A Glimpse of My 2018 in Germany

Nursing, Travel

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It’s already 2019 and I still couldn’t imagine that it’s been a couple of months since I arrived here in Germany. To those who have read my previous post, you already got an idea that I came here in Germany to live and work as a nurse (I lucked out to be one of those flying here quickly!).

I’ve never been a disciplined “blogger” nor having a huge dream to be one. I just want to share some photos of Germany from last year. I’ve seen Spring, Summer and Fall, and right now, I am feeling the coldest time of the year on this side of the sphere.

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As an Ambulante Intensivpflege / Krankenschwester  (read: like a Travel Nurse or Home Health Nurse in the USA specializing in Intensive Care), it’s such a dream job for me to be able to see more of this vast country because of the field of nursing that I have chosen. Germany is so rich in everything – Economy, Culture, Nature, History…everything! I suppose, one must be beyond grateful  to be living here and be able to see what lies beneath the archaic designs, medieval towns, magical forests, beautiful castles and the historical facts that have shaped this land to be one of the strongest nations in the world.

Germany (Deutschland) 2018

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Processed with RNI Films. Preset 'Fuji FP 100C v.2'

 

*Photos of me were mostly taken by my man or my colleagues | Thank you!

Liebe Grüße

Schwester Aurora

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My Road To Germany as a Filipina Nurse

Nursing, Travel

Apparently, I lost the whole article that I’ve written with tons of energy and spontaneity. Haha! I don’t know what happened but going to do it again.

How did I get to arrive here in Germany? This is a question I’ve always heard for the past months upon arriving here. I know how hard it is to be a Registered Nurse in the Philippines. Not so easy for the fact that you’re not as respected as you should be unlike in other countries around the world. In terms of salary and benefits, you can’t live a comfortable life while working as a nurse. For a decade in the nursing industry and getting my Nursing Degree way back, it’s been a rollercoaster ride for me to able to leave my country in the hopes of landing a job that could pay better. I experienced so much downs but with a full-on perseverance and positivity, I was still able to make it. I tried to apply for my NCLEX-CA, failed to get my Oz-Visa and some heartbreaking Manitoba and Nova Scotia (I suppose, you know where they’re located) applications. It was a whirlwind situation for me. This nursing thing is the bomb if you leave the poverty-stricken yet picturesque Philippines.

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Thanks heaps, Shin! For giving me the dictionaries fresh from the Netherlands back then! 💗

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How did I get my German Nurse License?

While I was working in an American health insurance company and on the pathway to be a US-RN Nurse Case Manager in certain US states, I decided to find a German language school for fun. It must be because ever since before, I wanted to learn the language. It could be because of those yearly European Filmfest influences. Who doesn’t love Run Lola Run? And so my search began at work and found one in Banilad, Cebu City. It was the only website that I can access thru our work PCs. And in just a few days after that, I saw an Ad on my Facebook newsfeed about a school located in Panagdait area, My Language Café. I was so ecstatic about it because it also showed a scheduled orientation about German language classes and how to be a nurse in Germany. I went to the said date provided and it was all presented by Ms Cynthia Becker who owns the language school. It was discussed thoroughly and made me decide to reserve a slot for the first level class. I didn’t know the structure, at first. We need to do the A1, A2, B1 and B2. B2 Zertifikat is the needed one to be able to work in Germany as a Nurse (in my employer, perhaps, it may be different for some).

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A1 Classmates. Coffee dates. Hausaufgaben?

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My original A1 loves! ❤️

For the past 2-3 years, Germany has been looking or hiring for Filipino Nurses. The German and Philippine governments made this certain project to deploy nurses to Germany for work. In my case, I preferred to apply thru a direct hiring process for personal reasons. During this time, the German government allowed employers or facilities to hire Filipino Registered Nurses directly because of the in dire need of nurses due to short-staffing in most states of Germany.

Processed with RNI Films. Preset 'Agfacolor 40's'

My employer did all the paperwork for my license or registration. There are sets of requirements to comply. It’s just as typical as when you process your Philippine licensure or even on processing your NCLEX. In no time, I was already an Anerkannt or Registered (Nurse).

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German Classes from A1 to B2

I started my A1 last October 2016. I continued with A2 and maybe ended around February 2017. It was continuous and followed by B1. However, it was around May 2017 that I was in B2 class and badly, so baddddly, that I needed a big break. Read: a big travel break! Hello lovely Maldives, sweet Thailand and a little bit of Kuala Lumpur? It was a good one for me. For my head. For my soul. I was working full-time from Mondays thru Fridays (12:00 Midnight to 9:00AM). My class would start from 9:00-1200 Noon and/or 13:00-16:00). I literally had less sleep for around 8 months. I remember that I could only sleep for 2-3 hours and would just wait for my Saturdays to sleep for 20-22 freaking hours!

