Last week I finished out my orientation program at Konstanz Universität. They told us about classes, registration, and all that stuff. The way it works, we don’t sign up for classes. You go to whichever strikes your fancy, or those which are required by your programme (my situation). Later, you register for the exam. This means that everyone can check out any class and attend lectures before choosing.
So then comes the part where you have to be enrolled in the school to sign up for an exam, or have a student ID, or check out library books, or even just have a school email address… You need a residence permit! Mine is still being processed, so I can’t enroll yet. I can still go to class, but I’m quite frustrated with how slowly everything goes.
Along with finishing last week’s orientation activities, I finally got to see their brand new library, which just opened about two weeks ago! It’s pretty fancy, and I think that they’ve done a great job with aesthetic design there.
So that’s the technical side of it. Moving on to my programme, I finally met some of the students studying the Master’s in Political Economy with me. In total, only 7 of us were accepted. Roughly half of us are international students. This will surely make for an interesting next two years, and I’m happy to have finally met my study mates.
Now, there’s one thing that remains the same: the need for school supplies. I stuffed pens, pencils, a few highlighters, etc. into my luggage because they’re small and I had a bit of room. However, I did not bring notebooks with me.
I like to take a lot of notes, everything from lectures to reading texts and preparing my own notes for assignments. My foolproof strategy for never losing these notes and keeping them organized is to have one notebook for each class. I’m required to take four set classes this first semester, and I’m taking a German class on top of those. I need five notebooks for the semester.
I checked at the university shops: €3 per notebook. I checked at Kaufland, the closest grocery store: €3 per notebook. I checked at a couple other shops around town with stationary / paper products: €2-3 per notebook. Why is it so hard to find a cheap notebook around here!?
Finally, I asked this really nice German-American who was giving my group a tour of the university. He told me that he buys his office supplies at Müller. The next day I got my stuff together, headed to the bus (which I now have the skills to properly use!), and headed to Old Town which is the city center.
There is a Müller right by the harbour. On the top floor I found notebooks for a little under €1 each! Finally! There should have been some triumphant trumpet music playing at this very spectacular moment when I discovered affordable notebooks.
Anyway… I think I’m ready to officially start graduate school on Monday. It’s very strange to think that it’s finally happening. If five years ago someone had told me that I would go to graduate school abroad, I’d have thought they were straight-up mental. I’ve really come a long way from shy high school student to graduate student studying abroad for the third time.