I arrived in Heidelberg, Germany a few days ago. I will be studying here for twelve months, and these first days have already been challenging to say the least. One of the biggest challenges is communication. I consider my German to be pretty decent when it comes to conversations, but navigating the bureaucracy that is the German university system is a whole other story! There is so much paperwork to do, whether it is registering with the city, setting up a German bank account, figuring out how to put money into said account, or trying to figure out who to talk to about rent (the university is governed by two separate administrations).
Despite all of this, however, I have come out on top. It was a struggle, at first, to communicate effectively, because I did not have the specialized vocabulary that the university uses. However, after a little while I started to pick it up. I stuck with it and persevered through it and it got easier and easier as I went along. Before I new it, I was at the bank speaking with the teller about the specifics of each type of account that was available to me. Because of this, I am excited. I can’t wait to see how much progress I make in the next year.
Going along with the topic of communication, I met my new roommates for the year. They are both German! We have already been having conversations in German. It is very refreshing to have so many people to speak with. As one can imagine, there aren’t a whole lot of people in my home town of San Diego that I can speak German with. I think that this study abroad trip will have a huge effect on my oral and written communication skills!
I haven’t been here for very long, but I will keep the blog posted on anything exciting that happens! I will also post photos that I have taken once I get the film developed. Thanks for reading!