as if I was in a bigger city. So I was I've been still able to explore Well, I had few weeks when before we went back into lockdown, where I could go to museums and things like that, but Okay, um, yeah, I'm a bit sad. That cafe And bars. And now museums, again, a closed because, um, as a student when you start your degree, like normally you're used to, like, big student welcome parties and things like that. And the whole social aspects been taken away, which makes it quite difficult. And there, you know, you have the idea of like the full expat experience when, what when you move overseas, but yeah, we just have to sort of take a step back from that at the moment. Yeah, yeah,

Shaun B  20:29  
I feel like it's, I feel like there's a lot of a lot of things that we were losing out on, like, if I think of across all the across the board, like a lot of kids at a certain age are missing out on a normal teenage life where they would just meet up with their friends. And now it's been, you know, with this lockdown, okay, lockdown, light hasn't been that long, but it's still a long time in terms of teenagers. And then also think of people like you foreigners coming to a country for the first time. You do miss out on part of the experience. But I think in your case, it's just cool that you're here. And you just have to, unfortunately, wait until things maybe hopefully get a bit better.

Cassie  21:04  
Yeah, definitely, definitely. Not very likely to be.

Shaun B  21:07  
Yeah, are you? So that social aspect Are you do you feel isolated at all? Or do you still have enough contact for you to feel pretty comfortable?

Cassie  21:18  
Um, I think and initially meeting people is quite tough, because you're not in those group situations. And there's not that many like activities to do. I've still managed to make friends. And I still keep in contact with my family and friends back in Australia, which is, which is really lucky. Yeah, it's hard because all those like spontaneous encounters which you normally get, have sort of been taken away. But you sort of make do.

Shaun B  21:46  
Yeah. Do you do sort of make do that is very good. What is what is your mindset at the moment, though, is it Are you feeling feeling any sort of homesickness right now? Or is still pretty? Like you're in the honeymoon phase with Germany?

Cassie  22:02  
I'm not so much homesickness. I think I'm a I'm a bit sad that the Christmas markets are not on and I don't mean ease on happening. Yeah. It's just the Christmas spirit that I was looking forward to. But yeah, you can still buy going on at the same

Shaun B  22:21  
time. Not the same Cassie?

Cassie  22:28  
Yeah, I say pictures with my family and friends. And they've got the beautiful summer in Australia, and the warm Christmas. So I think the code is a little bit depressing sometimes. But I, I really like Gemini, and I've, yeah, I think it's, it hasn't worn off just yet.

Shaun B  22:51  
Yeah, I think what the problem is, is winter does go on for a long time. And Gemini is something that I found as a South African as well, like in the beginning, it's very cool. And it's very, it's nice. If it snows like, especially if it snows then it's a great winter. But the thing is, is you probably had an environment, it's the same as where we are now. It's just gray every day gray and damp and kind of cold. And that is I think that is what brings people down is not not not necessarily the winter, but just this this gray short days kind of thing.

Cassie  23:20  
short days. That's a big thing.

Shaun B  23:21  

Cassie  23:22  
that's what's annoying me at the moment when it's when it's the sun setting, like, quarter past four, it's just, and then and then you're looking at a clock and it's still like six o'clock and you're like,

Shaun B  23:34  
You're like my pajamas ready to get into bed or

Cassie  23:38  
already had dinner. What am I gonna do for the next few hours?

Yes, and it's gonna get worse.

Shaun B  23:45  
Yes, it's gonna get worse, but not much worse. I think we got up until we got December to get a little worse. And then it starts getting better. But I always find and I think I may have discussed this with a guest recently that February is the worst in in Germany. Okay. That is that is that worst month for my wife and I because it's just like, okay, winter, we're done. Now. Let's move on. Let's go, you know, let's let's move to spring but doesn't bring. Oh, gosh, okay.

Cassie  24:12  
I'm prepared now.

Shaun B  24:16  
And what about culture shock? Have you had enough exposure to German culture to to have any culture shock or things that are completely different to what you're used to?

Cassie  24:25  
Well, I think it's a bit of a weird scenario at the moment, but there's definitely been funny moments that I've had as an Australian where, where things are just, I've just been misunderstood.

Shaun B  24:37  
Yeah, like,

Cassie  24:39  
I think it's, I think it's a lot of like, like an Australian disposition that doesn't always translate into German culture very well. Like, I think I've had comments that like I seem very like open and just like up for anything. And perhaps Happy is the wrong word. It's more like a denial. Open energy, I don't know. And people are like, Oh, are you okay? You? You seem too happy. I'm a little bit unnerved by this. And I'm like, Oh, sorry.

