November 17, 2005

An Update

Filed under: School, Personal, Germany — Alex Ravenel @ 4:43 am

AuftenhaltsgenehmigungIt’s been a few days, so I thought I’d post with a quick update. I finally got my visa the other day, meaning I can now legally stay in Germany until November of next year. This thing is huge though–it takes up two whole pages of my passport, though I must say, I’d rather have it than two pages of generic, boring EU passport stamps. It also says that I can work 90 full days, or 180 half days, during that period of time. Nice gesture, but I doubt I’ll be finding gainful employment here when 10% of the native German population can’t find jobs. Anyways, the visa was my last “official” thing I had to do here, and it feels good to have all that paperwork behind me. No more reams of paperwork, funny opening hours, and long lines to take care of seemingly trivial tasks.

Also, the thought has been running through my head to come home for good after this semester, at the end of March. Things are great here, but I’m getting burned out on travel, and once I lose that, there really isn’t any other pressing reason for me to be here. I’m hoping that until March is long enough for my German to really pick up, but that’s something we’ll just have to see about. Also, if I leave early, I’ll be able to take both summer sessions at UNC, meaning I’ll be able to finish a German major without having to take two 18 hour semesters senior year. This isn’t a final decision to come home, but it is something that has been heavily weighing on my mind recently.

Tuebingen Stiftkirche, DetailClasses have been going pretty well for the most part. I’ve dropped my one “real” university class because I couldn’t understand anything the professor was saying. Our grades in that class would have been 100% based on a final, and I didn’t think that I would be able to pass it given my difficulties in understanding what was going on in the class. My other classes are going wonderfully though. I’m becoming much more comfortable with my German, and the classes are getting interesting. I have two projects I’m working on right now, although only one is really “work”–the other involves me going to different bars around town and then writing about what makes each one distinct. I did the first “research” last night.

I’m hoping to pick up my travel schedule significantly soon, realizing that if I do decide to go home early, there’s still a lot I want to see. I’m going to try to go to Vienna next weekend, and then probably Würzburg, Bamberg, and Nürnberg the next weekend. Hopefully there will be plenty more posts from such places…

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