See you soon Freiburg! Bis bald Freiburg!

Becky Vernachio
January 30, 2019

The decision to live and study an ocean away from everything that you know for a whole semester may seem like one that would take ages to decide. However, I have known in my heart that this was what I was going to do even before I wrote my first college application or stepped foot on my college campus. But before I board the plane that will take me into my spring 2019 semester abroad, let me introduce myself. My name is Rebecca Vernachio, but I usually go by Becky. I am a sophomore German and Secondary Education major and Ecology minor at Susquehanna University. This spring I will be studying in Freiburg, Germany for the entire semester.

Now how in the world did I choose this major and decide to study abroad, you might ask. It all started back in my freshman year of high school. My grandfather is from Germany and I decided that I really wanted to study German as my language. By the end of that year I had learned so much and started falling in love with the language that many people deem as scary or angry. Which I will argue against with fervor. I mean, come on, the word for light bulb—Glühbirne—means glowing pear. How cute is that? By the end of that year I also had the opportunity to actually go study in Germany. Through the hard work of my German teacher and two teachers from a school in Germany my class was partnered with a German class for an exchange program. This program was what made me realize I wanted to do more than just sit in a classroom for two years to meet my high school’s graduation requirement for language. I wanted to keep learning the language and studying the culture—I wanted to completely immerse myself.

To achieve immersion I knew that I would be returning to study in Germany. One of the major reasons I chose to study at Susquehanna University is their Global Opportunities or GO program. This program requires all students to have a study abroad experience. When I first read about IES Abroad’s language program in Freiburg I knew it was the program for me. Freiburg is known as the sunniest city in Germany, it is in the Black Forest, and it is very environmentally friendly among many other things. Through my program I will be living with a mix of other international students and German students. I plan to fully embrace the chance to improve my language skills and speak as much German and as little English as I can. I love to hike and be outside so having the Black Forest in my back yard is so exciting to me. I also care a lot about the environment and I am really interested to see what policies and measures have been implemented to create a healthier and greener town.

For about two years I have known that I wanted to study in Freiburg and now I will actually be there in less than a month. To say I am excited is an understatement. At this moment I have started putting things together to pack, I have booked my flight and train, and I have made a little countdown on my calendar. I like to journal so I have decided while I am in Germany I will keep two journals. One will be my normal journal and the other will be a journal that I will only write in in German. I think this will be a really great way to capture the experiences I will have in Freiburg. I am really looking forward to the challenge of having all of my classes be in German and adjusting to a new daily life in a new country. I know there are going to be moments that make me want to stay there forever, but also moments that make me want to get on the next plane home. I am ready for both of those moments and all of the moments in between. No matter what I know that I will have an amazing experience if I take each moment as it comes, take a deep breath, and keep smiling. See you soon Freiburg! Bis bald Freiburg!

German Word of the Day: If you have an interest in learning some German, I have decided to include a German word or a phrase at the end of each blog entry that I post. Today’s phrase is Guten Morgen or Guten Tag. Both of these phrases can be used to greet someone. Guten Morgen means good morning and Guten Tag means good day. These greetings can also be simplified to Morgen or Tag.

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Becky Vernachio

<p>I am a sophomore German and Secondary Education major at Susquehanna University. Some of my favorite activities include reading, hiking and being outside, running, and yoga. I am actually a certified yoga teacher! I want to be a German teacher after I graduate. My favorite word in German is Glühbirne which means light bulb, but translates literally to "glowing pear"!</p>

2019 Spring
Home University:
Susquehanna University
Beachwood, NJ
German Language
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