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Help me choose a destination for my scholarship?

Athens, Greece
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Help me choose a destination for my scholarship?

So I've been chosen for a one month scholarship to study German in a Goethe Institut of my choice in Germany! I've already been to Hamburg and Bremen so I've ruled those cities out and now I have to choose between Berlin, Munich, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Freiburg, Bonn and Schwäbisch Hall. I'm currently studying architecture so I'd appreciate some historical buildings and green surroundings. I'm not that into partying and going out so I don't care about nightlife. Also this will bet first time alone abroad for such a long time! Any suggestions will be appreciated!

Las Vegas, Nevada
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1. Re: Help me choose a destination for my scholarship?

Well, if you want to immerse yourself learning German, then Schwäbisch Hall ( www.schwaebischhall.de ) is the place to do it as it is the least cosmopolitan of all those places. It is by far the smallest of all those places and has a lovely medieval oldtown. In summer, plays are performed on the steep steps of the church in the town center and there is a recreated Globe Theater on a small island in the river as well as a new free modern art gallery (Kunsthall Würth) the architecture of which contrasts nicely with the old town but also blends in with it. It would be my choice of those places.

Stuttgart, Germany
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2. Re: Help me choose a destination for my scholarship?

Schwaebisch Hall would not be my choice. It is a pretty little town but the German spoken there is a dialect Schwaaebisch,many words are unique and the accent is hard to understand. I live 30 kms away and after a few years I still have problems to understand some of the locals.

Berlin will be the most fun to goto and has some great modern architecture. Munich has more traditional archtecture, will also be fun but probably the most expensive to be in.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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3. Re: Help me choose a destination for my scholarship?

It interesting that in a poll a few years ago of Germans the most despised German dialect was the Berlin one. Swabian was in the middle of the pack, with Bavarian one of the four most disliked. Almost all areas of Germany have dialect, but you are taught high German which almost any German should be able to understand and converse in. It's true that in some areas dialect is more prevalent than others. My fear is that if you go to most of those other cities, you'll hang around with compatriots or people that speak your language, and not immerse yourself in German.

Oahu, Hawaii
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4. Re: Help me choose a destination for my scholarship?

In my opinion, I would pick Munich because of all the traditional and ancient architecture that is sprinkled throughout the city and nearby areas. It's a big enough city where you will get much diversity and perhaps have a chance to converse with Germans from different areas of Germany.

Paradise, California
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5. Re: Help me choose a destination for my scholarship?

Schwäbisch Hall would seem a good fit given your self-description. You can reach civilization easily enough when you want to. Don't worry too much about dialect. As marcopolko says, High German is used routinely - in education and business for sure - by all but the most isolated and perhaps very elderly locals. And although you may have trouble listening to side conversations among other people who are using Schwäbisch, those same people will use High German when they speak to you - they'll recognize you as a non-native speaker and make the switch. Just ask them to speak slowly so you have a shot at comprehension.

Freiburg might be a good fit too. Its a real university town - but in a smallish city with a fine old main square and since it's situated at the edge of the Black Forest, there's good recreation nearby and a lot of old-world towns that might interest you architecturally. Because of the student demographic, well, if you're a youngish adult yourself, your chances of meeting others your age there would seem pretty good to me. It's really through social contacts that your language skills will grow most quickly.

Pittsburgh...
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6. Re: Help me choose a destination for my scholarship?

First, that's not a question unless you start, "Would you please..." So it ends with a simple period. I studied in Passau back when there was a GI there. My Frankfurt friends were shocked that anyone would learn German there. The trick is to go where the fewest locals speak English. Not easy. "Everyone" speaks English in Berlin and Munich. Possible Dresden is a bit better - a great city with lots of small ones close by. Any old person in the East is more likely to speak Russian than English. Yes, the accent is famously awful, but your teachers will be great at all the GI's. And a vote too for SH, just because it's small. If you work and not speak English, you'll learn a lot.

Athens, Greece
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7. Re: Help me choose a destination for my scholarship?

Thank you everybody for your replies, they've been very helpful!(@RobLaw47 I know about that, I just wanted to make my question shorter to fit the title of the forum post :) ) Schwäbisch Hall, Munich and Freiburg are the cities I'm most considering myself. Since I've only been to Germany once I am mostly inclined towards Munich since it's a "landmark" city. But now Freiburg sounds tempting as well! I've looked up pictures of Schwaäbisch Hall and I love the look of it! I'm only reluctant because I fear it might be too "small" a town for my tastes... Ugh!

Pittsburgh...
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8. Re: Help me choose a destination for my scholarship?

I see the extra ? all the time and - honestly - find myself using it incorrectly. So.... If you have the self control to stick with German and not lapse into English, Munich is super. I studied there as did my sister and brother. The GI is in a street that is only OK. For modern architecture - the cities (IMHO) are Duesseldorf, Cologne and Berlin. Even Frankfurt. In Munich, you will see the strong Italian influence - not just the Baroque. If you end up in Munich (Weltstadt mit Herz), don't skip Schloss Schleissheim. Often overlooked. It was empty (except for a wedding rehersal) when I was there.

Bautzen, Germany
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9. Re: Help me choose a destination for my scholarship?

If you are into modern architecture choose Berlin. It's the biggest building site in the country, you can see everything there, from small town houses and appartment blocks to huge government buildings, big shopping malls and controversial reconstructions. Have a look here:

www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php…

and here:

www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php…

Berlin is also much cheaper than almost every city in Southern Germany.

Tennessee
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10. Re: Help me choose a destination for my scholarship?

Munich is my choice. Interesting architecture and several varied neighborhoods. It is an amazing city.

Transportation in and out is awesome. You can day trip or overnight to Salzburg, Austria, Fussen and visit the castles, Nurenburg, Romantic Road, Augsburg, Bamburg and etc.

Berlin is a most historic city, but much of it has been rebuilt. Yes, there is a lot of old, but more modern to me now and not as much of what you are looking for.

Do not know when you are going, but try to work around Octoberfest. It will have many many people.