Hello everyone. My name is Simone. I was born in 1986, and I am Italian (now also German). Precisely, I was born in one of the most beautiful, and at the same time most complicated, cities in the world: Venice.
Contrary to what readers may believe, I am not a gondolier, but I work as an engineer in the German automotive industry.
Here in Germany, my name (Simone) is considered feminine. However, I am not a woman, but, as already partially mentioned, I am a man of Italian nationality. Nevertheless, it is since 2014, the year I moved here, that I keep receiving mails and emails with the incipit “Sehr geehrte Frau Lion”. By now, I admit, I have got used to it.
I studied mechanical engineering in Italy, specifically for a bachelor’s degree at the University of Padua, and for a master’s degree at the University of Trieste. In addition, I also completed a PhD, also at the University of Trieste.
But let’s move on slowly and briefly review my vicissitudes, to also understand the motivation that led to the idea of our blog BEinDE.
My expat story began back in 2013, when I decided to move almost out of curiosity for a period of study and work in Austria, in order to complete my master’s degree at a recognised international company in my field. Already during that experience, I realised how differently things can be abroad than in Italy. I did an internship with an accompanying thesis in an international and professionally very stimulating corporate environment.
However, eight months abroad, as you can imagine, is more comparable to an Erasmus, rather than a real expatriate life, which obviously involves both joys and sorrows.
At the end of my thesis, in fact, also knowing the difficult job situation in Italy for a graduate, I decided to try my luck in Germany, where I moved in June 2014, after having obtained a position as an industrial PhD student at a English company based in Germany. Fixed-term contract but with an option for later permanent employment.
The first impact was more than positive, also facilitated by the fact that I could work in an international environment, where the language spoken was English and not German. I also had the opportunity to work on an interesting European project, for which I also had to travel extensively throughout Europe during the first three years. At the same time, I also continued with my PhD, having officially re-enrolled at the University of Trieste, which supported me in the aforementioned project.
In the meantime, I met in Germany the person who is now my wife, Svetlana: the other half of the brain on which the BEinDE project is based. Sveta was also the key to my integration in Germany. Despite the fact that she is of Ukrainian origins, she studied German literature and German, which certainly helped me indirectly, with an approach, that I would define “learning by doing”.
After finishing my PhD project, I had the opportunity to move to England in 2018, to continue working for the company I was working for. However, I decided for personal reasons, to stay in Germany and I moved with Sveta to the Stuttgart area, where we currently still live together.
Since 2018 I have therefore been working in a much more German environment. Specifically, I started by working at an engineering services company, before moving as a contractor in 2019 to Mercedes-Benz, where I now continue to work as a permanent employee, currently in the Mercedes-AMG performance division.
Now since 2021 we also have a little one, named Alex, born from the union of our internationalities, which fills our lives in no small part.
In my spare time, which is now scarce because of the baby and this project, I like to do sport, both individually (running, cycling) and with a team. In fact, although with various interruptions due to personal reasons, I still try to play field hockey, one of my greatest passions since I was a child, and which I have also often used as a way of integrating myself abroad.
It all sounds like an idyllic story, but I can assure you that it was not without sacrifice and difficulty.
For this reason, and together with my wife, I decided to start the BEinDE project, the aim of which is to provide new expats and those already in Germany with a whole range of knowledge, dictated both by thorough research in various areas of everyday life, and by experience “on the field”, both personally and professionally. This, I think sometimes, also as a way of balancing my need to share thoughts and life stories with others, which of course as an engineer does not happen every day in one’s working life, dealing mainly with numbers.
To you, the readers of our BEinDE project, I therefore wholeheartedly wish you success in your new expat life in Germany, in the hope that you find what you are looking for and your right place in your new home.