Coming to study in Germany for the summer was a little intimidating, especially since I’m not used to traveling abroad…or alone. Now that I’m here, I’m pretty convinced that I’m in one of the most beautiful places ever. There are historical sites everywhere, and even in the cities, there is so much green. Everyone grows flowers and herbs on their terraces, and ivy grows seemingly wild up the sides of buildings. I can definitely see why the Brothers Grimm chose to place their fairy tales here in the Black Forest. It is certainly a magical place.
To begin, here are my adventures so far!
I spent my first few days in Baden-Württemberg’s capital, Stuttgart, and I got to explore castles in the city. Now, these are mainly tourist attractions and state buildings, but it interesting was definitely to see the history of the Baden-Württemberg state. Here are some pictures.
I also got to spend a day in Heidelberg, which was once the residence of the King and Queen of Bohemia. Just to be clear, this was a pretty empty title, but the castle and town were still beautiful. Heidelberg Schloss actually dates back to the 1200’s, so it has witnessed a lot of change and history. Unfortunately, a lot of it is in ruins, but the renovations made during the Reformation still stand.
On Sunday, I arrived in Tübingen, where I will be studying for the next two months! For the sake of brevity, I won’t discuss too much about the town. However, here are some of my favorite parts! The University of Tübingen is one of the oldest, dating back to the 1400s, so many of the town’s residents are college students. Tübingen is located right next to the Black Forest, so there is plenty of hiking and exploring to be done.
During my first week, I’ve taken a placement test at the Sprachinstitut Tübingen. This is a language institute, so the classes are a little more tailored to individual students. Now, I’m on the 3rd day in my language class, and it’s going well. Overall, the school has been really wonderful, and I have great teachers who have taught me how to use German in more ways than textbook conversations. Living with a host family has also really helped me learn how to think and speak more quickly. Of course, I still have a lot to learn, but I’m really proud that I’ve gained the ability to have an actual conversations in German at the dinner table. I’ve had a lot of challenges my first week here like navigating the bus systems or even going to eat at restaurants, where I felt awkward seating myself and asking my server for the check. However, my experiences have been more positive than not. I’ve already had so many opportunities to explore this amazing place, and I can’t wait for everything to come!