Je bekijkt de reis...
18 oktober 2014
I decided to write something down about my time in Heidelberg so far. Maybe I'll write some more in the coming months, it depends on what will happen in the meantime.
I've been here now for almost 2 weeks. As you could have read in my last blog I'll study here during this semester. My room is in quite an old house and the house is located close to the different campusses. It takes me a maximum of 10 minutes to get to university which is quite nice. My room mates are very nice guys, they study history and art history. I arrived here on Monday evening and the next day the introduction for international students started. I also had to do a placement test for a German course I will take here. I haven't got the results yet, but I expect I'll be in one of the 2 lowest levels. If the Germans speak very clear, I can understand them. That's of course because Dutch and German are quite similar. Unfortunately the languages are not that similar that I can also speak it. I did German in highschool, but that's also 7 years ago. Luckily I don't need to speak it here: my lectures are in English and most Germans in Heidelberg speak English quite well. I sometimes try to speak German to the Germans on the street, but as soon as they hear I'm not from here, they switch to English. But I'm in Germany, so I find that I should try to learn the language. And that's what I'm gonna do, hopefully I'll be a few levels higher when I leave here.
Enough about the language here. Let's tell something about Heidelberg. It's a beautiful city, located in the hills. I've been here 3 years ago with university. When I saw how beautiful the city was I told myself that I had to study here sometime. So it's really nice that I can do that now. The weather so far, wasn't that good. It was raining almost every day, but today it's finally getting better. Hopefully we will get a few weeks with nice weather before winter starts.
Germany (at least here) is not that different from Holland. That was the reason I didn't really have a problem getting used here. Of course, I've been traveling the 3 months before I came here and this is just an easy place to get around. There are some differences with Holland of course. I especially notice them in the supermarket. The food is different. While people in The Netherlands eat lots of rice and Italian food, they mainly eat spaghetti here (and of course German food ;)). So I'm trying lots of new things here. Also most of the food comes in bigger portions. It's especially hard to find meat in smaller portions, but maybe I just went to the wrong supermarkets.
Let me now tell what I've done so far. The first 3 days were mainly filled with the introduction. We were split up in groups and I was in a group with Physics, Math and Informatics students. Most of them are from Italy and Spain, and the rest is from all over the world. The group of Chinese students is also quite big, and they are all so good in German (for most of them their German is better than their English), I'm kind of jealous... On the first day I met some really nice people, with whom I've been to most of the things that were organized. I only met one guy from The Netherlands so far, something I'm really happy about.
Last Saturday I finally bought a bike. Since Heidelberg itself is really flat, I really needed a bike as a Dutch student ;) It was hard to find a used one, but I eventually did it. After getting a bike I went to Stuttgart to go to the Wasen with 2 German friends I met in Thailand. The Wasen is a small October fest (although people from München disagree with that). Outside it looks like the 'Kermis' in the Netherlands, but the main part are the tents. Everyone is dancing on the benches, of course in sort of traditional clothes (lederhosen etc.). The music is really bad (at least in the tent I was), but luckily Germans have their famous water (read beer) that comes in beer mugs of 1 liter. What I really liked is that people of all ages were partying there.
This week university started. I sort of had a plan of which courses I would take, but I also wanted to try other ones and now I decided to don't do half of the courses I originally planned to do and do other courses instead. I'm sort of jealous of people doing their master here, there are way more courses here to choose from than in The Netherlands (in physics, not in mathematics). There are really nice courses in Theoretical Physics, but I came here mainly for Astronomy, so I decided not to look at them. I will do two courses in mathematics though (I need those points). What I noticed is that Germans like big breaks somewhere in the middle. Let me explain that. While in Holland, we have a break of 15 minutes in the middle of a lecture, Germans don't do that. They just talk for 1.5 hour. They only have a break of 1.5 hour between the morning and afternoon (in Holland we only have half an hour). The Germans also finish their semester in the first week of Februari and the remaining weeks in that month are meant to write papers. March is completely free. In math and Physics you don't have to write so many papers, thus that means that you have an extremely big holiday between the semesters. Unfortunately, my semester in Holland starts in the first week of February, so I can't enjoy this break. I actually have to write papers here, so the coming months will be very busy. The average teacher Í have here is better than the ones I have in The Netherlands, so that's a thing I can be very happy about. The last thing I want to say about university is that they like to give lots of lectures here. For a normal one, it's 4 hours per week (2 in Holland).
I hope this helps you to get a picture of my life here. See you in a couple of months :)
18 oktober 2014 20:02 | Door: Tineke Versluis
Hoi Huibert, leuk om je belevenissen te lezen. Succes met je studie!