Update

Wow it’s been a while since my last post, so firstly I will apologize for that though I would rather not bore you with regular small posts about day to day life just for the sake of it.

Train Ticket to the airport

So, it is now the final week of my time here, for anybody interested I will be touching back down in the UK on the 27th, and I have to say it’s a bit weird getting ready to go home. Even though I have moved in and out of places countless numbers of times and have only been here for 3 months moving is always a rather hectic experience, moving out even more so as anything forgotten or left behind is gone for good, especially when you’re moving between countries, also despite only being here for a short period I think I have only just realized how much I have actually settled into living here.

A few things to note:-

1. I was told recently that I write in a very “German” style, i.e. I have the ability to fill a page with about 2 sentences, and have since been noticing it myself so I’m going to try my best to avoid it.

2. This is possibly going to be quite a long post, I’ll try to split it up, but feel free to skip through 🙂

Keeping in mind how long ago my last post was I’m going to try and use this to just sum up everything that has happened since then. So, a quick summary, since my last post I have started and finished my placement at the university, passed second year of university, and turned the grand old age of 21.

My last post mentioned that I was about to start my placement at the university and as I have just said I have now finished that. My placement was in the English department of the university where I spent most of my time searching through journals, picking out relevant information and finally summarizing my findings, I will spare you the details though I subsequently now know quite a lot about US history between 1830 and 1870. Despite the English department of the university not exactly being close to my accommodation, the summer heat (which would have otherwise been enjoyable had I not had somewhere to be) and the sheer amount of reading to get through, on the whole I did actually find it all quite interesting and I think my occasional minor OCD for organizing did come in quite handy. Studying here next year will of course be a lot more helpful in terms of improving my spoken German and for socializing but I did enjoy what I was doing here for the short placement.

Outside of my placement, I have had breakfast with prosecco on a tour of the Oker river with the international students which was very nice and something I would recommend, I have also met a fair amount of American students over here on a summer exchange run by the university, which definitely had it’s benefits as my birthday is on the 4th of July and everyone was out celebrating. Overall I have had a great time here and look forward to coming back.

One of the main downsides of this placement has been it’s timing, due to it being within a normal English university accommodation tenancy (normally up until the end of July) I have been paying for my accommodation here as well as back in Chester (bad times) so I haven’t really had the money to really do everything I would have liked, next year however I will only be having to pay for my accommodation here so I will have more than enough money to enjoy myself a lot more and really experience things and will hopefully have a lot more to write about on here (good times).

If Germany could be summed up in one picture

So, second year of university is basically now pretty much wrapped up, met some great people, had a great time in Braunschweig and really have settled in, possibly more than I had realized, or maybe it’s just me not looking forward to the fact that I have to gather my life back into a bag, who knows.With luck I can make posting on here a more regular occurrence in future and hopefully will have a lot more to write about, have definitely enjoyed my time here and have no doubt that next year will be even better.

Josh x

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Time to get some work done

Schloss Arkaden, Braunschweig

So, it has officially now been a week since I arrived here, I have to say it feels much longer, it has had its ups and downs, moments of excitement as well as frustration, though I am happy to report that I am now well settled and rather enjoying my surroundings, I have gotten to know the city center properly and notably had the pleasure of wandering into the “schloss arkaden” (a huge, surprisingly well disguised shopping center, built into the old city center palace).

I unfortunately haven’t much to report from the recent weekend as I spent it catching up with some much needed R&R after a rather hectic week. I did spend a fair bit of time with friends from my course at Chester which was fun though discussions did lead to us realizing how much of a struggle the workload in the coming weeks may be.

I will therefore apologize if the next few weeks posts a few and far between, I hope to make up for it after I have submitted my assessments, to give a brief glimpse into my workload I have two 1000 essays to write, a portfolio of documents on the university to collect and a brief summary on each of them to write, as well as an interview and writeup of said interview, all of this to be posted by 7th of June, a rather odd task seeing as the work is supposed to relate to my whole placement yet has to be written within the first month, the first two weeks of which have not actually been spent on my work placement, I sometimes worry that Chester university wishes to turn me into a recluse.

I can find reassurance however in the fact that after this I have 2 months in which to enjoy Germany =D

Josh x

P.S. Meeting with the English tutor on Thursday to sort my placement out and get things started, wish me luck

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Alles Gut!

I thought I should probably mention that these updates probably won’t always be as daily as they have been, there has just been a fair bit to write about recently, also I may start a second blog and translate these into German if I get round to it. So after the slight misery of yesterday I’m feeling a hell of a lot better. The weather is a lot more comfortable, so I don’t feel as exhausted, my placement looks a lot more promising and after settling in I feel a lot better about my accommodation.

After a short trip to the international office to pick up my contract I dropped in for a chat to try and rid myself of a fair bit of confusion. Though I am supposed to be here for a short work placement in the university it looked a lot more like a study placement, thankfully I had just gotten very mixed up and I now have an appointment next week to get things started, good times.

Now I just need to find a cheap pan, some cutlery and a method of making toast without using the hob.

Josh x

P.S. Was told my German is better than some of last year’s students, very happy

P.P.S. Thunderstorm last night, lighting somehow looks a lot more epic in Germany (pics below)

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Getting started :/

I’m currently writing this offline as I don’t actually have internet at the moment, with luck I should be getting it tomorrow providing the international office find my contract. Today was somewhat of a downer, I left my nice cosy hotel room and decided to get a taxi to the international office as I had too much luggage and a tram would have been a bit of a nightmare, also there still would have been quite a walk from the nearest stop. The taxi ride I found to be quite amusing, with a tagline that translates as “Braunschweigs friendliest taxi service” it was hilariously ironic when the taxi driver started beeping her horn and shouting at people.

