IT HAS BEEN A WHILE since I have updated my blog post, I know. Over the next few weeks, I promise to revisit where I have been with a few posts from the 5 different countries I visited. It’s been quite an adventure and many memories that will never be erased.. But until I revisit these past two weeks.. here is my first post from my new city, Mannheim, Germany.
When I imagined Mannheim and prepared for my trip abroad, I thought I was well prepared. As everyone says there will be hurdles and struggles within the first few weeks when you arrive in a foreign country and different culture and lifestyle. This is a proven fact even if you think you prepared.. you are not! Here is just some of the information that I have learned from my first week here.
Beginning with the language barrier, I thought I would do just fine with not knowing any German (I mean, the courses that I will be taking are in English, why would I need to know a lot of German?). I was wrong! Even though everyone says English is very common in countries other than the U.S, DO NOT believe them especially in government buildings. This was also proven to me these past few weeks from traveling in five different countries and talking with many, many different people.
With that being said, expect very little help from anyone else and when you do find those group of students or friends who are in the same position as you- take advantage of it! Doesn’t come as often as you would have hoped. And you can learn a lot from them and they can learn lot from you because you are all in the same boat.
Another thing that comes up often is that when you state that you are from the USA and then California, you will get the same reaction from almost everyone (they must watch a lot of movies and think it’s paradise!) I think one of these days I am going to say I am from somewhere else and see if I get a different reaction from people! And yes there will be that person from Texas who calls you California and vice versa.
After being here in Germany for less than a week, I feel as though people in “the states” take so many things for granted. For example water is practically free, laundry is made easy in the U.S.A. , everyone (for the most part) speaks the same language in the U.S.A. , cars are driven everywhere therefore everyone knows directions and their city very well (when you stop and ask for directions from someone who has been living in Europe their whole life.. they will not know where the next city is.. More so, in Italy and Croatia then Germany), and many many more things are taken for granted in the states but the list is just too long to state all of them at once. I will try to mention what people in the U.S.A should be grateful for in my posts as I move forward with my journey. All this is true but at the same time being in a foreign country with all these new experiences has taught me many different lessons and opened my mind to many new ideas. It has not only taught me to be grateful for what we have in the USA but also has opened my mind to many more experiences that I, nor anyone else, could imagine unless you have gone abroad and really tried to immerse yourself in each and every country you visit. Until next time..