I chose to study abroad because I have never been to Europe and recently, studying abroad became a realistic interest of mine. I attended to a two-year community college and then I decided to commute to The College of New Jersey from my home so I have never actually been away from home. I am the youngest boy with three older sisters in my family so after watching them grow up and learning from their mistakes, a path has always been cleared for me. Because of this, I chose to pave my own way in Germany. No one in my family has every studied abroad so this experience will hopefully make me grow as a person, independently, on my own.
In the conclusion of this experience I hope to take back not only what I learned in my classes, but the outside education I gained by traveling to museums, historical landmarks, or simply getting lost in a city and using the little bits and pieces of the German language and culture I have learned to get back home to the ESC. I am very outgoing and I would like to say I have a very open mind. This experience will be putting my best qualities to a true test. Of course there will be conflicts and problems I run into, but my hope is that these characteristics I have will be used to their fullest in these moments of uncertainty in Germany.
The bar of a “successful” experience abroad has already been surpassed. My goal was to put my mind to the idea and follow through by actually going abroad to Germany. Instead of setting specific goals, I would like to take this semester as it comes to me. After all, I made the decision to study abroad to put myself into the unknown of what was waiting for me in this new culture and way of living in Heidelberg and the surrounding places I visit.
If someone would ask me, “what do you fear most,” my answer would be the language barrier. Considering my outgoing communication skills, when another foreign language is added to the conversation, I will need to find ways to express my thoughts. Out of respect to the natives here, I have learned common conversational phrases to use on a daily basis.
I have always been very driven and passionate in what I put my mind to. Considering these characteristics, as long as I stay patient, yet determined, I believe my stay here in Germany will be that more enjoyable.
The greatest challenge of studying abroad, in my opinion, is finding ways to turn my vacation into a place I can call home.