On arriving at the international office and wandering round for far too long scanning office signs I finally found someone who could help me, unfortunately my contract and actual key seem to have been misplaced so I ended up with the spare. The room is….ok, there is nothing that significantly stands out yet it isn’t what I’m used to, I’m sure I can live with it though.

On returning to the office to pick up my stuff I was unaware of what was to come, it turns out the placement I thought I had wasn’t actually a set up as I had expected, we then had to rush through an application and I’m currently snowed under with various forms, honestly I feel a little lost, I’d like to see the bright side of things but everything seems a bit of a mess.

I know in the first week many people feel like they want to go home, honestly I’d rather just go back to the hotel.

Josh x

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Day one or “I should have brought shorts”

Considering this would be my first time on a turboprop I really did not want to hear about “technical problems”

My journey to Braunschweig started out at Manchester airport terminal three, an admittedly unexciting but not unpleasant experience, checking in/security checks where fast, a cheeky gin and tonic to calm the nerves and a few coffees to keep me awake/pass the time, the plane was on time and I arrived in Southampton (somewhere I was previously unaware had an airport) on schedule. I wish I could say my experience at Southampton was similar, for a small airport, as well as one that apparently prides itself on getting passengers through to the departure lounge quickly it was in reality quite the opposite, at one point I was worried about having to rush for my flight, this turned out to be a rather optimistic thought. I had twice that day narrowly avoided problems with one Flybe flight before me being cancelled and another delayed, I must say I then went into “mega stress” mode when I heard my flight had been delayed due to “technical problems” (the same reason given for the other two, doesn’t really do much to reassure you), and that “more information” would be given at 11.00, thankfully at roughly 10.50 we where placed at a different gate and reassigned a different plane which ended up taking off 45 minutes behind schedule, I knew how much of a struggle it would then be to meet my following travel connections.

My plane touched down in Hanover at about 14.00, there was no chance of me getting my 14.06 S-Bahn service, I had hoped there would be a customer service desk that I could get my tickets exchanged, alas I couldn’t find one and ended paying for an additional ticket on  a later service with the hope it would get into Hanover Hauptbahnhof in time for my following and final train. I arrived with 2 minutes to find my platform and run to it, burdened with luggage I was exhausted by the time I reached to train though relieved nonetheless.I found much pleasure in the knowledge that I didn’t have to stand up for the next 45 minutes.

It was on that train however that I experienced my first moment of panic over the prospective future of this trip, or doubt over my efficiency in the German language, I had, by this point, communicated with one or two people on my trip, an man in a lift asking me which floor, a ticket inspector asking to see my ticket and a woman I had to ask for help when I was unsure about the ticket machine (turned out it wasn’t actually working) and had been able to pick up at least the general gist of what they where saying and had been able to reply without looking like a complete idiot, it was on this train however that a group of teenagers sat in front of me, after a short while I slowly began to realize I could barely pick out a single word they where saying to each other, maybe I should refrain from speaking to anyone even slightly younger than me for the duration of this journey hehe

Altstadthotel Wienecke

By this point you may be wondering why I have added a secondary title onto this, well the simple answer is Germany is unbelievably hot at the moment, I knew it would be warmer and less windy than England at the moment but nothing like this, I may need to go clothes shopping, the weather would have been a pleasant surprise had I not planned to walk to my hotel after failing to work out a reasonably tram/bus route online, it was only a 15 minute walk, though in this heat it seemed to never end, I occasionally, optimistically, looked up at the side roads in the hope I had arrived but I still had quite a walk, by the time I had reached the hotel I was glad to be using the automatic key service due to the lack of reception staff (may 1st being labour day is a public holiday in germany), I did not look in a fit state to be communicating with other human beings, I have since cooled down a fair bit and am rather enjoying my hotel with TV and internet access, I find tomorrow somewhat daunting only due to the fact that my feet are rather exhausted from the journey already.

Josh x

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Welcome

So I thought I’d start this off with a quick explanation of the last few weeks, the run up to my placement in Braunschweig has been, undeniably, rather hectic, the two weeks beforehand I had a total of 6,000 words in essay’s to hand in alongside a 2 hour exam consisting of three, 250 word, mini essays.

It is somewhat relieving that it has all worked out and I have finally finished my second year modules, I say “somewhat” as what lies ahead would be daunting to the most confident of people. No sooner had I finished my assessments, I was boxing up my belongings to drop off back at my parents house and then shipped off on the long trip to Germany, something which turned out to take a bit longer than planned, though I shall get to that in my next post.

I did, somehow, though manage to finish my assessments as well as organize my placements, accommodation, travel plans and hotel, as I was only informed roughly a week before I was to set off  that the office I was to pick my keys up from, for accommodation I was informed I had from the 1st of May, turned out to not actually be open on the 1st of May, anyway I ended up with a rather pleasant little hotel that I don’t mind spending my first night in so I can’t complain too much

I am definitely going to miss Chester and my friends that live there but I look forward to what lies ahead, the next year or so of my life will undoubtedly be rather exciting (or at least interesting), wish me luck

Josh x

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