Intap’s new blog series will tell the success stories of internationals living, working and studying in Dresden. This vibrant, dynamic city is home to thousands of internationals, and every other week we will meet a new international who is doing something amazing here in Dresden.

Jessica Hemingway is our first featured international, and is actually a part of the intap team! We asked her a few questions about why she came to Dresden and what she’s learned since moving here.

Jessica also featured in our newest campaign

“I moved to Dresden from America in late 2009, and have lived in many other interesting places before coming here, such as Brisbane, Australia and New York. I have a B.A. in environmental psychology, an M.A. in City and Regional Planning and a PhD in Environmental Science from TUD. I have always focused on the social science aspects in these fields. My dissertation concerned with adaptation of small local governments to climate change.

I came to Dresden the first time as part of an exchange program. Many people think that I remained in Dresden because of “love” however, that’s not the case; I was very mobile and my German husband as well. I stayed in Dresden because of the opportunity I had to gain my PhD at a high quality university and because I absolutely loved the quality of life that Dresden offered. Dresden provides a high quality of living for a relatively low cost – the perfect balance for students in particular!

I enjoy the outdoor activities going on in Dresden, such as the many festivals and markets that run throughout the year. If in doubt, a good place to check out to find these kinds of events is the Neustadt – an amazing part of town full of fun and culture. Having lived in the Neustadt, I’ve spent many hours exploring the Neustadt and the old town as it’s such a good way to get to know the city.

Dresden Music Festival street scene (Photo courtesy of DMF. Source)

There are many different types of clubs and cultural activities and organizations looking to support internationals. Dresden is the most prominent hub of manufacturing in East Germany and at the same time a leader in microelectronics. There is demand for employees in the fields of machine and plant engineering and development, microelectronics, software development, nanotechnology and materials science. If internationals have studied and/or are experienced in these fields and perhaps speak a bit of German they should have a good chance of landing a job here.

My advice for someone thinking of moving to Dresden is to join international Facebook groups. These are an amazing forum for chatting to fellow internationals and making friends, and you should ask as many questions as you need to – there will always be someone who knows the answer! My next piece of advice is, of course, to learn German. International Facebook groups have lots of advice for finding German classes, and there will even be opportunities to set up a German speaking tandem!” (We’ll leave links to a few of our favourite groups at the bottom of this post.)

Facebook groups:

International Friends – Dresden //

Dresden | Girl Gone International | Expat and Travel //

Dresden International Family // For families

If studying, your university may have pages like this set up too – ask a member of staff to find out!