My experience in Germany
The month of July was sprinkled with dozens of ‘first-times’ for me.
After being offered a grant from university, I found myself planning the trip to Munich, Germany. This was about to be the first time travelling entirely on my own to a country I have never been to before, speaking a language that I was not completely fluent in. Needless to say, I was more than nervous.
However, embracing this adventure proved to be of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. The city is absolutely marvellous, the people that I’ve met taught me so much about friendship and how important it is to be with the right people at the right time in the right place. The classes were very useful, but most importantly I learned that the best possible way to learn a new language is by living in a country where that particular language is spoken.
Situated in the south of Germany in the state of Bavaria, Munich is known for its breath-taking castles and attractions, for its amazing architectural structures and, of course, for the famously acclaimed cuisine (wursts and beer mainly). I was taken aback by its lively atmosphere, friendly citizens and spectacular views.
On the arrival day, we had to take a test in order to be placed in the suitable class according to our level of German knowledge. We had 3-5 hours of classes/day and 2 trips/week in the afternoon. What I truly enjoyed about the classes was the fact that the teachers refused to use English, even if we were A2 level and some of us weren’t entirely fluent. They encouraged us to use German as much as we could and that is how I found myself being able to speak more confidently and comfortably than before. One of the best things such an experience can offer you is the opportunity to be part of a multi-international, culturally-driven environment. Being surrounded by people from more than 30 countries really helps you broaden your horizons and discover new cultures in a way Internet or any other method cannot do.
As expected, I was worried about being by myself for a month in another country. I was worried about not making friends or not being able to handle the homesickness and the new wave of information that was about to hit me. One aspect that I forgot to think about was that everyone was in the exact same position as I was. They say that no matter where you are or how beautiful the city is, people are always the ones who make the experience better or worse. Luckily, I had the chance to meet some of the most amazing persons in the world which made my whole journey worth it.
I started this ‘ride’ as a very scared, terrified little child and left it with a full package of knowledge about the German traditions and language, about people and cultures and most notably, about how to develop yourself as a person and learn to say ‘YES’ to new challenges.