Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Kirstie W - Worms, Germany - Spring 2015

Worms is a very small and very old town.  It is easy to see that it was not bombed during the war.  After traveling around Europe with Elmhurst's other amazing study abroad programs, it was easy to see that Worms is going to be something different.  I went for a short jog and ran into many different kinds of old buildings that look like old castles.  Most of the time they are churches.  The funny thing is, the churches here appear to be wine growers and are very proud of it.  All of the little houses around the churches are so cute and well painted like brick cottages.  I am already excited.  This city seems very international despite it's size.  The best part is, the city is international and it appears well integrated with the different cultures.  The other cities that I visited were segregated and had areas with more of an ethnicity than another.  Here I can see many races living around me.  Everything is within walking or biking distance.  I am enjoying the atmosphere.  I have only been here a few days, but I already know I am going to greatly enjoy myself.  The food in stores is not overpriced like in big cities, and living necessities appear to be a decent price.  My roommate is also going to the same International business school as I am.  She came here to learn English.  The business classes are offered in English and German.  She does not speak German at all.  It will be interesting to go to an international school where anyone from around the world can go even if they do not know German.  From what I have experienced, most people speak English, especially if they wish to travel outside of their country or region.  I am very excited and cannot wait to see what Worms has to offer the students.  The classes are really one of a kind and as an International Business major I am sad to say that I will not be staying the whole year.  All of the classes offered appear to be exactly the classes that interest me and are specific to my field of study!


Blogger Katherine Soderstrom said...

Hi Kristie,

Sounds like a cute little town you are staying in. I had never heard of Worms, Germany before seeing this post. I like the idea that your town is so diverse and was wondering because of its' diversity did you experience any cultural shock?

-Kat S.

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I did. I really immersed in the German culture and I really enjoy the German culture. Being here is a little hard for me because so many foreigners live here;it disturbs the normal German way of life. Germans really enjoy having a mixture of cultures around them, but there are certain groups that really cause problems. My roommate happens to be a Turkish girl and she has noticed that Turkish people are not really liked here. the Turkish are the most known for causing problems around here. It is not safe to walk around at night for women and a lot of beggars are Turkish. When people do not integrate no one knows the proper way to act, and it is quite a problem. For example, Germans are very comfortable with their body and sometimes like to lay out in the sun in certain areas without their clothing on. I had no problem with joining in this activity, until I came to Worms. It is hard to be able to be natural about one's body when foreigners are looking at you because they are not used to people being naked in public. It really makes me uncomfortable. Something positive about foreigners is the Asian and Turkish food restaurants are usually cheaply priced and are open most of the time when everything else is closed. If it was not for the foreigners who are okay with working late and being open on holidays, then I would only be able to eat out with friends during really specific times. One interesting culture shock was when I was playing soccer in the park, I had a kid come up to me wanting to play with me. He could only speak German as his second language, but we both used what little German we had to communicate. He also asked to ride my brand new bicycle. That made me sad, but happy that I could play with him and let him ride my bicycle. What shocks me the most is that all of the international students that came here to learn German all communicate with one another in English. It is so hard for me because that is my native language and it does not help my German, and it does not help my English when communicating at such a basic English level. I am actually the one who encourages the foreigners to speak German with me instead of English. It is hard to learn German when everyone speaks English.

I hope this answered your question!

Kirstie Waugh

5:30 PM  
Blogger Dani Inman said...

Hi Kristie,
I will b studying abroad in the fall. I will be going to Austrila for a semster. What would you say is the thing you miss most about home? Also, if you could take anything back from Germany ( policies, laws, people, weather w/e) what would it be?
Hope to hear from you soon,

7:46 AM  

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