Paderborn is a place not many people have heard of. A place I hadn’t heard before I looked into potential partner Universities. It is a beautiful City located in Germany and is best known for the fabulous Catholic churches located all around the City. However it wasn’t the churches that I was looking at on arrival day. I was looking for students and excitement. Somewhere I could see myself living happily for a year and that’s what I found! After the initial shock, that is! Nothing crazy happened but the area wasn’t what I expected. The average Tuesday afternoon wasn’t exactly buzzing with excitement! I guess that’s something most people do- pre-empt the arrival.
The bus journey from the station to the house, where I live with two other Irish girls, took about twenty minutes. We all spent that time with our faces glued to the window trying to get a glance at this new city. The place is pretty, but small. Something which I know I will appreciate!
The city is beautiful. There are lots of scenic areas for picnics and events and the Pader River is a huge attraction. There are also interesting places to visit like the various churches and a world famous Computer Museum. With various designer stores, shopping centres, restaurants and pubs we were more than impressed after our first tour of the town. I should point out that it was through the help of our ‘buddies’ that this was such an enjoyable experience. Buddies are organised by host Universities and basically take time to show new students the area, help move in, register as citizens and enrol into the correct classes too! They are also students and understand what we need to do and how we are feeling. Essential is an understatement!
I am living about ten minutes from the college in a house with two girls from DCU. We were initially disappointed not to get campus but now appreciate the space and quiet atmosphere that this house has to offer. And with a bus stop two minutes from the house it would be rude to complain! My room is huge, much bigger than my own room at home and I certainly didn’t have the privilege of owning a balcony back home either. With a bedroom each, a kitchen and living area it’s true to say that we settled in quite quickly.
I am so excited to make new friends and visit the surrounding towns. I already have plans to travel to Amsterdam next month and trips are organised regularly to visit the surrounding areas like Cologne and Dortmund which excites me! Eurobiz is the international office and are an essential element to our stay abroad. Nights out are organised each week and have been a great way to meet other international students. We get to meet up, have some food and drinks and have a great night enjoying the opportunity to learn about other cultures and interests. Having made friends from Hungary, Japan, China, America and Spain, I am really excited for the months to come!