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Study Abroad in Germany

Wohin ist das Wasser gegangen?

There are no water fountains here.   Seriously, the last time I saw one was in the Amsterdam airport. They’re not on the street, they’re not in the university, they’re not near bathrooms… and it’s not like German tap water is unsafe to drink or anything. It even tastes great. So what gives? In Freiburg they’ve literally diverted the Dreisam river into little canals, called Bächle, that run along half the streets in the Altstadt but it’s impossible to get a simple drink of water. Carrying a water bottle is […]

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Heidelberg: wie ein Märchen

On Sunday, a group of fellow international students and I decided to take a day trip to Heidelberg, a German city a ways north of Freiburg. We actually had the opportunity to go as part of a field trip through Uni Freiburg, but it was cheaper to buy our own bus tickets and go on our own (€20.50 round-trip; not bad at all!). We were very glad we did it that way, as it ended up being less restrictive.   Heidelberg is the city I visited the last time I […]

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Studium und Sprache

For our program, we actually arrived 6 weeks before the start of the German summer semester. The first 3 weeks are taken up by an intensive pre-session language course, then we have a 3-week break, then the semester begins. After an online placement test, we were sorted into small classes based on our proficiency level. It’s all very approximate, but higher-numbered classes are supposed to be higher-level. I’m in Deutsch 11, and have colleagues who are as low as 7 (though he really should be higher, from the sound of […]

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Die schönste Stadt

 The European aesthetic has always captivated me; cobblestone streets, tiny hole-in-the-wall shops that have been family-owned for generations, and centuries-old castles and cathedrals literally across the street from super-modern monoliths of glass and steel. There is simply nothing like this in America. You almost get whiplash just by crossing the street, like you’re suddenly traveling in time. The main shopping streets in the Altstadt are incredible to me. There aren’t many cars (and in some streets no cars), so people walk all over the street, but tram lines crisscross the […]

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Das Abenteuer fängt an!

The adventure begins! After a slow start at MSP Airport my travels went without a hitch or delay. The 8-hour transatlantic flight was actually rather pleasant, all things considered. One of the complementary movies one could watch on the plane was Mad Max: Fury Road, which I saw for the first time and enjoyed heartily. They were also very diligent with supplying us with food and drink, the former of which was surprisingly tasty and filling. The worst part by far was having to sit down without being able to […]

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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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