Hello from Deutschland! My name is Taylor Gaide, and I am the blog coordinator for the Münster, Germany study abroad program. I am a senior at Luther College, and am a math and German double major with an education minor.
Enough about me, I am sure you all want to know about the start of our semester here! Well, we have survived a lot of firsts here in Münster including: our first week of classes, German carnival, and the red brick roads. Many may be wondering why it is impressive that we have survived red brick roads. Well, here in Münster, red brick roads are strictly for bikes. This means that, if you are casually walking and find yourself on a red road, you have a high chance of getting hit. (I may or may not know this from personal experience.) Bikes definitely have the right of way here, which is nice as some students bike to and from class. Also, it is especially convenient for those of us who took a few unplanned detours on our way to the first couple days of class.
I also mentioned German “Karneval”. This was an amazing experience for all of us. Imagine the 4th of July, Halloween, and someone’s 21st birthday all celebrated on one day, and then you may be able to slightly picture German “Karneval”. People of all ages come to "Karneval" with their friends or family dressed in costumes. There are many different floats with people yelling “Helau” and throwing popcorn, candy, and flowers to the children. ("Helau" has no English translation; it is just what the people of Münster shout during their carnival.) Of course, "Karneval" would not be complete without a bratwurst from a street vendor. However, I am told that I have not experienced true "Karneval" unless I have been in Cologne during this time. This will have to wait until next year!
We are all looking forward to this next week, as we are getting more comfortable being here in Münster. This is all for now, more blogs to come!