A lot of my family and friends ask me why I study German, and for good reason -- it does seem kind of random. During my senior year of High School I had the lucky opportunity to visit Berlin for 3 weeks. The eccentric hipster artsy vibe of the city along with how young and surprisingly nice people were have remained with me to this day. Even though the trip was relatively short, it was impactful enough to bring me back to Germany, now three years later.
In exactly 24 days, I’ll be flying to Freiburg, Germany. It feels weird to me how excited I am to go to Germany. It’s weird for a couple of reasons, mainly because everything feels like it’s going perfectly well here at home. I have an internship that I’m happy to go to every morning, I just got back from my sister’s wedding in the Dominican Republic, and I joined a softball league; I’m not really sure what else I can ask for. Even so, I feel like there’s just so much more out there for me. This insatiable excitement is probably compounded because both of my sisters, their significant others, and many of my friends at school describe studying abroad as one of the best experiences of their lives. Maybe reading a majority of the blog posts written by previous IES Abroad European Union students has something to do with it too. All I know is that contrary to what some other people might be feeling before going abroad, fears of being away from home, missing out on a semester at school, or whatever the worries may be, have not yet hit me. Instead, I find myself constantly looking up ways to be prepared for my trip. My fears have been replaced with Google searches for where to rent a bike in Freiburg and how to save the most money while abroad.
I know being abroad won’t be as magical as I’m making it out to be. I’m sure I’m going to struggle at some points. I will definitely miss my family, my girlfriend, and especially my two Jack Russells. Living in a country where I will be considered a foreigner is certainly worrying too. But the possibility to really hone in on my German skills, visit local breweries, and go on numerous field trips seems to overshadow any worries that come to mind.
I have so many things planned at the moment including eating at all the best spots in Freiburg, figuring out whether to visit Latvia or Croatia, and so much more. My next post will probably be centered around my insane list of things to do and places to visit while abroad. Over the course of the semester I’ll try posting as many pictures as possible and reflect on what it’s like being a Hispanic-American abroad.
As I’m reflecting on how I feel before I leave, I’m realizing that I’ve set my expectations for this next semester through the roof. I’m really hoping my expectations meet reality.
And I think they will.