I moved to a town outside of Munich called Freising in the summer of 2016, for a marketing internship at Texas Instruments. It’s difficult to write about how amazing Germany was in the summertime now that it’s the dead of winter, and there is a seemingly ever-present frost hanging in the air, icy sidewalks and powdery snow covering everything as far as the eye can see; they warned of winter coming, and they were right; but I digress. I hadn’t found an apartment to move into yet so I was staying at the local boarding house in a room to myself and shared bathroom/kitchen with 2 non-English speaking strangers. I could see the bus/train station from my cracked window, but rather than being pessimistic I was elated at how quick transport to work and the center of Munich was from my (well not mine) doorstep.
My family helped me make the move to Germany, so we spent the next couple of days doing what one must when the immigrate into Deutschland; registering in the city, getting a bank account, getting a tax ID number, and of course trying the local beer (Freising is home to two of the most famous breweries in Germany; I chose my new home wisely). We then took a trip to kitzbühel, Austria, which I will elaborate on in my next post.
We returned from our trip, my family parted, and the next day I had my first day at Texas Instruments. I immediately loved it; from the 30+international interns all about my age employed, to the outdoor seating area at lunch bathed in sun, and even the products I was helping to promote- embedded processing microchips- I was so excited about it that on my first night I took home a TI LaunchPad and tried to code it on my personal laptop while drinking some summer beer in the boarding house garden.
My first weekend living in Germany, and subsequently every weekend after that, was jam packed with activities organized by interns. The first Friday we went out to the most happening’ (and only…) night club in Freising, NachtCafe, and then on Sunday we took a day trip to Salzburg, Austria with a company car. Little did I know when I took the job, that near enough ever weekend of my year out would be filled- from hiking the German and Austria Alps, to attending local and international festivals like Volksfest and Octoberfest, to traveling Europe by train, bus, and plane. Munich is on the doorstep of Europe, and I’ve learned that one of the finest characteristics of Deutschland is its accessibility to elsewhere.
This move (and current living situation, until I return to Nottingham for my final year of university in 2017) has allowed me to travel more than I ever imagined possible at the age of 21; and I haven’t stopped yet.
Borrowed clothes: As I could only move to Germany with 2 suitcases and a carry-on, I had a limited supplied of clothes to begin with; borrowed or otherwise. Luckily, my Mom’s suitcase items were up for grabs in the transition (unbeknownst to her or not…) So I managed to take a pair of her ‘mom jeans’ (all the rage in summer 2016), a few tops I would later need for my office life, and some jewelry to complete the look. I also managed to snag two of Rhys’ tops, specifically a Northface tee that reads “never stop exploring” that is my personal favorite, and a Jack Jones tank top that doubles as a summer dress.
- You don’t need to learn German- Everyone speaks English. I tried to take classes in the first few months and more than anything they were rude to me. I spent about 100 euros and didn’t learn anything. However if you’re an eager beaver type and very dedicated, try making friends that speak the language and you can practice.
- Bring your own pillow. For some inexplicable reason, Germans don’t believe in rectangular pillows, but instead prefer big square thin ones that I STILL haven’t gotten used to. Maybe someone in Germany will read this and point me in the right direction of where to acquire normal pillows…
- Get used to recycling- Germans are crazy about it.
- In Bavaria, I think it’s safe to say more people bike than drive. In Freising I bike everywhere. So if you are visiting or moving to this area, refrain from a car rental and opt for a bike.
- Invest in Birkenstocks.
- If you are flying to or from Munich, upgrade to a Lufthansa flight if you aren’t on a super tight budget. It’s about 20 euros averagely more expensive than EasyJet, but you get free drinks and snacks on the plane, always fly in and out of terminal 2 (which is far superior to terminal 1, and has free napping pods..), and experience less delays and cancellations.
- Be ready for winter to be really cold. Really really cold.