Emma in Euroland

Tea, Cake and Travel: a year abroad in Germany

A Daunting Display of Discretion

A Sound of Music experience…

The most daunting and exciting thing about my undergraduate degree was always going to be my year abroad. I am currently studying Economics and German at Cardiff University. I finally experienced the relief I craved on Friday (at 12pm to be precise) when my second year exams were over. They were hellish as one would expect and motivation seemed to fluctuate as much as the British weather (the only thing predictable about Welsh weather is that even if you have an umbrella, it will be too windy to use it). However, the actual purpose of this blog is not to talk about the weather (don’t hold your breath though, I am British!), it is to document my year abroad.

Unlike many year abroad students, I am not going to university and I never wanted to. Many students go and study at a foreign university but I wanted to get out of the rat race, get away from the pressure of exams and just get on with learning about Germany and the German language. For this reason, I wanted to be a language assistant at a school, helping German students learn English. Way back in December, I nervously sent off my application and chattered my teeth for 5 months before hearing on the 4th of May that I officially had a place in Thuringia, a Bundesland in the centre of Germany. It wasn’t exactly where I wanted to go but it was my second choice and by this point I was just happy to have a place. However, Thuringia is by no means small and provides a broad range of possibilities as to where I will actually be. I may not actually be assigned to a school until August, before which I can’t book flights or organise accommodation. AHH! I should probably admit now that I am a bit of a control freak. I like things to be organised and sorted pretty much as far in advance as possible and having things hanging over me is the thing I hate most in the world. Despite this, my to-do list always seems to be as long as my arm and never seems to get any shorter!

Since the German authorities (whilst ruthlessly efficient I’m sure) seem to be enjoying their right to be painfully discreet I have resided myself to researching Thuringia and what it may have to offer. No doubt I’ll end up in some tiny little village with no access to any of these things but hey, that may be fun too! Thuringia is supposedly known as the ‘green heart of Germany’. It is full of beautiful green spaces, spas, hiking trails and general ‘sound of music’ territory. As an unashamed Julie Andrews fan (who isn’t!) this certainly appeals to me. It is the also home of Weimar, where the ill-fated Weimar Republic was created and having sat through endless classes, lessons and lectures about this throughout my career of learning German, it may be nice to actually see what all the fuss is about!

“Thuringia is supposedly known as the ‘green heart of Germany’.”

Weimar’s Rathaus

As said previously, the purpose of this blog is to document my year abroad. It might not be particularly witty or anything, but if your interested in what I’m doing, I really hope you have a read every so often. It’s going to be hard being away from home but it’s probably going to be the best year of my life too. I hope you enjoy hearing about it all :).



  1. Julie Dyson

    Id love to hear how you’re getting on x

  2. Molly

    Good Luck Emma!<3

  3. g€illian

    You are going to have such a fab time and we can’t wait to hear all about your adventures!

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