A German woman who now lives in the United States has revealed the five things she would change about her home country.
“I realized things about German culture and the German system that I never really noticed before, and some things about Germany that I took for granted and now really appreciate,” Feli, who shares regularly videos about his life in the United States. shared on YouTube.
As much as Feli appreciates her home country, she says there are “a lot of things” she likes best about America. In a recent video, the German-born woman revealed what she was going to change in her home country, after one of her followers asked her.
Felicia, who goes by Feli, moved from Munich, Germany, to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 2016 and admitted the experience “definitely” changed her perspective on her home country.
“I realized things about German culture and the German system that I had never really noticed before,” she said
“Please keep in mind that this is a completely hypothetical scenario,” she added.
“The differences are neither good nor bad in themselves, it’s something to keep in mind when watching one of my videos,” Feli added.
“By the way, the differences are valid and important and for me they are very interesting to observe.”
The first thing Feli would change in Germany is customer service, knowing that servers in the United States are much more attentive than in his home country.
“In my opinion, customer service in Germany is nowhere near as good as in the United States,” she shared.
The content creator said her opinion was slightly controversial, as many Germans who visited the site actually prefer the service in Germany – finding the service in America “too fake”, especially in restaurants.
Although she says she understands their point of view, she sometimes feels guilty when dining in Germany.
“I also don’t want to feel like, as a customer, I’m bothering the server or store employee,” she said. “I don’t want to feel guilty about being here, but that’s often how I feel in Germany.”
Feli said she would change customer service in Germany, pointing out that servers in the United States are much more attentive than in Germany.
The second thing she would like to change is the German bureaucracy.
“This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to many people because our bureaucratic system really doesn’t have a good reputation – even among locals,” she noted.
Feli explained that many “die Behörde,” which are public offices or government agencies in Germany, have complex protocols that can turn simple tasks into a long and tedious process.
“Files are exchanged endlessly, and every step must be followed by the book. It is therefore normal that a German resident has to wait several weeks, or even months, to get an appointment for a form you have submitted” , she explained.
“Moreover, German government systems are quite behind in terms of digitalization,” she added.
Feli further explained that a friend who works for the government told him that they print all emails and review them by hand.
“I wish I was making this up, some of these places don’t accept email either but they accept faxes,” she joked.
Feli and her American boyfriend Ben (pictured) live in Cincinnati, Ohio
She used buying a home in the United States versus Germany as an example.
“I was absolutely amazed at how quick and easy it was to buy a house here in the United States, compared to the bureaucratic hoops you have to jump through in Germany,” she said.
According to Feli, it was only about a month from seeing the house she first bought to the day she officially became the owner.
“There are also tons of positions in the system that are virtually redundant and have virtually no work to do,” Feli added. “There’s actually a whole kind of joke about German civil servants sleeping on the job or going home at noon every Friday or not being reachable after 2 p.m.
Feli went on to say that while some departments are overworked, others are poorly managed, complaining that the bureaucratic system costs the German government a lot of money and also slows down its economy.
“One of the inherent problems here is that most civil servants are ‘verbeamtet,’ meaning they are tenured and cannot be fired,” she said. “The longer they work in the system, the more money they make, so they don’t really have an incentive to initiate changes that would make the system more efficient.”
Another difference between the United States and Germany is their general outlook on life, stating that Germans can often have a “negative outlook”.
“It sounds a little harsher than it actually is, of course, it’s not like all Germans are walking around saying ‘I hate my life, everything sucks,'” she said. sharing.
“I mean, some people do, but I’m talking more about this subtle pessimism that always seemed completely normal to me before I moved to the United States,” she shared.
According to Feli, she noticed that in general, the Germans she had conversations with were more pessimistic and cautious.
Another difference Feli pointed out was the difference in attitudes of people in America and Germany.
“I never saw anything wrong with that before moving to the US and if you’re German I’m sure you weren’t either, it’s totally understandable but all of a sudden in the US -United, when I shared something about myself or shared good news, people were often even more excited than me,” she recalls.
She went on to say that some Germans view an excited reaction as superficial and fake, but she found it liberating to not feel like everything said is immediately evaluated and met with “skepticism and critical follow-up questions.” .
“Sometimes I wish Germans could just allow themselves and others to be unapologetically happy, positive and enthusiastic about something, and not in a sarcastic way, as we really like to do, but an authentic way, without feeling like you’re being judged or being a fool,” she explained.
German school system
According to Feli, the German school system is still very similar to what it was in the 19th century when it was founded.
“It remains based on a rather authoritarian and old-fashioned educational approach, so I think it is time for a major general reform, but of teaching in German,” she explained.
However, Feli explained that education in Germany is a state affair and that Germany’s 16 states each have their own education system and curriculum.
“Not only are we probably wasting a lot of money by having 16 different school systems instead of just one,” she pointed out.
Feli explained the difference between the German and American school system
She added that this also makes it very difficult for schools to move within Germany, with some schools graduating in 12th grade and others in 13th; as well as starting to learn second languages at different grades and even in different subjects.
“The fact that das Abitur (the German A-level or final exam) varies so much from state to state makes it very difficult to compare final grades and GPA,” Feli explained.
She said she would also like to get rid of the three-tier school system that exists in most German states.
Feli explained that after primary school, students are divided into three different types of schools based on their academic performance in fourth grade.
The first is hauptshule, which ends after ninth grade and the student will then choose a higher degree or begin an apprenticeship.
Then there is the realschule, which begins after the tenth year and finally the gymnasium; which ends after grade 12 or 13 and prepares students for college.
“Although it is technically possible to move from one grade level to another, it is not very easy in real life,” she explained. “Partly because of differences between curricula and subjects, which often means that students who switch have to repeat a year to catch up.
“I don’t think the system properly accounts for students’ individual strengths and weaknesses and may also harm their self-confidence,” she said.
The final difference for Feli was that waiters gave table water to customers when they were seated in restaurants.
“It may seem trivial, but it makes a huge difference,” she said.
“This is not a common thing in Germany,” she continued. “Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced this.”
She said that instead, German restaurants will offer bottled water which you will have to pay for when you ask for water at the restaurant.
“They will usually ask you what size bottle you want and whether you want still or sparkling water and it will appear on your bill,” she explained.