OK, so I felt this was necessary. I have reached the 1 month milestone and I felt it was time to evaluate my experience.
I don't like to be wrong. I hate being proven wrong and will argue my point until there is a lot of indisputable evidence in front of my face. Any and all of my friends would be willing to testify to this statement. There is however the odd occasion where I am willing, if not happy to concede defeat. This is one of them.
For the best part of the last 2 years I have done everything to avoid the reality of moving to Germany. I just pretended it wasn't going to happen and on the off chance anyone around me brought it up I used my failsafe and burst into tears. Guaranteed to stop any and all attempts at conversation dead. Tuning out at our weekly ERASMUS preparation class was also a pretty regular occurrence. I really think that I still wasn't truly facing the fact that I was heading away when I was actually on the plane.
Of course I got, what I perceived as the standard pep talks from family and friends. I lost count the the amount of times I heard 'you'll have a great time', 'it'll be the best experience of your life' or 'you won't want to come home'. To me it was all rubbish. To me all that was happening was I was leaving my family and friends to spend a year on my own. Something that is a major fear at the best of times.
Well I was wrong. Very very wrong. I have had the most amazing 4 weeks. Obviously I have missed everybody at home and there have been times when I've felt quite homesick but overall everything had been incredible.
The Uni has been more than welcoming taking us through every step in getting settled and preparing for what we'll have to deal with for the year. The September Course itself was worth every cent. It helped me grasp grammatical sections I've been having trouble with for the past 5 years. I can't recommend it highly enough. It was also a major motivator to speak to new people, simply because there was no other choice.
The main reason I love the place so much is because of the people I've met. Mainly people from places that I only hear about when the Eurovision is on. I have met and made friends with people from England. Wales, France, Spain, Costa Rica, Finland, Belgium, Mexico, Russia, Estonia, India and believe it or not Germany. It sometimes feels like we're in a U.N meeting. If the U.N met in an Irish pub.
I've had deep philosophical conversations about nonsense. Gone walking at night with people I've known for a few weeks and had the best laugh, travelled to Munich with people I barely know and the most amazing time. Obviously I've become a bit lax with the whole stranger danger thing.
In short, ERASMUS is amazing. People are crazy. German is hard yet enjoyable. I am having the most amazing time and can't wait to continue.
1 month down. 10 to go.