So, I’m off to Germany in about 3 weeks! This will be quite an experience (and challenge) seeing as I’ve actually never left the country before. I don’t speak the language either… Though, as you can see from my blog title, I have recently been using the Duolingo app to gain some advantage (and I do recommend the app)! I’ll be heading over to Germany approximately a month before their winter/summer semester begins, as I will be undertaking a German Language Intensive Course, which I’m quite sure will help me to settle in!
I chose to undertake a semester exchange to Germany, because I have some family history there, and have always wanted the chance to spend some time there and learn more about the culture, and my heritage in general. I figured a semester exchange was the best way to do this; sure, I’d have to do some study, but I would be able to experience the German lifestyle and culture by living there for six months; and traveling to multiple other places in Europe (I hope to visit Poland, Austria, Greece, Sweden…whenever I have the time and money to go)!
Unfortunately this meant I had to have enough money to live overseas for 6 months… I have spent the last 6 months (or longer) working as much as possible, which on top of organizing everything for my exchange, studying 2 degrees, moving house, volunteering, socialising, and everything else, has led to an unbelievably busy year! I actually now have some time off between the Flinders July break, and my exchange in September (barring work & packing – which I’ve already done most of – and other last minute organisation and farewells). This is unusual for me, and has resulted in me thinking about, and looking forward to, my upcoming exchange more and more! I am unbelievably excited about it, and (perhaps unusually?) not particularly nervous.
I’m very much looking forward to living in one of the accommodation halls, and meeting/living with many other students; both from Germany, and all over the world! Though this will be a very different experience, I think I have a slight head start; I’ve been living away from home for nearly 4 years already, and lived alone in a block of units for approximately 3 of those years. So I know how to look after myself…right?! Whatever happens, I sure hope I’ll make some life-long friends!
Ryan Parker, Bachelor of Business (Management) student is undertaking an exchange to the European University of Viadrina during S2, 2018