Week 1 – The big move. (7-13th October 2015)
This was my first time. I was nervous, confused, anticipating what was to come. I had filled in the endless forms; made sure I had all the relevant insurance; my accommodation was even paid for – but was I really ready? I barely knew any of the language and I knew absolutely nobody; I didn’t even know how to ask for help! Of course this feeling disappeared within the first 24 hours of arriving.
I was moving to Cologne, Germany, on the Erasmus programme at The German Sports University. Cologne is Germany’s 4th largest city, and boasts of the largest sports universities in Europe. I landed and made my way to the university, and I was greeted by a small, smiling German called Max. He is my dorm coordinator, and is a lovely guy. He showed me to my room, which contained a single bed, a wardrobe, a small fridge/freezer, and an en-suite – bonus!
My first thought was one of angst – how will I spend my time in such a small space? A single bed? Who is going to bring me coffee in the morning? I have to learn so much!
After unpacking all of my belongings, the next step was to try and explore some of the city (and get some free food off my parents before they leave) and meet some of the other students that are also living in dorm D.
My German Sports University (Spoho) student card gives students free transport around the city on the Trams and Buses, which is amazing. It also allows me to provide free transport to another person who is travelling alongside. With this in mind, my parents and I headed into the centre and quickly found an abundance of trendy fashion shops, busy cafes and the majestic cathedral. (Koelner Dom)
Meeting new people is always fun, and it’s great to get to know people, and the surprises they bring. Of course initial meetings have basic chit chat, and I was asked countless times what my subject of study is. I study Industrial design at Coventry University, however I have always had a fascination with sports, exercise and how athletes’ bodies move bio-mechanically, and also how nutrition and different modes of training effect the human body; being a design student Is hard to flex this passion. When I heard about the Erasmus programme, and the opportunity to study at The German Sports University, I couldn’t believe my luck!
My first week was a blast. I have met many, many great people that I am looking forward to spending more time with. I have already learned a lot about myself and I have even sorted a routine for cooking and cleaning. Bring on week 2!