Study Tour to Germany 2016

September 01, 2016
Daniella Dimagiba 3 AB EU, Sabrina Maclang 3 AB EU, Jessa Matamorosa 4 AB EU
Germany was mysterious in many ways, only knowing it through history and word of mouth. We studied the language (despite the hardships), along with its culture that we knew so little about.
First of all, Germany offers other food and beverages that are just as good as their beer and sausages. The food was so good and we were always full. It surprised us how much diversity there is in German cooking and how delicious all of it was. Our host mom made us Bavarian liver dumpling soup called Leberknödelsuppe. It was so good and tasted so comforting! We also got to try Goulash, Schnitzel, and Leberkäse among other things. There was also always good bread. Mein Gott, die Brote. Bread may be more quickly associated with France, but German bread is no joke. Lots of our friends asked us about the beer and sausages and it was obviously, really easy for us to answer. We could go on forever about all the good food we got to eat, but let’s stop here.
The experience was personal and immersive. Although we still ventured out to tourist spots in and out of the city, like going to Potsdam’s palaces, Schwerin’s castle, and even Poznan’s old town in Poland, having language classes in Carl Duisberg Centrum with other people from all around the world, exploring the city in the afternoons, and living with host families in Berlin made us feel like we belonged there. And yet, we have to say, it was a challenge to figure out most things in German during our first week. 

Different from the stereotype Germans hold, all the people we met were welcoming and very kind. Yes, Germans are very organized and strict (even online, we couldn't stream or torrent anything, which was honestly very hard for us). But no, they don't always sound angry. They were very patient and helpful when we had questions or practiced speaking German with them, and despite the homesickness and the frustration we would feel when we thought back on our own country, we had a lot of fun. It was an experience we will always be thankful for, and not just because of how much fun it was or because of how good the food tasted. We will always be most thankful for what we learned, how it enlightened our perspective and changed us as people.

There was so much to see and so much to experience. It was tiring, but it was well worth the time and energy. In the end, all of the walking we had to do and the trains we had to take were nothing compared to how much fun we had in all the wonderful places we’ve been to. As much as we wanted it to last longer, things came to a close. With this program, we found new friends in the places we’ve gone to, a family in our study tour group, and memories we know we’ll be able to cherish and hold on to. We’ve fallen in love with a country in a span of a month because of this program, and we couldn’t be more thankful for it.  
The people we’ve met, the cities we’ve been to, the food we’ve eaten; all of them have been etched into our memory and heart. It was the small things—the train rides, the small outings, the before-class chatter—that made the experience all the more memorable. For an entire month, we were nothing but happy; and really, what’s there not to be happy about? Good food, good company, great experience. 10/10 would recommend.