Why did you choose to live in the UK?
I came to the UK in December 2006 to work for the BBC for 6 months as a broadcast journalist. My employer in Germany, The German Press Agency (dpa), where I worked as an editor, gave me six months off to go to the BBC. I never planned to move here permanently. During my time at the BBC I saw all these community newspapers and I was wondering why there are Korean, Polish or French newspapers and magazines but not one in German. I thought this was the once-in-a-lifetime chance to start my own newspaper. I liked the British way of life and London from the start, so I quit my job in Germany and started my own media company in the UK. The newspaper The German Link was born.
What do you like most about the UK?
Its accessibility! For me as a wheelchair user I am still amazed when I see a 700-year-old pub with disabled facilities. Since the Disability Discrimination act was introduced in 1995 the UK has changed massively. New shops, restaurants and public buildings must be accessible for people with disabilities and even some old buildings were changed if it was reasonable to do so.
What do you miss most living in the UK?
I don't really miss anything - partly because it's no problem to get a good schnitzel or currywurst in London. When I am back in Germany, I love to have a Turkish döner kebab with flatbread. I also like Greek gyros which you hardly get here. What is the typical British idiosyncrasy in your opinion? Being inclusive, not patronising. People are very welcoming and open. One of the first new English terms I learned when I came here was 'to be patronising'. It is great that most people know what it means and try to avoid being patronising.
What is your personal highlight in the UK?
Starting my own business in the UK has been my personal highlight. I got so much support. The first office was a so-called incubator unit in a start-up centre. I had business mentors who were very helpful and I won a business award within the first year. Today it's still a highlight to interview and meet people. I meet the most interesting and lovely people. That's why I love being a journalist. What would be your advice to someone who wants to move to the UK? Things are different here. Be flexible, open-minded and enjoy life!
© German Embassy London