By: Lenelle Jordan Kutzner, University of Victoria, winner of the 2017 Stories from Abroad Scholarship.
The classic phrase “time flies when you’re having fun” should be changed to “time flies when you travel”. I find myself writing my “mid-trip” blog when I only have a week and a half left. One minute you have all the time in the world, and the next minute you are scrambling to see all the museums and attractions that you planned to do ‘next week’. Germany has been a rollercoaster of all kind of emotions and experiences, not all of which have been easy. However, I think the true growth comes from such moments and struggles. It’s not always fun, and sometimes it gets overwhelming. I’ve done a really good job of letting myself experience whatever emotions I’m feeling- whether it’s fear of making mistakes, or frustration with not understanding. The important thing, however, is that I don’t let these emotions hold me back.
My life here has been anything but predictable; we have a very detailed and set schedule, and of course I can always expect more homework, however the adventures that come about haven’t stopped surprising me. As far as my improvement in language comprehension, I’d say I’ve gotten a lot better. I’d recommend to anyone who wants to learn a language to spend time in a place that speaks it! I like that I went after having a base-knowledge of German (I’d recommend this over no knowledge at all) because you at least understand the general structure and quirks of the language, which makes it slightly less intimidating.
We’ve been to four different cities throughout the trip; Hann Münden, Köln, Hannover and Berlin. I must say that one of my favourite events during this program has been the soccer game we went to in Hannover. I’ve never seen so many people and heard so many voices all at once in my entire life. It was thrilling and overwhelming and the most captivated I’ve ever found myself over a sport. The week to come will certainly be filled with many emotions as I prepare for our final exams, and to say goodbye to my new and sporadic life as well as my new found partners in crime. I anticipate that I will be left sitting on the plane with a lot to ponder, as my first experience abroad has stirred so many questions and desires I that didn’t know I had.
Thanks for reading,