Monday, June 30, 2014

Sprechen Sie English?

The first week in Germany has been nothing short of an adventure filled with beautiful sights, new friends, and enjoyable antics. The Drexel group was joined by 2 University of California: Santa Barbra (UCSB) students named Caroline and Nico. So far we have traveled to Luxembourg and Heidelberg on day trips. As the summer progresses we plan to go further and longer to places including Berlin, Hamburg, Barcelona, Paris and potentially Milan and Venice.

In addition to awesome traveling we have begun to become accustomed to the INM and our jobs. All of us have has reading to prepare for our assignments and surprisingly, although technical, it is much more enjoyable than class reading. Maybe it is the excitement that is causing it to be enjoyable, I am not sure.
The INM and KIST (Korean Institute of Technology), both located on the Saarland University's campus are both enjoyable and easy to get to. The INM in particular has fantastic amenities such as a library, and for those who enjoy it, coffee machines. 
The hardest adjustment to Germany in my opinion has been the randomly finding people who don't speak English very well or at all. These people for some reason have been found in unexpected places like the ID office and downtown. More importantly however, for some reason a lot of the international student paperwork here is written in german. Although it should have been more expected, I found that to be the hardest adjustment. I only wish I had learned more Germany before coming and would suggest that to anyone coming here in the future. Even basics such as numbers can be immensely helpful to do things like, you know, purchase things, order things, etc. 
Oh, the other surprising thing I have found here is that stores including grocery stores are not open on sundays. It isn't something bad just a shock at first. Additionally, stores and banks here close promptly (banks by 6pm and all stores by 8pm). I am very curious about it because people still work from 9am to 5pm so I wonder when the general public grocery shops.
love from Germany,

p.s. I highly recommend eating ice-cream everywhere you go. It has lent to some fantastic discoveries such as sculpted ice-cream in heidelberg.

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