Daily Life in Freiburg

Hillary Bliven
October 31, 2013

I live in a six person apartment style dorm, twenty minutes by foot from the city with five roommates- one from France and four from Germany. I go to classes at IES Monday through Thursday, explore Freiburg, do homework, and have an all around splendid time.

>>I’m falling behind because my drawings are taking too long and school is taking ups lot of time so I’m going to do a few posts without drawings to tide y’all over until I finish my Oktoberfest sketch:)<<

My roommates are wonderful. In September, when I first moved in, most of them were on vacation because their school doesn’t start until the second week of October. Now that University is in full swing, they are (mostly) all back and I’ve finally been able to get to know them. They are all really close, having lived together for a while now, which can be intimidating, but I’ve been forcing myself to get involved with them more. Sometimes that means just sitting awkwardly in the kitchen while they all hang out. Though I can understand most of their conversations, it’s difficult to contribute. By the time I’ve translated a comment in my head into German, they’ve already moved on. It gets easier and easier though, which is a relief. This past weekend we went to the Seepark near our building and had a barbecue. It was so fun. I feels lot closer to all of them now and was even able to talk about why I don’t talk a lot. They have been inviting me to things a lot more since then and I may go to a party this weekend with one of them:) The hardest part is pushing myself out of my comfort zone, because once I do I have a lot of fun, and learn a lot, not only about my roommates, but also German and real German culture. We are also having a party in a few weeks because two oft my other roommates and I are all relatively new to the WG (wohngemeinschaft- shared apartment). I’ve invited all my American friends and they’ve invited their German friends, so it should be a lot of fun!

The other big part of daily life is school. I go to classes Monday through Thursday at the IES center. We only have classes with other Americans in the program (26 of us in total), but they are taught by German professors, all in German. I say they are taught in German, and that’s true, but they are taught in very slowly and simply. That’s great for those just starting out. Going from how teacher speak in the classroom to how everyone speaks in the real world is a whole different ball game. I went to my first “Uni Kurs” (university course) this past Tuesday. It was an art history lecture- something I’ve attended many of, so I thought it would be a good way to ease into a real German university class. First of all, there were probably 300+ people in this lecture hall. Second of all, most of them were 60+ years old. Not completely what I had expected, but I went with it. After about half an hour of intense note taking and understanding MAYBE 50-60% of what the professor was saying, my brain was so exhausted I fell asleep for a good ten minutes. Now I’m pretty good at keeping myself attentive during classes,and consider myself a decent student, but I was so completely wiped out. After my nap I only understood maybe 20% of what she was saying. It’s too bad, because the topic seems really, really interesting. I’m definitely going back next Tuesday. Maybe I’ll make it to 40 minutes, then 50 the next week and eventually be able to actually understand a whole lecture by the end of my time here! Cannot wait.

More posts with drawings to come SOON!

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Hillary Bliven

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hillary Bliven grew up near Seattle, Washington before moving to Tacoma, Washington to attend Pacific Lutheran University. She is double majoring in German and Studio Arts with a minor in Biology. Hillary&rsquo;s passions include pottery, drawing, good food, science and German. Studying in Germany for a semester provides a wonderful opportunity to experience people, food, and art from a different perspective. See Freiburg through the eye (and the pen) of a Northwestern Artist.</span></p>

2013 Fall
Home University:
Pacific Lutheran University
German Language
Studio Art
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