My first year in Germany

Nuremberg is not as crazy as Hanoi or New York – but a perfect place to calm down. Photo: Anh Tran

It’s been almost one year since I came to Germany to do my master program. By now I can get around the city central without having to look at Google map. One year may not be enough time to explore every place in Nürnberg, but I can get the hang of it. I have established some daily routine, where to buy grocery, my favorite route to the Uni and to my student job. Sometimes, I venture on a new way back home and then congratulate myself for being so adventurous.

A lot people asked me: Why did I decide to come to Nürnberg? And I always give the same answer. I got accepted into FAU and it seems like a nice city, very peaceful. Nürnberg may not be as glamorous as New York, or as chaotic and crowded as my home city, Hanoi. It is peaceful in a sense that I can take my time walking around without being pushed by people. I see greens in the parks and on my way to Uni. I can let my mind wander without being bombarded by ads and flashing billboards.


Music City Nuremberg

The Main Stage of the Bardentreffen. Foto: Anh Tran

There is one event in the last weekend of July that you should definitely clear your calendar for. It’s called Bardentreffen. Some say it’s the best event of the year and this is not at all an exaggeration.Bardentreffen is an annual open-air music festival. This year marks the 43rd celebration of the tradition. The city was filled with music. There were concert stages in Hauptmarkt, Mensa der schultz, Lorenz Kircher …etc.

But one can also find small performances in the alleys, or at some random corner of the streets. You can check the agenda and list of artists on the event website.

For me, I prefer walking around and letting chance determines which performance to watch. This is because some of the most amazing performances on the street are not listed on the website.

Nürnberg is said to be pretty diverse. If one simply walks around the city, one would not reach that conclusion since the population is predominantly white. However, during Bardentreffen, many people of different backgrounds coming together to enjoy the event. Artists came from all over the world, playing various instruments to create beautiful music. “Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere”, and yes, this is a “Ratatouille” reference.


FAU goes adidas

Welcome to the World of Sports. Foto: Anh Tran

On Tuesday, 19th June, I had the chance to attend the event “FAU goes adidas”, a celebration to commemorate FAU’s 275th anniversary. We arrived at the adidas World of Sports around 9 A.M. and were welcomed at the “Consumer Center”. Attending this event, I have learned a lot about the power of collaboration, my power as a consumer, and what all of this means for my future career. The sort of things that rarely cross your mind in a classroom.

The power of collaboration

Nowadays, we heard a lot about open source and collaboration among companies and start-ups. There has been a shift from protecting your know-how and keeping everything in-house to an open approach when it comes to innovation. We probably own at least one T-shirt with a Climacool label or a pair of Boost shoes without knowing all the sophisticated technology and intense research behind them. Listening to the presentations by both FAU professors and adidas employees, I was blown away by the research and development jointly carried out by the university and adidas. There are three different layers in the Climacool t-shirt so the sweat can easily evaporate, and you stay dry. The shoes are designed to serve different running styles. With all that in mind, I feel better about paying a premium price for a t-shirt.

We can all claim to know how to run SPSS or analyse data on our CV, but I have never applied it to create something cool like a pair of sneakers. So, it was inspiring to see that memorizing those two-hundred-something slide deck for the exam and all the knowledge you gather could actually be worth it one day.


Nürnberg night market

My purchase: denim jacket for €7, Zara day dress for €3, Guess faux fur coat for €25. Photo: Anh Tran

Whenever I move to a new place, I feel the urge to buy some fashion pieces that the locals often wear. It’s just my way of integrating into the new culture and at the same time, looking less like a tourist. However, it is extremely difficult to do a wardrobe makeover on a student budget. So if you want to know a fun and cheap way to explore new style without going bankrupt then read on.

Every month, the Nürnberg night market (Nachtflohmarkt) takes place from 18:00 till midnight at PARKS Nürnberg. My flatmates and I went there around half past 20 and still managed to find a plenty of decent clothes. After paying the entrance fee of 3 euros, you have access to the giant second-hand warehouse of various styles and sizes. Here you could find anything from shoes to dresses, bags to accessorizes at a very reasonable price. Even though, the clothes are second-hand, they are in good condition and some have been worn only once or twice. I found a Zara dress that still had the tag. I am guilty of buying expensive formal dresses just to wear them once because I don’t want the same dress showed up twice on my Instagram. So here you can find that formal wear or even Dirdl (traditional German dress) for less than half of the original price.