This week, we are introducing one of our interns at the German Embassy. Our Q&A with Henri sheds light on his experience as a German in the US – and the Embassy!
Name: Henri Dörr
Where you’re from: I´m from Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm, a small city in Bavaria half an hour north of Munich.
Where and what you’re studying: I´m just finishing my undergraduate studies in European Studies Major at the University of Passau.
What is one project or activity you enjoyed at the Embassy?
I had the great opportunity to take part in and report on the State of the Net-Conference, an annual summit of experts and politicians, where current and future developments in the field of internet policy were being discussed., e.g. blockchain, 5G and net-neutrality.
What do you think is one of Germany’s main foreign policy challenges and what should Germany do about it?
The Brexit and the rise of Euro-skeptical parties throughout Europe is and will continue to be one of the biggest challenges. Germany has to take a leading role here and protect, defend and foster the values and achievements of the European Union together with the other remaining 26 member-states.
What are some impressions you gained of the United States?
Without a car it’s quite hard to get around. In the bigger cities you can always find a public transportation system, but if you want get a little bit outside the bigger towns, a car is definitely necessary. Apart from that, I got to know Americans as being very polite, open and interested in Germany. They are always open for a quick chat and it´s much easier to start a conversation here.
What has been your biggest surprise with regard to living in Washington?
There are so many things to do and see here and most of them are for free. (The Smithsonian, National Archives, Library of Congress, Arlington Cemetery, Memorials, etc.) People in Germany are more focused on New York, Florida, and the West Coast and see Washington mainly as the seat of the US government and not as a cultural hub with so many amazing museums and places to see.
What do you miss about Germany?
I miss the public transportation system, which is more tightly knit and a bit more reliable in Germany.
What has been your biggest lesson learned during your internship?
If you’re in Washington, even as an intern, you need your own business cards. At every event I attended I was handed several and experienced surprise and sometimes even irritation when not being able to hand one of mine back.
Where do you plan to go after your internship?
After my internship, I have two weeks left here in DC, which I will use to visit the museums at the National Mall that are still missing on my list and make a short trip to Philadelphia. After that I will return to Germany to apply for a master’s degree in the field of political science.