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Study Abroad in Germany

Pre-Departure

Well, this certainly came up quickly. I was accepted to the University Study in Freiburg study abroad program in August 2016, and had been gathering materials for the application since May or June. And now I leave for Germany on Sunday the 26th. The reading materiel I’ve been given for class posits that the study abroad experience actually begins before you arrive, while preparing, so I thought I might jot down some of my thoughts. This won’t be terribly eloquent, I’m afraid; I’m too frazzled to write that way right […]

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Stuttering 101

This is a topic that is at once very difficult and very easy for me to talk about, for a plethora of reasons. Many of you are already aware that I am a stutterer, or have at least noted that my speech patterns are a bit unusual. Stuttering is something that has dramatically shaped my life from childhood. As a kid and a teenager it neutered my self-confidence and social skills and drove me to become a near-total hermit for most of my teens, and has taken over six years […]

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Myself and I

Hey folks. If you are reading this then chances are you already know me, but just in case you don’t: My name is Timothy. I was spurred to start blogging in order to chronicle my upcoming adventures in Germany, but I also intend to use this blog to write down my thoughts on other topics. I am a person who stutters, a person who has dramatically (and intentionally!) changed the course of his life at least twice, a massive nerd, an artist, and someone who likes to pretend to be […]

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Rachel: It’s not you, it’s me

So I know I have been neglecting this blog for the last few weeks, and I blame a combination of too many things going on and general laziness on my part for not posting. A few things that have happened in the past few weeks include: -going to Cologne for a day -starting my study abroad graduate level art program -going to documenta 13 art event -seeing Brad Pitt at said event -going to Basel, Switzerland for Art Basel-world’s largest international art market -going to the Berlin Biennial 7 -various […]

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Rachel: Lessons so far

So now that I’ve been in Germany a little over a week I can let in you in on a few differences I’ve noticed between the two cultures. This list has been formed because of all those small awkward moments you experience while traveling, from ordering something you know at a restaurant and having it come out completely different to trying to work doors (yes, this happened to me). So without any further ado, here’s a list of few German things that are just a little bit different from American […]

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Rachel: First Week in Germany—Sprechen sie Deutsch?

I can’t believe my first week in Germany is over already! I feel like I’ve done so much in the past few days it’s not possible it’s only been a week since I first came here. It’s funny how fast time goes when you’re on vacation exploring and traveling around and how slow it can go when you’re at home, doing the daily 9-5. Backpacking through Germany for two weeks before my study abroad program was definitely the way to go, although I can say already that there have been […]

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Rachel: First solo trip abroad…

To Germany! So background info about me and this trip before we get into the nitty gritty of where I’m at in Germany right now. I’m a student studying advertising/art & design and this summer I have two trips abroad: one for a month in Germany and one for two months in Japan. I love traveling and have been quite a few places so far, but this summer will be some of the longest traveling trips I’ve ever done. I’m in Germany for a study abroad trip through the graduate […]

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Whitney: Love-hate relationship with school

It is currently Thursday night (well, technically Friday morning) and I have spent my evening reveling in the fact that I took my last final exam of the semester today. Now this doesn’t actually mean I’m completely done with my first semester yet—I still have to go to my “wrap-up” classes next week to go over the test and receive my Schein, a piece of paper that says my grade and that verifies that I actually took, passed, and deserve credit for said course, and I have a few more papers to write […]

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Max: Winterspaß

I’m going to try something different today. My previous posts focused on comparing the cultures of Germany and the United States. Since this is by no means a simple topic, the posts got pretty long and were extremely time-consuming to write. Also, I realize they say little about what I’m actually doing to get the most out of this experience as possible. So, for those of you who actually are interested in what I’m up to, I’ll answer that question right now in lieu of the usual compare/contrast essay: Besides […]

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Whitney: Four months down…

Today marks four months since my arrival here in Berlin, so I think a little reflection is in order. Before I arrived in Berlin I would sometimes close my eyes and envision myself here, cooking in my awesome apartment, enjoying drinks with new friends, planning trips to exciting cities, and working hard on my German language skills. I would feel such a rush at the thought of the amazing adventure that was right around the corner for me, and although I was very nervous and I worried about leaving behind so […]

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Whitney: Salsa, White Trash and Three Kings Cake

My week has been full of unexpected adventures – which I’m realizing usually end up being the best ones. Last Friday night I went salsa dancing with a friend that I met in my swing dance class. Before that night, I only knew the most basic salsa step, but by the end of the night Florian had taught me an entire semester’s worth of moves! He was a great teacher and an amazing salsa dancer. I really hope I was a good student and that we make these salsa nights […]

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Max: Transportation Systems

Transportation is something most of us use every day, but notice only when it bothers us or stops working correctly. Every week I take the subway to campus and back and take a local train to visit nearby relatives, but I rarely stop to think about how this wouldn’t be possible at all in Minneapolis because of the lack of reliable rail service and infrastructure. On the occasions that I do stop to think about the transportation I use every day I realize how different the transportation systems in the […]

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Whitney: Christmas in France

Oh dear. My life has rocked for the past week and a half, and I think it would take me a few hours to write about everything, so I’ll do my best to highlight the most exciting parts. First, FRANCE! My first time flying with Easyjet went surprisingly well. My bag was the appropriate size and I found a seat quickly and easily (they don’t assign seats), and when I arrived at the Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg airport I found Emilie, her mom, and her dog Velcro waiting for me! I was welcomed […]

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Whitney: Amazing weekend

WOW. It has been an amazing weekend. Seriously, I have so many good things to say, so I’ll start from the beginning. On Friday my friend Victoire invited me to see a band called Paper Planes at a club called “Chester’s Live Music” in Kreuzberg. The show was great and so was the audience. We were all dancing and cheering and drinking, which made for a great combination! And it was the first time I’d hung out with Victoire outside of class which was also really great. I got home […]

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Max: …and drink

First, I’d like to make a correction, or rather an addition, to last week’s post: I mentioned that in Germany three meals are generally eaten in a day. I forgot to mention that it’s often customary to have coffee and cake anywhere between three and five in the afternoon (like tea-time in the UK, except with coffee). It’s not a universal custom; this meal is understandably absent in the normal budget-conscious student’s day. Now for the central subject matter, namely, the role of alcoholic beverages in German and American societies: […]

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