I have always known that there are different ways of doing things in different countries. Some of these differences are in the little things. For instance, I’ve learned during this trip that the serving sizes of soda and water are tiny compared to that of beer (200 mL compared to 500 mL). What surprised me, though, was when we were told on a dinner cruise that beer and wine were free, but coffee and water were not. Is it not common to drink water here?

However, I had not realized that the differences in protocol extended into the job application processes as well. I went to a clinic hosted by the European Young Chemist Network and the German chemical company Evonik, where they went over various ways to prepare a job application and for an interview. Some of their tips were ones I’m sure we’ve all heard before: Make sure you have an online presence, go over possible questions you may be asked in a job interview, etc. One difference that struck me was in the preparation of the CV. In Germany, it is expected that your photo be on your CV and it is also common to have your marital status, hobbies, etc. on your CV as well. Apparently, Europeans don’t sue people for discrimination like Americans do.

Actually, it had already been mentioned that Europeans don’t sue as often as Americans do during our trip to the American Embassy, when a representative for the Czech Fulbright program explained why the Czech Fulbright recipients are told soon after the decision has been made, but American winners aren’t notified until much later. The American recipients aren’t notified until after the Fulbright committee has received the final budget information, just in case they were to notify someone that they had won, only to later find out that there wasn’t enough money. It’s rather sad that other countries have to take those things into consideration when dealing with Americans. I think that if I were offered a Fulbright scholarship and it was later taken away, I would be devastated, but I wouldn't sue them over it. I don’t think I’m in the minority here, am I?