Meet a hygienist living her dream as a dental hygienist in Germany. From California to Germany, Cindy enjoys her new life and wishes she had made the move sooner!
Where are you originally from?
Have you always worked in the dental field? If not, what other fields?
I began my career in Dentistry as a DA in 1991. I later attended a Dental Assisting Program at Chaffey College and graduated in 1997, sitting for the RDA exam. After working for several years I applied and was accepted to the Oxnard College Dental Hygiene Program, graduating in 2005.
Any other degrees acquired before turning to hygiene?
I completed a Certificate in Dental Assisting in 1997
What country do you work abroad in?
I work in Germany
From which years?
What inspired you to move abroad?
It was a combination of a love of travel as well as a desire for change.
Did you make the move alone or did you bring family/pets?
My husband and our 2 rescue kitties made the move with me.
What did your family say?
They were incredibly supportive and excited for us, and to come and visit us.
Were you afraid?
I was almost as afraid as I was excited! I have never regretted it!
How did you find the practice you worked abroad for?
I reached out to the IFDH online and they gave me the names of a few people in Germany to contact. It was through those Contacts that I found the Office where I am currently practicing.
Briefly describe your experience moving, obtaining visa/permit/housing etc?
I was extremely fortunate to have a great group of future Co-Workers who were incredibly supportive and gave me tons of invaluable advice both before and after I arrived. I was especially fortunate to have a
contact at the office where I practice who had made the move several years before me. She was instrumental in helping us find and rent an apartment before we even arrived! She also helped guide me through the steps to getting our Residence Permit.
What is this region known for?
It is known for agriculture and wineries. There are countless hiking trails and beautiful Forests as well as Castles and Rivers.
What did you most enjoy? Least enjoy? Why?
I love the relaxed pace of life! It is such a welcome change from the fast pace of life in So Cal. I love being surrounded by nature and the clean fresh air. There really isn’t anything in particular that I don’t enjoy. I do miss my Family, and Mexican food!
How did the experience change you as a person? Professionally? Personally?
For me personally I feel that this experience has made me a more confident person. It forced me to step out of my comfort zone and trust my instincts.
Professionally, I think I have gained knowledge from every practice I have worked at over the years, and that ultimately these experiences have shaped me into the Clinician I am today.
Do you still practice hygiene? Any plans to leave hygiene?
I am still currently practicing Hygiene and have no plans to change careers. After 15 years I can still say that I truly enjoy what I do.
Do you have any regrets about being a dental hygienist in Germany?
Only that I wish I had done it sooner!
Any wisdom you would like to pass on to future internationally practicing Hygienists?
If at all possible I highly recommend learning the language before making the move.
Featured photo by Kai Pilger from Pexels