I have a bit of ground to make up because I somehow skipped over the month of September post-wise… But now I can reflect on everything and vow to update more frequently for the last 3/4 of the journey!
There’s a lot to talk about but I want to focus on the pre-semester classes that I’ve been attending every day. Regular classes here start in October, so I’m currently enrolled in classes solely for other international students in the IUSP program. Monday through Friday we have language class from 9:00-12:30 and a German history/culture class from 2:15-3:45. During the break we usually get lunch at the student cafeteria or work on homework at the library. So that’s my current daily routine. I catch the bus at 8:30 in the morning and the time I get back usually depends on if I have to go to the library or run errands after class.
Language class is the thing I was looking forward to most when I applied to study abroad and so far, I have not been disappointed by the program. Our class has only 5 students who are all at about the same level language skill-wise. For the most part, our professor explains things completely in German, and we have endless opportunities to practice both comprehension and responding. Since the class is so small, we’re all comfortable with each other and are constantly conversing and helping each other out.
Forming sentences and communicating outside of class is still hard. I wasn’t expecting to become fluent in a month, but I still shy away from speaking too often in public because I know I’ll make mistakes. I almost always find myself drawing completely blank whenever people genuinely attempt conversation in German (aside from simple phrases I know well). As more time passes I’m hoping there will simply be more and more things and phrases I can categorize as ‘knowing well’.
Although the ‘pre-semester’ courses end soon, the language course kind of continues during the regular semester through a separate ‘conversation class’. It’s going to have the same students with a slightly different structure and it will be only two days of the week instead of five. Since the other classes I’m taking are going to be taught in English, I’m thankful that there will still be an opportunity to regularly attempt German and have a go-to place where I can ask questions and get clarification.