A Brutally Honest Year Abroad Blog

My experiences as an Erasmus student in Germany

About

I’m Katie, a third year German and French student from the University of Southampton, and I’m currently on a year abroad, studying at the University of Potsdam in Germany for 2 semesters.

I decided to write this blog because a lot of my friends have been doing it and as I’ve been reading theirs, I’ve noticed one thing. The lack of negatives. Either they really are having as amazing a time as they say they are. Maybe there are no negatives to their experiences (yet). But I doubt it.

I’ve struggled the last year with depression, and I’m still recovering. And one thing that really hasn’t helped me, has been seeing everybody’s “perfect” lives all over social media. I know it’s not like that in reality, but that’s how we perceive it because that’s all that an individual will show through their facebook profile.

They don’t share the fact that today they couldn’t even get out of their pyjamas. Or all that they ate was chocolate and crisps. Or that they were scared to leave the house. Or that their family were having problems. All we see is their perfect holidays, their perfect home, their perfect family and their perfectly healthy avocado and egg on toast lunch. By the way, I hate avocado.

So how is this year abroad blog going to be different?

I’m going to tell the truth. I’m not saying others are lying, I’m just saying that sometimes people omit certain facts and information in order to keep up the appearance that they’re having “the time of their lives”.

I will say it how it is. I will share the negatives, along with the positives. I will be brutally honest.

I’m hoping that not only will this blog help me to release some of my negative energy and stress, but I’m hoping it will serve as a way of helping some of my fellow year abroad students, who I know are also struggling. Maybe it will help them to see that not everybody is having such an amazing time. That along with the positives of sightseeing, making friends and exploring new places, there are also the negatives of the man in the coffee shop really not being able to understand what you’re ordering in a foreign language and treating you like an idiot, or the ridiculous amount of Erasmus forms/paperwork, or the fact that the year abroad can be an incredibly lonely time.

I want to show my friends and fellow students that they’re not alone in this crazy process. Everybody else is experiencing it too.

So with this blog, I’m going to attempt to write a blog post every week about things that have happened. I will try and write a post about events that I’ve taken part in, the general struggles of being a student, and the fact that the German language is a pain in the backside.

BUT! Disclaimer: life gets in the way, German bureaucracy gets in the way, everything gets in the way. So some weeks there may be 4 blog posts because something monumental has happened, and some weeks there will be 0. On these weeks, you’ll probably find me curled up in bed binge watching Eastenders and making myself feel sick with Rittersport chocolate (the best thing about Germany so far).

Hope you enjoy!

Katie

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