By: Georgia Neil Joy Rodgers, North Island College, winner of the spring 2020 BC Study Abroad Scholarship
Study Abroad Destination: Germany
I had always heard how inexpensive it is to travel within Europe, but I was not expecting to spend 50 euros on flights and accommodation for a 3-night weekend trip to Austria! My schedule at SRH Heidelberg was very travel permitting because the international office at the German University does not allow exchange students to be overwhelmed with schoolwork so that they can focus on enjoying their time exploring. My studies were one course at a time in 5-week blocks. So, I would have a couple 4-hour lectures per week, then I was free to do whatever I wanted with my spare time. So, I travelled! I went to Strasbourg, Vienna, Munich, Naples, Kahlenburg, Worms, The Amalfi Coast and more towns. I had so many more travel plans that unfortunately got cancelled, but I’m so grateful that I made the most of my time in Heidelberg.
Mental check-ins and journaling were something that I practiced when I was studying abroad. I find it too easy to go on an amazing trip and come home and feel like it was all a dream, but by journaling the good and the bad helps to remember exactly how you felt in that moment and those are souvenirs that matter the most. Another fun thing I included in my travel journal was entries from the beautiful people I met along the way. However, in the case of my Germany study abroad, my entries are all sad goodbyes from my best friends at SRH University. While some of the words were sad, I value those pages more than any other because of the individuals who wrote them. That group of friends are people that I will hold in my heart forever because we were there for each other while being in abroad and became a family. I have countless memories of potluck dinners, playing cards in the sun, going bar hopping, hanging out in someone’s dorm room, getting gelato and hiking up to the castle. I’m very grateful that I found a group of people that I bonded with so well and we are already planning ski trip this winter.