“It’s one thing to learn in a classroom. Ultimately, the purpose of the classroom is to be able to do new things in the outside world.” – Tats, Study Program in Germany
The Brandeburg Gate, Berlin, Germany.Image from Ondřej Žváček, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19038712
“I wanted to try studying in a different environment—not just a different country, but I wanted to experience various methods of learning. More importantly, I wanted to know how I would adjust to a new experience and how I would react to stepping outside of my comfort zone.”
Sprichst du Deutsch?
Tats had ample opportunities to improve his German skills. For starters, his two host siblings didn’t speak English, so even at home he was fully immersed – and on top of that, he went out of his way to meet new people every day.
“A big thing I learned is that it’s one thing to learn in a classroom. Ultimately the purpose of the classroom is to be able to do new things in the outside world. I could apply what I had learned, and my enthusiasm for learning built on itself the more I communicated with native speakers.”
Different Backgrounds, Common Goals
Tats recalled that his favorite part about his experience abroad was his German class of ten students from different parts of the world.
“I hadn’t expected the amount of different people that I would meet. As a native English speaker, I was in the minority. When communicating with my classmates and native Germans, I realized that the point of learning a language is to be able to communicate with other people. I told myself it was okay for my grammar to be incorrect, as long as I could get my point across.”
Their final project was performing a skit about their experiences in Germany. He said, “not only did we all grow up with different experiences, but we experienced Germany and the language in unique ways as well.”
“I learned that, although we often look for differences among people, we should look for similarities instead. People are people. We all want what is best for ourselves and our families. What others do might not make sense to you at first, but you should try to see it from their perspective.”
His new perspective included some deeper thinking about his past experiences, too. “I also realized that our motivations and goals in life are based on how we can succeed in the bubble that we live in. Going to Germany, I was able to look back on myself and my experiences in the U.S.A in a different light. I now know that I have so much more to learn and so many more things to experience.”
With his open mind and eagerness to learn, we look forward to hearing about Tats future endeavors!
Want to learn more about Study Abroad Programs? Talk to a Program Advisor today!
Posted by World Endeavors on May 31, 2017
World Endeavors believes that international travel has the power to change lives, broaden horizons, and deepen intercultural understanding. The world is undergoing rapid changes, with societies becoming more interconnected and environmentally aware; at the same time a more challenging global economy inspires in many a need to reach out and make a positive difference while seeking personal growth opportunities. There has never been a better time than now to travel abroad.