For the past six weeks of my life I have been living with a host family in a small town called Horb am Neckar. This kleine Stadt (small city in German) is located about 38 kilometers (or about 24 miles) away from Tübingen, the town where I will be studying during my year abroad.
Here I did a Preparatory Language Program which aims to enhance my language skills before I go on my own in Tübingen. After the six weeks, I will definitely say my German has dramatically improved to the point where I feel more comfortable talking to people in German and will be able to get around in Tübingen just fine. Every Saturday we went on an excursion to different cities in Germany and Switzerland, below I will put a map of where we went so you can see where I’ve been visiting these past six weeks.
My favorite part of the experience in Horb was by far being with my host family, and that is what I wanted to talk about today in this blog. I was very lucky to have really awesome host parents while in Horb, they really treated me like we were family which is something that helped me really adjust to living in Germany. I did not know what to expect before I came (I’ve never done anything like living with a family I’ve never met before) and the results of it all were highly benefical.
My host parents Helmut and Susanne were very fun people to be around; they always lit up the mood in the house whenever I felt down for any reason and it was good to have that place to just relax and have a great time. They also were vegetarian, which at first I was a little sketchy about but they made the best food (really, it was fantastic) and I never had a meal I didn’t like.
A great aspect of their cooking is that they both have tons of traveling experience, and so one of the places they traveled to was India for six months. There they learned how to make Indian dishes (like curries) — I was blown away by the taste, especially with no meat! Because of the vegetarian lifestyle I ate very healthy and felt great all the time, which has really affected how I am going to eat while in Tübingen.
My host parents also had a huge garden on their property; all of the vegetables that we ate came from that garden and it was so fresh and so good (you really can tell the difference between fresh produce and produce from a supermarket). I would go every once in a while and help them get the vegetables out of the garden for dinner, it was so much fun and I will miss that for sure.
I also got tons of exercise while in Horb. My host parents gave me a bike to use while I was here and I used it almost every day. I would say for about the six weeks I was here I would ride about 10-20 kilometers (6-12 miles) on a bike per day! I am now motivated to go to the gym in Tübingen once I am settled in and stay on top of my exercises.
I would personally like to thank them for their hospitality and their willingness to make sure we had the best time ever. I felt so blessed to have such awesome host parents while in Horb and I will make sure to stay in contact with them while I am Tübingen.
But I must go on my own and now I have so many exciting things coming up to look forward to.
Just a little update on what’s going on in the next couple weeks, I moved into Tübingen on Friday this last week and on Tuesday night I leave for my first big European trip to Rome, Paris, London and the Netherlands (Amsterdam and Rotterdam) for 12 days.
What a life and what a time to be alive!
Before I go I must put this picture up that Susanne wanted me to have on the blog: her kittens that she got very recently. Enjoy!
So until next time, tschüss and bis später!
Brandon Einstoss is an applied mathematics and German junior. He is studying in Tubingen, Germany for a full academic year.