I am officially less than a month away from the official program start date and the excitement is building.
Before I start let me begin with a brief introduction. My name is Claire Yocom and I am a junior at Seton Hall University in NJ. I am originally from Iowa, and I study international relations, German, and Russian. I am excited to study abroad this upcoming in semester, in Freiburg, Germany and share my experiences here.
The journey towards my departure date has been quickly approaching. Since my acceptance into the program in November I have been gradually preparing for departure, but now I am at the final stretch of the preparation. The final stretch comes with many things but one of them is packing. I have not finished packing completely, but packing for a semester is not an easy task. Attempting to fit a semester worth of clothes, shoes, and practically my entire life in a suitcase and a carry on has been a bit of a challenge, but it is possible, and I wouldn’t consider myself to be a light packer. I am the girl who is frequently shuffling things into my carry on, but I have been gradually improving due to my travel to and from college, where I am better at making my bag under 50 pounds.
To start the packing frenzy, I began with reading various blogs, and watching a lot of YouTube videos in order to give me tips on how to pack for a semester, and what things I could buy abroad. After a lot of videos and blogs I learned a lot and took a lot of the advice they had. I decided on packing about a week to two weeks’ worth of toiletries, and then buying the remainder of my toiletries once I arrived in Germany. Other than college, I have never been gone for more than a month, and so I have never packed for such a long duration.
As for baggage, I am bringing a carry-on bag, that I can carry on my back, and a roller bag that I will check. I chose a carry on I can fit on my back so I have a bag I can easily take on short weekend trips or for trips such as IES Abroad’s optional trips. I would recommend bringing a small carry on sized bag for short trips. A backpack or duffle bag that fits in an airplane's overhead bins should work for optional IES Abroad trips lasting 5-7 days plus any additional travel you do on your own.
Packing has not been the only thing I have been focusing on in order to prepare for Germany. I have been doing a lot of reading up on the area of Freiburg, and surrounding area. I enjoy hiking, and I can’t wait to explore the Black Forest. I have also been working on my German a bit as well. My German is a bit rusty, and so I have been using Rosetta Stone and Duolingo to refresh a bit. I hope I am preparing enough for the immersion program and do not get too lost in translation when I arrive. Two of the many things that I am excited about include exploring the area, and improving my German.
Now I will just need to wait for my departure date, to see what adventures come my way. Next time I post it will be from Germany.
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Hey I am Claire, and I am from Des Moines, Iowa. I am studying International Relations, Russian, and German. I am a Midwestern girl who loves to travel, and I can’t wait to see what adventures are ahead this semester.