by Lee Mottola
After a summer working in a picturesque Bavarian mountain town and a subsequent month in Munich during Oktoberfest it’s safe to say my threshold for fun has reached one of its highest points. With that in mind I was looking towards my next new start in Bremen with mixed feelings. Sure, I would be getting back to a university and all the excitement that comes from being around other 20 something’s in a country where even my little sister could legally drink, but Bremen isn’t exactly known for its party scene. Even among abroad options at Dickinson it’s pretty much ignored by anyone who isn’t pining for the self-torture that is learning the German language (I jest).
After a few days of pre-orientation all the German students arrived and life began to spring up on the concrete and steel campus that I now call my own. The first week of orientation here in Germany is pretty much syllabus week back at Dickinson, except with even less classes. There’s also the small fact that before orientation week you haven’t chosen classes yet. The first two weeks are dedicated to trying every conceivable class you could have interest in. I personally started with 20 and ended with 4 and that is pretty normal.
That being said 20 courses in two weeks wasn’t going to stop me from having fun and if there was one thing I learned from being in Germany for months previous, it’s that if you want to have fun you have to make it. It doesn’t matter if you don’t speak the language, if you’re on your own or nervous, just jump in and take a chance. That is what study abroad is about right? Anyways, German-syllabus week was flush with opportunities to jump in, from dance parties in a rented-out tram cart to bar tours throughout the infamous Kultur Hub of the Viertel anything and everything was on the table. There was also a very interesting underground Deutsch Rap concert mixed in much to my surprise. It all culminated in a trip for my fellow Politikwissenschaft first years to some sleep away camp outside of the city where we drank the obnoxious amount of beer provided to us by older students in the major and danced to horribly chosen playlists (also provided by the older students in the major) Sure, there was a lot of drinking but I guess that’s could actually be considered a German cultural event if you don’t think too hard about it. In that first week, I met almost all of the people, German, Polish, Italian or otherwise that are now my closest friends here. Throughout the summer and my time in Munich I never had that much luck meeting people. The difference between them? Here in Bremen I jumped into every opportunity I got and in the process I also figured out Bremen is pretty fun.