This article is an interview of Adelaide, a French student who moved to Hamburg after graduating. Here are her first impressions after four weeks in the Hanseatic City.
I used to live in Germany and I wanted to renew the experience. As I studied German, I chose to do my end of Master’s thesis there, in a translation agency. I chose Hamburg because I had already visited the city during my Erasmus year in Magdeburg and I wanted to find out more about it.
How are your first weeks?
Quite all right! I started a new job I really enjoy and I work with very friendly colleagues. I also happen to have a friend here who gave me her best tips. I’m glad I have someone I know in Hamburg, it really feels like home.
It is not your first time in Germany. Did you have any cultural shock this time around?
When I moved to Magdeburg, the hardest things to get used to were pubs in which smoking is allowed. So far, I have not found it that common in Hamburg. There are some French dishes I miss a little bit, but I’m a bit of a daredevil, so I enjoy trying out German dishes. I still cannot get used to the sidewalks. The bikers here feel like they are almighty. But I do like the idea of a bike-friendly city, so I should get used to it at some stage.
What do you like most here?
The fact that there is water absolutely everywhere; many channels and rivers, the Alster and Elbe. I also like the fact that in Hamburg, you cannot find two streets that look alike, the districts are quite varied and extremely different.
How did you learn German?
I started learning German at school in France and then studied it for five years in college. I have also had the opportunity to improve my German when I was an au-pair in Karlsruhe and when I did my Erasmus time in Magdeburg.
Finally, what is your favourite German word?
Eichhörnchen, because it is quite impossible to pronounce it. This word is very representative of the idea we have of the German language in France – long words, weird letters and challenging pronunciation!