I get asked this question very frequently. There is a short version of the story, I assume every one of you knows already. But today I want to take the time to tell you my story from beginning to now with all twists and turns…
At first, it was not easy to realize how everything was linked together. And somehow like dominos, everything fell in its place. But read it for yourself..:
From Berlin back to Rhineland Pfalz
Let’s go back in time to the year 2012. I decided to quit my job in order to get a business degree. After five years of living in Berlin, I moved back to Rhineland Pfalz.
The last semester moved closer and I had to decide between an internship or studying abroad. Because my English was very bad at the time I decided to study abroad. Leeds in Great Britain sounded like a really good place to do that. I was very excited and focused on making this happen. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. My scholarship would not allow me to get Erasmus support (to study in Europe) and the exchange rate was not in my favor… The euro-dollar exchange rate however made it less expansive to study in America. There were several partner universities I could have applied for…. But I failed my English level test in order to study there. I needed a C and accomplished only level B. I cried a lot because my plan did not seem to work out.
College of Charleston South Carolina
Luckily I found out that there was one partner university left where I “only” would need level B. (BTW I found this ridiculous since I wanted to go there to improve my English… ) It was the College of Charleston in South Carolina. Of course, there was a downside as well… My final exams in Germany overlapped with the semester start in Charleston. As a result, I would have needed one additional semester to take the exams in Germany after the semester abroad. My scholarship would not cover me for this semester and I was not able to apply for the scholarship for a Master degree. Basically, it came down to the decision: Master degree or semester abroad…
As you know I chose the semester abroad.
You need to you know that I am a very organized person who loves to have a plan. Well, I wanted to get surprised and did not research a lot about Charleston. Until the day of the flight to the United States of America, I did not realize at all what I was doing. (!)
I remember as it was yesterday when I walked to the college for my first class. Leadership Class.
The professor divided us into groups by counting (all the 1 were a group, 2s 3 and so on) I ended up in group number 1. together with a boy named Josh…
Back to Germany and the decision to move to America
After the semester at the CofC, I had to go back to Germany to take the missed exams and write my bachelor thesis (about Cultural Diversity ;)). Our long distance relationship started. The time difference and not seeing each other was really hard. In December 2015 I said yes “Ja”. I knew from the start that I will come back to Charleston and move long-term to America. Don’t ask me why I just had strong feeling that this is the right thing to do. I moved to Frankfurt so I was closer to the airport. To save money I lived in a small basement apartment without a kitchen. The apartment was very dark without daylight. Despite the circumstances, I stayed focused on my goal. On the wall next to the bed I hang some nice pictures of Charleston. Every day when I woke up or went to bed I got reminded why I am doing this. Why I wash my dishes in the bathroom sink, save as much money as possible and put the effort into our long-distance relationship. The K1 Fiancé visa application was a big challenge for us. (Find more about the visa process here). After medical exams, filling out tons of documents, providing evidence of the relationship (pictures and whats app history) and an interview I received my K1 visa. The entire process took about 8 months.
It was a crazy feeling to sell almost everything I had. All I still owned fit in a few cartons I shipped to the US with the German post service.
One suitcase and a bridal dress in my carry on – that’s all I took with me on the flight.
This is now one year and five months ago. (Here is my blog post about my first year in America.) I hope my story not only entertained you but inspired you. Believe in your journey, everything happens for a reason. You may not notice it at first but later when it makes sense and you will understand.
Did you experience a similar situation? Or are you in the middle of a K1 Visa process? Either way, you are always welcome to send me an email with your questions or comment below.
Thank you for reading the complete post, it turned out a little longer than I had planned. Please click on like, if you liked this post. It’s always nice to know if someone somewhere is reading my articles.
Thank you 🙂