In less than a month I’ll board a plane that will travel 4,386 miles and put 7,058 short kilometers between my old American life and my new German one. Day one of my year abroad. Day one of the year that was always my ‘plan for the future’ is about to be my present.
That word ‘always’ sounds dramatic. Sure. But this study abroad concept has been my honest answer to most all future-related questions since people started asking questions related to my future.
Recall a time you asked me a such a question (and I’m sure you have because you’re reading a blog about my future). You probably remember an exchange resembling one of the following:
Why go to school so far away from Pennsylvania? Germany is farther away.
What made you choose UW-Madison? Their study abroad program.
What about college are you most excited for? Studying abroad.
Why are you a German major? I want to go to Germany.
But what will you do with a German major? Go to Germany.
You get the idea. I think it’s time for some new answers. So, it is with great excitement and only slight trepidation that I welcome you to my study abroad blog!
My hope is for this blog to be a chronicle of my adventures and a progressive reflection on learning to live in a different country – documentation to let friends and family know I’m alive and to let myself appreciate everything I experience.
In the spirit of beginning a personal travel blog and giving myself something to build off and reflect on in the future, I’ll venture to answer a question with more than just simple sentence about studying abroad.
“Why do you want to study abroad?”
I have many answers. Some serious, others not, but all mostly true. The following is a slightly abridged version of the most common and legitimate answers I offer:
Answer #1: The Easy Answer.
I just really want to be fluent and that won’t happen if I don’t live there! Going now makes that happen sooner.
Answer #2: The rest of this answer can be found in my application essay.
The world is getting smaller and more connected and I am not content participating only via the internet. I’m an International Studies and Political Science major because I want to be a conscious citizen of more than one small town, city, state, or country. I want to see how other people see the world and allow that perspective to infiltrate my thought process. Also, how can I call myself an International Studies major if I don’t study internationally?
Answer #3: The Real Answer.
I lived in Heidelberg, Germany for a few years when I was little. I grew up in a military family where travel has always been a normal and wonderful thing, and I went to an all-German preschool and kindergarten where I learned to love the language and the country. Throughout middle and high school, I took all the German I could and jumped at chances to go back to Europe. I don’t recall the exact day I decided to spend year in Germany, but it’s definitely my next adventure (and yes, my parents are very excited to visit).
Once again, welcome to my study abroad blog, and I hope you will enjoy these snapshots of my year in Freiburg!