Getting Back in the Swing of Things

After having two months of break, I finally started classes here at the University of Ulm this week — officially starting the second leg of my academic year in Germany. I just got back from the United States on April 12 and was lucky enough to recover from jet lag right before my classes began, so I was fresh and ready to go.

This week has been a very interesting for me in many ways, and I wanted to discuss this more in detail here.

First I want to talk about Ulm, and then what my university classes are like.

“Flowers are blooming, people are hanging outside and — most importantly — the Biergartens are opening up again”

It’s finally Spring here in Ulm, a medium-sized city in southern Germany. I took the photo above just a couple days ago.

Before I left for the U.S. at the end of March for my two-week vacation, I distinctly remember Ulm still being cold and very cloudy all the time, but when I returned, the weather was completely different! It was like I brought my weather from So Cal back with me to Germany because it has been sunny and warm almost every single day this week. Flowers are blooming, people are hanging outside and — most importantly — the Biergartens are opening up again.

I couldn’t be happier!

As I mentioned in the beginning, my classes began this week, as well.

My summer semester schedule. I’m only taking three classes!

I am taking three courses here at the University of Ulm (that doesn’t sound like a lot, but I’m full time). The classes are Advanced Calculus 1 (MATH 330 SDSU Equivalent), Linear Algebra (MATH 524 SDSU Equivalent), and a German language course. An interesting thing to point out about my math classes is that they’re both completely in German! For me the challenge excites me because it will really boost my language skills, and also I can say I took a course in a language other than English!

Because I am taking math classes completely in German, it is more work. I am currently a B1 German speaker, and I am in classes for natives of the German language so of course there will be difficulty. I will have to work twice as hard, do twice of the amount of studying and get twice the help in order to succeed.

Of course I was nervous about this situation (I mean, who wouldn’t be?) but I won’t let that get in my way. I am determined to succeed and I will do just that!

As far as future plans go, I don’t really have any travel plans coming up. I really just want to focus on school and save up money for next year (thankfully I got a scholarship here that will let me start to save up money).

I plan on flying back to the States for good in mid-August, but really that might be my next big thing. I really want to enjoy my last couple months in Germany and do well in my studies, so traveling is something that can wait for now.

Thanks, and until next time Tschüss!

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

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