A German Dream

The summer before coming to Auburn my sister and I decided we were going to spend the entirety of the summer backpacking across Europe. From the beginning of June to the end of July, we saw so many places, experienced so many different cultures, and ate delicious food everywhere we went. After we returned home from this trip, I immediately knew that I wanted to go back to Europe at some point during my college career. 

I decided to Study Abroad after my sophomore year of college. I applied to a Study Abroad program in Bavaria, Germany where I would be working on a team on a consulting project for a German business client. I was apprehensive about applying for this program since I did not know anyone else going but I decided to take a chance and hope for the best. Little did I know that this would be one of the best summers of my life. 

Before leaving for Germany, we had a 3-week boot camp at Auburn where we could take anywhere from three to 12 credits. This was a great opportunity for me get some extra classes out of the way in a short period of time and to meet other students that were going on the program. After meeting the other students that I would be studying abroad with, I immediately knew that it was going to be an amazing summer and I was very excited to depart for Germany. 

The day we all arrived in Germany was one I will never forget. Although most of us were tired, hungry, and jet-lagged, that did not stop us from having a great day. We got lunch, explored the city, and all became so close on just the first day. By the end of the first week, I felt as though I had made 25 new best friends. Our group grew accustomed to the German way of life and quickly fell in love with it. Before we knew it, Schweinfurt was home. One of my favorite things about Studying Abroad was how living in a different country became so natural to me within the first week – something that I did not think would happen. Walking to the local market, shopping at our favorite stores, and eating at our favorite restaurants was suddenly second nature. One of my favorite memories from the first week was when the whole group went to the German festival called “Volksfest” which happens every June all over the country. It is similar to a carnival or fair here in the U.S. but much more elaborate. We danced, went on rides, and played games the whole night until the sun began to rise – as the Germans regularly do. We had so much fun that most of us even went back for a second night to do it again. This was one of my favorite weekends and memories made in Schweinfurt.

Katie Russell

AU Engineering – International Engineering Projects in Bavaria, Germany

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