"Experiencing Germany," International Programs, Dresden, Germany - 2015

Terry W. Beck, College of Motion Picture Arts, sophomore. The "Experiencing Germany" program was extraordinarily rewarding to me because it not only allowed me to meet and study along some incredible people, but also to become immersed in an amazingly diverse culture. My initial expectations were blown out of the water and replaced with a wider and more informed world view.

Brandon A. Boyd, Music Education, Doctoral Student. My experience in Germany this summer will continue to shape my idea of culture, music, literature for the rest of my life. I can honestly say my educational career peaked during the summer study abroad trip to Germany. Both instructors, Dr. D. Weber [Modern Languages] and Dr. M. Jackson [College of Music, Ethnomusicology], made the trip worthwhile because of their vast knowledge of German culture and history. One of my most fond memories was during our visit to the "Frauenkirche" to hear and see the Symphony No. 8 by Anton Bruckner performed by the National Orchestra of Saint Cecilia. The venue was absolutely incredible, the instrumentalists were stellar and Bruckner is always a good choice. I would recommend this program to anyone who would enjoy understanding more about Humanities from another perspective especially if Drs. Weber and/or Jackson are teaching the courses.

Shiloh Donnell, Modern Languages (German major), senior. Going to Dresden through FSU was easily the most memorable month of my life, and my only regret is that it was not longer. I learned so much not only about German history and culture, but about myself as well. It was an extremely fun and valuable experience; I made many new memories and friends that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Jenny Music, Psychology, senior. Waking up in the beautiful city of Dresden every morning for a month was something I'll never forget. Afternoon strolls by the Elbe River with friends I made from the program is something I will always cherish. Studying abroad in Germany was one of the greatest experiences I could have ever had.

Julia K. Perrett, Modern Languages and Linguistics (German minor), senior Recipient of the Winthrop King Undergraduate scholarship in German, 2015. Studying abroad in Germany this summer was one of the best experiences of my life. Dresden, Germany, is an incredible city bursting with culture and beauty. I attended my first opera, was able to see some of the world's greatest museums, climbed mountains, and made some great friendships. It was the best summer of my life!



Experiencing Germany 2015
Will Weihe

William Weihe, VDAC graduate student exchange, University of Kassel, Germany (Spring semester 2015)

My stay in Germany was quite meaningful. I spent three months in Kassel with the intention of familiarizing myself with the city's culture and improving my language skills. I gathered a number of experiences while abroad, spending time on campus; meeting countless new students from all over the world; participating as a member of two different "Sportvereine" (sports associations); and enjoying the region's diverse sites and events. I entered into the abroad program with virtually zero firsthand experience of German culture and quickly transitioned into life as an international student. The biggest difference of my time in Germany compared with that in the US was the sense of excitement being abroad paired with the fear and anxiety living alone in a foreign place. Feeding off of that excitement and tension propelled me into a number of situations that were out of my comfort zone and that would come to define my time there. The involvement in those variegated experiences allowed me to really appreciate student life with fellow students and to build relationships with local residents and with the city itself. While my time there was certainly not easy and presented things that one does not imagine will arise in a semester abroad, facing those difficulties and embracing my position as a foreign student in an unfamiliar city drove me to make connections to those things around me and resulted in a very happy and active time of my life. It has left me with not just improved language skills and knowledge of North Hessen but has left me with very fond memories and genuine relationships that I am very pleased to now have. I am very grateful for the VDAC and the tremendous support they lend to students, allowing them to truly experience student life in Germany. It was also a tremendous benefit to receive a generous scholarship from the WK Scholarship Fund which made travelling far more manageable.


Luke Rylander, VDAC graduate student exchange, University of Würzburg, Germany (2013 - 2014)

I spent the academic year 2013 - 2014 studying in Würzburg, Germany through the VDAC. This was probably one of the most important years of my life. Having already studied German as an undergraduate and graduate student, I was expecting to have a pretty easy time. Though my studies really had done an excellent job of preparing me, all the cockiness I had built up over the years fell apart on my first trip to the bakery, where I was confronted with dozens of different kinds of rolls and cakes, some of which seemed to me to be the product of a strange, uniquely German alchemy. What I lost in arrogance in that moment, I eventually made up for in confidence - confidence, which came from accomplishing the challenges my professors there laid out for me, and from the positive experiences I was able to share with new friends. Joining a local student theater group, cheering Germany on to victory in the world cup, watching a parade of drunken men in top hats march/stumble through a village for the local "Schützenfest" (marksmanship festival), and spending time with dear friends hiking through the mountain vineyards along the Main river are just a few of the experiences that made my year studying in Germany one I will treasure forever.

Luke Rylander
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