Dear letters to America,

 

I’ve reached my halfway mark in München! I have two more months to go and then a solo trip (which I’m super excited about) and back to the USA. These past months here have been incredible. I’ve traveled, meet amazing people, and also had some small setbacks like the language barrier or dying of heat in my room because there is no AC!

I’m going to write this post about culture shocks that’s I’ve encountered here in München. There are a lot, some smaller than others. First, did you know that dogs go to doggie school and are trained so well that Germans rarely have them on leashes when they take them for walks. They do have to be in a leash when they cross the street or take the Ubahn or any transportation. Which brings me to another huge culture shock from Rollins or suburb, having to take public transportation to class or anywhere actually! I live in a place called Olympiazentrum, and it’s about 10-15 minutes away from the city center and I have to take the Ubahn, which is the underground subway to get there. When I go to class, I usually leave 20 minutes before class starts, and unless you have somewhere to be at an exact time, people are pretty relaxed when taking public transportation. There is still rush hour though! Taking the metro at 5 pm will be your worst nightmare, and I still haven’t even experienced it during the summer when it gets extra hot down there.

Another strange thing that Germans do is education but in a good way. The education system is really different and there are a couple of thing that surprised me, such as classes are once a week for two hours, and after each class or presentation, you hit the table with your knuckles (instead of clapping) to thanks either the teacher or presenters. Which at first, I did not understand! The other different thing from our curriculum is that here we only have one exam or paper or presentation at the end of the semester, and that’s your entire grade! It’s even “illegal” to take attendance and it cannot affect your grade! Wow! Imagine Rollins being like that! Realistically I don’t think it would work but it does here!

Also if you come here you will notice two things; one is that this city is one of the most expensive cities in Germany and also that water is usually more expensive than beer!!! What?! I know right! Crazy Bavarians… but even though it’s one of the more expensive cities you can still get a Döner (delicious lunch/dinner/ bajón/drunk food ever or as some call it Kebab) for €3.50! Shoutout to Mamas in Munchener Freiheit! A must stop before heading to the Englischer garden to hang with friends and drink! Wait, did I just say drink? Outside? In public? And I’m still 20? What? Yes, all this is allowed in Germany!  Usually, on the weekends or even sometimes after or between classes we head to this huge garden called Englische Garden which is bigger than Central Park by so much and we grab some beers, Döner and hang out there.

Another incredible and super environmentally friendly thing they do here is actually recycle and separate the trash. If someone sees you throwing trash in the wrong bin, they will call you out on it. There’s is glass, paper, biomulle ( anything organic from the kitchen), you can also get money back from most glass and plastic bottles and a bin for the rest of the trash.

So these are many culture shocks I’ve experienced, by now I am used to it so it’s not a big deal! Catch me on my next blog!

Colomba Martinez

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