Abroad in Mainz | The beginning of my adventure in Germany

Studium, Internationales

Lona is an exchange student from Shenzhen in China. She will stay in Mainz for 2 semesters, living with a host family and studying German literature at the University of Mainz. As Abroad in Mainz-Blogger she writes about her everyday life, her experiences and the challenges she faces as an exchange student. Her first article is about differences between living in China and in Germany and about her first month in Mainz.

I have already spent two months in Germany. The life in Europe is really different from life in Asia, and everything around me is fresh and new. The very first day when I arrived, I experienced the culture shock immediately.

Shopping on Sundays?

I arrived at Frankfurt airport on 2nd April, which was a sunday. After I had moved into my dormitory, I wanted to go to the supermarket to buy some daily products. Then my friend told me that all shops are closed on Sundays. Oh no!! At last I had to wait until Monday.

On the contrary, in China every shop opens on the weekend. Everybody crowds anywhere on the street or in the shopping mall. And lots of products’ discount activities will be held to attract people to go shopping.

Speaking of shops, I am amazed of the differences of the location of supermarkets between two countries. In my native city there are two or three (or even more) big supermarkets in the city centre. Just take a few minutes of walking and here we are. If you are too lazy to go the supermarket, you may just go down the stairs and visit the convenience shop on the street corner. These shops are 24hr open every day.

In Mainz, the supermarkets are far away from the centre and grouped together in big space. A lot of people use a car to go grocery shopping.

Although hundreds and thousands shops on the street make my life more convenient and efficient, I still prefer the lifestyle in Germany. Not in hurry, take time easy.

One day trip by train

The Semesterticket is one of the most brilliant inventions in Germany! On weekends I often take a train ride with my host family to visit places in the RMV region. So far I have already visited more than six cities and every trip is unforgettable.

The Bridgehouse in Bad Kreuznach, the health resort in Bad Münster am Stein-Ebernburg, the beautiful Timber framing house in Bacharach, etc. It is worth mentioning that the scenery along the train is fabulous! Especially in spring, when the oilseed flower dyes fields into yellow, just like a giant drawing palette on the ground.

German or English?

To be honest, I speak English better than German. In the first week in Mainz, most of the time i spoke English  to express myself clearly. Compared to English, the German number order is precisely up side down. As a result I am always confused when i pay at the supermarket (to avoid such embarrassment, i stare at the screen all the time).In German language classes, I am only allowed to speak German, although it is difficult for me to explain a complete opinion. Yet, I believe that everything will get better eventually. At this point I already feel more confident to use the German language.

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