Frankfurt does not conjure up majestic skyscraper images like New York City, nor is it laden with history and arts under your every footstep like Paris, nor does it make your heart thump with awe like the little Ret Dot Singapore. But like any relationship, your love with a city fundamentally depends on how you live inside it and grow with it.
Having lived the past 10 years of my life in Singapore, New York, Copenhagen and Paris—some wondrous metropolises, I will have no shame about being an ardent city lover. And having lived in Frankfurt for officially 7 months, I think the love is mature enough to be spoken about publicly. Probably the best thing about being a fresh-eyed Business student with a social science background is that you could unabashedly confess your newfound love with a city without being labeled…well, ‘cheesy’. (And you can only do that with a diversity-welcoming degree like the MIB).
Frankfurt is not big enough for me to be lost, yet dynamic enough for me to feel excited about possibilities. I love Frankfurt with her modest skyline that does not overtly overwhelm, but still inspires. I love Frankfurt for being at the apex of German capitalism, thriving in that, and yet still does not bore. Living smack in the finance capital of Germany in the heart of Europe does allow its fair share of rewards. Frankfurt has definitely grown on me with her high standard of living, her intense web of connections with international firms and banks, her green parks, her modernity and her internationality. Especially, coming from a Liberal Arts background, I find the sear driven focus on practical knowledge in a German institution immensely refreshing, and counterbalanced.
These days as I bike through the streets in the beautiful spring, with sun in my eyes and wind in my hair, I know that I am contented being a Business student in this ‘banking’ city, bathing in its aura of crisp professionalism. I am happy looking forward to May, and then to June in Frankfurt. You could count your life by the milestones you reach, the internships you score, the jobs you manage; or you could get into the European mindset and count your life by the moments you live in, the events shared with family and friends, and the memories you form with each journey you take. For me it is simpler this way. I am looking forward to May for the new Strategy and Growth Finance classes, for the numerous Frankfurt open-air events and street parties, for the prospective interviews and summer possibilities.
In the end, any relationship is a two-way street. A city is not only great because of what it has got to offer, but also what its citizens make out of it. Paris is not a city of love if lovers don’t propose under Pont des Arts, kiss in front of Tour Eiffel, walk hands in hands down Champs d’Élyssés. Copenhagen would not be so mesmerizingly “hyggelig” without its gorgeous blond people taking every occasion to snuggle close under velvety candle lights, or long hours in the garden under the Nordic moonlight. If you will walk every street of this city, melt yourself into every single thread of its living fabric, live it with such an intensity like I do, Frankfurt will grow on you too, positively.