You have decided to move abroad? Congratulations, you have made a life changing decision! My husband Nis and I had less than three months to organise everything from renewing passports to looking for accommodation in the UK. And we also had a wedding to organise! I think it was one the most stressful times in my life but at the same time so exciting and full of positive anticipation.
Over the last five years I moved houses six times, four times luckily within the same city. That’s quite a big number of moves over a short time! In July 2016 Nis and I moved into a semi-detached house a bit further away from the city centre, and in my German mind our current housing situation feels so British. In Germany we would have probably moved into a two or three bedroom flat and certainly not into a house. In most of the bigger cities in Germany you wouldn’t even find many actual houses to rent, but rather flats in big apartment complexes. So this was the first difference I noticed when we went house hunting in England, and I thought I’d write down our experience of finding a place to live here in Cambridge.
“Lena, what exactly is Nis’ PhD about?“ Every time someone asks me this question I try to hide the fact that I am actually not that interested in science in general. Instead I throw in words like “inorganic chemistry” and “batteries” and hope that the person who asked the question is actually not that interested either and just tried to keep the conversation going. Sometimes though, it happens that someone is genuinely interested in Nis’ PhD project and also somewhat of a science person. That’s when these conversations can get a bit awkward because I am not even able to explain briefly what my husband is doing all day in the lab.