German Business and Culture, Germany
Summer I short-term faculty-led course
When I arrived to Germany I tried to exchange money at a teller however they did not want to exchange the $50 bill that I had as apparently it was “too old and worthless” my first attempt was an epic failure. I wish I would’ve known that would’ve been an issue as I had to use my debit card to take money out and I had to pay a high international fee plus the exchange rate. Future reference I would definitely like to exchange money prior to leaving the states.
All we have used is public transportation, whether it be the city bus, train, taxis, boat. It has been a great experience at times, however they are extremely crowded and plenty of times I have not been able to find seats. When on the train it has been fun being on some that go as fast as 140 MPH and on the boat it has been great to have tours and being able to sight-see around the city being able to travel to places that by foot are not possible.
There have been several shockers that I have found hard to believe, the dinner etiquette as everyone is extremely quiet and you can notice that “Americans are eating” as we tend to be a little rowdy. Water is not free anywhere you go and you constantly have to buy it. It is extremely common for every meal to be eaten with beer and the portion of the meals are smaller. I love how people here are so diverse and culturally embrace each other. People are friendly and are willing to help when needed even if they speak very little English. I was shocked at how people dress here, as they do not go out in public unless they are dressed nicely. It is very common for everyone to use bicycles as majority of people commute on them. The universities here are different as undergrad for people are a broad education as in the U.S. people major in a specific area of study. The nightlife is very different as clubs are open from Friday-Monday and people party nonstop. Graffiti is everywhere in public and it is common for people to be painting murals on the streets.
My form of communication with my family back at home has been using Facetime, Google Hangouts, and Google call. However, it the Wi-Fi not being the best it has been extremely hard to get a good connection established. It usually takes a good ten minutes when trying to call them and when we are talking it usually gets interrupted by the Wi-Fi and at times we cannot hear each other. The first day I got to Germany I called my parents to let them know I had arrived safely but it was only a short call. With the Wi-Fi I have been able to use IMessage with some friends and allow me to communicate with my sister and have her be the source of communication with the rest of my family.