My First Days in Düsseldorf
The city of Düsseldorf is the cosmopolitan state capital of Nordrhein Westfalen (North Rhein Westphalia) which lies on the river Rhein (no surprises there) in the west of Germany. It is one of Germany’s most important economic centres and is a huge European fashion hub, with numerous fashion houses as well as the famous Königsallee (Kö for short), a grand boulevard in the city centre housing many luxury brands such as Gucci, Prada, Tiffanys..
My first few days in Düsseldorf were pretty much hassle free if I’m honest. Emotionally, it wasn’t easy to pack up all my things and leave home, especially to another country, but it was reassuring to know I was moving to a place which is so familiar to me due to family connections and the fact that I spent a few months during my Gap Year studying at a language school in the city. I can’t believe I’ve been here almost two weeks already and slowly but surely my new apartment is starting to feel more like a home, with special thanks to my VPN connection, meaning I can sneakily still watch British television on my laptop (yayy!) and photos etc brought with me from home. My first two weeks here have been busy and occupied with lots of form filling, document collection as well as finding my way around which has not always been straight forward. I am not used to having so much transportation choices back at home; buses, Ubahn (underground), Strassenbahn (trams), Sbahn (city trains – which connect the different city quarters), Regio-bahn (regional trains that run between cities), as well as the faster and international IC and ICE trains, and have several times caught the wrong type or have travelled in completely the wrong direction, ending up lost in an unfamiliar area!
I have also just finished my assistant training course, which was based about an hour east from Köln in the Bergisches Land (a low mountain range region). All language assistants with placements in the states of Nordrhein Westfalen, Rheinland Pfalz and Saarland stayed for three nights in a Hotel where we had information lectures and small lessons in which we learnt teaching techniques and then prepared and presented a 45 minute long lesson to the rest of our group. Despite being a bit apprehensive about the course at first, it was great fun, a brilliant chance to meet lots of other assistants and make some new friends.. it did help that the food was good too! The surrounding area was also ridiculously beautiful and so remote!
Right now, I’m back in my Düsseldorf apartment preparing myself for next week when the fun begins! School starts on Monday – wish me luck!