My first week of classes was pretty hectic. I had some trouble finding some (all) of my classes. They use abbreviations for the class locations here, so it will say PK 22.7, which means Pockelstrasse 22 (the address of the building) and the 7 is the room number inside the building.
The classes are a little different here too. The professors lecture for about 1.5 hours from a PowerPoint, which every student has a paper copy of. Apparently, you can go to this place called the “Klappe,” which is in a building just for Mechanical Engineering students, and tell them which courses you need notes for, and pay 50 cents for each one. Then they give you the notes that the professor has written for the entire semester for each course. They gave me more than enough paper to fill three textbooks, and I paid 1.50 euros total. They also have the old exams from the past ten years too, and for free. It took me a week to figure out this note system, so the first week of classes were a challenge. I’m taking three M.E. courses and two German classes.
One of my German classes is specifically for Engineering and Science students, and it focuses on teaching us technical vocabulary. The other class is a communication class that focuses on communication in the university and in everyday life. I actually spent the first week in a different German class, but after the first day I asked to be removed from the course and put into the technical one. The professor from the first course required that we buy some workbook and do a bunch fill-in-the-blank and matching exercises, and I didn’t really like that. I feel like at this level, I should be doing slightly more challenging work. The class sizes for both of my German courses are very small, with no more than about 12 students, so that’s nice.
My engineering classes are huge lectures with almost 700 students and the professor lecturing at the bottom of the auditorium. I’ve never been in a class this big in my life, as A&T has very small classes. After the lecture, there’s a separate practice session where you can work out exercises related to the lecture with someone who I think is like a TA. The practice sessions aren’t always right after lecture, sometimes they’re a few days later.
The weekend after my first week, I went to the city of Bremen with a group of international students. We did some sightseeing and I had the best fries of my life from some random tent in the middle of the street, so that was cool. Another student and I decided to leave a little earlier than the rest of the group, and ended up missing one of our train connections back to Braunschweig due to many delays on our first train. Adventure.