This Sunday an international breakfast was held for all foreign students newly come to RWTH. It cost 3 Euros to attend, but I was sick of nuts and protein bars for food and hoped to gain some useful information from students.
The food was fairly standard for a German breakfast. Rolls, cold cuts and cheese, some cereal and a fruit salad fed the hundred or so students present. I ended up chatting with a man from China here for a Masters degree in automotive engineering. He mentioned that he intended to take 7 classes this semester and 8 the next semester. That makes my intended 3 look a bit pathetic. One of these days I will finally meet up with my advisor here to set matters straight on just how many courses I can reasonably take.
Apart from being generally pleasant the breakfast was unremarkable. No one I spoke to had gotten a waiver for their insurance. They simply paid for it here at a rate of about 78 Euros a month. Having to pay 780 Euros for the whole year is not my idea of a good time, but it sure beats not being able to enroll and having to return to the states with my tale between my legs if my current insurance does not come through for me. Today I intend to march over to Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) and sort this all out once and for all. The only question is when to go. The orientation offered by RWTH corresponds almost exactly with TK office hours. I must either skip the talks in the morning or the open question time in the afternoon. I will make my decision within the hour. Please, feel free to ruminate and speculate on the fascinating quandaries that I weigh in my libra-like psyche.