The First 31 Days

Frankly, it’s hard to believe I’m already one month into my stay here in Germany.

The past 31 days have been really outstanding. Heading into my time abroad, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. College was the first time I was ever truly on my own, but when I left home for Madison wasn’t a huge deal given that my hometown is a mere two hours away. Now, being across an entire ocean, I was unsure how I would respond to REALLY being on my own.

My first few days were great. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I met a lot of great people and experienced many cultures right out of the gate. Once the honeymoon phase was over, things continued to be great.

I’m still trying to get used to having class just once a week. One definite benefit from this is that there’s much less homework than in the United States. However, I can already tell how intense exam time will be once that arrives; I’ve heard from numerous students that the campus basically shuts down with students studying all day over the final three weeks of the semester.

My most interesting class right now is German. Just today, we discussed the results of the country’s elections that took place on Sunday. It was amazing seeing just how much the country shifted politically since the last election, while also learning how to converse with others about it in German. All in all, it was one of my favorite class periods during my collegiate career.

A couple other cool things are also coming up for class. In my international economics class, we’re going to be completing a case study discussing whether or not China’s abolition of the one-child policy will correct their demographic imbalance. Speaking of case studies, my supply chain management course gives us the opportunity to write a case study based on a real world issue we get to solve with a German company. We’re having a conference call with our company in the coming days, after which we’ll have more guidance as to what our case study will be about.

This past weekend also allowed me to go to one of the most famous German events: Oktoberfest! It certainly lived up to the hype, with lots of people, great food and even better times. Our group of exchange students made a day-long bus trip of it, so needless to say we were all tired once we returned to campus.

One other thing I’m incredibly excited about is an event called Euromasters. It’s a huge sports event that takes place in the beginning of November. Although the opportunity to watch sports is exciting for me in and of itself, there’s also a chance that I could play basketball for WHU at this event. Being able to call myself a college athlete? Now that’s something I can get on board with!!

That’s about everything I’ve got going on right now. I can’t wait for what the next few months hold, especially if they’re anything like the past month!