Overseas Study Program
Katie’s major: Nonprofit Management
Term abroad: Spring 2011
Reason You Chose This Program: I chose this program because it allowed me to complete my minor in the German language while also allowing me the opportunity to study abroad.
Favorite Class: Freedom in World Religions: Christianity and Overview of History in the 19th Century
Describe the Housing Situation: I lived in an apartment style dorm with 5 other people, four native Germans and one other exchange student from China. We all had our individual rooms but shared a kitchen, two bathrooms and a common area. My dorm was in a student living quarter called Vauban, where the buildings had been refurbished from old French barracks from WWII.
Biggest Surprise: I think my biggest surprise involved the differences of my American university and the German university. The German students take their classes seriously and don’t take the university for granted. That changed my mind set when coming back to America, to take my academics more seriously and learn as much as I can.
What I wish I knew before I left: I wish I really knew how easy it is to travel across Europe! I bought a EuRail pass before I left and used it all up with my friends traveling to France and Italy, and through these travels I realized how easy it is to travel through Europe. But fully understanding that came with experience, so I just wish that I wouldn’t have been so hesitant or anxious while traveling; it’s so easy!
What I now know that I didn’t know before going abroad: I now know that I am capable of being a fully independent person. Going to college forces you to grow up, but only to a certain point. Traveling abroad forces you to make completely new friends, become comfortable in a completely different environment, and appreciate a completely different culture.