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A German woman now living in the United States has revealed five things she would change about her country of origin.
Felicia, who goes by Feli, moved from Munich, Germany, to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 2016 and admitted that the experience definitely “changed her perspective.”
“I realized things about German culture and the German system that I had never noticed before, and some things about Germany that I used to take for granted I really appreciate now,” Feli, who regularly shares videos about his life in the US . shared on youtube.
As much as Feli appreciates his home country, he said there are “many things” he likes best about the United States. In a recent video, the German-born woman revealed what she would change in her homeland, after a follower of hers asked her.
Felicia, who goes by Feli, moved from Munich, Germany, to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 2016 and admitted that the experience “definitely” changed her perspective on her home country.
“I realized things about German culture and the German system that I had never noticed before,” he explained.
“Please keep in mind that this is a completely hypothetical scenario,” he added.
“Differences are not good or bad per se, that’s something to keep in mind when watching any of my videos,” Feli added.
“By the way, the differences are valid and important and, for me, it is very interesting to observe them.”
The first thing Feli would change in Germany is customer service, noting that waiters in the United States are much more attentive than in his home country.
“In my opinion, customer service in Germany is not as good as customer service in the US,” he shared.
The content creator said her opinion is a bit controversial, as many Germans who have visited the country prefer the service in Germany, finding the service in the United States to be “too fake,” especially in restaurants.
Although he said he can see her point, he sometimes feels guilty when dining in Germany.
“I also don’t want to feel like I, as a customer, am bothering the waiter or the store clerk,” she explained. “I don’t want to feel guilty about being here, but that’s how I often feel in Germany.”
Feli said he would change customer service in Germany, noting that waiters in the United States are much more attentive than in Germany.
The second thing I would change is the German bureaucracy.
“This probably won’t surprise many people, because our bureaucratic system really doesn’t have a good reputation, even among locals,” he said.
Feli explained that many ‘die Behörde’, which is a public office or government agency in Germany, have complicated protocols that can turn simple tasks into a long and drawn-out process.
“Files are passed back and forth and each step must be followed to the letter, so it is normal for a German resident to have to wait several weeks or even months to get an appointment for a submitted form,” he explained.
“In addition, government systems in Germany are quite behind in terms of digitalization,” he added.
Feli further explained that a friend who works for the government had told her 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 do accept faxes,” he joked.
Feli and her American boyfriend Ben (pictured) live in Cincinnati, Ohio.
He gave the example of buying a house in the US compared to Germany.
“I was absolutely taken aback by how quick and easy it was to buy a home here in the United States, compared to the bureaucratic hurdles you have to jump through in Germany,” she said.
According to Feli, only a month passed between when she first saw the house she bought and the day she officially owned it.
“There are also tons of positions in the system that are practically redundant and have hardly any work to do,” Feli added. “There’s actually a whole joke about how civil servants in Germany sleep on the job or go home every Friday at noon or can’t be reached after 2pm.”
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 public officials are ‘verbeamtet,’ so they are tenured and cannot be fired,” he 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: Germans can often have a “negative outlook.”
“It sounds a little harsher than it really is, of course, it’s not like all people in Germany say, ‘I hate my life, everything sucks,'” he shared.
“I mean some do, but I’m talking more about this subtle pessimism that always seemed completely normal to me before I moved to the United States,” he shared.
According to Feli, he noticed that in general the Germans he had conversations with were more pessimistic and cautious.
Another difference that Feli pointed out was the difference in the attitudes of people in the United States and Germany.
“I never saw anything wrong with this before I moved to the US and if you’re German I’m sure you didn’t either, it’s totally understandable, but suddenly in the US when I shared something about myself or shared some good news, People were often even more excited than I was,” he recalls.
He went on to say that some Germans consider an excited reaction to be superficial and disingenuous, yet he found it liberating not to feel like everything said was immediately evaluated and met with “skepticism and critical follow-up questions.”
“Sometimes I wish Germans could allow themselves and others to be happy, positive and enthusiastic without apologizing for something and not in a sarcastic way, as we very much like to do, but in a genuine way without feeling like they are being judged or playing dumb,” he explained.
german school system
According to Feli, the German school system is still very similar to what existed in the 19th century, when it was created.
“It is still based on a rather authoritarian and outdated approach to teaching, so I think it will be time for a big general reform, but education in German,” he explained.
However, Feli explained that education in Germany is a state issue and that the 16 federal states of Germany have their own educational system and curriculum.
“Not only are we wasting a lot of money by having 16 different school systems instead of one,” he said.
Feli explained the difference between the school system in Germany and the United States
He said this also makes it very difficult to move schools within Germany, as some schools graduate in grade 12 and others in grade 13; as well as start learning second languages in different years and even in different subjects.
“The fact that Abitur das (German final exams) vary so much between states makes it really difficult to compare final grades and GPA,” Feli explained.
He said he would also like to get rid of the three-tier school system that most German states have.
Feli explained that after primary school, students are divided into three different types of schools depending on their academic performance in fourth grade.
The first is the hauptshule, which ends after the ninth grade and the student can choose a higher diploma or start an apprenticeship.
Then there is the realschule, which starts after the tenth grade and finally the gymnasium; which ends after grade 12 or 13 and prepares students for college.
“While it is technically possible to move between these three school levels, it is not very easy in real life,” he shared. ‘Partly because of the difference in curricula and subjects, which often means that students who change have to repeat a grade to catch up.
“I don’t think the system adequately addresses students’ individual strengths and weaknesses and it can also affect their self-confidence,” he said.
Feli’s final difference was that waiters gave table water to customers when they sat down in restaurants.
“It may seem a little trivial, but it makes a big difference,” he said.
“That’s not something common in Germany,” he continued. “In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced that.”
He said that German restaurants will instead offer bottled water that you will have to pay for when you order water at a restaurant.
“Usually they will ask you what size bottle you want and if you want still or sparkling water and it will appear on your bill,” he explained.