Since I left Germany after a two week vacation in high school, my goal has always been to go back, but I did not know how. The opportunity presented itself with the Two Steps Ahead program at UA. The expectations were lofty: become a fluent German speaker inside of two years, take some of my hardest electrical engineering courses at a top German university¬†in German, then cap it all off with six months at Daimler. I always wanted to work in the automotive industry too, and this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. What else could I ask for?

This is the Two Steps Ahead group from the University of Alabama right before we left the Summer School in Taos, NM

Although I have spent a full month at the German Summer School in New Mexico (see picture), my German is starting to lack this summer without a way to practice it, so I am trying to read Harry Potter. I figured it is a good choice because I know the story already, and I read the series in the second grade. Since I am taking my courses in Germany in German, I hope I have the German skills of a second grader. Outside of keeping up my German skills, I go through a mental checklist every day. I start making notes of things that I might need, and I include priorities with those items. In less than a month I will be picking through everything I own deciding what to take with me and what I should get over there. As of the moment, I am deciding to get rid of the majority of my wardrobe, and buy a new wardrobe over in Europe so I can fit in with the locals and look less blatantly American. I have an ever-shrinking to-do list for my study abroad experience, and in the past few days it actually is starting to feel real. I’m not scared; I’m uncontrollably excited.