Studying Abroad in Germany
Vallendar is a small city, and almost everyone knows each other. In the morning, I always say Morgen (good morning) to the people that I pass by on my way to school. The grocery lady remembers me because I buy sauerkraut every week. The butcher lady is so popular among students and German students even celebrated her birthday with her. Little things like this made my memories more meaningful.
I have met so many other exchange students from all over the world, and due to Vallendar being a very small city, we were able to bond so quickly and very well. It was very hard to say goodbye to them at the end of the semester, but somehow, we were certain that we are going to see each other again. We have Tauschie (Exchange) Tuesdays where exchange students will cook and sell dishes to everyone, and every week is a different country theme. It was a lot of fun going to events like this.
School work is very intellectual. I took the class "Fun and Games" and learned a lot about making the right decisions which requires a lot of thinking about other people’s decisions and how that can affect us. It was a very interesting class that taught me to look at the world differently. I also took a class called " Creating Social Value", where we learned so many enterprises and startups that focus on social value. We were also able to present our own social value business which helped me reflect on the value of everything we do for the society, and it is very important for business students to reflect on their contributions to the society more than monetary value.
I have also learned a lot from the German students and have been amazed by their PowerPoint skills. Everyone works so hard and the presentation are done perfectly for a class project. I, myself, have three German buddies that I taught Mandarin, and they taught me German. To me, it was a very unique experience because every week we had the chance to talk in our own native language and learn together.
Lastly, I also had a chance to study the Tao Te Ching with my German professor. I have always been interested in Chinese literature and philosophy, but I didn’t have a chance to study them. My German professor is very interested in learning Tao Te Ching and I had a great time discussing with her about Tao.
I have gained a lot from this exchange experience. It was my first time to get to interact with so many people from different countries. We hanged out together, we traveled together and we hosted events together. I became close friends with a girl from Chile, and three girls from Russia, and we promised each other to meet up in Hawaii in the nearest future. I still talk to my German buddy once or twice a week. I definitely cherish these special interactions and friendships with people. I wouldn’t have had such experiences if I did not go abroad, and I am very thankful for that.