Emma in Euroland

Tea, Cake and Travel: a year abroad in Germany

I think I’m going to like it here.

My first views of Erfurt

I’m here. I’m in my halls and my room is beginning to feel like my own. Ramona came and picked Ramsey and I up from the station yesterday, even though we arrived 2 hours earlier than planned. She is absolutely lovely and not only sat around until we sorted everything, helped me carry my things up to my room and translated anything important, she also had a massive welcome basket for me with everything I might need food-wise in the first few days, including proper English breakfast tea! After a short wait, I was given keys to my room and told I could just come down at some point this week to pay my rent and deposit. This was a huge relief. Having heard some horror stories about entering student halls and the bureaucracies involved, it was nice to just get my keys and settle in, knowing I could sort that all out later.

My humble abode for the next 9 or so months!

The room itself is basic, of course, but very nice. I am on the 3rd floor (thank you very much to Ramsey for carrying over 50kg of luggage up the stairs for me!) which means I will get fit and I also have a fantastic view. I can’t comment much on other former East German states, but Thueringen is beautiful. Despite being in the capital city, the view out my window is green and goes on for miles. It’s wonderful to lie down on my bed and see the clouds dance across the blue sky. The space I have to call my own is vast with over double the floor space I had in my room in student halls in Cardiff. The double windows cast an abundance of light across the entire room and my bedclothes from home add the colour that the room is missing. The white, bare walls seemed stark when I first arrived and there seemed like a lot of them, but now I’ve unpacked I don’t seem to notice them so much. The room doesn’t feel so overwhelmingly large as when I first arrived and I feel like I could make a home here. On the other hand, the kitchen is very basic and has no natural light. By basic, I mean we have no oven. How will I survive without roast dinners, shepherd’s pie and gluten-free cake?! Oh hell, I’ll have to go all German and get used to bread and cheese and cold meats all the time. What a hard life, eh? The most important thing is, I can still make proper tea and it’s not UHT milk in my fridge either which is a massive bonus!

A room with a view.

I am living here with Amy, an English girl I met in Altenberg and Gabija who is a student, orginally from Lithuania. Both are lovely und am meistens, habe ich Deutsch mit Gabija gesprochen. Yesterday, Gabija showed Ramsey and myself around the city. It is compact and we can walk there from where I’m living. It is so German too. The buildings are all stunning and everything looks like something from a movie. It is beautiful.

‘Lange Bruecke’

Today was Wiedervereinigungstag or Reunification Day. This is a bank holiday across Germany and so I (yet again) didn’t have to work today. Ramsey and I got up late, headed into town and ate ice cream and drank coffee in the few shops which were open. Nothing opens on bank holidays or Sundays here which might be a little hard to get used to when I’ve run out of milk and I have to wait until Monday morning for it. Tomorrow, I am meeting my Betreuungslehrer and going to pay my rent, register as a citizen and then open a bank account. I am not sure what the plan is after that: maybe go and visit my school or maybe just go home after a day of bureaucracy. We shall see! Either way, the plan is to go to IKEA tomorrow (I know, I know, I don’t have the luxury of choice right now) and get all the things I need. Unfortunately, that list includes curtains. Privacy isn’t a massive issue this high up but the sunlight in the morning might be!

So very German.

It’s strange, being in a place that is so very different from home. Erfurt is unlike anywhere I’ve been before, even Frankfurt. It feels special though, like a present I’ve been waiting to open or a secret I am about to discover. By this time tomorrow, I will be a fully fledged German citizen, ready to explore as I see fit. With the end of the Oktoberfest excitement to experience and the beautiful cathedral to see, just tomorrow, I’m sure I have a fantastic year ahead of me. Plus, it’s clearly conker season and that in itself makes me feel at home. I think I’m going to like it here.

Erfurter Dom

This conker fancied a fight with me. It nearly landed on my head!





  1. Hi Emma,
    Am enjoying reading about your adventures in Germany, and have to say, I’m a little envious. Sounds like a great opportunity you’ve got there. Although I never made it to Erfurt, your writing brings back many pleasant memories of the time I did spend in Germany a few years ago. So thanks for sharing!

    Thank you too for being the first follower on my blog, Germanistiks. It’s still very much in development, and I’m not even sure if I’m going to keep the title, but it’s great to know there’s someone else interested. I’m having a lot of fun putting it together, and only wish I had more time to write about all the things I want to.

    Alles Gute für den Rest deines Bleibens in Deutschland!

    • I’m so glad you have been enjoying reading my blog. I am loving being in Germany although the lack of some home comforts is taking a while to get used to. I hadn’t prepared for the fact that noone here eats porridge!

      You’re blog looks interesting to me. What is it exactly that your intention is? What more do you want to put on it?

      Viele Gruesse,

  2. Hey Emma,
    My blog started out as a way of exploring German literature, and I guess, connecting with other people that were interested in this. Up until very recently, I was unable to find any kind of guide to German literature, so I thought I’d create my own. I’ve since found a couple of good guides, and plan to include a review of these in my blog, but I’ve also decided to expand the coverage to art, culture, history and anything else about Germany that catches my interest. I’ve been doing a lot of reading, but can’t always find time to write about it. I’ve got too many essays to write for my University study at the moment.

    I think my interest in everything German stems from wanting to find out more about my Grandfather. He was born in a small village called Oberhone, which is about halfway between Gotha and Kassel, and then later moved to Berlin. Unfortunately he passed away before I was able to meet him (I was born in Australia). From what my father tells me, my grandfather had an amazing life, and I’m hoping to be able to write his biography one day. So I guess learning about Germany, and writing about what I learn in my blog, is sort of a preparation for that.

    BTW, I love the new look to your blog!

    Beste Wünsche,

    • Well, my experience of German literature is very very small. I did not like the courses offered at my university and since I am a joint honours student, I only had one optional module. I chose history instead. However, it is a field which interests me and I have taken a course here in Erfurt for the year which will begin to introduce me to German literature. I look forward to reading your words on it and hope you can guide me in the right direction as to what I should be reading :).

      Neither Kassel nor Gotha (especially) are very far at all from Erfurt. In fact, Gotha is on my list of places to do before Christmas. They have a beautiful castle apparently! It sounds as though your grandfathers life was pretty interesting. I would love to learn more about the lives of my ancestors.

      Thank you, the old one wasnt working for me as all the sidebar links appeared at the bottom! Glad you like it,
      Beste Wuensche,

  3. laurago12

    Hi, I’m going to Erfurt in September for my year abroad – I’m happy I discovered your blog, so I can read all about it!

    • I’m so glad, it’s such a wonderful place! Let me know if you have any questions about it. Are you going as a language assistant or as a student? x

  4. laurago12

    I read this again and realised I hadn’t replied to your comment – I’m going as a student. Nice to know what my future bedroom wil be like 🙂 so I’ll have to buy curtains too!

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