Blog 1 Recap: My First Month in Freiburg

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Johannes Ong
February 6, 2024

So let's talk about the month. Honestly it was quite an adjustment overall. First there was the journey and dealing with jet lag. Depending on where you're coming from this can vary. In my experience waking up at 4 a.m. and traveling for 24 hours is quite a challenge. Finally arriving exhausted and struggling to sleep was really tough. Now let's move on to Freiburg. The first night greeted me with snow and a bone chilling wind. Not exactly the warmest welcome.

Please don't think I'm bashing Freiburg in any way. What I gave up as a native of San Diego, California. Familiar weather. I traded for a winter wonderland, with breathtaking sights set against the beautiful Black Forest backdrop. At glance Freiburg not stands out with its unique sights but also shines as an environmentally responsible city that prioritizes recycling. This transition from the laid back vibes of San Diego to the eco conscious and historically rich Freiburg has been eye opening. It has shown me a way of life that values sustainability and community.

The architecture here feels like something, out of a fairytale book. As I strolled through the city, I couldn't help but be captivated by the medieval buildings lining the cobblestone streets. Each one seemed to have its story from centuries past. The Freiburger Münster, standing tall with its imposing spire is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture that dominates the cityscape. It's not a church; it symbolizes Freiburgs strength and rich history having endured wars and the passage of time.

One of the aspects of Freiburg is its charming Bächle, small water filled runnels that grace the streets. Initially designed to combat fires and provide water for livestock in times they have now become a feature that adds to the enchanting ambiance of the city. Legend has it that stepping into one accidentally guarantees you'll marry a Freiburger. While I've managed to keep my feet dry these Bächle serve as a constant reminder of the citys endearing traditions and folklore.

Now let's talk about food, in Freiburg. La Piazza steals everyones attention with its $5 pizzas; they are hands down some of the pizzas I've ever tasted. Each bite takes you on a journey like no other. Equally impressive are the shops scattered throughout town, with Döner being particularly noteworthy. Their kebabs offer a blend of spices meaty goodness and refreshing flavors.
These establishments go beyond being places to eat; they are gems of the city that provide delightful insights, into Freiburgs unique and delectable food scene.

However, it's not the allure and the gastronomic pleasures that have made my time in Freiburg exceptionally memorable. It's the people. Friendly welcoming, my colleagues in the European Union group are like a piece of home that has facilitated my adjustment here.

As I contemplate my month in this city I realize that Freiburg has started to feel like a home to me. Yes it was challenging at first. Required some adaptation...As I've settled down I've discovered a city with a rich history and a strong commitment to creating a better world. It is where the past and future coexist harmoniously providing not lessons in history but also guiding principles, on harmonious living.

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Johannes Ong headshot

Johannes Ong

Hello! I'm Jo, an economics student at Pomona College, originally from New York and later a CA San Diegan since the age of 11. I love to run and am excited about the program!

2024 Spring
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