I am sure every single one of us remembers their first time. How excited and at the same time scared you were, how you were imagining and dreaming it to be. Maybe you doubted whether it was worth it or you should wait a little bit longer. Wait… Are we even talking about the same thing here?
Not sure what were you thinking about, but I am talking about the first time I came to Germany! Yes, that very first time, when you come to a new country and immediately fall in love with it. It is exactly what happened to me and Germany.
So, this happened back in 2011. It actually coincided with my first trip abroad ever. I was still a freshman – only 1st year of my Bachelor degree. Around 2nd semester we started with a new subject – German as second language. The professor was a great woman who was in charge of German Summer Language Course Exchange Program. She was the one who introduced us to the possibility of doing a one-month course of German language abroad. And it fascinated me.
I immediately got hooked up to the idea of learning new language and exploring a brand new country. I enrolled myself to participate in the Program right away and could not wait until we finally go. I have to admit, since the trip was organized by professor, there was not so much stress and pressure involved. She accompanied us on every step of our application and trip itself. Together as a group we traveled to embassy to get our visas done, and after some time we received them! Yey to adventure!
The transport we chose to go from Ukraine to Germany was bus. Yes, you heard it right. We came by a bus. All the way from Ukraine. All 30 hours! It was pretty tiring to be honest. Since there are no direct buses from my hometown to Germany, we had to take a overnight train to Kiev and then take a bus to Germany.
ADVENTURE ALERT! As usually in my case, it was not without adventures. When we came to Kiev, the travel company which organized the trip told us that the bus was cancelled. We were slightly shocked. We came all the way from Poltava to Kiev with all our stuff for nothing. Now we had to either go back home and get another bus or get a hotel until we find another bus to Germany. Everyone was on the edge.
But ohhh, some good luck came our way! Our professor managed to find a bus, which had exactly the number of free places we needed and it was about to leave from another station. RUN, FOREST, RUN! We ran across the city with all of our heavy luggage – clothes and things for one month in Germany. SO, yes, they were pretty heavy. At some point of running, I just wanted to give up and lay down on the road just to catch a breath. But WE MADE IT! Made it on time. Sweaty, we pushed our bags in the luggage department and finally sat down to rest. The rest of the journey was rather calm and relaxed. Well, and of course tiring. Imagine sitting in the bus from more than 30 hours! The biggest advantage though is being able to see the nature and cities from the window of the bus. I was super nervous and excited.
Finally, after almost two days on the road, with five different modes of transportation (train, bus, bus, train, train again) we arrived to the small town of Felsberg in Hessen. That is where we would live for the upcoming month. Our language school was in Kassel, which was around 30 minutes from Felsberg by train – YEY to daily commute and morning routine of running after the train.
Despite the commute to our language school, I really enjoyed the experience of living in a small village – authentic old half-timbered houses, breathtaking nature, small lakes and awesome bakeries on the way. It was just fascinating. In addition we had a huge garden, where we could just sit in a shadow of the tree and enjoy reading a book on a hot summer day.
Language course went amazing, it was filled with student extra curricular and conversation activities. I finished A1.1 level in a month and was super satisfied with the result. It was filled with so many new learning possibilities – you just have to embrace it all – culture, language, history, new acquaintances from all over the world. During the trip, we also traveled around, mostly on weekends so that we do not skip the classes. We would go on the trip to Berlin, discovering and learning about the great capital; to Paris (my all-life dream of seeing Eiffel Tower), which was organized by one of the tourist agencies in Kassel; we would travel for three days to Cannes, Nice and Monaco where we managed to get tanned on the beaches and try amazing ice-cream in Nice with all possible flavors imaginable.
It was just like a dream coming true! That is shortly about my first trip to Germany and how I fell in love with it. Don’t forget to follow me on social media to find out more about my life and adventures in Germany and Europe. Leave your comments and share the story of your first time in Germany!