What does it mean to study abroad? On the surface it means that one studies at a university in a foreign country while staying matriculated at their home university. Simple, really I suppose but that really is the simple definition. There is so much more to study abroad than can, I think, even be understood by others until you have studied abroad yourself or at least moved somewhere completely new for an extended period of time. The time for study abroad is rather short actually. When you study for one semester, it lasts a mere four months, which sounded like a while in the beginning, but then before I knew it one semester was over. There is the choice to stay for two semesters though, (thank goodness I am doing that!), in this case one studies for eight months somewhere different. Again, sounds simple enough. It must be taken into account though, that whoever it is, when you are studying abroad you are moving to an entirely new country, meeting completely new people and most likely working to learn a new language. Now, it’s beginning to sound about right, not as simple, but a heck of a lot more fun!
Why did I come to Germany to study abroad and why for an entire year? Well, I have family here and now my fiance here as well. Each time I have visited Germany I have fallen more in love with the country, the people and the culture here. I came here to learn more about myself and how my life would look from an international perspective too. Another important detail is that I needed to learn the language! Ich weiss ein bisschen Deutsch jetzt. Ich brauche mehr Deutsch lernen. I guess that about sums up my German, I know a little German now. I need to learn more German. I’m at that wonderful point where I understand a lot more than I can speak, so I know what people are saying but sometimes have no idea how to show that or to respond.
I learned a lot this semester in general and specifically with German. German is a harder language to learn than I was hoping for since I do like to be able to master something almost immediately, but that is simply not possible with this. So I have learned to be more patient with myself… Classes at Freie Universitat Berlin were also good- small and personal, I do believe that I learned the most outside the classroom though. I learned about myself in many more ways than I ever could have predicted or prepared for. Moving away from what I know completely and moving to where not only the place is new, but everyone around me is new to me was a great experience. Well, this is a cliff hanger for now.. I will write more later about the new insights on life that have been bestowed upon me aka I have learned. 🙂 Tschüss!