My name is Madeline Bunch, and I’m currently studying abroad in Germany. I noticed some differences throughout the 4 weeks I’ve been here. The one that was one of the toughest for me to adjust to was the fact that water and public restrooms are not free here. I’d always just assumed they were free everywhere since that was all I knew, but I soon learned otherwise. Another difference is the amount of public transportation throughout the country. This part wasn’t very hard for me to adjust to because I really enjoy it because it allows you to have independence and freedom to go wherever you want. This is one thing I will definitely miss once I return to Alabama. One difference between people in Germany and the US, that I’ve noticed, is that they will just stare at you for no reason. It’s not seen as rude here, whereas in America it feels very rude and uncomfortable. It still catches me off guard from time to time. Overall, I really don’t believe German culture has been difficult to get used to as long as you keep an open mind about everything. I feel comfortable walking around the city and interacting with people. One of the best things so far has been just going to all these different restaurants to try the various foods. The absolute best feeling in the world is having a whole conversation with someone in German and not having to switch to English. It makes you feel very successful, and it’s also just an amazing feeling to feel as if your hard work of learning another language is actually being put into use. The final difference I would like to talk about is the drinking culture here which I feel throughout Europe is mostly true. They can and probably will drink at almost every meal. At first I thought it was kind of crazy and then I realized that beer and water are usually pretty similar in price, so I don’t blame them at all for choosing that instead. The alcohol content is also higher here which I feel is an important side note for anyone traveling to Europe. I hope some of the things I discussed help you feel more prepared if you ever decide to study abroad in Europe and especially Germany.