Early Wednesday morning, 1st of September, I arrived by plane in Frankfurt, Germany. From there I took the train (Bahn) to Mannheim. My train had a delay, so I missed my connection and had to wait an hour in Mannheim for the next train. I finally made it on the next train, where I was greeted by a small surprise.
The train was extremely crowded, and I finally found a seat in a four-person compartment where three people were already sitting. I asked them if the seat was free, and the family of three looked rather inconvenienced that I had decided to sit by them. I tried to stay distracted by my phone and out of their way, but then the little girl asked me (in German) if I wanted to draw with her. I said no thank you, but her gesture made me happy. A while later, she got my attention again and showed me that she had drawn a picture of me! It was so adorable, and she gave me the picture to keep. Her mom had her write her name “Lotti” (short for Charlotte) at the top. The family took a picture of me with it, and I felt so welcomed in Germany.
After a long day of traveling, I finally made it to my apartment (Wohnung) in Freiburg. The apartment building is brand new, and each student has a single studio apartment. All of the furnishings are from IKEA, so it doesn’t look too much different than a modern apartment in the US.
As I look forward to my time in Germany, I am both excited and anxious. Freiburg is in the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) region of Germany, and I am very much looking forward to hiking and exploring the wooded areas. I am also looking forward to being able to eat lots of German food (I will be sharing pictures!), and I am excited to experience living in such an environmentally-friendly city. I am a bit nervous about trying to travel outside of the city during the semester due to ever-changing covid restrictions, and all of my courses being in German is a bit intimidating. However, this semester will be a great opportunity for me to improve my language skills by immersion, and I am delighted to be living in such a beautiful city and region. I look forward to sharing my experiences in Freiburg with you this semester!