This is a sequel to this blog post! ..and in this blog post, we try to explore what more you can do beyond normal studies in the university, once you are in Magdeburg. I write this blog post as a student, struggling to make ends meet (financially), finish my credits and effectively gain skills which I should use in the industry, should I finally be out of the university.
Not that I am very desperate to get out of the university though. But since I am in my fifth semester, it feels sort of weird.
Note: Hover over the images. It might be a slider & I have disabled the auto-play because it is just irritating. In case it is a slider, slide over and see the rest of the images!
So! Let’s try and organise the thoughts.. If you are in Magdeburg, and in senior semesters with a slim bank balance, it is very likely that you would plan more and travel very less. I did exactly that!
- One of the nearest destinations from Magdeburg is the Harz region; it has its unique culture and forests. It has trekking routes which are beautiful through all seasons and as I write this, I plan to visit it during the snow fall sometime in January! It also has its local festivals like the night of the witches, yea, witches – Walpurgisnacht.
- Germany is the home to fairy tales; which I understood pretty later in my teens and rediscovered it when I came to Germany. One such tale which almost everyone of us has grown up with is that of the Pied Piper of Hamelin (“Hamilon’er bashiwala” in Bangla). Hamelin is just a couple of hours away from Magdeburg and during June they celebrate the Pied Piper Day!
- Quedlinburg is naturally very pretty, but is one of the prettiest towns in Germany when the Christmas markets are on!
Your travels would be more towards bigger cities attending events and conferences, trying to understand how things work in Germany and how different it is from India. Here is a small list of events you might want to visit if you are a student in the university (& I visited this year).
- Berlin Buzzwords: it is about data science and open source; most relevant if you are a student of data science. (Read: Why should you volunteer for these events?)
- Tech Open Air Berlin: it is more about the people who come here, the startups. A little too glitzy but I do not complain.
- Future of AI & FIN Tech Junction: The generic discussions are good! Since, I am not much into fintech, I just went to the other conference which was sharing the space.
- Chatbot Summit: Anyone who knows me even a little knows that I would go crazy over this! A lot of startups across Europe, the Middle East and one from Korea came to this summit.
If not travelling, I am sure you would make new friends and go out with them and explore the city. One such friend, I made, is Alex. I randomly photographed one of the intercultural evenings in Magdeburg last year and he made sure he found me out online and give me a photography credit before sharing my images. That gesture made him a friend. Hahaha.
Mostly with him and a couple of other friends who are German, do I get closer to the German culture. And I must tell you, it is a weirdly happy and liberating feel. Most of them are younger than me; it’s like getting a piece of college life back, which it is since I am in a university.
I realised, I really do not like beer; unless it is sweet, the strawberry beer! You could take a couple of beer bottles and sit right in the middle of the old bridge, conversing while the sun sets and makes way for the numerous stars to shine above your head.
Or it could be a cozy Christmas gathering with a lot of new people coming together and Alex playing the Ukulele.
If not just meeting up, you could gang up and venture into areas you should not and trespass just for fun and sneak out before anyone notices or pretend to be medieval characters posing like a Renaissance painting.
Perhaps there is a lot more, like TEDx Magdeburg, the Christmas Market and the Lichterwelt. The morning walks got fewer as I piled more work upon myself. I piled more work on myself because I lost quite a bit of money and almost got exmatriculated.
If not anything else, you could spend some alone time at the balcony listening to the birds chirp or at the Neustadter See seeing Swans come and say a “hi” to you!
Perhaps there are a lot more things that you can do! I hope this post finds you in good health and you find this useful during your stay in Magdeburg! I’ll end this post with a few photographs taken very recently during the Christmas celebrations!