Tuesday, January 3, 2017

First Day of Classes

Currently 1:00 AM in Duestchland! Today was my first day of classes and it was amazing , besides waking up at 6:40am to get ready. First off, the sun does not rise here until like 9:30am so I had to get up and walk in the dark. I took about 30 minutes for me and the other students to make it to walk to the Institut.  During the walk I passed some artsy graffiti on benches and walls.

Once I got to the building I checked the bulletin board to see what class I was placed in. I ended up being in A.2.1 I rushed upstairs to get to the classroom ; my professor ended up being the lady that interviewed me the day before. We started out class doing an activity going around introducing ourselves. My diverse class size was about 11 students with students coming from Brazil, Netherlands,  Belgium, China,  South Korea, England, and China. I was the only American student in my class and currently at the Institut surprisingly. After class introductions we covered German past tense , vacation terms, and vocabulary, luckily we had two twenty minute breaks between each hour and 30 minutes. Class ended around 1 PM; as we were dismissed from class one of my classmates Ingrid (from Brazil) invited me out to lunch with her.

Our other classmates Tom (Netherlands), Antoine (Belgium), and Gustavo (Italy) joined us as well. Before we headed to eat I needed to head to a bank for an ATM Machine. We walked into the city center and went to the Duetsche bank to retrieve Euros. Now I can finally eat elsewhere besides McDonald's! Bless up! Next, Antoine and Gustavo needed to purchase bus tickets so we walked around in circles looking for the bus office. It turns out it was right next to the bank -_- .  When we arrived at the office they needed photos and discount codes to obtain the pass. My stomach continually growling from not eating this morning decided to look for the closest food place. I ended up at a Backeri (Bakery) ordering a turkey sand which on fresh baked bread and an original German Fanta ( Fanta originated in Germany during WW2). From there we rushed back to the Insititut to go on a tour of Göttingen, even though we covered about 3/4 of it looking for the bus office hahahaha. Back at the Institut no was there besides us so we decided to sit down and chat. We ended up all getting along , getting numbers, Facebook names, Instagrams and even creating a group chat. We also decided to do group dinners in the kitchen alternating cooking. Tomorrow is my night to cook and I am planning on making steak and french fries. :)

Finally the tour guide arrived, A University of  Göttingen student, guided us through a walking tour of the town back to our apartment. Tired and freezing from the long tour I headed back to my apartment to warm up and take a nap. I woke up a few hours later to head to the grocery store with Antoine to buy some appetizers and drinks for the dinner. The grocery store had multiple escalators and very cheap prices for everything! We headed back from the grocery store to help the rest of our friends with cooking, We ended up preparing Brazilian and Italian food. Ingrid made bolinhos de chuva a Brazilian fried donut that was sweet, hot, crispy, and delicious. Gustavo made spaghetti with tomato garlic sauce. While waiting on the food we munched on Paprika chips. During dinner we talked about the classes, our interests, and what brought us to be apart of the Goethe Institut Program. Dinner lasted about 3 hours and was lovely and a great way to become better friends. I might even call them my squad! Now I am in bed finishing blogging and about to complete my homework as well. Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!

P.S.  I have a few people that I plan to talk to assist with my research including students from Egypt and Syrian refugees.

Guten Nacht,

Afua Asenso

(Walking to class)


Trying to find the bus office

One part of the town, with the remaining lights from Christmas

YASSS this is the girl with the goose /Gänseliesel. Fun fact, she is the most kissed girl in the world. 

Statue in the middle of the road.

Inside the Institut


City tour

City tour

City tour

Famous restaurant

Christmas lights

Found an H&M in the city center

Classmates on the tour

City center

Göttingen University 

Göttingen  University

Subway in the city.  There is also a McDonalds, Burger King, and KFC nearby. 

Found this taco place on Trip Advisor and planned on trying it out. Taco's in  Germany sounds interesting. 

Eating appetizers while waiting on the food (Disclaimer the drinking age in Germany is 16 years old)

Waiting on dinner (Disclaimer the drinking age in Germany is 16 years old)

Ingrid frying the donuts

Monday, January 2, 2017

Let's Go Göttingen

It is currently 10pm now in Germany as I write this. AHHHHHH I am excited to say I have finally arrived in Göttingen! After two plane trips and two train rides (almost overslept and missed my stop) I have made it. It was an incredibly tiring journey but worth the ride. First off, it is snowing here and very cold  (about 28 degrees). Once I arrived at the train station I took the taxi to the Göttingen Institut. Before entering the taxi I tried to explain in German to the driver where I wanted to go, he corrected my use of gehen instead of fahren immediately, I got a lot of work to do already with my German, 

Once I got into the Institut I signed and then immediately headed to complete an interview and written placement exam. The interview consisted of the director asking me about my interests, family, why I am learning German, and what I hope to get out of this experience. From there I completed the written exam , which I don't think I did to hot on put luckily it's just an indicator of where I need to start. Most likely I will be placed in A.2, which is the second beginner level. After the exam I waited in the lobby with two other girls to take the taxi to the apartment. We decided to initiate some chat and getting to know each other while we waited. Both girls are from Pakistan doing research at the University of Göttingen while learning German for the first time at the Institut. They talked about their research experience for a bit along the cab ride. The apartment was about 10 mins from the institute by car and 30 minutes by walk. I settled in and took a long much needed nap. 

