This post is long overdue but I finally found some inspiration for a topic. It has been almost 6 weeks since I arrived in Munich and the first month definitely feels like a whirlwind. However, this beautiful city is starting to feel like home and I could not be more content.
There are a lot of steps that need to be taken when you are adjusting to a new country. It depends on where and with whom you live, but chances are even you have someone’s company, there will be many things you would need to do on your own, like preparing meals finding good places to shop for groceries. All of these mundane tasks are part of the study abroad, and most likely, it will take some time for you to fully adjust to being comfortable with those tasks. And that’s okay, use as much time as you need to make your new town or city your new home.
Perhaps the most difficult part of adjusting to your new city is finding your niche. When you are in a different country, you can often feel overwhelmed with all of the opportunities a new place gives you. Suddenly, you start to question whether an experience would be worthwhile to you or not. Part of this reason is that when you are in a different country, especially one in which the locals do not speak your mothertongue, you actually lose a part of your personality.
Most people who know me back in New York City will probably describe me as a loud extrovert who smiles at everyone who pass by my way. Here in Munich, on the other hand, I observed myself to be much more reserved and even a bit distant. A lot of times, when I have to interact with someone, I often think out what I should say in German before I actually speak the words to make sure that I say everything correctly. There are times when I felt so overwhelmed by tasks and opportunities that in the end, because planning for such things would take so much time, I decided to let go and just sit in my apartment and watch a marathon of Stranger Things.
However, as it has been a month and a half since my arrival, and I am starting to make Munich my home away from home, I am becoming more and more comfortable with trying new things, going new places and finding the things I enjoy the most. Right now, I am sitting in a coffee shop, constantly being distracted by the cutest dogs who are playfully roaming around me. This is a place where I would come to enjoy a warm cup of coffee and do my homework or write essays. I have found a group in which photography enthusiasts come together to take photos and offer feedback to each other. In short, don’t be discouraged if you feel very overwhelmed in the first weeks of your study abroad experience; with time, you will discover your interests and find your niche.