I am not good with directions. I always get lost and am not very confident in my abilities on getting somewhere I don't know on time. This will not change while in Stuttgart. When I got elected for the exchange program, my first reaction was elation. My next was dread. I fear getting around on my own! I started to imagine myself stranded in some weird part of Germany where no one spoke english, no one was friendly, it is pitch dark outside, the buses have stopped running and I have to be at work the next day. Yes, I scare myself all.the.time. So, in order to ease my anxiety, I decided to examine the Stuttgart transportation system. To my non-surprise, I found that public transportation is very user friendly. I say non-surprise as during my extensive reading on anything Europe, the general consensus amongst travellers is that Europe is very easy to negotiate as most countries have easy-to-access/understand infrastructure. This is a huge relief to people like me who get lost very easily.
In any case, this is what I unravelled during my transport search for Germany.
Stuttgart Stadtbahn. This system looks like the TTC in Toronto. It covers much of Stuttgart and a few surrounding areas. This will be great for saving money while I see some of Germany. I suspect I will be using this and/or the buses if my flat is not close enough to work to walk.
Then we have the Stuttgart S-Bahn, which I have read and heard a lot about. It connects a greater range of cities than the tram or bus system and is very punctual.
I plan on taking a lot of trains while in Germany but to visit other countries such as France, Austria, Switzerland etc. I can use the interCityExpress (ICE). I can travel to a variety of other neighboring countries using this link. How fantastic! Apparently these trains can rival the great TGV of France. I also appreciate that I can take this train from Stuttgart to historical Berlin. AND, it's nuts that I can be in Switzerland in a little under 3 hours after jumping the train from my flat. Sweet.