I’m about to take myself to a breakfast buffet to celebrate. Why? This is my 30th day in Germany. Today, I have been living in a foreign culture and coping with culture shock for a month. My year-long study abroad is 1/12th over, give or take a few days.
I’ve learned a lot already. I’m more sure of myself than when the plane first landed, even though I keep on making mistakes both with the language and the culture. I’m learning to bounce back from those. Family and friends are more important to me than ever before, and I’m learning how to better keep in contact with them. I’m actually trying to correspond with people instead of just saying “let’s keep in touch” and friending them on Facebook and forgetting it. (I’m still working on that part, though. I’ve been learning who exactly my friends are, and it turns out that God has blessed me with a LOT of friends. So if I haven’t written you a message yet, please be patient.)
I can now count Euros using mostly just the edges of the coins I can see in my wallet, and I know enough functional German to talk to people I meet in German without having to revert to English. (They sometimes switch to English, since they can tell I have an accent, but oh well.) I’ve started a list of the places I want to visit while I’m here. A very long list. I’m not sure the break between semesters I’ll have will be long enough. But we’ll see.
I’ve also made enough friends in my major to hear about some of the classes I’ll be taking, though. They are hard classes. I have started reviewing material from classes that would be prerequisites for these hard classes at Virginia Tech, and I hope I get enough understanding from that review (and from translating the notes I take!) to be able to follow class well enough to pass. I heard from a former participant in this program that not everyone in her year actually passed all their classes, which scares me.
So, 1/12th of the way in, and I’m both getting more comfortable and getting very nervous about classes. What does that mean? More coffee.
image from http://www.stationbay.com/coffee-sleep-when-your-dead-tin-sign.html, idea from my mom. Thanks, Mom! See? My parents are great. They support both my study abroad and my love of coffee. ❤