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University Groningen, the Netherlands

Blog entry No. 5 - Hello Christmastime!

Wed, 16 Dec 2015 | Universität Groningen

Groningen has been shining in a different light for several weeks now. When it gets dark, the Christmas lights are turned on and each street is set in scene with different impressive motifs. The Netherlands don't score with Christmas markets, but with atmosphere. Here you get a completely different feeling of Christmas! You don't need a Christmas market where people push themselves from one stand to the next like crazy in order to get a quick mulled wine with a shot of liquor. I often have the feeling that the original sense of Christmas is getting more and more lost and that's exactly why it makes me so happy at the moment to be able to experience the relaxed way of the Dutch Advent season.

Nevertheless, it cannot by denied that German Christmas markets also have a certain flair. To visit the biggest job fair in Germany, I and a few fellow students organized a short trip to Cologne and of course we made a trip to the Christmas market. I was really overwhelmed, but nevertheless I have to say that it was a strange feeling being surrounded mainly by Germans. I really missed the international feeling. It is pretty crazy how quickly yourself changes and you see what you're used to as something foreign.

Also my little Ghent-Trip the weekend before was full of surprises. Maybe it wasn't the best time to travel to Belgium, but it was the only weekend on which I had the time to travel. A typical Belgian chocolate with cream, which had to be spooned because of its thick consistency, was urgently needed because of the rather bad weather. :) Fortunately, the sun came out now and then for a short time.

Whether day or night... Ghent is a beautiful city with very impressive buildings and a great old town. It’s also a great city to study at, but not comparable to Groningen.

In the end it is a strange feeling to know that after New Year's Eve almost everything is over. Of course I am still diligently learning Dutch and attending my courses, but I can already feel a little bit of sadness when I think about the last days in Groningen. It just went by way too fast! Half a year is such a short time and the more you are on the road and the more you have to prepare for university, the faster time flies by. This Saturday is Sinterklaas, the real Christmas in the Netherlands. And I'm already curious what the city will do to celebrate it extensively!

I wish you all a nice Advent season and you'll hear from me again in two weeks!

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