Thursday, October 8, 2009

A small update...finally!!!

Alright, so I've been in Deutschland for a little more than 3 weeks now and I went (until today of course) that entire 3 weeks without internet in my room and let me tell you, that was a very frustrating time. My only contact with people back home is through E-mail, Facebook, etc. and while my friends here let me use their internet just about whenever I needed to, it sucked not having my own internet connection. But anyway, enough about that, I'm over it now.

So, these past three weeks have been filled with lots of different types of activities. The first couple of days were filled with lots of information and I felt a little overwhelmed at first because my German isn't great and it was difficult understanding everything that was said. So we arrived in D-land at 7 something in the morning on Wednesday, September 16th and we were met by the Resident Director and the Academic Coordinator of the JYM program, Hans-Peter Söder and Sommer Sherrit. We then loaded all of our stuff into a nice bus and headed to the Studentenstadt which is our home for the next year. We then had a few hours to ourselves to sort of unpack, nap, etc. and then we had to meet at the JYM building at around 12:30 in the afternoon for food and information about the next day. After that we could do whatever we wanted and I ended up just going around some parts of the city with one of the girls from the program, Kate. So we went by the Alte Pinakothek, the Neue Pinakothek, some of the university buildings, and other random places. We went by Karstadt which is a popular department store here so that I could buy a towel and an alarm clock since I didn't have my packages that I bought yet. Then we walked through the Englischer Garten and then I honestly can't remember what I did after that because so much has happened that it's all blended together unfortunately.

So the next day we had to meet at JYM again at around 9:30 in the morning for a nice breakfast made up of lots of good breakfast foods like bread, cheese, meat, yogurt, coffee, juice, water, milk, granola bars, etc. Then after the breakfast came an immense amount of important information and paperwork that we had to fill out, including the forms for our residency permits and other important bureaucratic things. After all that came lunch at the Löwenbräukeller, which was really good. I don't remember the name of what I got but I did take a picture haha! Then after that came a tour of the surrounding area which was given by the awesome Hans-Peter Söder. After that we had free time until the packages that people purchased, including me, came. The guy who delivered them came about 30-40 minutes late and by the time he got there it was raining pretty steadily so we had to unload all the packages in the rain. By everyone helped each other and while I was really soaked, it went by quicker because we all helped each other out.

The next day we had a light breakfast at JYM and then we had to complete a placement exam to determine our level of language competency. This test was very hard for me, especially the hearing comprehension part. The reading and writing wasn't all bad and I did end up doing better in the reading and writing sections than I did in the other parts. So I'm in the B1 level. From that test they split us up into two separate groups and for the first two Moduls (I'll explain that later) we took the Moduls separately. Anyway, that day (Friday, September 18th) we ate lunch in the Mensa, which is a student cafeteria-type thing which has decent and cheap food so it was good. Then later in the evening we had a tour of StuSta which was helpful in orientating ourselves with our new home.

I'm sorry if this post was boring and a little repetitive (especially with all of the "and then..." statements). I'm trying to catch myself up so I will write more tomorrow (hopefully) but it's 12:15 in the morning and I'm tired and I have orientation stuff at 9:30 in the morning so bis später my friends!! Oh and I'll try and post pictures too. :D

Monday, September 14, 2009

On the eve of my departure...

Well technically since it's after midnight it's the day of my departure but I'll just forget the technicalities for now lol. Anyway, I can't exactly describe how I'm feeling right now. I'm tired but I'm too excited and nervous to sleep (which explains this blog). I said goodbye to my best friend today and it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. Yes, I cried a little but I'm better now because I know she'll be OK and I know that she's happy for me. I know I'll probably get much more emotional at the airport when I say bye to my parents and sister though; I just know that's gonna be hard.

It's so weird that this day has finally come. I remember counting down back in January when it was t-minus 9 months and now it's just a matter of hours. I'm extremely nervous about my level of German as I fear it's not good enough but I'm trying my best to keep positive. I'm really beyond happy and excited about this whole experience but I still have that natural nervousness that comes with this type of thing. I know it's gonna be a huge adjustment at first but I'm gonna just jump in head first and hope I swim if you know what I mean. I know my family and friends will be fine while I'm gone and I know they're all very happy for me so that's comforting. I'm trying to not think about all the things I'll miss (like the birth of my niece and my brothers' graduation for example). I know that this is going to be an amazing experience; one that not many people get to have and I thank God for this opportunity and I know He'll guide me through this successfully and next year I'll come back to America with new experiences to share and a new perspective on the world I'm sure.

So I think I'll attempt to get some sleep. Auf Wiedersehen America. See you in July 2010. Bis dann, much love. :D

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

First blog!

I've never been very gifted with the written word so please excuse my lack of creativity and wittiness when it comes to this blog haha. Anyway, the main purpose of this blog is to share my upcoming experiences in Munich, Germany (but I'm sure I'll throw in random blogs here and there too haha).

So I'm leaving for Munich on September 15, 2009 so that makes it 2 months and 15 days until I leave as of now; kinda scary. I'm studying abroad through a program called the Junior Year in Munich and I'll be in Munich until July 28, 2010. I really couldn't be more excited about this but I'm also a little nervous, anxious, and maybe even a little scared. But mostly I'm thrilled. I've dreamed of studying abroad ever since I went to Germany for the first time in 2005.

When I visited Germany in 2005 I was a sophomore in high school. At that time I had only had one year of mediocre high school German so my German was very, very bad. But I had such an amazing time in Germany that I knew I wanted to go back there; I had fallen in love with that place after just 10 days. I wanted so badly to become fluent in German so I continued taking German and by senior year I knew I wanted to major in German in college. Amazingly I placed into Intermediate German but when I stepped into my first college German class I realized just how bad my German was. I thought "how the hell did I place into this class?! I'm totally going to fail!" After my first semester of college German I seriously considered giving up on German. But I stuck it out and my German started to slowly (emphasis on the slow) improve and by the end of my freshman year all thoughts of giving up were gone.

I started to think about study abroad in the very beginning of the first semester of my sophomore year of college. After a couple of meetings with different people to discuss all things study abroad, my German professor advised me that I should consider majoring in German since I wanted to study abroad. By December I decided to double-major in German and Archaeology (after a sudden realization that I no longer wanted to be an International Lawyer and that I wanted nothing to do with politics or law in general) and soon after that decision I declared these subjects as my majors (with Art History as a minor). I began filling out and doing all the things needed for my study abroad application and by the end of December I turned everything in. Then at the end of January I got the letter I had been so desperately waiting for: I had been accepted into the study abroad program!!

I've thought about what life is going to be like in Munich almost every day since I got that acceptance letter. Call me obsessive but I'm just so damn excited! It's so surreal and sometimes it's almost hard to believe that I'm actually going. I know it's gonna be a period of ups and downs (especially in the first couple months) but I'm positive it's going to be an experience of a lifetime.

Oh and just a little side-note about the title of my blog. It was the name of my textbook for my German Lit. class this past spring semester as well as a phrase that was used to describe what Germany was full of in a quote by some German poet. Thus I thought it'd be an appropriate blog title. Until later my friends! :D