Servus! I have enjoyed four months between two states, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg that are splitted by Danube river. In the Baden-Württemberg side, there is the city of 120 000 inhabitants named as Ulm. One of the most famous things is the cathedral church that is 161,5 meter high that is survived the World War II, unlike other buildings in Ulm. On the other side of the Danube is a town called Neu-Ulm.
In the churches the bell rings on the hour. Ulm is very peaceful for people who are fed up of big cities. The traffic is not aggressive, there is much parks for spending times during sunny days and the city is friendly to cyclists, thanks of good bike paths.
In the spring the weather has varied from raining to heat and the summer time was mostly sunny, meanwhile it was raining midsummer in Finland. Currently there is even 33 degrees and the lakes in Neu-Ulm side are full of people. I can’t wait the day 20.7., when the event “Nabada” stars and the Donabe is full of boats. In Finland, we call the event as “kaljakellunta”, but it is more organized in Germany.
My study takes place to Hochschule Ulm. The main campus is not so big like TAMK and there is a lot of places to work self or relax inside or outside, so it is peaceful place to study. Most of students are Germanies and all signs and announcements are written in German. Semesters compared in Finland starts very different times, because semesters in Germany are finished 3 months later. Our international semester started in March and ends in June or July. Most of teachers speaks very well English and they use a blackboard every time, unlike a whiteboard is used at my home university.
One of my goal abroad from Finland was to learn the languages. At least I wanted to stop talking Finnish and studying with other international students improved my English skills every day. The German language is also mandatory to use sometimes, because services in this non-so-touristic city don’t use English. I have studied German basics and sometimes the skills are very useful, but the way to learn requires a lot of work and many years, before I could speak it as well as English now. Second target was to explore new cultures and meet people from around the world. Most of fellow students came from USA, South Korea, Hungary and China, and we spent the time together with people from many different countries. I got very much of new contacts and we studied and enjoyed a lot of free time together, it’s sad to say goodbye after long good times.
Central Europe is perfect place to travel many kind of places. Germany has a lot of border neighbors and it is easy to go by train or bus to another country, like Prague or Budapest. If you’re bored from cities but you love nature, hiking or skiing in the Alps is a good choise. For avid travelers have many options to spend a vacation.
I highly recommend Central Europe – it is easy, sufficiently familiar, flexible and fun.
Come and start your new life experiences! Auf wiedersehen!