Shaun B  25:13  
Yeah. Oh,

Cassie  25:14  
things. I've had scenarios where I, I've accidentally bumped someone I'm like, Oh, sorry. And they're like, what? Four?

I'm just like, Oh, look.

Shaun B  25:25  
Sorry for sorry.

Cassie  25:29  
Like, I'm just not gonna say anything. Yeah, they

Shaun B  25:33  
are very, very strange about in South Africa. We're also very polite and we say sorry, a lot. Yeah. And that is something that Germans done. Don't understand when you just apologize for everything. Yes. Why use by you? Sorry?

Cassie  25:48  
What is the reason for this is not very practical.

Shaun B  25:53  
Yeah, it's it is it is a very difficult mindset when you first come into contact with it, especially for the open, friendly, gregarious cultures like we come from. Yeah. Do you feel like you need to adjust? Like, you have to turn it down a bit? Have you started doing that? Or are you just being yourself?

Cassie  26:13  
I'm just like, wary of fitting in and also being more direct and probably being a little bit less apologetic. I suppose. I don't need a sorry if I lightly bumped someone. Yeah, yeah, definitely trying to be more direct and that kind of thing.

Shaun B  26:32  
Which is, which is some sometimes rough because, like, like you can you can plan to be you can you can tell yourself, okay, I'm gonna be more direct. But when you get into that situation, I think your cultural instinct just takes over and you behave the way that you your instinct tells you behave, because I can say that some things that I've noticed never lost, is that apologizing for things, or even just if someone's mildly uncomfortable? They say something like, I don't know. I can't think of a good example. But I will say oh, sorry about that. Yeah. And they're like, what, but I'm like, I'm not really sorry. I'm just trying to express that I I'm empathizing with you, like, I understand what you're going through kind of thing. And I still do that, even after all this time. So I think it's something it's hard to get rid of.

Cassie  27:12  
Yeah, it's true. I definitely made some sarcasm as well. And sort of that kind of humor. I find that like, making fun of yourself and being sarcastic doesn't really translate super well.

Shaun B  27:27  
No. Okay. Can you think of an example of how you would do that? Or how you would use sarcasm like that? Oh, I

Cassie  27:34  
definitely use it all the time. When? When I'm saying, Oh, great. I'm so excited for that kind of thing. But it's not exciting. Why are you saying that?

Shaun B  27:48  
No, I mean, the opposite?

Cassie  27:49  
Yeah, exactly. I need to explain those kind of situations. Okay.

Shaun B  27:56  
An example that another guest of mine, Nicole from the expert cost actually an example that she had was she would she will often say when something something goes wrong, she go like, ah, super. And, and they're like, why is the super Why? Like, what is the point of it? No, no, no, it's not actually super

Cassie  28:16  
unsanitary. That's what happens to me.

Shaun B  28:19  
So you think that is the that is the biggest culture shock that you've noticed so far, is just the just the way that people experience you? And? Yeah, it's always fun talking to someone who's so new in Germany, I really appreciate it. It's always so much fun to me. Yeah. Because I've been here for so long that I sometimes forget those early phases of what it felt like, like how you're observing the culture for the first time. So it's always fun to hear.

Cassie  28:42  
So do you think that you've adjusted now?

Shaun B  28:45  
Or? Yes, I have I have adjusted a little too Well, sometimes, because I can, I can see that there are certain German qualities to my behavior that went, yeah.

Cassie  28:56  
So we went back to South Africa. You You're more German, I suppose.

Shaun B  29:02  
Yeah, I've had my family telling me that I'm very aggressive now, which I'm still not, like in terms of Germans, I am not aggressive. But that comes across as aggressive because I'm just saying sometimes exactly what I think like the Germans do. So I've kind of adopted that as well. So when I go back, I will just give my opinion, where in South Africa, we, you know, we don't exactly do it directly, we'll say, typical South Africans say like, you know, it would be really nice if you could consider doing this and this and this. And we're actually asking you to do it. But we're asking you a really nice way. But whereas now, I would just like could you do that? Yeah, I think like the Germans do. So that is that is something is definitely changing. I was told by, by my family members that I was a bit aggressive nowadays. And I'm just generally impatient. When I go back back to South Africa. Like I just expect a waiter at my table within, you know, three minutes of sitting down if it's not happening, which doesn't in South Africa. Yeah. I still get like, Where's that? Where's the service? What's going on? Yeah, So I definitely think that's that's the things that change. But how long is your course for two years? And then the plan right now is that you would go back to Australia?

