So in case you forgot, my sister is in Germany again for her masters. Hopefully, she will be a frequent contributor to this blog as she adjusts to live in Germany and travels a lot! See her intro post below!
13 Juli 2016
Alright so I guess I’ll get going on my first blog post. Well I am back in Aachen, Germany, where I came two years ago. Last time I was here I was doing a summer research project at a textile engineering institute with a university here, RWTH Aachen University. I really, really liked everything about it, being in Aachen, textile engineering, just living in Germany. Even at that time, I told myself I wanted to try to return after graduating from Hopkins.
Well I did end up graduating in May with my bachelors in Material Science and Engineering and, now, here I am, on my balcony in the Frankenburger Viertel in Aachen, Germany, waiting for my Masters courses in Textile Engineering to begin in Oktober.
I arrived in Aachen about three weeks ago now. The first week I was lucky enough to stay at my friend’s place, whom I met when I was here last time. The very first thing I had to do was to go to the Bürgerservice to register with the city that I plan on living here. Apparently that has to be done within like the first two weeks of arriving in Germany and it was relatively easy. The rest of the stuff that I had/have to do are a little more annoying because it seems like everything has to be done in parallel. I need a bank account to pay for rent, but I need an address to get a bank account, I need health insurance to enroll at the university, but I also need to be enrolled in order to get the insurance…..
The apartment ended up working out, but with me having to pay the first month in what little cash I brought with me. I am the neue Mitbewohnerin of a three person flat and live with one girl who is studying here in Aachen, and a guy who currently works at one of the institutes. They are both German so I am trying to encourage the whole only speaking Deutsch, but I think it’s more frustrating for them to have to repeat everything and speak really slowly than it actually is for me to try to understand them.
I’m really trying with the whole language issue. People are always surprised that everyone in Aachen, and mostly everyone in Germany can speak English pretty, pretty well. I think most kids here take English in school for about 6 years, then a lot of them end up going to an English-speaking country for a year or so. Then when they get to college, they are just told even more that in order to get a good job they should really be able to speak English comfortably. So in a city where a fifth of the population is university students, it’s difficult for people to not take the easy route and just default to English with me. Occasionally in a store I’ll come across someone older who claims they don’t know English (although, more likely than not, they can probably speak better English than I can Deutsch), and then it will force me to use what I do know and it works out much better than I think. My biggest problem at the moment is to just believe that I can express myself enough to get my point across and to not worry about embellishing all my sentences as I probably would in English.
Seeing as how this post is already getting kind of long I think I’m going to stop here for now. I still have to work on getting that health insurance worked out as well as finally getting a German phone number. So for now have a schönes Wochenende!
P.S. I’m not a fan of rereading my posts for edits or corrections because I like to just leave it with how it came out of my head so sorry for any grammar or spelling mistakes that spell check also misses 🙂
P.P.S. In case your missed some of her previous posts on Germany click here!