Okay, so it turns out I’m terrible at updating on time, for which I am sorry! Wednesday night I had started typing out the adventures of the past few days, but my host mother had cooked dinner for us. After dinner and an excellent Stuttgart beer, I was ready for bed, and fell asleep while messaging a friend! As a result, the update was delayed until today, so instead of just the past two days, I’ll give you the events of the past three.
Tuesday was a pretty quiet day. We arrived at the university building where our classes will be held, and after climbing the stairs to the 3rd floor, arrived at our location. We were a little early, and when the rest of the students arrived we moved into our individual classrooms. The beginners were able to get straight into the lesson, whereas my class started with some revision. I was expecting the class itself to feel longer than it did. It felt like it was over before it had really began! Our teacher, Katrin gave us some worksheets to get to know the other people in our class, and to practice our oral skills. After that we had our placement test, and I was surprised that it was only for 20 minutes or so. With placements sorted and everything organised, we ended our class for the day and headed to the Mensa for lunch.
After lunch we had a bus tour around Stuttgart, and the gallery I will upload later will take you to some of the places we visited or drove past.
With the bus tour complete, I returned to the hotel and crashed in bed, something that becomes pretty consistent after the next few days!
Wednesday was our first full day of classes – well, for some it was! Due to our teacher not being able to arrive until Thursday, my culture course Cross-Cultural Communication, was delayed until today (Thursday). As a result, I only had German class in the morning, a fact I was glad for! I am equal parts jealous and sympathetic for the students who have never learned German before. The classes are extremely intensive, but in a good way. My teacher, Frank, started us off with some pronunciation practice.
It was really good to finally be taught the proper ways to pronounce some of the consonant clusters we don’t have in English. There are two different ways to pronounce the ‘ch’ cluster, and it had taken some time to get used to the ‘pf’ which we don’t have in English. After that practice we revised our cases, specifically the Dative and Accusative pronouns. For some people this may all be gibberish to you, don’t worry! Basically we worked on grammar… A lot of it! For most of the class we did grammar, and while it was mostly revision for me, it was things I needed to work on, which was good.
After class finished, I met with two more students from my course, and we travelled to the Mensa for lunch – the Mensa is the lunch cafeteria at the university. The food there is pretty good, and really cheap! I can eat a full meal for €3, approximately $4.50 in Australian dollars. They also have food that caters to my dietary requirements, so instead of getting sick on cheap bakery food every day, I get a good meal for only a few more Euro.
When lunch was finished, we returned to the building where our classes are held and dropped off one of our party. Us remaining two had planned to go window shopping, and two more friends from our culture class joined us! The advantage of having no class that day. So off we went; Reece, Emma, Megan and I. Only Reece and I had eaten, so upon arrival at the shopping center (Milaneo) and after a quick-ish browse in Primarkt (a really cheap clothing store), we raided the food court. Megan ended up with a pastry of some sort, while Emma had the biggest pile of Pide (Turkish pizza) I had ever seen. It was only a few Euro, and the four of us were in shock at how much food she had!
After eating we continued shopping, Reece almost bought an ugly Christmas beanie, but the bells and pompoms were falling off even as he carried it to the counter! I found an orange knitted jumper for only 5 Euro, which made my day, and we discovered the T2 equivalent in museli… It was unexpected. Once again, I’ll post a gallery later of some funny or weird things we found in the shops, including a beanie with a pompom almost as big as my head (yay for dodgy selfies)!
Once we had finished exploring, I returned to the hotel, where Ainslie and I were finally to meet our host mother. Margit is lovely, as is her husband Klaus, and I am very luck to have them as my hosts. Margit is encouraging me to speak as much German as possible, and I feel that is helping with my confidence in speaking.
Yesterday (Thursday) was relatively quiet. Well, after a bit of a rushed morning – I forgot to set my alarm, and I didn’t wake up until Ainslie knocked on my door to wake me up. Breakfast was also a quiet affair, and German class just as much so. I had my first and only Cross-Cultural Communication class for the week, which promises to be very interesting. It sounds like it will connect very well to my studies in linguistics, only looking at the area from more of an anthropological aspect, rather than a linguistic one.
I know there isn’t much detail for some of the days, but I will try to update again tomorrow with news from Friday (today) and Saturday (tomorrow)! Spoilers: it snowed today!
Bis dann xx