Experience Reports - Maria Camila

Experience Reports - Maria Camila

First Oldenburg impressions

by María Camila Villarraga Díaz, Colombia (PPRE 2017/19)

When I heard for the first time about the PPRE program at Oldenburg's university and the possibility of a scholarship, I decided to try it without hesitation. Now that I am here, and actually a few days before my flight to Germany, I was wondering why I came with this crazy idea of leaving all that was known to me and why was I willing to start a new life in an unknown city, far away from home, my family and my friends? In this new city I did not know anyone or did not have any idea of how would it be like. But then, one moment later, here I am.

I was quite lucky from the beginning because I found a place to live in a shared flat (WG) with three lovely German girls. That made me really wonder why all people say Germans are so cold and hard... when I first met my roommates I was saying to myself as an explanation, that maybe they just where not so German... but they totally are! They gave me a nice cozying welcome to the new house and the city, and they helped me with very useful indications and advices.

PPRE fellow students from initial German Language class, named: Brandon (Nigeria), Bhawana (Nepal), Ana (Venezuela), Fabio (Brasil), Tarikua (Ethiopia), Stefany (Ecuador), Zack (Gambia), me - Camila (Colombia) and Alejandro (Honduras).

The weather on the other hand, didn't welcome me so nicely... but I cannot make any comparison with my country (Colombia), otherwise I will get very depressed! Let's just say that it is different from what I knew and that I really need to find an Eskimo suit when the winter approaches.

Me – Camila (right) among my room mates and friends.

My very first impression of Germany when I had just arrived was that the air feels like if you were inside a fridge. It is very different from what I'm used to and my skin felt the lack of humidity right a way. My face was so dry that one of the first things I needed to buy in the supermarket was a Feuchtigkeitscreme (moisturiser) .... which adds to the list of nice and long German words, that I have been learning in the past months here in Oldenburg. 

German language will never give you a break, even if you already speak a little bit, like I do. But the good thing is, that you will never forget some words or how to express some things because of the story behind these words:  like the guy from the Telephone company that thought I was asking him out when I asked him for ‘eine Einladung’ instead of ‘eine Aufladung’ or when your friends made fun of you when you told them you wanted to bake a “Küche” instead of a “Kuchen”…

There are a lot of things here that work in a very different way than in my country. For example, your German friends tell you that you are always late just for ten minutes delay, or how fast the supermarket cashier works (you have no time for packing your things); the environmental consciousness of all people here (which I really love) or expecting that a huge truck stops for you to cross a street, that just amazed me. 

The PPRE classes are now about to start. I am very excited and curious about what will I find. I hope the majority will be positive things and that my new life here treats me as well as it has been in these past months. I will keep my mind positive.

(Changed: 2020-01-23)