This blog is created by a contemporary art group called ‘Trailing Spouses,’ and we are 14 women from 10 different countries. One of the projects that has sprouted from the group’s work is this blog. It started as a guidebook idea but finalized itself as a blog. Our aim is to share information, stories and material with other people like us, who have relocated to Bielefeld (in most cases, from a foreign country),  or anybody who wants to get some ‘insiders’ knowledge on Bielefeld.

We all have followed our spouses to Bielefeld because of their work or study assignments. I am an artist and a teacher and when I came to Bielefeld in 2010, I could no longer continue my teaching career and also felt the lack of an art community. I decided to see if there were other women like me in Bielefeld. I advertised for an art collective (‘Trailing Spouses’) as a way to do art in collaboration with others and to create a community that was missing from our lives.  After posting up the initial ads I soon realized that I was not alone in my need to have a community. The interest I got for my ads was much more than I thought I would, and actually so much so that I didn’t continue with my “advertisement campaign” as the group got quite big.

To date we have been up and running almost for a year! And we are going to have our first art exhibition and information seminar in October 2012. We are also planning to establish another group, since there have been so many inquiries from others interested in doing what we do.

The ‘Trailing Spouses’ art collective uses arts and other means of self-expression to investigate issues faced by us ‘Trailing Spouses’ in relation to our life situation; specifically, feelings of belonging and identity. The group works together in order to share ideas, provide inspiration, and look for creative expressions of our common life situation. We meet up approximately twice a month to talk, learn new techniques, see interesting art exhibits and enjoy stimulating presentations. The group chooses themes for dialogue for each meeting and between the meetings each member works on their artwork. At the monthly meetings we look at the art works and discuss the chosen issues further. Our members are photographers, administrators, ‘life artists,’ teachers, journalists, architects, musicians, researchers and hausfraus. The group operates in shared leadership and determines its own nature along the way, keeping the topic of identity and belonging at the core of our inquiry.

If you are interested in what we do or would like to get involved please do get in contact with us.

Piia Rossi


Trailing Spouses Members:

Andrea – Chile

Catherine – UK

Christiane – Brazil

Coralie – Switzerland

Grace – USA, moved to Bielefeld in 2005

Olga – Russia

Patty – I’m an American.  My husband, who is also an American, has a post-doc position at Bielefeld University.  I have been doing EEG research at the University.  We moved here in September of 2010.  We also have a travel blog: www.billyandpattyland.blogspot.com

Piia – Finland

Rachel – UK/USA, moved to Bielefeld in 2011 and has two small boys.

Reka – Hungary

Sam – USA, moved to Bielefeld in 2011. To read more about being a Hausfrau in Germany: wiesagtman.wordpress.com.

Teresa – USA

16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Piia Rossi
    May 28, 2012 @ 09:43:09

    Great start girls! Lets all get active and supply material so that we will have a lively and relevant blog.


  2. Isa (@lovaticliarisaa)
    May 12, 2013 @ 16:08:11

    this is sweet. I am a girl from Bielefeld and this project is amazing,I would love to get to know you better,what you do is intressting,love from Isa 🙂


  3. paudelram
    Nov 28, 2013 @ 19:20:43

    great work , me as well photographer from bielefeld


  4. Hattie Dorian
    Jan 10, 2014 @ 10:21:51

    Hi 🙂 do you have any advice for me? I’m a 19 year old English au pair. I’ve been living in Bielefeld for 4 months now and it’s still really hard to meet people. I start the VHS soon to learn German but I’ve been told it’s not so great for meeting people. Are you aware of any groups, forums or even any people that might be interested in going out sometime? It’s a really lonely job and I don’t think I’ll be able to stay much longer unless I make a few more friends. Thanks for the blog, it’s been very helpful…


    • mybielefeld
      Jan 10, 2014 @ 13:15:36

      Hi Hattie, it is indeed hard to meet people here as there isn’t much of an international English speaking community. I agree the VHS german class isn’t a great place to meet people. Lots of international students though take german classes at BIBS & Tandem and they often end up socialising together. But classes are intensive – Mon – Fr 4 hrs a day which might not fit in with your au pair schedule. Another option is the tandem exchange program at the University – you can partner with a student who is interested in learning English and they will also teach you German http://www.fsz.uni-bielefeld.de/tandem/. You could also put notices up on the uni notice boards offering free English conversation which could be another way to meet students. You can also check out toytowngermany.com – there is a BIelefeld forum for newcomers looking to meet others. Good luck!


