Uni decisions

I can’t believe I was feeling so bummed about work in January. Oh so bummed.

I’m on top of my game right now teaching. The seniors are set. We’re rolling along with Grammar and Conversation and in a moment of genius I combined my Thursday and Wednesday lesson, since I was doing the exact same lesson anyway. Now I’ve got an extra slot of time Thursday, which makes my week so much easier, I don’t even care about the money. I’ve got to notify them that I won’t be continuing next year. I was worried for a bit that they’d all find out and it’d be a moaning marathon for the next six months, but I think I’ve even found a solution to that, by informing the one woman in charge who’ll understand and might be able to keep it under wraps for the time being.

Meanwhile I’ve found my enthusiasm for the kids again. They come in so happy, even when hiding it with a mask of cool boredom, that it’s hard for me to stay in a bad mood. Also I’m so incredibly proud of them. I’ve been really pushing some of the classes hard and calling them out for not living up to their capabilities and some of them are really starting to shine again. And when I manage to drag myself to church, I can’t help but melt when the kids shout my name in surprise, or when some of my little altar boys come out beaming at me when they see me.

Meanwhile, while kicking butt at work, I’ve got a whole ton of prep work to take care of when it comes to my future and the following year. I’m looking at two options for next year for getting my master’s in Linguistics.

Choice number one for me is in Freiburg im Breisgau. They have a Master’s programme I’m really excited about. (Look here or here.) I’ve been emailing a really helpful woman there about the requirements and whether or not I’d be an ok candidate for the programme. I’ll head over during Easter break to meet with her and check out the University. 

Landscape seen from the Schlossberg

Looking into town

I already know I want to go there though. I love Baden-Württemberg; I love the town; I love the Black Forest; I love being on the border to France; I love that it’s the sunniest city in Germany; and I love that it’s crazy about organic food, eco things, etc. Plus I’m closer to two of my friends. It also has a cute little Greek church in town, which I’ll visit over Easter too.

However the programme is harder to get into, and I have a slight disadvantage of not getting my Bachelor’s in Linguistics, so I might not be their ideal candidate. That being said, I’m still going to try, and have already made a dent in my Intro to Linguistics book I bought, so that when I write the essay they want, I have all the concepts and lingo down pat. I also have a good reference from K and can hopefully fanangle it so my boss can write my second, since she is a teacher, even if she wasn’t mine. My covering letter has been drafted and I think it’s a good sell, but it’ll all come down to my essay I think. And that in turn will be compared to the essays of the other candidates. My only saving grace is that I got a heads up about a the newest programme dates, so I’m hoping that means less competition. It is unofficially the best university in Germany, so don’t think I’m being overly modest.

The bf thinks I’ll get in, and that’s why I love him, but meanwhile I’ve found myself a plan B for Bayreuth. The Mater’s programme is still along the same lines of the one in Freiburg. (Info here and here.) They have a nice little mandatory intro course, which would be nice. The best thing about this is that I don’t have to apply, they’ve already approved my Bachelor degree and I just need to register officially. The problem is that I need to take a German test, which Freiburg doesn’t require me to take, since I studied German.

Richard Wagner Festspielhaus am Grünen Hügel i...

Bayreuth, a former haunt of Wagner and maybe my future home...

I’m not worried about passing this test, but I’m not about to pay 100+ Euros and take it cold. I need to find time to prepare for this (mostly my writing) and that is something that atm I don’t have a lot of. They do have a summer class and so does the university nearby, so I could manage it after I finish work. Honestly though I find it all a bit stupid, since after having obtained a Master’s from a German University, it’s enough proof of my German skills, and therefore a waste of the money in my opinion.

I also need to find out if the second year abroad at another university is an empty promise, or actually possible, because when I asked the woman about the dual degree programme, she said the only current option is Moscow. So while it’d theoretically be cool to be close to the bf for the first year, and then spend the second year in another country, I’m not interested in the programme if the reality is another 2 years in Bavaria. Another negative is that if I want to go to church on Sundays I’d have to come back here. Sort of lame, and I don’t really want to see all my former students in a weird why-don’t-you-have-a-life-I-thought-you-moved-on scenario.

Probably I’ll pop over there for a visit during Easter break as well. So first order of business is getting things ready for Freiburg and then moving forward with the back-up plan.

Then there’s good and bad money-wise. First I need to have money saved up in my accounts in Germany so that if I do get accepted, they’ll be able to issue me a student visa, which means I need to put my student loans on pause for the time being.  The gov’t won’t help me with my tuition costs, but my very helpful bf, asked them what they could do and found out that if I get the right stamps and bring them to the right offices, the gov’t will pay some of my rent costs, or rather the city will. This goes for either city I end up in. I’m pretty stoked about whatever they can chip in.

Also I can work during my studies: 90 full days or 180 half days. I’m certainly not going to teach again, which requires all my mental powers, but I will find something, maybe some tutoring, etc. This time around I’ll also ask for more money than I think it calls for from the get-go and see if I can’t negotiate up. I know how much my native proficiency and my experience are worth now (A whole freakin lot in the tutoring world) and I’m not gonna be scared to ask. German women are even behind Greece in salary equality, so you know what, I’ll do my part to start demanding some changes.

Good news for my bf is that he’s going to be able to go back for some retraining with his technical training, so get something like an associates with a school here.  (I don’t want to say someone rubbed off in him, with all this learning…. but it was ME haha). We’ll both start in October, with me moving away, and him staying here til tests in the summer.

I certainly don’t see the future as easy or sunshine and lollipops, but I’m ready to start a new chapter of my life and ready to get out of this town and have some serious time to devote to learning. Also I think as long as we both encourage each other to do our best and keep growing together, I’m not really worried about the relationship.

So that’s my Uni update for now and enough time spent away from my application writing!!


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