Moving to Germany for my semester abroad was a very smooth transition. Some of the stereotypical elements of Germany ended up holding true. For example, German’s commitment to efficiency (i.e. with timely public transportation arrivals/departures); however, others things such as the ‘coldness’ that supposedly comes along with the efficiency loving Germans has not seemed to be true in my experiences. Rather I have found that Germans, and the culture that they perpetuate, do in fact pride themselves on efficient, well running systems but the people are still able to remain very warm, humble, fun-loving, and friendly. I personally feel that in Germany you are able to get the best of both worlds… one being efficient and reliable infrastructural systems and the other being humble, fun-loving people!
The fact that the German culture is efficient yet warmly welcoming, allowed for me to have a very smooth and virtually stress-free transition. For example, the highly efficient transportation systems in place allowed me to get from the Frankfurt Main Airport by the German Train to Mannheim’s Central Rail Station, then from the station by street cart to my apartment across the river. However the helpful people along my way were able to happily assist me when I had questions regarding how to use the different transportation systems.
This same sort of experience of benefiting from both the efficient system in place, and the friendly people has been consistent throughout my stay here in Germany so far. Another example is in my classes, or even going to organized school parties with several different phases to the party. All in all, I would say that Germany has been a very smooth transition for me, and I have loved every moment of my time here!! I will be so sad to return home!!!