After we went over some logistical information and were officially welcomed to Germany by the Kommission, we went on a walking tour of Göttingen. I was impressed by how beautiful it was -- I usually consider anything north of Bavaria/Baden-Württemberg to be less quaint and more industrial, and tend to scoff at it. However, the Altstadt was lovely, and along the tour we saw the former residences of Goethe and the Brothers Grimm. After a delicious German dinner at Restaurant Kartoffelhaus (which, for those who don't know, translates to Restaurant Potatohouse - how can you go wrong?) some of us went out to a bar for a few more drinks and some get-to-know-you time. The people I met were incredibly interesting and their projects sound amazing: German-Polish literature studies, psycholinguistics, stroke research, climate and renewable energy . . . The list goes on and on.
Tuesday was filled with meetings about how to go about living in Germany (registration, cell phones, housing, traveling) and about what it means to be a part of the Fulbright network. I won't go into that in too much detail; suffice it to say that it means a lot! There are a few exciting travel opportunities this year that I will get to do through Fulbright, including a Welcome Meeting in Frankfurt, a week of conferences and parties in Berlin, and a Winter Ball in Heidelberg that may or may not take place in a castle. (Guess which one I'm looking forward to most.)
Tuesday night we went back to the same bar, which is a good thing since one of the guys had left his passport there the night before and apparently had yet to notice. It was a late night, and I left on Wednesday feeling tired but extremely grateful for my new Fulbright friends. None of them live very close by, but at least I have some fun places to visit!