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Everyday before or after class, sun-basking was a must for me! A quick one before a 30-Minute run. Imagine?!? 🤭💙

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McDo hangs because McDo coffee is ❤️.

My Language Café was the best! It was my 2nd home. They gave us free coffee which I TOTALLY needed during those hard times. I was like a zombie. It seems like I was the one who finished the refills Ms Cynthia provided us. Thank you MLC people for helping me reach my goal in coming here. Thanks heaps Ms Cynthia, Ms Mariel, Ms Diane, Ms Lui, Sir Max, Sir Chris (where are you now, Sir?), Sir Peter, Sir Aldrin, Ate Lunchtime and Chowderrrr! On the other hand, I also had an intensive review before diving into the ÖSD Test with Sir Andy Schulz. I highly recommend to give him a try and make sure to connect with him for a slot in his class. These people are instruments to where I am now. I couldn’t do it without you all. So yeah, it wasn’t a piece of cake. Massive thanks!

 

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B2 Zertifikat

For those nurses who aspire to come here and are reading this now, I guess you already got the idea of the different types of exams. The options are ÖSD, Goethe and TELC. I took the ÖSD Exam, passed it in one take and boy, has it blown my brains away! It was not easy. Trust me. It was not. I had it last October 2017. When I found out the result just 2 days after the examination, I was just thanking everything around me. Those times, I also figured out my Visa Schedule. And it was also that time that I kind of informed my amazing bosses in UnitedHealth Group (Optum) for my possible resignation in the first quarter of 2018.

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November 2017, after my birthday trip and meeting my #sundaysareforlovers blue-eyed man, I received an e-mail from the exam center that I could pick up my certificate and ID soon. It was so good! That was also the month I took my parents to Boracay (the best place with the vacay feels to spill the beans!) and told them everything. And oh, in my previous post that I accidentally lost, I didn’t mention the reaction of my parents. My Papa‘s blood pressure actually reached to 240/100 mmHg. I was almost freaking out but they got huge smiles on their faces. Dayumm!

Visa

Fast forward to February 2018, I had my visa after 1-2 weeks of my appointment. It was the Type D and would require me to go straight to the Ausländerbehorde for my residence permit. It was so quick, hey?    I left the Queen City of the South in April 2018! Summertime in the Pearl of the Orient but gotta do it!

Right now, it’s been a couple of months since I arrived here in Deutschland. Experienced Spring, Summer and Fall. Of all the things that I have learned from this journey, the most important one is to believe in yourself. People can be very harsh and a lot can really pull you down. Situations can make it even worse. I only had my optimism. It was all that I got. And of course, such support from my bestfriend and my classmates in school. Moreover, there are tons of people who have helped me a lot to reach this point in my life. I wish I could mention each of you here but you know who you are.

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Bangkok Days while forgetting my B1/B2? Kevz! German Language is mental!

It’s been one of the most rewarding and sweetest things to achieve. Overall, I am just so grateful to have licenses in the USA and Germany and because of having a Philippine one, too.

I couldn’t remember the whole thing from the lost post. However, the German language is the most difficult entirety of this path that I chose. Cheers to more goals in life!

To the rest of the nurses who are checking this out and still on the way here, just stay positive all the time and use the law of attraction. If you know what I mean! With the right attitude and sunny mindset, as well as surrounded by people who will lift you up, you’re on the right track. Choose these stuff wisely. *Wink, Wink*

Thankful to my family and especially, to my Aunt, who’s been a nurse since I was born and to whom I look up to. ❤️

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Took some time off in Thailand. I didn’t want to quit, I just wanted some rest.

 

Liebe Grüße

Schwester Aurora

 

Bohol : Anda

Travel

Infinity Pool in Anda White Beach Resort

 

Anda is located in the eastern part of Bohol. It’s famous for the long white beaches and its tranquility compared to Panglao which has turned to a bit touristy now. There are different beaches, cave pools and day activities to try in Anda. But if you love to sun-bask or relax by the seashore with less people, you should visit this one.

Quinale is the main or public beach. It could be crowded during the weekends by Filipino families. However, it has still maintained its calm vibe. I hope it stays that way.

How to get there in Anda:

From Cebu to Tagbilaran or Manila to Tagbilaran – You can check www.bohol.ph for ferry and domestic flight schedules.

