My life in Germany
Mai Kikuchi (B3)
Guten Tag. I am Mai Kikuchi, a student of Fujii’s Seminar 2019 at Utsunomiya University. I am in Germany now as an exchange student.
It has been two months since I started to study at Trier University. I’m gradually becoming accustomed to life in Germany. In this semester, I take German classes and English classes. In the classes, it is not enough just to sit down and listen. To actively take part by raising a hand and saying my own opinion is quite important, and I am trying to keep up with my classmates. Sometimes I get frustrated, but I do not have time to get depressed.
There are not only difficult times but also pleasant times. For me, the time to spend with tandem partners is pleasant. Tandem is a sort of program that two students help each other by teaching language to each other. I have three partners, and they teach me English and German. I think this system is great because learners get opportunities to practice conversations and to correct mistakes. I strongly agree with the importance of correcting mistakes. I realize that it does not matter how many mistakes you make, but it is more important to remember those mistakes in order to improve the next time.
There are also pleasant times besides studying. One of the things that I was looking forward to was German Christmas markets. The one in Trier has been held from the last week of November. Here I would like to share my experiences of visiting Christmas markets. I have been to the markets in Trier and Cologne.
[Picture1: The Original Mug in Trier]
I went to Trier’s Christmas market as soon as it started. The market was not so big, but there were a lot of stores selling different kinds of food and other things e.g., Glühwein, Christmas ornaments and so on. My German friend said that the Christmas market here is a more traditional one than others in big cities. When you drink Glühwein, it costs you a deposit for a mug apart from the beverage fee. You can get the deposit back by returning your mug. However, since each mug is designed cutely, I did not return the mugs to bring them back to Japan as souvenirs.
In the first week of December, I went to Cologne with my friends. Five Christmas markets were held in Cologne, and I went the four of them. They were bigger than Trier one and much more crowded. Each market had a different theme, such as “market of angel”, “market of elf” and so on. They were fairy-tale-like places. Another market was held in front of Cologne Cathedral, where it is a World Heritage Site. We were impressed by the good combination of the Christmas market and Cologne Cathedral with illumination.
[Picture2: Cologne Cathedral and the Christmas Market]
I have plans to go to some Christmas markets of other cities on weekends and during the winter vacation. As each Christmas market has a different atmosphere, I am really looking forward to visiting others. However, I have mid-term examinations before the winter vacation. I will continue not only to enjoy my travels but also to study hard. Thank you for reading. Auf Wiedersehen.