I am not an Expat Blogger 3: Experience20 Jul 2012
I had done this before. You know the feeling of being alone in a strange culture, not knowing the language, coming to grips with customs you don't understand, and in the end coming to grips with everything and realizing that, yes, not only can you survive in a such an environment, you can thrive.
Been there, done that, and long before I came to Germany. At age 17 I was an exchange student in Fortaleza, in northeastern Brazil. While Germany can be strange and wonderful at times, it is nowhere as strange and wonderful as Brazil. For a boy from the American Midwest, I was most impressed the huge difference between rich and poor (not to mention the beaches, the caipirinhas, and the music).
But the main thing I picked up was self-confidence. I knew if I could make it there, I could make it anywhere. So moving to Germany was, emotionally speaking, a piece of cake.
(part of a series)