Fairly short post today, as I'm off on a road trip to the Black Forest later today with some good friends for the weekend! I haven't been able to finish off as many posts as I like (though I have plenty written!) as I've been having many technical issues with my blog. To cut a long story short, I'm trying to change an element of my website design and computer downright says no, so I've been messing about with that. I'm too much of a perfectionist, I'm starting to think it's rather a negative trait!
Aaaaaanyway. To update you all on my year abroad. It doesn't really feel like it, but I have actually been up to quite a lot. I guess this means I'm pretty adjusted to life in Germany and everything's not suddenly new and exciting and its starting to become familiar and my Alltag. To the extent that when I went to England a couple of weekends ago it felt weird being driven on the left hand side of the road and not saying Entschuldigung and Danke.
I've made such a good group of friends since being here and have met some truly lovely people. The best thing about being an international student is meeting other international students and I've met someone from almost every corner of the world! It was something I really worried about before my year abroad, that I wouldn't make many friends and feel totally lonely. The first couple of weeks or so before uni got into the swing of things were a little bit tough, but I'm so much happier now!
Last week I went to a Neon Party at the Katakomben/Schloss which was great fun. I met yet more people, and even got to practice my seriously rusty Spanish. The only downside to the party was the interesting reactions on my face from the neon paint the next day haha.
Something I really wanted to do on my Year abroad, particularly while at uni, was travel, especially in Germany. I haven't been on a biggish trip since Strasbourg (Erasmus Grant, please?) but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been seeing things. I've been enjoying Mannheim (as much as one can do in Mannheim, the 3rd ugliest city in Germany), as after Christmas I will be living in Frankfurt. I've visited Speyer, a local woods, and I finally made another trip back to Heidelberg this weekend. I wanted to explore the castle as I've been a couple of times yet not seen much more than the inside of a pub - the first time it was around 35 degrees and too hot to do much of anything, and the other time was specifically to watch the rugby world cup final. I'm really glad we did go back as Heidelberg is a beautiful place and the castle was sooo worth seeing, especially with the autumnal colours as a backdrop. Another trip back for the Christmas markets might be on the agenda!
A Short Trip Home
The weekend before last I flew back to England for a super short weekend break. I got a return flight for £20, RyanAir is extraordinary - the bus to the airport cost more and took longer than the flight did! My dog recently had 8 puppies and I was so desperate to get home to see them and my brother was also coming home for uni that weekend. I had such a lovely weekend, embracing every aspect of Britishness, going for a long walk with my other dogs across the fields, watching fireworks, eating so much roast dinner and cooked breakfasts and catching up with my family. I was super sad to leave Monday morning (especially the puppies as I knew I wouldn't see them again!).
I think going home was just what I needed. It gave me a short break from German and worrying about whether I've got the right gender of a noun or if I've conjugated that verb correctly and seeing my family improved my spirits. I think a lot of people are very open about what an amazing time your year abroad is (which it is), but the hard parts seem to get brushed over. There are hard parts and everyone goes through them. I think almost everyone I've spoke to has had some difficulty with their year abroad, but it's how we cope with them and the good memories we make that are the most important thing!
If anyone has any questions or comments about content they'd like to see regarding my year abroad (or any aspect of my blog) feel free to leave a comment or drop me an email and I'll do my best to help! :)