My time in Freiburg is flying! Everyday still feels new which is hard to believe now that I am in my seventh week in Germany. Most significantly, though, I officially have a Tandem Partner! Now, a Tandem Partner is provided through a partnership with the IES Abroad Program and the Pädogogische Hochschule in Freiburg. This University is for students who intend to be teachers eventually.
The goal of the program is to develop language skills, German in my case and English in my partner’s, as well as share bits about each other’s culture and lifestyles in our respective countries. So far, it’s been the best thing ever. My partner, Marie, is fantastic—so kind, so funny, so full of energy. She is a Freiburger, or Freiburg native, so she knows all of the ins and outs of the city. She doesn’t giggle when I pronounce words wrong and she does her best to make her German as understandable as possible for me. So far, we’ve met for dinner in town and this week, we cooked and worked on her study abroad application for the fall of 2015. She hopes to study in the states, specifically California, so here’s hoping that it all works out and my German connection follows me back home at the end of this adventure.
Of course, her application has me thinking about my own application process a year ago. Everyday, I feel more and more grateful to be experiencing life here in Freiburg. It’s funny how you never know whether something is going to work out before it happens, but somehow, it usually does! Marie is blindly excited by the chance to study among native English speakers, and it reminds me to be just as excited about my chance to live with and among native German speakers. It isn’t easy, but everyday I am learning new words and recognizing language patterns… My learning is happening in and out of the classroom, and I love it.
Here’s hoping the adventure continues in such a positive way. My spirits are high, my heart is full, and I feel more thankful each day.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hallo! I am Haley Wilhelm, a Junior at Scripps College from the Midwest. I enjoy reading, writing, traveling, and most of all, eating! I can't wait to explore all that Freiburg has to offer, as well as many other European cities during my academic year abroad.</span></p>