My visa for living in Germany is ended on September 30th 2009. Here are some things that I should and prefer to do before ending my incredible journey in Germany.
Reason to go home
As a German graduate, I am entitled to extend my visa for a year for seeking a job in Germany. Although this is a very interesting offer, however I have to consider it carefully especially I won’t have any income anymore.
The easiest thing to have an income is doing labor works. Beside, with my poor German speaking, this is the only work that I can do. If I just have to depend on my saving, I can survive for around 6 months with decent life. It means, I can’t do any traveling, watching football at the stadium, or doing fun shopping. And if I couldn’t get a serious job in 6 months, I’d better go home.
Well, staying in Germany during winter without any chance to do traveling will be very depressing. I had my winter depression before and I am sure that I don’t want to have it again. As much as I love Germany, staying during winter is not a nice option for me.
Beside, my study is about aquatic tropical ecology. Well, nothing’s tropic in Germany. If I want to work in line with my study (which of course it’s my target), the chance is bigger in my home country.
So I guess, if I want to get a serious job, it’s better to do it home. And with my current saving, I can live nicely in Indonesia while still traveling around.
Well, if my destiny brings me back to Germany, I am sure I won’t have any problem in getting the visa.
Three main administration issues have to be completed: bank, apartment rent, and residency.
Normally, the bank asks you to close the account if your visa has expired. But the bank doesn’t know about it until you inform them, so actually it’s possible to let your account open. However, problem will arise if any mail from the bank can’t reach you in your normal address.
If you want to keep your bank account, make sure you provide a new address to the bank. You can use your friend’s address for this. As for the excuse, you can say that you will go back to Germany in 2 (or maybe 3) years. This is what I do. Somehow I believe I will come back again to Germany.
For the apartment rent, unfortunately you have to inform the landlord, that you won’t extend the rent after the contract end, 3 months in advanced! It means you have to decide whether to stay or to leave, long before the contract end; which sometimes it’s not easy.
If you inform the landlord less than 3 months before, there might be a chance that you have to pay the rent until it’s occupied by a new person. If the room is occupied directly after you leave, then you are lucky, as you don’t have to pay extra. This is happening to me. I inform the student apartment bureau 3 months before the end of my contract. However, since student apartment is always on high demand, I am saved from paying a room that I won’t use.
As for residency, you have to unregister your residency once you leave. This is very important if you want to move in other German’s city, because the local administration will ask for evidence that you have unregistered from your previous city.
If you don’t have any plan to coming back to Germany, then this issue is not so necessary. In my case, I don’t have a chance to do it as the office only opens 3 days a week. So I decide to ask my friend for a favor in doing the unregistration.
Cleaning my room
In Germany, leaving the rented room means you have to clean it as good as when you first came in. If the room is worse than before, then you won’t get your deposit money back. (Deposit money is money that you pay once you start renting the room. This is not the rent cost).
First, the apartment caretaker (hausmeister) will check the condition of your apartment. He or she will give you instruction of what to do, for example to fix, to paint, etc. Fortunately in student apartment, the paints are provided. So students don’t have to spend money in cleaning the room; but they have to spare extra energy in cleaning the whole room.
For my room, I have installed a life-size mirror on my wall, which means the wall is drilled. Also, in destruction point of view, I left a burned mark in one of the racks. And another thing, my wall is covered with posters; which mean if I don’t pull them off carefully; the color of the wall will be damaged.
Surprisingly, I have to do none for them. I don’t have to paint the wall and the burned mark. I also don’t have to uninstall my mirror! Of course I have to clean my room, but this is not a difficult work. If in the end I need a hand to do it, that’s because I have to take out every things that don’t belong to the room. And I just realized that I have many stuffs! Many! I don’t get it, most of my friends have more stuffs than me, yet my stuffs somehow are a lot!
By the way, just for information, I never know a person can leave the apartment without painting it. So I am very lucky! Or maybe I am a very nice renter;)
I feel so sad in leaving my room because I love it so much. Every inch of it is under my control. It’s like my own shell. I wish I could carry it wherever I move…
Spending time with my friends
The remaining time from the graduation day to the expiration of my visa is only a week. With this limited time, I have to use it wisely; live to the fullest in Germany.
One important thing to do is spending the remaining time with my friends. The sad thing is I don’t know if I could meet them in the future. They have become part of my life and now I have to be separated from them. Only one thing for sure, I won’t forget them and hope to see them again sometime.
In spending my last days, I am fully booked for dinners and hang outs. I sleep less and very tired actually, because I also have to take out my stuffs partially. But I don’t mind. As I mentioned before, I don’t know if I could meet them again, I have to thank and say goodbye properly to them. I am very glad that I have them as part of my remarkable journey in Germany.
Fortunately, I can meet all my dear friends for the last time. Even for friends that I thought I won’t have a chance to say goodbye in person! I can meet my close friend who move to other city, and even accidentally meet 2 of my friends that almost impossible to meet! Lucky me?
There is a German saying which says ‘People meet twice in life’. I hope I will meet them again sometime. See you later, my friends!