    • mybielefeld
      Jan 11, 2014 @ 13:17:33

      Hi Hattie, I was just talking to a nice 20 year old Greek au pair here in BIelefeld (speaks some English) who would also love to meet other people. I tried to email you through your gmail address but it didn’t work. Feel free to email me at rachelfox98 (@) hotmail.com and I can forward your email address on to her if you’re interested.


  5. Claudia
    Jan 29, 2014 @ 19:51:00

    Thank you for your nice report about my Café Eigenwerk! ;-)))


  6. Sven
    Jul 11, 2014 @ 06:48:08

    Does anybody know a translator German/English, English /German who is available to do a verbal translation at a Notary on Tuesday 15.07. at 18:00 h in Oerlinghausen. Thank you for your reply. Sven


  7. Dave Guerrero
    Sep 26, 2014 @ 08:07:45

    Hi. I was just searching for an English speaking doctor in BI (general practitioner, eye) and saw your wordpress. I’m originally from San Antonio, Texas and trailed my wife to Lage three years ago. We have two boys, Ian 5 and Niko 20 months. I studied music education, and worked in a contemporary art gallery, artpace.org, for 5 years prior to my big move to OWL. I’ve made some music friends through the Ultimo Kleinanzeigen and started a band with them. My German still isn’t so great as I work for a tech company and my daily work is in English. I’m interested in signing up for notifications for your wordpress. Topics such art, music, kid friendly events interest me. Thanks for your time.


    • mybielefeld
      Oct 01, 2014 @ 10:51:32

      Hi Dave! I can recommend Dr Winter in Bahnhofstrasse, she speaks good english and was very helpful.


  8. Sven
    Nov 03, 2014 @ 15:09:58

    Does anybody know a private person who wants to teach German to my wife at home. Classes are not suitable for us at the moment as we have got 2 little kids and she is pretty occupied. We are living in Oerlinghausen/Lipperreihe. If you know somebody or a student who is interested in earning some extra money we are open for suggestions.
    Thank you – Sven


  9. Yanne Menezes Obenhaus
    Jun 11, 2015 @ 12:18:31

    Hey guys! I’m Yanne, 21, I moved from Brazil to Germany last year, trailing my husband, and since then I’ve been learning German only. Soon (very soon, like in a week or less) we will have our first baby. I have often told my husband that sometimes I feel really isolated here (despite meeting many people at Tandem, I haven’t really made friends to go out with and do nice stuff) and now I happened to find out about your group and got really interested in it. I think I even met one of you at Tandem already, in B1+ and B2 courses, Rachel. ^^
    I was wondering if it is possible for me to take part into your group. That would be super nice for a change, and also with a new baby coming soon, I’m sure I could learn a lot from the ones who have already been through it.


  10. Dini
    Sep 17, 2015 @ 20:06:51

    Hello ladies! I am Indonesian born Singaporean. My German husband and I have been living in Bielefeld for over a year now. His career have brought us to Singapore, Guetersloh, Hamburg, Liverpool and now Bielefeld. 🙂 Of course we have no idea how long we are going to be here so that is why I have created an international group so I could meet great people from all walks of life while I am here! So feel free to join so we can meet and socialise.. http://www.meetup.com/Bielefeld-International ! 😀

    ~ Dini ~


  11. Marina Rowe
    Dec 05, 2016 @ 13:22:14

    Hello, we are looking for a German Teacher in Bielefeld, please contact by email MRowe (@) Global-LT.com if you are interested or if you know a teacher to recommend. Thank you in advance!


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