Today I've officially been in Freiburg for 2 weeks and it's gone by so quickly but also felt so long... I'm quickly realizing that 4 months is not nearly enough time to see all that Germany has to offer let alone all of Europe. Before going abroad, I was warned by friends and family that it can often be lonely and that pictures and social media can make it look a lot more glamorous than it really is. I actually have one friend who studied abroad in Paris last semester and all of her Instagrams made it seem like she was having the time of her life but she hated it there.
I am happy to say that these past 2 weeks have been nothing but positive and easy going. From the second I stepped off the plane, Germany welcomed me. I met a handful of very kind and friendly strangers on the train from Frankfurt to Freiburg and one man even offered me a place to stay if I'm ever in Geneva, Switzerland. I'm sure I will have times when I am feeling down but overall I am feeling oh so good about the semester ahead :)
Some observations from the first 2 weeks:
- Freiburg is a real life fairytale. Seriously the architecture here is insane and every building is gorgeous. Even the McDonald's is beautiful.
- Germans are beautiful people. Really the tall, blonde, blue-eyed sterotype clearly has some truth.
- There is a big stress on the local community. There are no Walmarts, Targets, or big supermarkets. Everyone here shops at small local specialty stores and get fresh produce from the markets everyday. I love that it's ingrained into their culture
- Germany is far more sustainable than the U.S. The first thing I noticed on the train ride to Freiburg is the amount of solar panels on all of the houses. One guy who I talked to was acually on his way back from an anti-coal protest.
- Public transport is amazing. There's something so freeing about being able to get anywhere simply by hopping on the tram. I love it. Biking is also huge here but I havent gotten a bike... yet. :)
- People here are super politically aware. When I tell people I'm from the U.S. they immediately want to start talking politics. Sometimes I feel like they even know more about American politics than I do. Again, though, I love it.
- Icecream is 1 Euro and on every corner. (This obviously means getting icecream every single day)
My first 2 weeks here have been amazing and I already know that I am going to love Freiburg. Right now I'm trying to balance wanting to travel all over Europe and spending a good amount of weekends here in this wonderful city. Even though we've only been here for a short amount of time, I already have so much to say! I'm finally feeling settled in and will be writing more blog posts this week!
I've been posting a lot on my Instagram and Instagram story if you want to see more of my daily life!
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<p>Hi! My name is Elizabeth and I am a rising sophomore at Cornell University studying International Agriculture & Rural Development. I am passionate about environmentalism, the food system, and travel, so my studies in college so far have perfectly allowed me to combine them all! My dream is to have my own farm/restaurant/learning center where I can teach people about sustainability, farming, and healthy eating. I love the outdoors, hiking, swimming, or really any type of adventure and I can't wait to explore Freiburg and all it has to offer this fall!</p>