When one first arrives to Europe, the first thing that might be surprising and interesting is the abundance of public transit. European countries have had a long time to implement their transit systems, and the scale of the cities allow for some very efficient and inspiring methods of transit.
What a wild past few days! I have done so much this past week in Germany, and I have so much to tell you about everything I’ve done. But one of the biggest adventures I had this week was just getting to Germany in the first place. That is exactly what I am going to be writing about today.
The new school year is almost upon us! For SDSU Be International, that means it’s time to welcome a new group of study abroad bloggers. We’re delighted to introduce the Aztecs Abroad who will be sharing their international experiences this Fall semester!
Three hundred and thirty-six days: That is how much time I spent away from home this year. Well, that is how much time I spent away from my San Diego home. Eleven months: That is how much time I spent exploring the world. Seeing things I never dreamed of seeing. For years, I dreamed about how my time abroad would be. The anticipation killed me for so long. Now it is all over.
When I got the email declaring that I will be studying abroad at the University of Mannheim in Germany, I was beyond excited! However, from the point where I learned that I will be coming to Germany to the day I boarded the flight, it still didn’t seem real to me.
Before arriving in Germany, one of the biggest concerns for me was winter. Living all my life in Southern California, I didn’t really have a proper experience with temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, and I most definitely did not have the proper attire for such conditions.
Last semester, registering for classes was intense. It was my first time learning how the system works in Germany and learning about the registration deadlines. But now in my second semester it was better because I’ve already been through it once. At the University of Mannheim, registering for classes is very different than registering for classes at SDSU.
Because much of the abroad experience is spent traveling and bouncing around from country to country, you don’t always seize the opportunity to get to know your host city and country. Upon the arrival of the New Year, I decided that this term I wanted to truly get to know Rotterdam for all it’s quirks, traditions and locals only spots.
As a San Diegan living in the Netherlands, I realized this study abroad experience is my first encounter with a real winter. I’ve been in the snow, but this would be my first time in it for the long haul. So, like the sun lover I am, I pounced on the idea of warmer weather and booked my New Year’s Eve trip to Lisbon, Portugal with a group of friends. According to lonely planet, Lisbon is the No. 2 spot in Europe to celebrate the New Year.