Experience on Erasmus – First Foot Forward

It’s always weird moving into a new place. You cautiously make your way into a stark, cold room, not knowing what to expect.

The view of the University of Trier from the apartment window. (Credit: Eidhne Gallagher)

One thing I will say, the moment you move into a new place, there’s a lot to be done before you can actually call it ‘home.’

My apartment, when I moved in was basically a small walk-in kitchen with a big wardrobe shoved in at the side, a tiny bathroom with a shower (that had dodgy temperatures, but I suppose it’s better to be burning hot than freezing cold!) and a large bedroom/study. Sighing, I began to unpack my things and decorate my room.

If there is one thing that I hate about any room, it’s bare walls. Luckily, I made the decision to bring my picture folder with me (I’ve always loved collecting pictures, whether they be Disney, Harry Potter or historical people). So thanks to a slab of Blu-Tack, my room has become a big picture collage – it’s kind of like how Anne Frank decorated her room when she arrived in her Secret Annexe.

Once I’d finished packing and decorating, I had to get basic supplies. You know the sort – cutlery, bowls, cups. plates. Oh, and of course, the most important thing of all…. FOOD! Whenever you have time to yourself, it’s very important to know where you can buy your food. Where I was staying in Kleeburger Weg, there was a Lidl store just a five minute walk away, where I was able to buy some food. There was also a large supermarket with the very peculiar name of Wasgau. Weird name, but at least you know what you’re buying in there!

A large picture college in the room of my apartment. (Credit: Eidhne Gallagher)

That night, I cooked myself a big bowl of pasta smothered in tomato sauce and sat at my desk, brooding. The next day was the beginning of the orientation course. Nearly four weeks of form-filling, German classes and exploring Trier. I have to admit, I was very nervous about it all. But then again, who wouldn’t be nervous? Wouldn’t you be scared about starting college in a whole new place, having to start from the beginning with regards to making friends? Yeah…. that’s what I thought!

One wall in my room, decorated with butterflies. (Credit: Eidhne Gallagher)

I lay in my new bed that night, my mind in a spin. There was so much that was going to happen and I wasn’t that sure if I would be able to go through it all. But I’d already made it to Germany and here I was now, in my new apartment. If I could make it that far, I would able to make it through whatever happens next. After all, as the saying goes, tomorrow is another day.

*

Next morning, was the start of the orientation. Think of it like the first day of school, standing on the sideline, eyes scanning the room, wondering who you can talk to, who looks like a friend. Well, that’s how it was for the first while of the orientation. At first I didn’t get much time to interact because once everyone was sitting, we were subjected to long talks about the college, the studies, the social activities etc. etc. basically all the usual Now-You’re-In-College lectures. At least I think it was those kind of lectures. Didn’t really help that the lecturer only spoke in German! I gave myself a mental note: learn and revise as much German as possible. I didn’t think I will ever be fluent, but I want to at least stop getting ‘Der, Die and Das’ mixed up!

The main wall of my apartment room (Credit: Eidhne Gallagher)

I read the timetable that I was given for the next three weeks and I tried my best to take in what I was going to be doing. Every weekday, there would be German classes, then either more form-filling, lectures about the different courses and day trips on the weekends. As I read it, I thought ‘I don’t know if I’ll survive three days, let alone three weeks!’ I guess I thought that we would start our chosen courses right away – I wasn’t expecting anything that the orientation offered, I’ll tell you that! But if I wanted to do my Media program, I knew that I’d have to do the orientation.

And thus, began three whole weeks of boredom and torture. Oh alright, it wasn’t all completely boring. Next Erasmus post will be all about the lighter side of the orientation program!

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