With Christmas only a few short weeks away it seems only right to take a short break and reflect on all that has happened in the first semester! Between class, the culture and new friends it has been very exciting. As I write this final blog, I am on route home from Cologne where I met two other Erasmus students from my class which was wonderful! We spend the weekend touring the city and also got a taste for the amazing night life!
We are settling well into classes here in Paderborn now and with exams approaching it is time to put the head down and get studying to ensure a good grade. We are still also working in the Irish bar which is really great! We have made great friends, and are also getting the opportunity to practise our German while earning a bit of cash!
Many of my friends will be leaving Paderborn soon as they are only studying one semester here, which is quite sad! I am very thankful that I have the opportunity to stay for a year. I think it will take that long to really improve my language.
It is getting very cold here in Germany. The snow has also begun, which means the gloves and hats are out! It is a beautiful country to be in as Christmas approaches! Christmas markets are being set up and we have lots of plans, with the college, to visit the surrounding cities and sample this world famous atmosphere!
Without doubt, my language has improved in the first semester. Between radio, TV and class it would be difficult not to! I am also gaining confidence in my speaking ability which is fantastic! We are also embracing the cultural differences and feeling like we are part of the community. One example being our inability to cross the road on a red light, even if the road is clear! We never thought that would happen!
Overall, first semester has been a great success and I couldn’t be happier. I am looking forward to travelling home for Christmas to spend time with my family and friends but also excited about spending another six months in this small, beautiful city where I continue to learn more about the culture and various customs!