Cassie  30:10  
Um, I don't know yet. I really I've been enjoying it here so far. So I'm sort of open to seeing right guys? Yeah.

Shaun B  30:19  
Yeah. And I guess it's very early on anyway to be to know, things like that. Yeah, and how it's gonna be to have the holiday holidays away from home. I, you, you obviously can't plan to go back anytime soon.

Cassie  30:32  
That's the thing when I when I left Australia, because there's such strict travel bans, it's so hard to get back into the country at the moment. So I knew once I left, it was going to be quite a permanent move. I don't know about you when you move. But you know how you sort of had that idea in the back of your mind where you're like, oh, if it's if it's really bad, I can always go back, I can always Christmas or something like that. Or I can come and visit me. But now it's just not possible. So Christmas is going to be interesting. I really hope that I'll get the chance to see some friends. If if the lock with the light lockdown stays like this. But yeah, who knows when I'll be able to get back to Australia. It's really weird knowing that I suppose.

Shaun B  31:20  
Yeah, it's difficult, isn't it? Yeah.

Cassie  31:22  
I know, a few other Australians that are stranded as such. So I hope that we can have an Australian Christmas together. Yeah, it's really just dependent on travel and things like that.

Shaun B  31:34  
Yeah. And what's what's your short term view of things? Are you just getting through this period? Or is there enough for you to enjoy right now, with everything that's going on? Um,

Cassie  31:45  
I think like, my study is still really valuable. And I'm still really enjoying that. So it's sort of keeping me going. I really hope universities and schools will be able to stay open. But yeah, I think taking it day by day is the best way. At the moment. It's hard to know what what will happen. Yeah, in a month, or longer.

Shaun B  32:05  
And and your tuition is not something obviously that you could do easily by video.

Cassie  32:10  
Well, I actually, I did, I did take my first semester online, the university, I think a lot of the German universities offered it, it was I could opt for a free semester. Basically, if the semester wasn't what would be equivalent to in person semester, I could ask for a free semester, which meant that I basically got a whole semester for, for nothing. And I can retake the semester at the end of my degree for nothing, which was crazy, because I had other friends in like other countries, and they were paying extreme international student fees. And I was just getting this whole whole semester. I mean, in saying that it was incredibly reduced and having music lessons online is not ideal, but you're better than nothing. So yeah.

Shaun B  33:01  
So you're still pretty new here, Cassie, but is there anything that you've learned in the time that you've been here in making the move during Corona times that you could offer people who might be in the same situation, as you were? Oh, gosh, it's

Cassie  33:17  
a tricky time moving at the moment, I made sure that I was really prepared in terms of having an idea of what I need to organize once I got here, because I find like, it's not as open to organize things like health insurance and find stuff in that light and things like that, because I'm going to like an office, it's so there's always like that extra level of COVID safe procedure. So someone might be working from home or they've got different opening hours or something like that, which just adds that extra level of Okay, now I need to make a phone call in German and, and that layer of difficulty. So I made sure that I had researched those kind of organizational things before I got there. So an idea of what I needed to do and where I needed to go. Because I find like that kind of things a little bit harder at the moment. Yeah, yeah. I think being organized and having an idea. Yeah, of information. And things like that helped me.

Shaun B  34:25  
Yeah. So you did all that before. Do you have any tips of resources that you use quite often that get you by?

Cassie  34:32  
I listen to the podcast.

Shaun B  34:38  
Good on sir Cassie. Very well played well.

Cassie  34:45  
There's heaps of information on online and I joined heaps of Facebook groups for expats and stuff like that. Just getting advice from people that are already here as well. I had friends that were here. So I was constantly messaging and asking for advice.

Shaun B  34:58  
Yeah, yeah. So just try and create As much as possible before getting here Yeah. Okay, cool. Well, Jesse I really appreciate first of all you leaving a voicemail way back when for the for the podcast I really enjoyed that voicemail and and thank you for joining me to talk about your experiences and getting to Germany and and your thoughts so far.

Cassie  35:20  
Thanks for having me. So nice to chat.

Shaun B  35:23  
And do you want people to find you online? Are you on Instagram or anywhere that you want people to go and visit?

Cassie  35:29  
Um, yeah, I mean, I have Facebook and Instagram. My name is Cassie Slater. So if anyone has like any questions or anything, feel free to contact me. Yeah.

Shaun B  35:40  
I'll put the links in the show notes. Thank you so much, Cassie. Thank you. All right. That's it for this week. remember segi Bedford go to the Germany experienced D Ford slash charity 2020 and get donating their music in this episode this week by my bed hints and Jains and additional music by Ryan Anderson until the end. Thank you for listening.

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