Unfortunately when I woke up it was dark and snowing outside but I decided to trek through the snow to find food. Finding food in the city was a wild adventure. I first decided to go inside this pizza place, only to realize that they only take cash. I asked them where the nearest ATM was and decided to go and find it. I ended up walking to the Göttingen University campus, then a cross fit gym, a gas station, and  convenience store  circling around trying to find an ATM machine. Sadly, I couldn't find one so I ended up pulling a classic American move and going to McDonald's. I attempted to order in German but both the cashier and I were confused with the conversation and he said it's easier if I spoke English and we laughed. I ate a burger, ice cream, and some french fries. I called my dad from there to check in and let him know I was fine. After eating I headed back to the apartment. When I walked onto my hall at the end of it the door was open and people were building snowmen on the balcony.  I decided to venture over to see what they were up to. 

This experience ended up being incredibly great and eye opening. I met three Egyptian men; one is here for 4 years to complete his PHD in geology, the other is studying to become a veterinarian, and the last one business. They all obtained DAAD prestigious scholarships to continue their studies at the Göttingen University and the Goethe Institut as well. The PHD student talked to me about his dream of getting a Nobel peace prize and teaching Geology in Cairo and Göttingen. He taught me a few words of Arabic
1.thank you :(shukrān) ﺷﻜﺮﺍﹰ  
2. yes of course نعم بالطبع
 and also explained the layout of the city and BEST OF ALL where to find the ATM (which ironically happens to be by the girl with the goose/Gänseliesel , the background picture of my blogposts). I'm getting ready to head to bed now since I have class at 8:30am! I will get up early and then walk to class. Already started jotting down some ideas from the conversations I had today for my research project. Goodnight and it feels good to be in Göttingen.

Here as some pictures and videos from today:

 (Train ride on the DB)
 (In the taxi in Gottingen)

   (Trekking through the city at night looking for food)

(Outside view from the balcony of my apartment)

Waiting patiently at IAD for my first flight

Passing through a town while on the train. 
McDonalds for Dinner
Plane heading towards Frankfurt 

Viele Liebe,
Afua Asenso

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Fly Away

It is finally 2017! Thank goodness its been a long year! It feels great to start the new year in a new country! As of now I am waiting at my gate to take me to my first stop then from that stop to Frankfurt. Once at Frankfurt I have to take a train all the way to Göttingen. Its going to be a long journey but I am excited. I've brought a camera and video recorder along the way to document the adventure so hopefully I will have a few photos up tommorow. Will post again once I land in Germany/Deutschland until then Tschüss 🇩🇪🇩🇪🇩🇪❤❤❤

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Picture Perfect

Before I begin the blog post I wanted to state that my prayers and thoughts are with Berlin this week after a terrorist attack occurred at their Christmas Market killing and injuring people. 

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Göttingen liegt mitten in Deutschland. Ich fliege nach Frankfurt und fahre dann mit der Duetsche Bahn nach Göttingen. Diese Bahnfahrt ist 2 Stunden und 30 Minuten. Die Stadt ist  klein, aber es ist prima. 

Göttingen is located in the middle of Germany.  I will fly to Frankfurt first then take the Duetsche Bahn to Gottingen. This train ride is about 2 hours and 30 minutes.  The city is pretty small, but it is great. 

Image result for gottingen map

Map of Göttingen, Germany


Photo of Cron & Lanz
Cronz & Lanz Kaffehaus,
Sie haben gutes Gebäck (They have good pastries) Well know for their pastries.
 - Courtesy of  Trip Advisory

The famous Timberjack's restaurant. Very famous for their burgers and steaks. Definitely planning to stop by! Ich möchte hier essen! ( I would like to eat here)
 - Courtesy of Instagram
Picture from Christmas Market - Courtesy of Instagram

Beautiful winter snow and frost cover  - Courtesy of Instagram
Christmas time and lights in the town
 - Courtesy of Instagram

Goethe-Institut Göttingen
Goethe Institut

Classes at the Institut

Graetzel Haus

Deutsches Theater
Duetsches Theater

Inside the institute
Entrance way in the Institut

Goethe-Institut Göttingen
Aerial view of the Goethe Institut

 Courtesy of Instagram

This is a small canal that runs through the town - Courtesy of Instagram

Statue of Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777–1855) studied at Göttingen University from 1795 to 1798. At the age of only 30 years, this mathematician, astronomer and physicist - Courtesy of University of Göttingen

Courtesy of Instagram

Courtesy of Instagram

Courtesy of Instagram

Artistic Graffiti - Courtesy of Instagram

Courtesy of Google Images

Center of the town - Courtesy of Instagram

Town Square - Courtesy of Instagram

Lecker , Lecker , Lecker ( EN: Tasty, Tasty, Tasty) : Apfel Kuchen und Kaffe (EN: Apple cake/pie and coffee) from the Kaffehaus - Courtesy of Instagram