I'm currently sitting at home in Norfolk in front of the fire with a pork pie and watching Jeremy Kyle and the puppy run laps around the room. Life at home is sweet. I've only been home less than 24 hours though and I'm already missing the Land of Deutsch. I say it at least once a day (apologies for that), but oh my word, time has absolutely flown. The first 'half' of my year abroad is over and I'm now back at home for 2.5 weeks before heading back out for another 6 months at my internship in Frankfurt am Main.
Looking back on my last 4 months in Mannheim, I've had some amazing times. I thought today I'd share my favourite moments in Germany thus far..
Something I definitely wanted to do on my year abroad is travel a lot, particularly within Germany. I've been trying to fit a trip in every weekend and I've visited a lot of interesting places including Cologne, Bonn, Strasbourg, Nuremberg, Munich and the Black Forest, and smaller places like Königswinter, Speyer, Heidelberg, and Mainz. The other day my flatmate said to me I've seen more of Germany in the last few months than she has her whole life! It's difficult to pick a favourite trip as they've all been so much fun but the beauty of the Black Forest and the Triberg Waterfalls in the snow was second to none, it was simply stunning.
My first VISUM Soho Party
This was such a brilliant night. I met Chloe in the lecture before hand and we decided to go for a drink afterwards, which led to a spontaneous night out, where I met so many great people and made such a good group of friends from all corners of the world. I'm not one for spontaneity as I'm so organised and like plans too much, and I'm quite shy when I first meet people, but this proved to me that it's important to say yes to every opportunity and just go for it. I've had many more great times since then with these people I met there.
Achieving full marks in my final presentation
A different personal achievement. Presentations are not my favourite thing, but this class was. Our assignment was to design a marketing plan for a product launch of our choice in the German market, something which is right up my street and I really enjoyed the classes each week. I'm so proud of getting full marks in the final presentation. I also achieved 90-95% in my Brand and Product Management exam which is another class I learnt so much from.
Getting my laptop and passport back
I'm glad this story had a happy ending. After travelling back from the Black Forest, I realised I didn't have my laptop bag which had my 4 month old Macbook and my passport in it. I wouldn't say this was a highlight of my year by any stretch of the imagination but getting them both back was the biggest relief and I'm eternally grateful for whoever handed them in to the tram driver. I'm definitely not proud of myself for leaving my laptop bag on the tram but I do think I handled the situation well and spoke a lot of German to people in the process of getting it returned to me, and it gave me a little bit more confidence in my language.
Tom & I getting our first flat together
As Tom and I are both going to be working in Frankfurt from January and his flat contract ended this month, and after both having the experience of living in a Wohngemeinschaft with Germans and speaking German all day at our internships, the idea of getting an apartment together was super appealing. We found a gorgeous, newly renovated, bright and light apartment in a perfect location in Frankfurt and it was so exciting getting the keys for it. I haven't properly moved in yet but I can't wait to in January. I've had some great experiences these last few months and I've loved studying at Mannheim, but I now can't wait to start my internship in Frankfurt!