This month we are looking at a GASSie celebrating his 10-year exchange anniversary this year. Daniel, from Melbourne High School, had such a great time on exchange in Freiburg, Germany, that he is now living there. When an opportunity arose for Daniel to move to Berlin last year, working for Ebay Kleinanzeigen, he leapt at the opportunity. Now he is making the most of what life in this amazing city has to offer.
Year of Exchange: 2013/14
Group Leader: Eddie Cliff
School: Melbourne High School
Town / city of exchange in Germany: Freiburg im Breisgau
My fondest memories were from getting to know the other Australian and German Stipis - after almost 10 years I'm still connected with many from the exchange. Five days of Free travel and the Regionaltage really were special moments of connection for me.
It was also an amazing experience to be so immersed into the German language. To be sitting at the dinner table with my host family where I no longer needed to translate anything and I effortlessly understood and participated in the language around me... it still shocks me today!
The smells of Weihnachtsmarkt still are one of the sensations I most closely connect with Germany. There is something so cozy, joyful and warm. I felt most connected with my host family during this time.
I made the move north from Melbourne to Canberra where I studied a Bachelor of Science (Honours) graduating with First Class Honours. My honours thesis was in Public Health.
From a random LinkedIn message from a recruiter, I set on a somewhat unexpected into Technology sales starting at Microsoft at a Graduate before moving to Sydney and working at Amazon. I then merged my academic experience and professional interests together by working in Health tech - first at a Disability and Aged Care Start Up and then at an End of Life Start up.
After COVID, there was a chance to again explore the world, and after living in 3 cities in Australia, it struck me that I could move overseas. My time on exchange in Germany, free travel + Berlin week at the end of the SAGSE exchange were really imprinted into mind.
I really had no option but to pack my bags and move to Berlin! I've now been here since the beginning of 2022. I've found a job working at Ebay as a Strategy & Operations Manager, with the option to convert to a Permanent Residency after 21 months (How crazy!?).
I would never have made the move to Germany, perhaps even overseas if I had not had the experience with SAGSE exchange. The move to Germany would have been so much more difficult without my competence in German that I developed whilst on exchange. It perhaps has truly affected the trajectory of my life! I met like-minded individuals hungry to explore and experience the world. Setting a standard for the kind of people I wanted to surround myself with as I moved into adulthood - so very grateful!
I'm really open-minded in this regard- however I definitely still see myself in Berlin for at least another few years. Then we'll see where the adventure takes me next.
In April we will hear from someone who went on exchange on the 90's. She then went to the USA as an actor and you may have even seen some of her unforgettable performances.