04 September 2009

Summer Vacation

For the first time in eight months I'm on home soil in America. I'll be staying here for most of the month enjoying time with friends and family. As Fire at Will is mostly meant as a means of sharing my European travels and experiences, I do not forsee any new posts until my return to Germany. New trips are already planned for the weeks after my return, and soon after that the next semester will begin. Check back sometime in the middle or towards the end of October, and in the meantime take advantage of the summer's twilight.


Cait said...

Hi there! I recently stumbled upon your blog- Im about to move to eichstaett for my year abroad. I leave on Sunday! Any advice about the school or the town or germany in general?

quererysipoder said...

Hey Nick! You are back to my beloved Memphis........I thinking a lot about my trip in Usa, as I am working now as a writer of travel destinations:)

When are you back to EU? I will stay in Bp until December, after that I have other crazy ideas:)

Have fun!!

Nick O. said...

Cait: First of all, I'm sorry that I didn't respond sooner, but I've been away from a computer for a while. I guess that you're already here, but hopefully this isn't too late.

Of course I can give you a few tips. Because discovering the specific cultural differences while studying abroad for yourself, and learning how to deal with them, is part of the fun, at least in my opinion, here's some general advice based off of my experience.

Keep an open mind when it comes to meeting people and the cultural differences. In the first couple weeks you'll likely get several invitations from the other international students to do something, accept them. For two years now I've seen how the friend groups that are made in the first two weeks with the international students are mostly the ones that stay for the whole semester. In other words, if you want to make friends with the other foreigners, don't spend all of your time with the other Americans in the beginning. It will be easy to do this when you're all new, but try not to do overdo it.

In terms of the cultural differences, rather than complaining, simply accept them or even embrace them. I've met a few students who couldn't stop criticizing; this negative attitude affected their whole experience.

If you're coming for a full year then significantly improving your German must be a goal of yours, so speak German. Germans, especially the students, have a sometimes annoying tendency to speak English with you once they learn where you're from or hear your accent. Don't give in. Continue to speak German with them and most of the time they'll revert to their language. After the first semester you'll notice improvements.

The last tip I'll give you is this: a year will go fast; if you have places you want to visit or things you want to do, don't hesitate.

If you're already here, we'll likely run into each other eventually. I'm helping with the international student organization this year, so we'll likely meet each other during the orientation week or at the welcome party next Monday.

Thanks for reading and commenting, and see you soon in Eichstaett!

Quererysipoder: Good to hear from you! Well, I was in Memphis, but now I'm back in Germany. Your job sounds fun. I'll have to hear more about your plans.

Anonymous said...

quereryspioder: .....Hast du schon meine Name vergessen??

Ich sehe............du bist wieder in Eichstätt zurück.........
schau Mal, ich habe es eine Woche vor geschrieben.....


Vielleicht kannst du etwas verstehen, troztdem es is alle auf Spanisch....oder, zum Mindesten die Fotos erkennen...

mareike und steffi wollen in eine paar Woche nach Budapest fahren...kommt du auch mit!

quereryspioder: Es gibt eine Möglichkeit ein Leonardo (wie Erasmus aber wenn du schon fertig bist)in Brussel von Januar 2010 machen und ich wurde gerne dorthin gehen.......Wenn nicht, vielleicht in einer Kreuzfahrt arbeiten..... :)

Viele Glück noch dieses Jahr in der kleinen Paradise