Hallo! So I am finally in Germany!
After almost two and half long months of waiting, I arrived at 5 a.m. on Monday
These past two weeks has been
extremely overwhelming and much has happened so I decided to break my first
official "I'm in Germany" blog post into two parts: one part about the first
week and the second part about week two.
From the moment I arrived in the
Frankfurt Airport, I've been on the go.
Right when we got off the plane and
through immigration, the fellow Penn Stater and I grabbed a train into the
heart of the city while lugging our huge suitcases (mine was 22 KG, one KG over
the weight limit.) On the train we muttered apologizes in a mix of broken
German and English (even some French) to the unfortunate people who had to deal
with us blocking the isle.
Once in the center of Frankfurt, we
grabbed coffee and watched the sunrise over the beautiful train station that
puts Grand Central to shame. After wandering for an hour or two we figured out
how to buy train tickets and headed to Marburg, which is about an hour North of
Marburg has many faces. To my
surprise the city is not small. I would not describe it as big but when I
pictured Marburg three weeks ago it was a quaint, cobblestoned hill with a
castle and medieval looking houses.
Although there is that, there is so
The Oberstadt, which is the hill
part of the city, possesses cobblestone streets, adorable buildings each
completely unique and each probably older than the foundation of our country.
There are also bars, restaurants, little shops, a Game Stop (this amuses many
people) and a beautiful castle that overlooks the city. During the day the
streets are filled with vendors and people shopping. Musicians play the piano, the
violin, the accordion and the saxophone to Bob Marley songs.
Through this section of Marburg,
there are aesthetics that correlate with the Brother
Grimms Fairy Tales including a wolf waterspout, seven stone dwarfs along the
walls and giant metal flies next to the clock tower.
area of the city around the Oberstadt has a small-city feel with tons of
restaurants, shops and movie theaters. The buildings are a mix between modern
and medieval architecture. A river, where students can study and eat next to,
breaks through the city and a giant church called Elisabathkirche serves as a
focal point of the city and the university.
The school is spread out between
these two areas with classes both in the castle, the giant Elizabethkirche and
glass buildings through the streets. Within the past weeks I have managed to
gets lost multiple times but never felt nervous or scared. It's an adventure
and I am learning my way around. Everyone I have encountered here is very friendly
and willing to help.
I have hiked almost everyday without
ever really pre planning it. Last Saturday, I climbed up a tower that inspired
the story for Rapunzel. The other day, fellow study abroad-ers and I just
started following paths and eventually crossed through forests and fields and
found ourselves in residential areas. Every time this happens, we always
eventually figure out where we are and make the trek back to a bus stop to go
Classes started on Thursday February
27 and will be everyday for the next six weeks. I have a four-hour language
course then two-hour cultural course everyday. Admittedly I was a little
shocked with the course load but I have come to appreciate it. Knowing German
would help this experience a lot. Almost every German person I have encountered
speaks English very well but I have noticed there is a certain amount of
respected given to those who try to speak German. When I talked to a German man
about this he said that many times the Germans would help you along if you try
to speak the language.
The school held our hands through
the whole student Visa paperwork and anything else that was required to be in
the country. I thought this was extremely helpful and convenient since I heard
other students in other programs had issues with this.