This two-week faculty-led excursion to Germany has been the best experience I have ever had! Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to travel and see the world. When I first started college, I made it a goal of mine to study abroad at some point. I was so determined and now I can say I reached and finished that goal! That is such a big deal to me. I went on this trip knowing absolutely no one. It was scary to think that I was going to be traveling and experiencing an entirely new continent and country with these strangers. In the end though, I was glad I knew no one because I was able to open up to these new people and I now have friendships that will last me a lifetime. I recommend to any student who is scared and uncomfortable to study abroad, to step out of your comfort zone and know that the experience is going to be worth all of the uncertainties.
One of the experiences I remember the most while being on this study abroad trip, was on our free-day that we were given. I had joined a group of friends in deciding to explore Berlin, Germany without any plan. We were mainly just going to go with the flow and see what we found. We started the day by taking a train to this city right outside of Berlin to eat at this doughnut shop, which was amazing! Afterwards, we got back on the train and headed to the Berlin Mall, which was by far the biggest mall I had ever been in! We went from the mall to this dome-like shopping center that had LED lights lighting up the dome. It was beautiful and exciting to see. We then walked from the dome-like shopping center to the Brandenburg Gate. By the time we got to the gate, it was very dark. The gate was lit up and I now can say that it is one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. I remember looking up at it in awe. I also remembering looking around and seeing the night-life going on. People were so happy and just visiting each other outside of the gate. The reason I say this was one of my favorite experiences on the trip, was because it was unplanned and turned out to be such a beautiful day. I grew closer to the group I was hanging out with. I saw sights I didn’t know I was going to see, which left me in awe. I love traveling without always having a destination. That’s why this day was so memorable to me.
After experiencing this trip in Germany, I think I will act with a more open-minded perspective. I learned to communicate with so many people that are different than me, which has made my communication skills stronger! I also believe I have grown to be more independent and confident in myself. I know I could go and travel anywhere and be confident that I will be okay. Before this experience, I would have been terrified to go out and travel in an entirely new country. I would have felt discouraged that I wouldn’t know how to communicate with the people and that I wouldn’t know how to get around. This trip has changed that. I feel confident in talking to anyone, even if they are very different than me. I will never forget seeing all that I got to see and experience in Germany. From seeing the Brandenburg Gate at night lit up to seeing the massive and gorgeous cathedrals spread out everywhere. Germany is truly beautiful, and I hope to be back very soon. All in all, I hope to have the opportunity to study abroad again sometime. It is worth all the time and money, that’s for sure.
Kelley Kindle is majoring in Marketing and spent part of May 2019 participating in a faculty-led trip to Germany through the Rollins College of Business. Kelley had the following to say about studying abroad, “I went on this trip knowing that I was ready to grow as an individual. I did not know anyone I would be with and I had no idea what to expect. I can now say, without a doubt, that I am more confident and I have made memories that will last me a lifetime!”
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