As a group of eight students and one professor, we had the opportunity to travel through Germany and Austria with a semester study abroad program, Wheaton in Germany. During this time we soaked in the culture, history, language, and daily life of Germany. We learned enough to fill a book, but here are two of the most notable lessons I learned:
1. Speaking exclusively in a foreign language is both fulfilling and challenging.
An integral part of the Wheaton in Germany semester study abroad program is language immersion — we communicate almost exclusively in German, with only one hour of English per week. It’s so encouraging to speak German with Germans (and my fellow classmates) and realize that I can actually carry on a substantial conversation.
2. Our home is with Jesus and the community of believers.
My mom always said that home is where family is, and that doesn’t mean only biological family. As believers, we are deeply linked with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We had the opportunity to stay with German host families during the trip, and I found that in spite of cultural differences, we shared a deep bond through our shared faith. It’s a powerful reminder that our ultimate home is not any one place on earth, but in the kingdom of heaven.
Ultimately, through my experience abroad in Germany and my involvement in a semester study abroad program, I learned about the culture, history, language, and daily life of Germany. It it left me itching to get back to Germany!
Interested in participating in a study abroad program? Click the button to watch our video and hear from students about the value of studying abroad.