Hallo! So… I’m in Germany. It’s weird to say it. I don’t know how to explain how it feels, but I can explain what I’ve been up to! Here are the highlights…
Sunday, September 27: Arrival in Munich. After dealing with the fact that my luggage was left behind in Chicago, I went straight away to see some friends that I haven’t seen since I left Northern Ireland last year!
This first day was very relaxing and just what I needed after three flights originating in St. Louis. I was beat.
Tuesday, September 29: I visited the city of Ulm! The Ulmer Münster (Ulm Minster) is the world’s tallest church at 161 meters (530 feet). I climbed up the church steeple to the very top. From there, I could see the whole city, and even the Alps in the distance.
If you’re not good with heights or tight spaces (narrow spiral staircases), I would not recommend climbing up to the top of this steeple. It was also very windy the day I went, so the top had incredible wind, which clearly made it difficult for me to control my hair as you can see in the photo.
Surrounding the church is a nice little shopping area with some shops and good eats. I definitely must go back, as I didn’t have quite enough time nor energy to explore everything.
Thursday, October 1: I spent some time staying at a friend’s apartment, which was good because I needed to sleep off jet lag and get adjusted. On Thursday, it was finally time for me to take the first half of my luggage, which arrived a few days after me, and head to Konstanz (Constance) where I will be studying.
I took the train to Friedrichshafen, which is on the Bodensee (Lake of Constance, but I will call it Bodensee from now on). This little town is just so cute. I really must visit it properly one day. From here, I took the ferry to Konstanz.
After I arrived on campus, I collected my keys, checked the flat for damage and then started to unpack the first bit of stuff. I will talk more about the uni and the city of Konstanz in other posts.
Sunday, October 4: On Sunday I made my second trip to Konstanz with my other suitcase. When I got to Friedrichshafen, it was clear at last, so I was able to properly see the Alps for the first time. THEY ARE HUGE.
I can’t explain how big they really are in just words and photos. You would have to see them yourself, if you haven’t already. I have never seen such massive pieces of earth sticking out against the horizon. I’d also like to point out that these are the Swiss Alps on the other side of the lake.
Monday, October 5-Now: This past Monday I began orientation at Konstanz Universität (University of Constance). Right away they started explaining German bureaucracy. In the first day already I filled out all my forms to apply for my visa, also called a residence permit, and for other bureaucratic things.
Another feature of the orientation is being placed in a German-as-a-foreign-language course. I took a written test on the first day, then today I took another written test and oral test. I know that a few people who spoke zero German were told that they would have to sign up for the most basic German course at another language institute. I was very nervous and figured I would suffer the same fate. Fortunately, they gave me a class! I guess I have basic / can-understand-a-few-words-and-maybe-answer-in-crappy-sentences German. Yay! Now, I just have to figure out if this class conflicts with my Master’s courses.
The last major feature of orientation starts tomorrow for me. It’s the here’s-how-to-survive-in-the-university section of the orientation. I will also get to check out the library tomorrow, which is super exciting since the uni just opened a new library! If you know me, you may understand how much I like libraries.
Well anyway, I will be off. More details on my life in Germany coming soon.