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Thursday, March 17, 2016

My Third Semester of Grad School in Germany

I did it! I made it through my third semester of graduate school in Germany! Yay!

Best of all, this means that I have made it through (almost) all of my coursework! My fourth and final semester will largely just consist of me sitting at a desk by myself as I write my 80-page Master's thesis. Doesn't that sound like fun?

graduate school in Germany

Before I start thinking about the coming semester too much though (the new semester starts on April 4th), let's take a look back at everything I accomplished in my third semester of grad school in Germany:

5 grad school courses
In order to graduate in 2 years, my program requires students to take 6 courses per semester. For my second semester of grad school, I signed up for 7 courses last semester so that I would only had to take 5 this year. 

Half way through the semester, I found out that one of my 7 seven classes won't count towards my degree. So, I will have to make up for it by taking one class next semester, while I am writing my Master's thesis. It is doable, but annoying. I took a class and wrote a full, 20-page term paper for nothing (except knowledge, of course)!

5 term papers
Once again, I didn't have to take any exams this semester, but I did have to write 5 term papers. Man, am I getting sick of writing! Hopefully I find a second wind when it comes to writing my thesis...

50 pages written*
*This is a projected figure, as I still have one paper left to write. Oops.

5 presentations
Only 3 of my 5 classes required a presentation! That's another step up from the 5 last semester.

1 class next semester
As I said earlier, I only have to take one class in my final semester (not counting the Master's colloquium).

Wish me luck as I head into my final semester, and let me know in the comments if you have any tips (or encouragement) for writing a thesis!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

My Favorite German YouTube Channels

The most common questions I received after posting my Top 5 German TV Shows was whether the shows were available online. Unfortunately, many German shows are not available online (Germany is a little slow to the digital party). But do you know where you can always find free German-language content? YouTube!
Best German YouTube Channels

If you regularly watch YouTubers, then you know that the platform has largely turned into a lot of attention-seeking 20-somethings creating video content for 13-year-olds. The German YouTube-sphere is very much the same. There are, however, some great channels with funny and original creators that are worth checking out for anyone that knows or is looking to improve German.


Similar to channels such as Vsauce and Minute Physics, Kurzgesagt produces thought-provoking videos about a wide range of scientific and philsophical topics from space exploration to Ebola. They also have an English-language channel with the exact same videos. So, if you are leaning German and want to check your comprehension level, you can watch a video in German, and then watch the same exact video in English directly afterwards.

Here's their video about fracking (and here is the English version):

Doktor Allwissend

This is my favorite German YouTube channel. The German fiance has actually gotten so used to me watching it, whenever he hears me listening to a video, he will immediately ask, "Wie geht's Doktor Allwissend?"

Doktor Allwissend translates to Dr. Know-it-all, and he makes informational videos in response to viewer questions. This is one of his more skit-like videos, which does not follow his normal format, but I find it hilarious (mainly because no German understands the name Courtney):

Die Klugscheisserin

Literally "the smart-shitter," die Klugscheisserin (Lisa) is a German woman from Berlin that takes on a stern German persona as she explains various ... things quite in depth. Oh, she is also the blonde woman from the video with Doktor Allwissend (above), which is how I found her.

Here is one of her videos explaining the 5 Nobel Prizes:


As a woman, I do enjoy occasionally watching beauty videos. When this mood hits, I turn to Nilam, a beauty/lifestyle vlogger in Berlin.

Nilam does do some make-up and hair tutorials, however, she also creates a lot of recipe videos, travel videos, vlogs of her life in Berlin, and DIYs. Here is one of her recent vlogs in Northern Sweden:

If you are into the typical challenge/collaborations/storytime videos that are so popular on YouTube these days, then you should also check out Sami Slimani. If you live in Germany, then you have probably already seen Sami on TV at some point.

Here's a video of Sami testing out some "life hacks":

Honorable Mention: Flula

Since most of his content isn't in German, and he doesn't live in Germany anymore, I couldn't technically include Flula in this list. But he's too good not to include him.

If anyone is interesting in learning the strangest of strange German insults, swear words, and phrases, make sure to check out his "German with a German" series. Here is one of those videos, where he teaches you the term scheißfreundlich:

Is there anyone you think I should check out? Who is your favorite German YouTuber?
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