Settling Into the Black Forest

Elizabeth Thies
October 1, 2019

Moving over 4,000 miles from home is no small move, but the destination of the journey makes all the difference. The transition from my small town in Ohio to Washington, D.C. when I moved to college two years ago seemed so easy as I was flying alone across the Atlantic. The journey was long and the initial few days were a tough transition. The city of Freiburg, however, was nothing but warm and welcoming. As a university town full of students from all walks of life the town is young and vibrant. Ironically, young is most definitely the word you would use to describe Freiburg if you saw it. As you walk down the winding cobblestone streets of Freiburg it is as if you are traveling further and further back in time through history. It is easy on the eyes and even easier to transition into. Everyone so far has been friendly, helpful, and accommodating with the language barrier. I fully believe that the atmosphere of this city has contributed to a calmer and happier transition into my study abroad experience.

Here is a list of 10 of my favorite things about Freiburg so far:

  • The medieval architecture of the buildings
  • The daily farmers market at Münsterplatz where you can enjoy fresh fruit, vegetables, brats, and flowers on the cheap
  • The abundance of bicyclists in the streets at all time
  • The city’s dedication to being ecofriendly and green
  • The beautiful and serene hiking paths through the Black Forest
  • The cultural tradition of “Kaffee und Kuchen” or enjoying coffee and cake around 3:00 PM each day, sitting at an outdoor café chatting with friends
  • The view from the Biergarten on the hill, watching the sunset over the city
  • The cultural diversity brought by all the international students and immigrants
  • The small water canals that run along the sides of the streets in the center of town allowing for children to float toy boats and rubber ducks as they walk holding their parent's hand
  • Schnitzel. Schnitzel. Schnitzel.

I am happy to say that Freiburg was a perfect fit and I am very satisfied with my choice to study abroad through the IES Abroad European Union program. I cannot wait to further immerse myself into this German lifestyle.

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Elizabeth Thies

<p>My name is Elizabeth Thies and I am originally from Medina, Ohio but I now live in Washington, D.C. as a rising senior at George Washington University studying International Affairs. I am passionate about traveling and learning foreign languages as I speak English and Spanish while learning Russian and German. I also really love staying active and am on GW's Women's Club Volleyball team and am an avid SCUBA diver. Spending time with animals (dogs are my favorite) never fails to make my day! Lastly, I am a huge book geek and am constantly reading my favorite genre of historical non-fiction.</p>

2019 Fall
Home University:
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Medina, OH
International Affairs
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