I am studying abroad in Germany so that I can possibly work there in the future. I study electrical engineering, a field that is expanding rapidly in Germany. I’m part of the International German Student Exchange Program, so I’ve known that I was going to Germany since the end of high school.

Because I’m studying in Germany for their summer semester, which doesn’t begin until March, I’m at home in the great(est) state of Texas until I depart. Which means I have a lot of free time. I’m doing lots of Duolingo lessons and planning lots of trips across Europe. I leave soon, so I just finished packing two suitcases and a backpack. I packed whatever clothes I thought would make me stick out the least, though it’s inevitable I’ll be recognized as an American. I’ll carry my passport, wallet, phone, and COVID card with me. I also have backup copies of these documents.

I’ve never been to Europe before. Because I’ve known I was going to Germany for so long, it still doesn’t feel real that the day is coming so soon. I’m very nervous about my language speaking skills. I know they’re not where they should be right now, but I’m hopeful I’ll get to where I need to be before classes start. As part of the IGSEP, I will study at Hochschule Esslingen and take classes taught in German, so my German speaking, writing, listening, and reading skills need to be better than they are. Moreso, I’m excited to finally embark on my journey to Europe. Knowing that every journey has its ups and downs has helped me put things in perspective and reminding myself to try and focus on the positives has helped me deal with this range of emotions.

As part of the IGSEP, I am expected to get an internship in Germany following my semester of schooling there. I hope to find a great internship in Germany that prepares me for my career after I graduate. While I’m in Europe, I hope to have a chance to travel and see different countries. I’d really like to see Germany’s castles, as well spend some time in the mountains. If I have time, I would really like to train for and run the original Athens marathon from Greek mythology. After all, I may not ever have as much time to spend in Europe again, so I plan on making the most of my time there.