For domestic flights : PAL, Cebu Pacific, AirAsia

For fast ferry trips : Super Cat, Ocean Jet, FastCat, Starcraft

Arrival : Tagbilaran Port – If you’re in a budget, you can walk through the port area until you get to the main gate. Go outside the Port Gate and hail a trike, where the fee only costs P25 for the whole trip to Dao Terminal. Dao Terminal is where you can find a V-Hire to bring you to Anda.

Once you arrive in Dao Terminal, look for the V-hire station going to Anda. It’s a scheduled trip. Regardless if it’s full or not, the V-hire will still leave.

The trip from Tagbilaran to Anda takes up to 2-3hrs. You can tell the driver/”konduktor” about your hotel/lodge and they will take you there.

Bacong Beach in Anda White Beach Resort

Bacong Beach – Anda White Beach Resort

Where to stay in Anda:

If you’re in a tight budget to visit Anda, I’d suggest you stay at Anda Lodge but you can also check the neighboring inns around which has the same price range per room. And if you prefer a more quiet and romantic spot, you can also check out Anda White Beach Resort and other expensive resorts. You can always refer to Agoda, Booking, Traveloka, Tripadvisor, Airbnb and other booking websites for rate comparison.

 

Anda Lodge (Poblacion, Anda, Bohol)

Contact # : +63-999-480-8055

Price : Starts at Php500 / Php600 per night with AC and own bathroom

 

JA Travellers INN (Poblacion, Anda, Bohol)

*just located a lil bit across Anda Lodge

Contact # : +639078672999/ +639192443250

Price : Starts at Php800

 

Anda White Beach Resort (Bacong, Anda, Bohol)

*5-10min drive/30min walk from Quinale Beach (Poblacion)

*if you prefer to walk, it’s a bit far from the main road and you can possible see some little snakes or big lizards crossing the lil rocky road

*got a van pick-up for around Php2,500/3pax from Tagbilaran

*Day-use : Php600/person – consumable + pool use w/ towel

Bacong Beach (Anda White Beach Resort / La Petra Beach Resort)

Where to eat in Anda:

Hangover Restobar (in Kim’s Garden) / Coco Loco / Carenderias in the Market Center (Across Anda Lodge) / Bakeshop (behind the Carenderias) / Anda de Boracay Beach Resort (Restobar)

Mostly, local or hotel restaurants close at 8PM. For people who’s into veggies and stuff, try the Veggie Sandwich at Hangover Restobar near Quinale Beach. Near Hangover, there’s another resto but when we passed by the place, it was always closed. Across is a snack bar called Coco Loco. They serve refreshing drinks and certainly, it’s just 3-5 minute walk from the beach.

Quinale Beach (Poblacion, Anda)

Other tips:

If you need to go back to the other beaches (like Anda White Beach Resort, La Petra Beach Resort and other exclusive resorts located minutes away from Quinale Beach), you can get a trike/motorbike for Php50/person to take you there.

If you prefer to use the exclusive van from the high-end resort, usual rate is Php2,500/3pax. For a normal trip to leave Anda, the earliest possible time is 5AM. You can let your guesthouse/lodge know because they can book a seat for you and you will be picked up the next day from the place where you stay (fee is Php130/pax).

 

Things to do in Anda :

Look for James – He’s a known local tour guide in the Poblacion area and he can be found in the market place (where the Carenderias are located) or by the Quinale Beach (Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take note of his phone number).

Sun-basking : Quinale Beach / Talisay Beach and other beaches along the coastal town (You can see both the sunrise and the sunset on each sides of the beach) ; Visit Cabagnow Cave Pool and other cave pools nearby ; Visit Lamanoc Island ; Book a day trip for snorkeling, free-diving or scuba diving

Quinale Beach

Expenses:

Hotel Booking (thru Agoda/Booking/Traveloka/Travelbook/Tripadvisor) – check rates

Exclusive Van : Php2,500/3-5pax (depends on the van driver)

Economy Fast Ferry Rate (Cebu-Tagbilaran) : Php360

Regular Fast Ferry Rate (Tagbilaran-Cebu) : Php500

Cebu Port Terminal Fee : Php25

Trike (outside Port gate) to Dao Terminal : Php25 for the whole trike trip

Van (Dao Terminal – Anda): Php130

Trike to or from exclusive resort to Poblacion : Php50

Trike to a nearby spot : Php8

Cheapest Lodge/Inn : Php600/2persons (Php300/person) x 2 nights = Php600

Dive rates : Php1,200-Php1,500/person

Food (Carenderia) : Php25-Php50

Food (Resto) : Php150-Php350

Bacong Beach – Anda White Beach Resort