To share or not to share apartments

One thing most if not all people have in common is the fact that they live somewhere either permanently or temporarily. The way a person lives is saying a lot about them already and helps others to form a first opinion of them. A living arrangement that may seem reasonable for one person in their particular circumstances may be odd for somebody with different circumstances. Living arrangements can take many different forms across and give further insights into foreign cultures and countries as we have experienced ourselves during our time abroad in Germany and Taiwan respectively.

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Familiarizing the Unfamiliar

When I first got to Malta, I was unsure how I would get around. ‘Public transport,’ I assumed, because that’s what I did in Switzerland. But there were many things that I found weird or negative about Maltese public transport that made it difficult for me to use. Not all the stops were listed on the bus timetables – how was I supposed to know which bus went where I needed to go? The arrival times were wrong at the bus stop, on Google maps, and on the bus’s own app. This made bus transfers virtually impossible to calculate into travelling time, since I didn’t know if I’d be waiting for 10 or for 50 minutes. Also, the buses were often late, especially in the warmer months when traffic was worst due to the number of tourists.

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Familiarizing the Unfamiliar – How an unknown city can become your new home

So, after five months of new experiences, of creating memories and being exposed to a ton of newness I am back in my usual environment. Back home, time seems to have stopped the moment I left and everything still seems the same: it appears as if nothing and no one has changed. Obviously, that is not true and reflects only my point of view. Still. Exploring a new environment and meeting lots of new people requires lots of adapting and it takes much more space in your memory than simply following your daily routine.

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A particularly striking intercultural experience – Taiwanese hospitality

and how that has changed my perspective on having guests and how to treat them

After arriving in Taiwan, one of the first “things” to recognise was that Taiwanese people are very friendly. Whether as a tourist or as an exchange student, I always had the feeling that the people were very warm and welcomed me with sincerity and curiosity. 

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