“Anything can happen on a snow day,” as how Mark Webber quoted in the movie Snow Day. Truly, from experiencing a hot cocoa with marshmallow – to going on a splendid exchange program. Who would’ve thought!
HOW IS THE WINTER IN GERMANY?
My first impression was that the weather was undeniably cold. Of course, it’s something you should’ve expected when traveling to another country in winter. It could be a challenge for most of us that came from a tropical country. The average temperature is usually between 5 – 10 degree Celsius, but it can also reach 1 degree celcius in the morning. The weather’s so cold that even an 18 degrees temperature felt warm. The humidity was also very low and the air would make your skin feel dry, which is why we need to prepare some things before our exchange.
WHAT ARE THE PREPARATIONS THAT WE NEED?
To anticipate the cold weather, we should really prepare warm clothing, such as long-sleeved clothes, leggings, warm coats, scarves, etc. My first tip is that you only need to prepare a few of those things just to last for the first few days since many factory outlets in Germany sell a variety of cheap clothing for winter. They offered cheaper clothing than in Indonesia since the price in Indonesia includes tax and cost of transport. Other than outlets, you can also visit Primark. My second tip is to bring a travel-size moisturizer since it is more convenient to carry around inside your bag for application at any time.
WHY SHOULD WE VISIT GERMANY IN WINTER?
Just because the weather is cold, doesn’t mean that you can’t fully enjoy your time in Germany during winter. There are lots of benefits of visiting this country during this season, which is to feel the unique experience of winter itself. Also, the local NMO can focus more on each incoming student because the amount of incomings that visit in winter is far less than they are in summer. During my Exchange, I was the only incoming in that local, but it didn’t mean that I was lonely. Many of the students there, not only the LO whose responsibility was to accompany me, asked me to hang out with them or to join extracurricular events at the university. My consultant and the residents also often asked me to join them for dinner. Of course, academically speaking, I was given more chances to try the medical technologies from Germany. The residents and my consultant also had more time for me, and I was also often asked into a discussion.
In terms of recreation, first, winter would be a low season time, which means that airplane tickets for winter would be far cheaper than for the summer. Winter is also a very festive season. Christmas is celebrated splendidly in Germany. The air and atmosphere felt unique and amazing. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. We can make the most of our time in Germany, try visiting the Christmas market for instance. Many lighting decorations were a feast for the eyes. The cool breeze, the streets filled with people, and even experiencing snow if you’re lucky enough, are the moments worth remembering. Another thing to consider is the popular Black Friday. The discounts were so big that it would be considered to be irrational. You could shop big without any regrets, hence why I recommend buying your warm clothing in Germany during that season!