Greetings from Germany! My name is Brandon Phillips, and I am currently a junior at CofC double majoring in Business and German. I am spending the next 10 months in Ludwigshafen.
I have been in Germany for almost 6 weeks now, and I have already learned a lot in the short time here from speaking the language better to understanding their vast public transportation network. Germany has a great public transportation network that I think the United States could look at and model themselves after. Their public transportation is cheap and efficient and allows you to see all of Germany at a reasonable price.
My first two weeks in Germany were spent at the University of Mannheim taking a German language refresher course, which has proven to be very helpful so far. The last week in September is when all of the exchange students at my university arrived for our orientation week. The orientation week was a great opportunity for me to meet new people and make friends from all over the world as well as learn about different cultures. I was shocked to see these students that could speak 3 or more languages, and I can barely speak two. It is amazing to see the differing education systems from around the world. These students started learning these languages in Kindergarten and continued to learn each year of their schooling. I think this is something that the US should definitely consider changing in our education system. Okay, now enough of the formal stuff! Let’s talk about some of the neat places I have visited since arriving in Germany.
I have been to several small cities so far, but the nicest city was Heidelberg. Our university organized an excursion for exchange students to Heidelberg to visit the castle from the 1300s! This was a really neat excursion that allowed us to see some of the older history of Germany, but it also allowed us to get to know one another in the exchange student group. Okay, that is all I have for now! I will post again next month where I will talk about my visit to Berlin and the first month of classes at my university! Auf Wiedersehen!