Xue Tang is originally from Ningbo, China and currently lives in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. She has been a loyal Fintiba user since 2018 and has recently also joined our company as part of the Marketing team. She was happy to share her experience as an international student coming to study and work in Germany with us in this blog post.
I am Xue (Snow) and have been using Fintiba for almost 4 years. As a long-time user, Fintiba and I have witnessed each other’s growth during my studies and now I have even started my career path at Fintiba. I am glad to share my story of a Fintiba user to employee with the hope that my personal experience could bring you luck and inspiration!
Why did you decide to come to Germany for your studies?
I was often asked why I chose to study in Germany. There are two main reasons: first, German certificates are highly valued and accepted in China and public universities are tuition-free, which makes them very attractive. Second, I came into contact with the German language during my undergraduate years and gradually fell in love with it and German culture. My German professor was funny and often talked about his experiences in Germany; at the same time, I had some German and Austrian friends who encouraged me to apply to German universities to continue my studies. During my third year in my Bachelor studies, the idea of studying in Germany was maturing. In my last year of Bachelor, I passed the APS and the TestDaF language exam. Finally, I succeeded in getting an acceptance offer from the University of Cologne and began to study here.
How did you decide to use Fintiba?
I came to Germany at the beginning of 2018, almost 4 years ago now and I have always been using Fintiba for my blocked account. As a long-time user, I have seen Fintiba evolve in many different areas. From only offering access to a website app to a mobile app, customer support via QQ and a Facebook community. From just a blocked account provider to adding insurance, accommodation, sim cards and German language offer, among many other practical services for international students. In turn, Fintiba has also seen me through the whole process from my arrival in Germany to complete my exams, mandatory internship, and Master graduation. We have grown together!
I was particularly impressed with Fintiba’s services when I went to extend my visa at the beginning of this year. Since Fintiba’s procedure was fully digital, it was very convenient and not at all affected during the pandemic. Three friends also became Fintiba users on my recommendation.
So, how did I choose Fintiba back in 2018? Back then, there were only two block account providers recommended by the German Foreign Office: Deutsche Bank and Fintiba. I saw Fintiba’s process was online and for me, living in a small city, it was an easy decision. Fintiba saved me the hassle of queuing up in Shanghai to submit the application form in person. What is more, I also referred to the user reviews on Zhihu (a popular Q&A website in China) and DAAD and finally chose Fintiba. I have used it for 4 years now.
How was the opening process of your blocked account? Or the account extension process?
The opening of my original Fintiba account felt quite convenient at that time. I went to the www.fintiba.com website to register, filled out the personal information, chose the amount and length of the blocked account and confirmed my selections. Then, I received an email with the IBAN information and instructions on how to make the transfer. I transferred the blocked amount to that account, which was in my name in Sutor Bank – Fintiba’s German partner bank. After a few days, my money reached the account and I received my blocking confirmation right away, which was the financial prove I needed for my visa application.
For each subsequent visa extension, I followed the process with Fintiba.
Why did you stay with Fintiba for 4 years?
Because Fintiba’s “Extend Blocked Account” service is so easy and efficient, so I just kept using it every year I needed an extension. Usually, I apply for the blocked account extension service two months before my visa expires. Within two days I receive the remittance information. Within another two days after the remittance was completed, I receive the blocked account confirmation. This is all done online. If all documents are uploaded correctly, all procedures are completed within a week.
Did you use the Fintiba customer service – which channels and how was your experience?
I needed to prolong my study visa once a year, so I also extended my blocked account each year.
Even when I encountered some problems and doubts on the way, the Fintiba customer care team helped me to resolve all of them. For example, I had some questions during the first visa extension process. So, I turned to the customer service in the Fintiba QQ group (the Chinese social media channel similar to WhatsApp) where I was helped very quickly. For more complicated questions, I contacted Fintiba’s customer support via email and always got a very detailed and helpful answer that solved my problem.
Overall, my user experience is very good. Fintiba is quick to respond, especially compared to the efficiency of the Foreigner Office, for whose response I usually need to wait for a week or even two.
How did you join the Fintiba team?
Four years ago, I could have never imagined that I would be working at Fintiba. It’s so dreamy like you have been eating gummy bears since a kid and you join Haribo after graduation (Haribo, headquartered in Bonn, Germany, is a popular brand that produces gummy bears with a hundred years of history in Germany).
How did I discover the available position at Fintiba? Since I am a Fintiba user, I got into the habit of regularly visiting the Fintiba website and logging into my personal account. One day I saw that Fintiba was recruiting candidates for the marketing department. My blood pressure went through the roof with excitement and I quickly submitted my resume. At that time, I was still working at a recruitment platform for internationals, while waiting for my graduation documents. As luck would have it, I already had a working contact with a member of the Fintiba team through this role. Through this relationship, I could gain even more insight into the working culture of the Fintiba team, which only increased my desire to get the marketing role I had applied for. After a couple of rounds of interviews, I was successful and got offered the marketing position. It felt amazing!
I have been working at Fintiba for a while now and I really like the working atmosphere here. My colleagues are like family and the management team is very approachable and supportive of my work. Not only do we work together, but we also regularly go out together after work and keep in touch with each other in our free time! My goal at Fintiba is to pass on the kindness and friendliness that my colleagues have shown me to our customers and to make it easier for them to study in Germany!
I wish all Fintiba users in Germany the best of luck in their studies, work, and life!