It’s been an undoubtedly challenging, yet rewarding first couple of weeks living and studying abroad. I have certainly had to come out of my comfort zone to adapt to life in Germany. Last week was the first week of class and I have to say that trying to understand directions, expectations, and rules in German is quite difficult when you haven’t spoken the language since last semester. However, I am finally getting a good grasp on my classes and understanding what is expected of me at the university.
The best part of the academic experience thus far has been meeting the other students in the program. Although over 90% are American, I am still fascinated by learning about other people’s experiences and lifestyles that are different from mine. Being abroad has made me really think about the things I like about Indiana and also the things that I like better in Germany. With that being said, there are a few weird things that I have encountered that have made my experience all the more memorable.
Everyone knows that German people have the stigma of being ‘cold’ and not very friendly, something which I don’t agree with, but I can definitely see where this idea comes from. German people tend to be more private than Americans, but they mean nothing by it. It is so weird for me that in the morning commute on the S Bahn, the train is packed with people, but everyone is silent. Like how is it that during the morning rush everyone is as quiet as a church mouse? For me, this is very peculiar in the context that even a pair of Americans could talk normal tone and fill up a room with chatter when hundreds of Germans are silent. Trust me, the first few times it was so weird, but now I’m desensitized to it I guess.
All in all I could not have asked for a better start to the trip. I am starting to make new friends and beginning to get to interesting topics in my classes, so I am expecting a good semester. Everyone has asked me if I miss home or not, and to that I would say well yes, I do, but I am staying so busy that I don’t have time to even begin to get homesick. I am realizing even now at the start that there is so much to do, so much to see and so little time.
Until next time.