Oh my god… The level of excitement I had to come to Germany. The enthusiasm I had when I reached Deggendorf. The anxiousness I felt when I first entered my own place. The intense anticipation I felt when I first set foot in our university.
I am pretty sure you guys are feeling the same way. Maybe more, maybe less. Maybe only some of the emotions. But the effect of the first week leaves a lasting impression of Deggendorf and Germany as a whole, even in the pandemic. Especially the first two days. I was lucky enough to arrive here in the winter semester of 2019. The onset of fall and the semester before the pandemic. Allow me to take you on a journey of my eventful first days here.
I remember landing in Munich airport on a fine Tuesday morning. I was fortunate enough to have my roommate pick me up from the airport, otherwise with my luggage and my unease would have made things worse. Racing through the autobahn with speeds of 200km/h, this was my first taste of what Germany had to offer. Not to mention, the whole time I was holding onto the seat in awe (and also for my life). When I reached my accommodation (which of course I only saw in pictures before), I was overwhelmed with emotions as soon as I entered my room. It was bizarre that I didn’t feel tired at all, in spite of the lack of sleep on the airplane or the supposed jetlag. After refreshing myself, I thought I would go to the university to confirm my arrival to Deggendorf.
I took the longest route possible to the university so that I could see everything on the way. I don’t mean any sights or attractions or statues. I mean, our Deggendorf. The university was bustling with students and all of a sudden, I felt like I had entered an entirely different universe. The activity level of the students, the general vibe of the campus was something else. After quickly confirming my arrival and receiving the student ID card, I wandered in the university, inside the buildings and out on the green pastures. It was something that I never actually experienced.
Late at night, I realised that I had my first lecture at 8am in the morning. No worries, I thought. Even though my place was 45 minutes away by walking, I could still start at 7am and get there by 7.45am. However, let me tell you - walking in the morning is a completely different animal. By the time I got to the uni, I had made up my mind to buy a bike by the end of the day. Thankfully, I actually found one by the end of the day and I didn’t have to walk anymore.
Something that was also unprecedented for me, the 8am lecture was the only lecture I had the entire day! So I went to the city center and had a cup of coffee and a cake at a Bavarian restaurant, which then became my favorite place to eat in Deggendorf. I, then, picked up my bicycle and took it for a ride along the Danube, just to feel the freedom of biking.
How were your first days here (let’s discount the quarantine and say after that?)? Let me know, hopefully when we see each other this semester.
Till next time,
Ajay Raghunath is an Angewandte Informatik Masters Student (he recently learned the pronunciation) from India. He has been an ESN member ever since and keeps saying he is an Arsenal fan like it is a badge of honour. He loves to eat even though it doesn't seem like he does. He is a traveller who likes to experience new adventures.