Sorry for the tardiness of this post, these past few months have been a whirlwind of an adventure! To brief you, I arrived in Tübingen, Germany about three months ago now. For the month of September I was enrolled in a three week long intensive German language course. Taking part in this program was the best possible way for me to begin my year abroad. It was a great icebreaker for life in Germany. Since then, I have befriended tons of local and international students from all over the world.
Being a University town, life in Tübingen is filled with so many great social events and things to do that make you feel like part of the community. This is extremely helpful when those waves of homesickness come along. These last couple months have also been filled with tons of travel around various cities in Germany (Cologne, Mannheim, Munich, Konstanz, Stuttgart) and surrounding countries (Paris, Luxembourg, Prague, and Italy). Studying abroad in Europe provides you with countless opportunities for budget travel. We have taken busses to different countries for 28€ and stayed in 7€ hostels!! BEAT. THAT.
In addition to the business courses I am taking here in Tübingen, I am currently enrolled in a Theatre Course entirely in German! (If you’re around at the beginning of February, buy tickets and come see our end of semester production!) Unlike courses at Sprott where you are evaluated based on attendance, midterms, and assignments, the only form of evaluation here for the majority of the business courses are the 100% final exams.
Tips and Tricks
Before signing off of my first blog post, let me share a few tips and tricks I’ve learned since being here. Hopefully they will help any of you who are looking to go abroad soon.
- Enrol in the start course if your host university offers it.
That was, hands down, the best decision I’ve made. Not only is it a three week intensive german course to refresh your memory and improve your language skills, they also help you get settled in Tübingen by guiding you through all of the registration processes you have to go through when you enter a new country. It was honestly a life saver. The professors and TA’s also took us on field trips to nearby castles and showed us all of the cool hang out places in Tübingen. Not to mention the amazing group of exchange students you will meet and get to know over the course of the few weeks. I was very fortunate to make some very close girlfriends from all over the world, but even if you don’t make friends for life, you will befriend a few people that you will probably see around town and it will make you feel less lonely.
- Get the starter pack if they offer it in your student housing!
It is bedding and a pillow for 35 euros and trust me, when you arrive in a foreign country with no bedding, it saves you from having to use your sweaters as blankets your first night away from home.
- Pack adapters!
I made the terrible mistake to forget mine at home which resulted in me buying a new laptop and phone charger. An expense you definitely don’t need you when you go abroad.
- Measuring cups!
I don’t know if you’re planning on doing much cooking but there is not a single measuring cup or teaspoon to be found in Tübingen or Stuttgart. Unless this changes, I’d plan to bring some.
- Be patient with yourself.
Living in a foreign country by yourself (or even with someone you know) is hard. Relearning how to do everyday tasks such getting groceries without getting yelled at, how to send mail, or problem solving in a language you are still in the process of learning is tricky. Remember to take a second to appreciate all the amazing things you’re doing.
Since it is currently the holiday season, Germany is filled to the brim with beautiful Christmas markets. I will have all of the stunning pictures ready for the next blog post. For now, please enjoy some pictures from a recent trip to Venice with my parents. Until next time!!
p.s. wishing you all the best of luck with your final exams and projects!
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