I can clearly remember eagerly waiting for my flight at Newark Airport back in early June. I was so excited to finally get to Germany and to be able to practice my German and be fully immersed in the language and culture. And now, I can say for certain that this study abroad experience did not disappoint. I learned so many important things while abroad that I plan to take back and use in my future career and my future at Temple.
I really learned how to get more out of my comfort zone. While in the program at interDaF (the organization that hosts Temple’s Leipzig Program), I took class at a B2 level. This class was a challenge for me. It required me to work hard, but was not too challenging where it was overwhelming. With the encouragement of our amazing program facilitator and the other Temple students, I was able to take and pass the B2 class! Though I was so nervous, I learned how important it is to continue to challenge myself and to continue even when I think there might be a challenge. I can definitely say that this was worth it because I got so much out of this class and was able to push myself in my German to improve even more!
In addition, I learned that it was important to constantly speak German and that it is great to challenge yourself in class. I don’t like presentations, so the one at the end of the program was very intimidating for me. However, I learned that this was such a great way for me to work with others of all levels in German and to be able to get more out of my comfort zone and practice my overall public speaking skills. Though it was nerve wracking, I am really happy with how the project went.
It can seem pretty intimidating to participate in a program where you know no one else in it. This was definitely something that made me nervous, but I think one of the coolest parts of this experience was being able to meet so many people. I didn’t know anyone from the Temple group beforehand, aside from the orientation meetings. I was so nervous that I wouldn’t have anyone to talk to because I didn’t know anyone. However, we all got along really well and got to know each other quickly. Some people from other schools even asked if we had known each other before because we would do so many things together and it seemed like we’d known each other so much longer. Everyone was so encouraging and such great people to get to know and work with! Not only did I make friends in the Temple program, but I was also able to make friends from around the world. This program is open to anyone who wants to learn German, so people from many countries were involved. It was so amazing to learn about other cultures and to meet so many different people. One of the coolest things was that sometimes, the only common language was German, so we really got to work on our German with each other to communicate! This international community was something that really made this experience so special! I really learned how language can connect people, as the name of the program– “Sprachen bauen Brücken” (Languages Build Bridges)–suggests.
This study abroad program challenged me both academically and personally, allowing me to grow as an individual and take back so many things to use in my future German classroom. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity and to have been able to share it with all of you! Thank you to everyone who has followed along with my blogs, and if you are interested in studying abroad, or are considering it, I would highly recommend the Temple Intensive German Language Program in Leipzig, Germany!