Program and Location:
Summer, Germany: Accounting and Finance; Reutlingen, Germany
Business Administration- Finance Concentration
Why did you choose to study abroad?
I wanted to spend my summer doing something fun, but also beneficial toward my academic goals. Once I heard about this program I knew it would be a great way to knock out some of my major courses while having a unique, enlightening experience.
What did you learn about yourself?
I learned that I am more than capable of taking care of myself in any setting. I found myself being comfortable with budgeting and dealing with problems like language barriers and navigating public transportation.
What was one of your favorite parts of your program?
Being in Germany during the World Cup was my favorite part of the program. The culture surrounding soccer in Europe is insane, especially in a country that usually dominates in the sport like Germany. When German national team played their first match, many of us travel to Berlin to attend a public viewing of the game where we were surrounded by thousands of enthusiastic German fans. It was awesome.
What advice do you have to future study abroad students?
Use your free time to do as much exploring in your host country, or other neighboring countries if possible. Befriend the locals too. Some of my favorite memories came from meeting and hanging out with people from the area. They also tend to give better recommendations on where to eat and places to check out than the internet would.
How were your classes abroad different than if you would have taken them at NC State? Did you take any field trips or do anything outside of the traditional classroom?
My program was about five weeks long so the classes I took were taught at a very fast pace. The classes were also significantly smaller than most business classes taught at State. Outside the classroom, we visited a variety of companies to see how they operated on an international and local scale. We visited many historic sites too, such as castles, cathedrals, and a concentration camp to learn more about German history and culture.
In what ways did your identity have an impact on your experience abroad?
Of the 28 people in my program, I was the only Hispanic, but I never felt isolated or discriminated against. My host city seemed to be very diverse too, so it didn’t seem that I stuck out too much just by the way I looked. I feel that the people there labeled me just as another tourist more than anything.
Is there any advice you would give to other students who share your identity?
Don’t let it get in the way of having a good time and remove yourself from any negativity that you might encounter regarding your identity. Studying abroad should be a fun experience for everyone, especially yourself.
Would you do it again?