Posted by Lindsey D.
Hi again from Bremen! There have been a ton of changes in the last few weeks including moving to a new apartment, starting to work with new classes and co-teachers, and submitting my application for a second year as a language assistant in my current school. This has already improved my experience a ton and leads me to my biggest piece of advice for future Fulbrighters: if there’s something that is not going smoothly, don’t be afraid to ask for help/advice, and don’t convince yourself into settling unnecessarily just because it’s a relatively short period of time.
Before break I had started noticing I was losing some of my motivation at work, mostly due to spending so much of my time placed in a class that really didn’t need an assistant. I was also in an apartment where people regularly moved in and out, which meant that even after 5 months, it had never really started to feel like home. I had been convincing myself I could just deal with this because I was only going to be here a few more months, but after spending a few weeks over Christmas with my host family and friends from UA and noticing my mood increasing dramatically, I decided it was time to try to improve my situation in Bremen. I talked to my co-teacher and explained that I was able to contribute a lot more in other classes and within a week had created a new schedule full of classes that I am excited to work with. I also moved in with a few friends who had an extra room and now have somewhere in Bremen that truly feels like home. Neither one of these changes were nearly as hard as I convinced myself they would be, and they helped even more than I could have imagined.
I have also been adjusting to life here and making Bremen feel more like home in other smaller ways too. I have been more active at my aerial studio and recently became a mentor there, which gives me the chance to get to know a lot of the other new members. A few of my friends have come to visit here in Bremen, and I’ve been able to show them around and introduce them to the new friends I’ve made here. Another Fulbrighter even came from Spain so we could spend Christmas together and I got to introduce her to my host family as well! And last but not least, I have a growing list of places to buy spicy foods and another one of places that are open on Sundays, both of which are significantly harder to find in Germany, which is honestly probably the thing I have had the hardest time adjusting to here.