In my first blog I wanted to take a whistle stop tour of what my first three months living in Munich have been like. Moving over to Germany has been extraordinary in many ways. Not knowing what Germany had to offer made it exciting, but also daunting at the same time and the fact that I do not know much, if any German at all, was not going to make it easy. My first hurdle when moving was getting a permanent place to stay as almost all of the advice I got from Germans living in Munich was “Good Luck”. After hundreds of emails and countless phone calls with German people, who sometimes spoke no English, I managed to find a nice apartment in the west of the city. Since finding an apartment the whole experience has been so much more relaxed, especially as I live with another student from Plymouth on the same internship program as myself.
I better actually talk about why I am here in Munich for the year at some point… As part of my course I can choose to take part in a placement year and work in industry, putting what I have learnt on my course into practice and I was lucky enough to get one here in Germany. I work for a company called Fairchild Semiconductor. You may be thinking what is a Semiconductor? Well in basic they are used in electronic circuits. My role so far has been varied and has meant I have seen a lot of the departments which make up the European team. In particular now I am been given the responsibility to deal with my own customers, which I am really excited about as I want to take on as much responsibility and get as much out of this year as possible.
While I am here in Germany for the year I thought that there is no better place to learn German than the country that speaks the language. As of recently, I started attending night school to learn basic German so I can hopefully by the end of the year understand the language and be able to speak broken German, with a little bit of help from my work colleagues who are always testing me on what I have learnt. Just like being back at uni!
Outside of work is where the really good stuff happens, not saying I don’t enjoy my job of course. Within the first month of living in Munich I had been to two festivals, which were certainly eye opening and were both incredible. A big bonus of these was being able to party in 30 degrees heat in shorts and t-shirt all day and all night without worrying about getting cold or wet. Another thing I love about living in central Europe is how easy it is to travel to other incredible European cities. This was proven when Faisal (my flat mate and work colleague from Plymouth) and I went with a friend of ours to Prague for a weekend, which came about on the Thursday afternoon at work and we left on the Friday. Spontaneous is the only way to describe it and it was an awesome weekend that was unexpected and was the first city trip of many I am sure.
One thing that I cannot miss talking about is Oktoberfest, or as the Germans call it the “Wiesen”. I don’t even know where to start with it… This is the biggest folk festival in the world and has the best beer you will ever taste. The festival itself goes on for 16 days and I can proudly say I went to 13 out of the 16. This was certainly a costly, and exhausting two weeks but I would do it all over again if I could.
The week after Oktoberfest there is always the Munich marathon and half marathon which I had entered well before I knew how exhausted and tired I would be after the Oktoberfest. Nonetheless, I ran it and was pleasantly surprised with my time considering my body wasn’t in the best of shapes going into the race. As well as the half marathon I also have joined the Munich Lacrosse team so train and play once a week normally, which I find as a nice distraction from work and a chance to meet students and other guys that live in Munich.