Things I Learned in 30 Days Studying Abroad - Hamburg, Germany

Monday, 6 November 2017

The Public Transport Really Is Amazing
I have already grown accustomed to only having to wait a maximum of 4 minutes most days, (usually 2) for the underground (called the U-Bahn here) And I am not as hopeless with directions as I previously thought. With the HVV app, it's pretty easy to figure out where you need to go, and central Hamburg is really quite small!

Hamburg Rathaus (City Hall)
Try & Learn The Language Before Arriving
If you're coming to Germany, you can get by with no German, if you speak English, but you're life will be a lot easier if you take the time to learn the basics of German before arriving. I have realised the huge part signs and texts play in my everyday life because here I can't understand so many of them!

The Supermarkets
They are really different here, there is a very distinct German-ness to stores like Aldi and Lidl here. While we have these stores back home and I thought they would be familiar, the stores back in Ireland have been carefully tailored to the Irish market, the first few weeks I found it very hard to get anything I was looking for. It wasn't helped by not being able to read German though! But here there is chocolate, gingerbread style cookies, Nutella, and marzipan, absolutely everywhere!

The Sunday Apocalypse
Everything is completely shut on Sundays. You get used to it but in the first few weeks it was a shock, I had to make sure to go shopping on Saturday for anything I was going to need on Sunday. There are some restaurants open Sundays. but pretty much everything else is completely closed. Also, stores tend to close earlier here than what I am used to. Even fast food joints don't stay open very late on week days so you need to remember to be prepared for that!

Don't Come Here Looking To Shop
Well, at least not on a student budget! Coffee, pastries and ice-cream may be more a little more affordable in most places, but everything else most certainly is not!
You may be shocked upon visiting even a thrift store to find that they really very aren't cheap at all! In general the prices here for clothing and shoes for example are extremely expensive.
You could get lucky with a bargain at a flea market here if you can haggle, but otherwise you'll be lucky to get new clothing or shoes for less than an absolute minimum of €30 here. (Unless you go to Primark maybe, they do have it here.)

Trees & Lakes
Hamburg is a very green city, there are lot's of parks and trees and waterways. You can get a bike and cycle around the Alster, Hamburg is definitely very easy on the eyes.



Traffic Regulations
Do not j-walk. I repeat, do not j-walk.  Traffic rules are taken very seriously here. Also, you must work to avoid being flattened by a bike, I've had some close shaves. Bikes have right of way over pedestrians on the footpath. Usually there is a separate path for the bikes, normally a pink or grey colour, but they don't have to stay on it so watch out!

People Look Up, Not Down #nosmartphonesjustsmartpeople
Here in Germany the amount of mobile data people get on the average phone plan is quite small from what I hear, and maybe this plays into something I noticed right away here, and that is that you don't really see people the same volume of people on their phones. You will get filthy looks while trying to text and walk. Especially while crossing a road, even if it's the green man! And the reason you get stared at so much on the underground is people aren't staring at their phone, so they stare at you instead haha!

The World Is Really Big
Meeting people from all over the globe who have come to study in Hamburg has been a really enriching experience and made me realise the nuances and layers of culture and language in places I would have previously thought of as just one country or area! If you can study abroad, do it!!

The World Is Really Small
We are all so well connected now it's a little scary! Social media means we can connect with strangers and people we've only just met so instantly. It's not like I haven't always known that but it's been reinforced by meeting so many new people in a such a short space of time.
Also, friends and family back home can keep really close tabs on you and there is a good chance you know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone who knows you! Even worldwide there are only a varying number of degrees of separation between all of us!

Time Flies!
I've already been here for two months as I publish this! It's gone by so fast and I want to make the most of it! And I definitely want to travel so much more now, sadly my budget isn't doesn't stretch to all the trips I wanted to make since I arrived here, but look out for some other posts I have planned on places to eat and things to do here in Hamburg!


Jungfernsteig


You can also follow me on Instagram @sadiyahearts to see what I'm up to!

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The Need for Social Media Screening

Thursday, 19 October 2017

| Guest Post
The actions of individual employees no longer reflect solely on themselves. A major corporation can find itself under serious scrutiny for the off-job actions of an employee who does not align with the publicized values of the company. Some employee behaviours may not become apparent to an employer through the traditional means of conducting background checks into criminal histories and credit reports. However, the proliferation of social media means that the public often has access to plenty of information about a company's employee and his or her beliefs and values. The way that employees express themselves on social media can leave a serious stain on the reputation of their employer and should be considered before any hiring decisions are made. It only takes one scandal involving an individual employee concerning social media to destroy years of goodwill that a company has worked so hard to establish.

