Alyssa Solis, University of the Incarnate Word

Alyssa Solis - ESC spring semester student

Alyssa Solis, ESC Spring semester student from the University of the Incarnate Word

What is your favorite place in Heidelberg?
I would have to say my favorite place would be the banks of the Nekar River. We had many student barbeques on the river and laid out blankets soaking the sun. Some of our fellow students bought a volleyball and soccer ball and we spent the day playing on the banks of the river in town. Seeing the river and the green grass just made the experience in Heidelberg so great. It was the best place to go after a long day in class or after a test. It’s the best spot to relax and have fun!

What was the most challenging part of living in Germany, and what did you do to overcome that challenge?
The challenging part was stores closing early. Usually, I start my day a little later than others, and after classes I don’t have much time to go grocery shopping or go out to shop in the city during the week. Therefore, I make myself wake up earlier and also prepare what I need to buy in advance so that I can get the things ahead of time. And also on Sunday all stores are closed, so I would prepare the day before to get groceries and other things I need.

What is the most interesting thing about German culture that you learned in one of your classes?
Punctuality and being honest is very important in the German culture. They seem to like everything on time and also fast. It’s always important to be on time. If you’re not honest, it is a big insult to the individual. Honesty holds more meaning in the German culture, rather than the US culture in my opinion.

Name one thing that you wish you had known before you came abroad?
I wished I would have prepared better financially. I didn’t think I’d want to do as much traveling though I did. I had forgotten that in Europe free refills and free water isn’t a thing. You pay for that and also for ketchup, mayo, and mustard packets! Transportation payments are also involved which I didn’t realize how important that would be. So I would adjust my savings so that I can feel financially comfortable the next experience abroad.

Feel free to get in touch with me. I’m happy to answer your questions!

ESC Ambassador at the University of the Incarnate Word