Bamberg by Meredith Wenzler

The last three weeks I have been living in Bamberg preparing for the beginning of the semester. Currently I am enrolled in an extensive language course that meets daily leading up to the beginning of classes next week. Even though school hasn’t even started yet I already feel as if I have learned so much.

Given that the fall semester in Charleston ended in December and my program in Bamberg did not actually start until April third, I took it upon myself to not waste any time lazing around my parents house for four months and headed over to Germany on February 16th. My first five weeks were spent in a very small town outside of Hannover, Bad Nenndorf, as an Au Pair and horse stable worker. I lived with a 73 year old German woman who spoke no English. I went days upon days without speaking any English other than in my own head. I would wake up everyday, walk the children to school, spend hours in the horse stables shoveling horse manure, watch the kids some more, and end the night with dinner and news with my Host Oma. It was very much traditional day to day German life. It was a very interesting and at times, very challenging experience, but I’ve always thought that true immersion is the best way to learn.

After my time as an Au Pair in Bad Nenndorf had concluded I took the train down to Bamberg and moved into my apartment here. I still had some time before my program started so I decided to treat myself to a trip to Ireland. I spent three days in Dublin, staying in a hostel, making friends from Australia, Iceland, and California. Then I set off to the west side of the country to Galway and the Cliffs of Moher for two nights. Probably the most beautiful country I’ve seen in my life.

After my quick trip, my program started back in Bamberg. I’ve been making friends from all over, Finland, Italy, Hungry, and of course, Germany. Our tutor from our language study program has taken a liking to my friends and I, insisting to take us out and show us the city. Exploring old Bamberg and the new. School has yet to start and I have already been exposed to so much new life. I am starting to see new cultures and finding a clearer lens of my own.

Much more to come,
Meredith Wenzler


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