After a company has defined its values and decided what kind of behaviour it will not tolerate from employees, a concerted effort must be made to examine the public online content posted by potential hires. This should be done in a systemic way to ensure that no red flags are missed and that all potential employees are treated equally. If you engage in any discriminatory practices during your social media screening of potential or current employees, you could open yourself up to expensive and time-consuming employment litigation.

One of the best ways to ensure that your
social media background checks are conducted in a thorough and legal way is to engage a third party vendor to complete the task. This puts some distance between your HR department and the candidate at issue. It also ensures that there is enough focus dedicated to all of the many platforms through which a potential or current employee may interact. It is no longer sufficient for an HR manager to simply search an applicant's name in a Facebook search bar. There may be inflammatory content posted by that applicant that you would never come across because you simply are not aware of the most effective ways to look. Also, you could spend costly resources on screening the social media backgrounds of employees who have not yet progressed far in the interview process.

Social media checks are important even if you are only hiring independent contractors or on-demand employees, such as a driver for Uber. These people have just as much interaction with your customers as a full-time employee and have the potential to cause the same amount of damage to your company's name if not chosen appropriately. You should set universal guidelines for the types of employees who will be subjected to social media screenings and make clear to employees and applicants that they could be screened at any time during their employment. You may even want to consider having employees or applicants sign a waiver to indicate that they are aware of your company's policies on social media background checks.

One company that has been heralded as implementing a comprehensive and legal method for screening potential employees is Fama. The breadth and depth of this company makes their services much more affordable and accessible to clients of all sizes. A quick look at the resources they command reinforces that individual HR departments are likely out of their wheelhouse when it comes to successfully screening social media backgrounds of potential and current hires.



Photo credit: Perzonseo via photopin (license)

Hello October | Autumn Scented Candles

Thursday, 5 October 2017

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down and written any blog content, I’m currently on Erasmus in Hamburg. I’ve been here for over a month now and I can’t believe it’s been that long already. I’ve just been exploring and getting used to the new culture and city here, as well as taking classes in a new place. Also, battling flu, which is kinda inevitable for some unfortunate people each autumn/winter.

Anyway, as all blog posts seem to become an ode to autumn/fall at this time of year, (going off my twitter feed here) this is one trend I can get on board with. Sept-Dec is definitely my favourite time of the year. I hope I can keep some fresh posts coming, to get back to posting I think I’d like to get a nice autumn theme going.

Here are some different autumnal scents candles.


1. Vibrant Saffron Medium Jar, Yankee Candle
2. Escape To Wonderland Scented Candle, Max Benjamin
3. Warm Cashmere Medium Jar, Yankee Candle
4. White Wood & Amaryllis, Celtic Candles
5. Fireside, Field Day
6. Earth Collection #wood, Candella

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Gold Makeup Look

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Here's a simple gold eye look I did using the too faced chocolate palette.



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June Faves '17

Wednesday, 12 July 2017
It's a bit late, but here's my June favourites video. I've included beauty, fashion, lifestyle faves. I'm also on Vidme now so you can follow me there for too for more video content.


What are some of your faves right now?

Other places to find me  | Bloglovin' | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube |

Blogging Seriously

Saturday, 24 June 2017
I've been considering for a while making the step from blogging here on blogger, to moving over to a self hosted WordPress blog. It's a really confusing thing to navigate when you've never done it before or if you're not particularly tech savvy, but you can do it.

You probably won't even know what I'm talking about here unless you have actually attempted to start your own website, or already have your own website, but choosing a hosting service is the first most difficult thing to navigate, there are so may out there and as a beginner you don't always really know what the right choice is for your needs. It can also be pricy too, if you're not blogging for business, you need to consider whether or not you want to invest in your blog and if you are, by how much.

As I was trying to navigate through this area myself, Reviews.com reached out and asked me to share their article for bloggers deciding on a web host, so I've decided to share it as it's actually relevant to me at the moment and to many other bloggers who are also trying to decide on a web host for them. You can also check out these hosting reviews too.

People don't realise that blogging seriously is actually a very demanding job and is forever a learning curve for a beginner because you do need very specific knowledge!

Are you thinking of moving from blogger yourself?
Do you have a self-hosted WordPress blog?
Which host do you use?
Share you thoughts and advice below!

May Favourites '17

Wednesday, 31 May 2017
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I'm back to making videos after a long break! Here are my May favourites. I've included fashion & beauty bits. Enjoy!

What did you love in May?

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