I have officially been in Freiburg with IES Abroad for over a month, and I can’t believe that it has been this long. The time is going so fast. I have already done so much, but I still have so much to do. I have traveled a bit, counseled a camp in Switzerland, met with my tandem partner a few times, and my classes have started up. The last three things are the most recent, and I haven’t written on them here yet.
This past weekend I had an amazing experience and had the opportunity to work at a camp in a small town in Switzerland.The camp was an English immersion camp. I served as a camp counselor, where I encouraged kids between 12 to 16 to speak English, along with teaching them English through various activities including baking, board games, and more. Almost all the counselors were Americans who were studying in Germany, and we had to pretend that we did not know German, which was sorta funny. It was my first time being a camp counselor, and it was an amazing experience. I hope I have the opportunity to do it again.
In the last few weeks, I also have had the opportunity to get to know my Tandem Partner. IES Abroad and Uni Freiburg have a great program where German students can meet up with a “Tandem Partner” from the USA who is learning German. I have a tandem partner, and I have met up with her a few times. We have gone out to eat a few times and chatted a lot. The idea of the tandem partner is for each person to gain language skills. I feel as if my German is improving a lot already when I speak with my tandem partner, because she understands that I am learning, and helps out a lot.
This past week my IES Abroad courses have also started. I am taking a variety of courses relating to German culture including German history, two German politics courses, a German language course, and also a German business and economics course. So far they aren’t too bad, but the language barrier is definitely a struggle at this time. The topics are interesting and the professors are understanding that German is not our native language. It is a struggle right now, but I hope that it gets easier and all the work pays off.
Well, I gotta get back to my homework. I will keep you guys updated on my adventures this semester.
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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.