Well, needless to say, I have been living in Dortmund for almost 3 weeks now (I arrived Sept 2). As of right now, I am loving life and enjoying every moment here in Germany. However, the first few days were really quite difficult. I arrived in the evening, and jetlag was really messing with my body. The stress of being separated from my family and adjusting to a new life was intense! I seriously doubted my ability to overcome the challenge of being thrown into a new country, mastering the language, and being a successful student. This challenge is much harder than starting off at a new university back in the United States. I discovered though, that every single international student that I have met here in Dortmund has had the same feelings and same anxieties. So the non-sugar coated version is as follows: The first few days will be rough. You will adjust in a few days, that is for sure.
I am participating in a German language course for the month of September. The course is divided into three levels, depending on one’s German ability. I was placed in the highest level, and I feel comfortable with the other students in my class. It is really interesting to interact and get to know students from all around the world, such as Belgium, Brazil, England, Finland, South Korea, and so on. We have been taking tours of other cities in the Ruhgebiet, as well as other cities in Nordrhein-Westphalen. I also noticed how obsessed Dortmund is with its local fussball team, Borussia Dortmund. Dortmund itself is a heavily populated city, though I do not feel intimidated by its size. I guess coming from Washington DC has jaded me a bit when it comes to city size and life. So far, I have successfully gotten my student visa, opened a German bank account, and matriculated at TU Dortmund. Not bad!
I have two more weeks of German class left, then a week of holidays. Hopefully I will get a chance to write another blog! Bis bald 🙂