For some students, volunteering while studying abroad may not be possible because of limited time in their schedules or they prefer to use their spare time to travel with friends on the weekends. Prior to coming to Freiburg, volunteering was not on my list of things to do while abroad. If you recall from my first blog post, the only goal I had in mind to achieve while abroad was to visit the Anne Frank Museum and the Eiffel Tower. However, I volunteered to become a language tandem with my friend, Aracely (pictured to the left), because I wanted to immerse myself more into German culture. Aracely and I found out about this wonderful opportunity when one of our professors brought a flyer to class explaining the type of assistance the student was seeking, i.e. a presentation for her English class on political issues in the United States. The flyer also contained her contact information. Considering this opportunity was the ideal way for me to achieve my goal of becoming more immersed in my host culture through interacting with a local, I took the initiative to contact Laura about being one of her language tandems.
In the picture above, Aracely and I are helping Laura, a high school student (pictured to the right) with her assignment on a sunny Saturday afternoon in the park. With Laura’s help, I was able to ask a stranger in German to take this picture of us! Although I am not taking German this semester because I took Spanish for my foreign language requirement at my college, Laura has offered to teach me basic German words in exchange for my assistance. Considering my limited to no experience in studying German, I may not become fluent in the language at the end of my program. However, I can still state on my resume that I have basic knowledge in another language in addition to Spanish. At the end of this volunteering experience, I will also have a new German friend, who I can visit again in the future when I return to Germany for vacation.
To future study abroad students, I highly recommend volunteering while abroad because you can learn more about your host country and make local friends. Additionally, you would have more stories to share with your family and friends when you return to home your country, stories that go beyond just travelling to several countries on the weekends with friends while abroad.
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<p>Hi everyone!</p><p>My name is Brianna Logan and I am a junior at Skidmore College majoring in International Affairs. I was born in Brooklyn, NY but grew up in Trinidad and Tobago. I moved back to the United States in 2012. A few fun facts about me include: Meeting American actress, singer, and songwriter, Keke Palmer as well as actress and singer, Anika Noni Rose! Rapper, Bow Wow touched my hand one time when I visited 106&park and was waving at him from the balcony! Some of my hobbies include: watching Netflix, singing, and writing short stories and poetry.</p>