Surbhi Chawla is a junior marketing major with a double minor in graphic design and women, gender, and sexuality studies at The College of New Jersey. In spring she was fortunate enough to travel to Heidelberg, Germany through the European Study Center for one semester, and eventually took advantage of an internship opportunity in Lugano, Switzerland following the end of the program. Her interests, aside from traveling, include theatre and engaging in new cultures.
What is your favorite place in Heidelberg?
My favorite place to visit in Heidelberg was the area surrounding the main streets of Bergstrasse. There you always found small alleyways with little shops, and restaurants or cafes you could not find anywhere else. It had a very distinct European charm to it, like it was something out of a book, and I always found surprises there.
What was the most challenging part of living in Germany, and what did you do to overcome that challenge?
Coming from the New Jersey/New York area, one of the hardest things was living in a place where everything closed early, and having to plan around shops being closed in order to have basic necessities like food. In the beginning it was very hard but eventually you learn to properly budget your time, and being in a new place with different customs is a great way to do that!
What is the most interesting thing about German culture that you learned in one of your classes?
Something interesting and probably very useful to know I learned in my marketing class is that it’s actually rude to have your food sent back in Germany if you don’t like it – something that is pretty common in America.
Name one thing that you wish you had known before you came abroad?
Something I wish I knew before going abroad is always have cash on you, because unlike in the United States, most restaurants and shop owners don’t take credit/debit cards in Heidelberg.
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