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HELP! How to handle a disaster?


Replies to: HELP! How to handle a disaster?

  • chicabuenachicabuena Registered User Posts: 108 Junior Member
    Thanks, CompMom. I hear you! The EuroZone is difficult for a US student, and in fact, my daughter learned it was easier for a citizen of Nigeria or China to go to Germany and be a student. Our US banking and tax laws, as well as lack of insurance coverage abroad, makes it really onerous to study overseas, independently.

    Agreed about the debt thing. Although I can see my daughter being really, really tempted by the UK, I think her frugality is going to be the winner and she is going to apply to Spain, maybe France. Both have complicated visa processes, but nothing like Germany.

    For this past semester, how should she handle her gap semester at age 25? I have a friend in academia who said she should put it down as time spent in German university as an Audit student, with samples of work completed, while working part-time online as a copywriter (which is actually what my daughter does for income).
  • GarandmanGarandman Registered User Posts: 199 Junior Member
    I spent three years in Germany in the Army.

    On my last night there, a German friend took me out to dinner to thank me for teaching him how to be flexible. Your example demonstrates why this is unusual in that culture.

    Best of luck to your daughter.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,896 Senior Member
    edited January 25
    When we lived there, on a post-grad, navigating all this was frustrating. (I remember we needed one document to get another, but couldn't get that other without the first.) We needed sponsors and an attested reason to be there, to get all the right papers. As I recall, we had to reverse the process, to officially leave. DH had a grant, so had the sponsoring German org, plus he needed to be authorized by the U (though he took no classes.)

    I'm sorry, but have no advice. I'd guess any fine print documents were written in German. What we got when we auto transferred money was a written receipt (after the transaction completed) via mail.

    She should have no issue explaining she took courses during the interval. She was a student. I'd print the online transcript (asap, before it disappears) and save it multiple ways (including paper, maybe send one copy home.) This won't be "official," but she'll have something in hand while she pursues the official.

    Had she asked about how to freshly matriculate for this semester?

    This is an issue when relying on others' English skills. Does she have a native-speaking friend who could ask questions for her? Like, what DOES a person do, when disenrolled or de-matriculated?
  • rosered55rosered55 Registered User Posts: 4,225 Senior Member
    I lived in Germany for a year at the beginning of my marriage. I enjoyed the experience but I do recall the very bureaucratic nature of certain aspects of German life. You and your daughter have my sympathy.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 31,461 Senior Member
    I remember having to get my transcripts official translated in Germany so that I could go on unemployment. I don't recall the fact that the diploma was in Latin being an issue. It was a long time ago, but yes Germany can be very rules bound! It drove me crazy the first couple of years we lived there, then I got used to it and sometimes even appreciated it. Anyway, just wanted to say so sorry about this, and hope she lands on her feet.
  • TigerleTigerle Registered User Posts: 284 Junior Member
    edited February 2
    @chicabuena, please pm me with the details. From the date of the notification she has 4 weeks to appeal the decision *in writing*, so time is of the essence. Don’t bother trying to resolve anything by emailing or speaking to people.
  • chicabuenachicabuena Registered User Posts: 108 Junior Member
    Thank you, have PM'd you.
  • chicabuenachicabuena Registered User Posts: 108 Junior Member
    Just an update: the school is now on semester break for 5/6 weeks. My daughter went to the Registrar's office and was given an ex-matriculation certificate, it appears it was already in her file???? She is now deciding whether to attempt to continue with her studies in Germany (with her current situation her 2-year program has now become a 3-year program). She has only enough funds saved to stay in Germany for two years. Her other option is to immediately apply to UK universities for 2019 fall admission, as the UK MA programs are only 1-year/12 months in duration. The UK application deadlines are approaching soon, so she is spending this weekend doing a lot of deliberating. Many Skype calls and instant messages are going on between us now.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,031 Senior Member
    Has she been to the US embassy or consulate? She could try that...

    I’m sympathetic. One of my kids direct enrolled as an undergrad for a semester at an European university (with the blessing of her US college), and it was very complicated.
  • lostaccountlostaccount Registered User Posts: 5,118 Senior Member
    edited February 9
    She should call the US Embassy in Germany or go there. Seriously, she should contact them, explain the situation and express her need for help-they exist for situations like this one.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,896 Senior Member
    Just saying, I doubt an embassy will sway a university over a banking issue.
  • TigerleTigerle Registered User Posts: 284 Junior Member
    Without going into details on the case, which does appear to involve some massive ball dropping on the part of the university but should ultimately be resolvable, this is why I keep warning students from going to Germany just because it’s so cheap.

    The people who keep saying “you get what you pay for” do have a point - not necessarily as far as academics are concerned, but certainly as far as the administration is concerned, who, like any other public body in the country, is probably not mean spirited or discriminatory, merely garden variety incompetent and horribly inert.

    Everything may work in English as long as it works but if the wheels come off, you are in a foreign country, trying to navigate an unfamiliar system in an unfamiliar language.

    Public service announcement for anyone: if you run into trouble with a decision made by a German university, or actually any public body in Germany, you can give showing up, emailing, phoning etc. a shot, but ALWAYS appeal in WRITING, directly to the public body, within FOUR WEEKS, and announce you will go to court if the appeal is unsuccessful.

    Do not go to your professors, do not go to the bank, do not go to the embassy or consulate, if you haven’t appealed in writing within four weeks there absolutely isn’t anything anyone can do.

    That’s what being a rules bound country means.
  • menloparkmommenloparkmom Registered User Posts: 12,689 Senior Member
    I think it would be best, for both financial and cultural reasons, for her to apply to UK programs, and put her horrible experience in Germany behind her.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,031 Senior Member
    edited February 9
    Sure, but she has a few more avenues to explore to at least get credits from this experience.
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