Chris E. - Worms, Germany - Fall 2013
Coming from a position in which I had never left the country before, the idea of studying abroad was very intriguing to me. The idea of experiencing a new culture, the ability to see the world and the thought of that exemplary adventure of ambiguity really had my attention. When considering where to go I felt that the best “bang for my buck”, would be to go to Europe. The ease of travel through Europe is second to none, and this would give me the ability to see and experience as much as fiscally possible while being away. Due to my brief German as a foreign language classes in the past and my genuine interest to learn more about German culture, Germany was an indisputable choice.
My time spent in Germany over these last four short weeks has been nothing less than enriching. I have had the ability to meet so many people from around the world, both in my exchange program and out. I have swam in the Rhein, visited castles, seen extraordinary landmarks such as the Bradenburg Gate and have trips booked to Oktoberfest in Munich and Amsterdam in the next couple weeks.
The initial transition period I feel has been extraordinarily easy. People in Germany have been so nice and are not only willing to help me, but are excited to speak English and ask me questions about the states. While waiting to get into Berghain, a world famous nightclub in Berlin, we met a man who ran a food cart who barley spoke a word of English, yet tried his hardest to talk with us within conversation and even introduced us to his kids. Another experience similar to this was walking through the street in the city I am living in, a woman heard a friend and I speaking English and was so happy to talk with us, as she had spent some time in Chicago herself. She has exchanged contact information with me and has offered to take us to see cities with her and her husband around Germany, as he does business and travels quite frequently to major cities around the area.
My short time spent here has been so wonderful and I know the rest of you will find your experiences just as exceptional. Please remember to go into this with an open mind, as I feel this will allow you have the greatest experience possible. Remember not to overthink anything, the process of getting ready is very overwhelming and although some things seem like they won’t ever come through correctly, believe me I had a few, they will. The life changing experiences that await both everyone in CPP 250 and myself are vast. You have all made a great decisions in deciding to study abroad, possibly the best decision you will make in your lives. Good luck and congratulations.