My SPECTRESS Secondment took place in Bochum, Germany, and was wonderful for two main reasons. First of all, the people I have met, researchers that were always kind and open to discuss themes related to my PhD research; second of all, the University structure, the libraries provides a resourceful environment to do research. My routine consisted mostly in working on the libraries, and I also could breathe the town’s culture. Bochum has many green areas, and cultural festivals of arts, music and gastronomy.
Living in Bochum was memorable. I had already lived abroad before, however never in a county where I could not speak the local language. Particularly, this experience has made me aware that verbal language is not always essential. I could “hear” or “read” throughout gestures and contexts, which was very enriching. Moreover, not knowing the language brought a sense of mystery and magic to my perception of the place. A place that seemed a little Brothers Grimm’s fairytale. In the end of my secondment, I was enchanted by the colours of Bochum, by its parks, by its history and by German culture.