Groceries & Germany

Guest post by: Junior in Accounting, Katie Munger. This Fall quarter, Katie studied abroad with the WHU exchange in Vallendar, Germany. 

Time has been flying by so fast here, three months has felt like the blink of an eye, evidenced by the fact that I’ve been trying to sit down to write this blog post for about two months now, and I’ve just now gotten around to it. It’s hard to believe how quickly time has gone by, but I also can’t believe how much has happened. 

Honestly, it took me a long time to adjust to life abroad; about a month and half in, I felt like I had adjusted, but even now I still feel like I’m figuring out new things every day. It was definitely a difficult adjustment, especially being that this is the first time I’ve ever lived alone. I had about three different waves of culture shock; whenever I thought the culture shock was over, I would go to the grocery store and instantly be proved wrong. Grocery shopping when you don’t know if you’re buying cream cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese, or cheese spread has proved very difficult. But that’s not even the worst part. In Germany they don’t bag your groceries for you, and the cashiers scan items at the speed of light. They’re done scanning your 30 item grocery haul when you’ve only bagged 5 items and your wallet isn’t even out yet. It’s you versus the cashier and the cashier always wins. 

Studying in Germany has made it easy to travel, as we’re so centrally located in Europe. I’ve traveled to many different cities throughout Germany, as well as cities in other countries: Amsterdam, Brussels, Antwerp, and Paris. Vallendar is quite a small town, with only around 8,000 residents and 1,400 WHU students, so it’s nice to be able to easily travel when the town starts to feel a bit too small. WHU also organizes many events to help us experience the culture of Germany, including a vineyard tour, a trip to Oktoberfest, and a Christmas Market excursion. I’m very thankful for how much effort WHU puts in to make the exchange students (otherwise known as Tauschies) feel welcome and integrated. There’s always something going on to keep us busy.