Saying Goodbye to Tübingen, Saying Hello to my New Home in Ulm

My time in Germany has just hit the halfway point and I have just completed my first semester abroad — oh how time flies by so fast!

My German has significantly improved since being in Germany; I was an A1 level speaker before leaving the U.S. and am now considered B1 level (that’s a massive jump in just one semester!). Not only that but as of today I have traveled to 15 different countries since leaving the U.S. That’s a great accomplish that I am very proud of!

All of the countries I have visited in Europe so far. I have visited 15 of them since being here in Germany!

My first six weeks in Germany I lived in a small village named Horb am Neckar. Here I did my preparatory language program to help prepare for my entrance into German universities. Here I got a first taste of German life, getting adjusted to certain aspects of German culture while also experiencing a new way of life.

Me with my host family in Horb am Neckar.

After the six weeks in Horb, I moved to the university town of Tübingen, where I have been living for the past five months. Here I completed my first semester of studying, and where my German began to excel. Speaking German everyday and meeting locals in the town had significantly helped with my progression, and even now I changed my phone language to German for even more practice!

One of Tübingen’s many parks with my family who came to visit in November.

Now that my first semester is over I have new opportunities coming up for me. I am transferring to the University of Ulm for my second semester, and will make the move from Tübingen to Ulm on Feb. 28. Here I will be taking math classes in German, which is something I have been looking forward to since the first day of my first semester. In Ulm I am also not living in a student dorm, but with local Germans in an apartment in the old city. Here I will be able to speak German way more than I ever did in Tübingen, and it will make my progression in German that much farther by the time I head back to the U.S.

The city of Ulm, the birthplace of Albert Einstein as well as the home of the world’s tallest church, the Ulm Münster.

The next two months, I am on vacation from school and will be doing many things in between. This Friday I get my wisdom teeth removed (completely free … thanks Germany! :D), and next week I leave for a trip to Spain, Gibraltar and Morocco. Once I return I immediately move out of Tübingen into Ulm, where I will be taking care of all the bureaucracy of moving into a different city.

In the middle of March I am going to Berlin and Greece for about five days and, at the end of the month, I will return to California for two weeks to celebrate my 21st birthday in Las Vegas with my family! So much to look forward to in these next two months, and it’s all coming up so soon!

I will definitely miss living in Tübingen. I did experience so much here in this small town in Baden Württemberg. But it is time for me to experience something else and I am ready for what is to come.

Here is to a good second half of my year coming here in Germany!

Brandon Einstoss is an applied mathematics and German junior. He is studying in Germany for a full academic year

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