I have been living in the city of Stuttgart for ten weeks now and so far it has been a very interesting and enlightening experience. There have been various aspects of life in Germany which I have found to be different than back in my home country, England.

Like many other students, the night life is an important factor of any city. The bar and club scene in Stuttgart is expansive and pretty good in general. I am a big fan of the many pubs located all over the city, and the clubs which I have visited so far have their equal share of good music and plenty of cheap alcohol. Staying late at all these places is an option thanks to the lateness/earliness of the S bahn, it’s hard to not love a night out in Stuttgart.

A further aspect of the city which took a little bit of getting accustomed to was life on a Sunday. Back in England, we are almost spoilt by how long supermarkets are open. In Germany, this is not so much the case. The first few weeks were met with frustration on a Sunday as first I’d realise I needed to buy something from the shops and then secondly I’d remember I wouldn’t be able to get them. Hopefully I’ll remember anything important in the future, to avoid frustration.

One way of avoiding this nightmare (a great exaggeration, of course), is to not be in my flat on a Sunday. I have made trips to various parts of the city on the last day of the week, including to the vast woodland of Herrenberg and the occasional trip to the international cinema in Vaihingen.

Another significant difference I found after I moved here was the way classes are structured. On my minors’ course, there is a big emphasis on group work. This, as well as being very different to my home University, is engaging and rewarding. I’ve enjoyed being thrown in at the deep end with all new people and I can’t wait for it to continue.

It feels as though I’m approaching a key point in the semester in terms of coursework, but none of these deadlines feel quite as bad as back home; there is still a small aspect of the honeymoon period still alive and my minor modules are coming together pretty well.
I may have lots of work coming my way over the next few weeks, however Christmas is fast approaching and after hearing so much about the Christmas Markets here in Stuttgart; the opening of them can’t come soon enough.

Patrick Hollis