Posted by: jansen86 | July 7, 2010

Sommer in Freiburg!!

Hey everyone,

Well I’m sorry once again that it’s been so long since I’ve updated my blog, but I’ve had a lot going on here in Germany from traveling to sickness to tons of school work so it’s just been really difficult to find the time to update. But now that I have 2 term papers out of the way I have some time to inform you all about what’s been going on here in Germany. On my last post the new semester had just started here in Freiburg so I’ll pick it up from there. This semester I signed up for a total of 5 classes, which may seem like a lot, but it really hasn’t been so bad compared to last semester. I really have enjoyed my professors this semester and that goes a long way especially when you are expected to write a Hausarbeit for the class. My professors this semester have been really easy to talk to and eager to help in any way they can so it’s been great preparing for a Hausarbeit (term paper) because I know what exactly the teacher is looking for compared to last semester when I had absolutely no clue. The German term papers are set up much different than U.S. term papers and it was difficult at first to figure out what exactly the teacher wanted. But my study abroad program IES here in Freiburg have been great and were able to give us a lot of helpful information on how to write a proper German Hausarbeit, which really prepared me for this new semester.

Towards the end of May we had a week off for Pfingsten (Pentecost), so I decided to travel during this time to Croatia with a few friends. I found some really cheap tickets to the beautiful city of Dubrovnik, which is where I spent 5 days of my break. Dubrovnik was amazing and is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited. The weather was great and it was just the perfect location to just relax and get away from classes for a while. There was a wall that surrounded the entire city, which is actually one of the best-preserved walls in the world. I ended up climbing the wall twice because it had such a great view from the top. My third day in Croatia, I decided to get up early and join a kayaking tour, which I had never done before. After 6 hours of Kayaking I was exhausted, but it was such a great experience. However, I think the best part of our trip was when we found a small pebble beach with nearly no one there and started jumping of cliffs into the water. I’m pretty scared of heights, but I ended up jumping off anyway and was so glad I did because it gives you such a rush. After my trip to Croatia, I decided to go and visit a friend of mine in Konstanz, which is nearly 3 hours by train from Freiburg. Konstanz is gorgeous and the weather couldn’t have been better on the day I went. We ended up taking a ferry to Meersburg, which is small town on Lake Konstanz and happens to be the home of Germanys longest occupied castle. We ended up going inside the castle and had a great view of the lake and the Alps from the top.

Unfortunately, shortly after my trip to Konstanz I came down with a horrible cold. I had a cough, sore throat, chills, and a headache so I immediately went to the doctor to see what was wrong. This was the first time I had ever gone to a doctor while in Germany so it was all a new experience for me. I was shocked at how quick and smoothly everything went. There were no long forms to fill out and I only waited 15 minutes to see the doctor. I was thoroughly impressed. The doctor told me I had a virus that was going around and that it should be gone in a week or so. However, weeks past and it got worse and worse. One day I woke up with a horrible back pain in my lower back and found out that I had a pinched nerve, which he thinks was caused by my coughing. The doctor wanted me to get some tests and x rays done and I was once again amazed at how fast and smoothly everything went. Within 1.5 hours I had seen the doctor, took my x ray, and even got my results back. The x ray didn’t really show anything serious so the doctor just prescribed me a muscle relaxer and suggested that I go to a physical therapist for a month. It’s now been 3 weeks since my back pain and unfortunately it’s still not gone yet, but it’s much better than before. It’s just been really difficult to sit and type papers or do homework because sitting was pretty much impossible for the first two weeks. Luckily, it’s gotten much better than before so I’ve been able to work on my term papers and have even been able to attend all of the Weltmeisterschaft (world cup) Germany games.

In Freiburg people have been going nuts for the Weltmeisterschaft and I have never seen so many German flags before. I have been going to a huge “public viewing” of the game where thousands of people gathered together dressed up in black, red, and yellow supporting Germany. The last viewing I went to Germany creamed Venezuela 4-0 and I ended up leaving completely covered in beer because the fans got nuts and couldn’t help but throw their beers in the air after a goal. However, unfortunately tonight was a sad night as Germany lost against Spain. As an American I have never really been into soccer as much as other sports, but after my year in Germany I have to say I’m a fan. It’s been a lot of fun and I am looking forward to the next Weltmeisterschaft. I can’t believe that I only have 3.5 weeks left in Germany before I go back home. I have so many mixed feelings. I really miss my family and friends back home, but I really don’t want to leave Germany. This year has been one of the best experiences of my life and I really don’t want it to end. I love it here so much that I’m possibly thinking about coming back to Germany for graduate school. But I have a little while before I have to make any big decisions. I also just recently found out that I was chosen for the DAAD Young Ambassador Program so I’m really excited about meeting the DAAD crew in New York as well as being able to present my experiences in Germany with other students back home at my University.  Well that’s about all I have to update you on for now. I’ll try to write once more before my return back home. Bis dann!!

Grüße aus Freiburg,



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