My second week of the prep course gradually got easier and easier. However, throughout the week, us exchange students had several appointments to attend for one reason or another.
Our first appointment was for non-European students to purchase German health insurance. All would have been well if not for the fact that every American already had some sort of insurance previously provided to them. For instance, Nora, Jordan, and I each had purchased insurance from Mary Washington, but we were told it was better to get the German insurance since our coverage information was not clear. We emailed the study abroad office at UMW and eventually got it all figured out so that our original insurance is enough to cover us for our time here.
In order to prepare for my next appointment, I needed a passport photo since I had forgotten mine at home. I met up with my tutor, Lukas, on Monday to set up my German bank account and get passport photos. We went to Deutsche Bank and ended up meeting with someone who spoke English so that I could fully understand everything about my account. Afterwords, we walked to a photo shop and both got passport photos since he needed them as well in order to come to Mary Washington in the fall. I was surprised by how many photos I was given for such a cheap price. We parted ways so that he could continue working on his paper he was writing and so that I could begin getting all of my paperwork together for the next appointment.
The next day, I brought all of my paperwork to the international office where I filled out my foreigner information so that I can later get a visa. Nothing eventful really happened there since all we did was make copies to save for an appointment for another day in the future. That afternoon, Lourdes and I went to a Steve Mccurry photography exhibit in the art hall in downtown Erfurt.
Throughout the week, we learned more about the process of registering for courses and opportunities to speak and practice German offered to us around the Erfurt community.
The registration process is much more difficult than I had ever imagined, and I now feel guilty to have ever complained about registering for classes at Mary Washington. Basically, you must pick your classes you want to take and register for them before they begin. However, if you want to receive any credit for them, then you must book the class after it has begun and visit your adviser provided to you so that he or she can sign it and give you the allotted credit points for the semester. After that meeting, I went back to pick my courses and just used trial and error, for the most part, to actually figure out what courses I wanted to take and where to find them.
Nora and I met up that afternoon and went to the park outside of the Dubliner since we had recently discovered that there were trampolines.
Sadly, after those pictures, my camera decided to not work, but did Nora took some pictures of me jumping on a trampoline for the first time.
My weekend ended up as pretty average. I just went to the Dubliner (the Irish pub) with other exchange students on Saturday. There, karaoke was sung again and this times a few people had enough courage to actually choose songs and sing them with the microphone. It was comforting to know that I’ve become pretty close with all of the people there and that we were able to go out and just have fun with each other. On Sunday, it was a beautiful day, so my roommate Lourdes and I went to a nearby park and read. To my wonderful surprise, the park had hammocks right in the sun.
Lourdes on her phone before reading her German book she brought with her. I sadly forgot my book, so I ended up studying for our test in the prep course and just enjoying the wonderful weather.
I was starting to get used to life and studying in Germany, and I really enjoyed the time I got to spend with Lourdes.