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German culture is very different

I was born in Ukraine, and moved to England when I was 7 years old. For me, comparing the German culture to the English and the Ukrainian, it is somewhere in between the two. Especially in the region where I study (Thuringia) as it is a former East German county, and has retained a lot …

It’s up to you how much German you speak

Having arrived in Germany, I thought that I would be speaking German 100% of the time, however that turned out not to be the case. Being new in this country I think it’s only human nature to mainly communicate with people from your own culture or with people that are in the same position as …

My daily life runs completely ‘auf Deutsch’

In terms of the development of my language I was starting to get a little worried at work because a lot of people were trying to practice their English with me, and also I was introduced at first as not being able to speak German much at all. I think there was a little bit …

I’m the first in my family to live abroad

Although I have lived in England for 13 years, I come from a Ukrainian family, and as we don’t have a similar programme in Ukraine, I’m the first in my family to go live abroad.  During the summer, everyone kept asking me if I was worried about living abroad, away from my family for such …

I love the German way of life

I started my adventure in Germany in September. I had been studying German ever since I was eleven however I had only properly visited twice, so my first-hand experience of Germany was extremely lacking. I had never lived here, had a pen pal or took part in an exchange – so it was all very …

Challenges of making connections in Cuba

Posted by Lucy Kirkup. Cubans are known for their open and friendly nature along with their zest for life. Despite this stereotype I have found it considerably harder making connections with the locals here than I did in Germany. Obvious reasons for this are the difficult Cuban accent, which I still struggle with, and the …

Get stuck in as much as you can

I think I was one of many who was initially worried that my Year Abroad could be quite lonely. The truth of the matter is that it can be, but it’s up to you to be proactive and get involved in as many things as possible.  This not only allows you to practise language skills, …

Witnessing a cultural challenge for the Germans themselves

Before arriving in Germany I had already been prepped about the directness of most Germans. Having spent over six months in Germany now, this expectation hasn’t failed. From colleagues in the office loudly expressing their discontent over various things with the phrase ‘das ist blöd!’ (that is stupid), to the ferocious speed that cashiers will …

Adjusting to life as Hamburgers

Hamburg is a cosmopolitan city and holds its own in terms of diversity. People from all backgrounds settle here and seem to have few problems adjusting to life as Hamburgers (yes, Hamburgers!). It’s hard to write this while remaining tactful, not to mention politically correct, but if I’m going to write about cultural challenges then …

You’re learning without necessarily studying

Post written by Lucy Kirkup. When arriving in a new country for a period abroad, language acquisition is something that plays heavily on your mind. Using your language in a real-life situation is worlds away from learning grammar points in the classroom. The year abroad is one of, if not the most exciting part of …