By: Joshua Place
Major: Global and International Studies
Bonn University, Germany
Bonn University and the city of Bonn itself are amazing. Bonn University was founded in 1818 but the main building itself has been around since the 1600s. Seeing as Europe is older than the United States, history plays a much bigger role. For example, walking past the house in which Beethoven was born in on your daily commute is not uncommon. Also, the night life and community of Bonn is very active because there are so many young and international people. One evening you might find yourself eating a “Döner” (Turkish fast food sandwich) on a bench with some friends next to a church that is centuries old at midnight, and the next night you’ll find yourself at your friend’s dorm learning how to make sushi. And if you ever get bored in Bonn, you can always go to Köln, which is thirty minutes away by train and free if you’re a student.
I myself am fairly accustomed to most of the cultural differences between the United States and Germany, but to some they may come as a surprise. First off, smoking and drinking are very common in Germany because they tend to go along with social events, and because of that, many more people smoke in Germany and public drinking is very common. Secondly, many Europeans, Germans specifically, have a tendency to stare for extended periods of time. Sadly if you find yourself being stared at for no apparent reason, all you can really do is accept it, unless you’re feeling dangerous and in that case you can try and out-stare the other person. Last but not least, punctuality is very important. Punctuality is not just important when it comes to catching the bus or train, but it also shows respect and is courteous when you arrive at a proper time to an appointment, someone’s house, or even class.