Street Festivals in Germany

America certainly has a culture of summer festivals: every summer at home, my town puts on a big 3-day summer festival with food stalls, cultural displays, carnivals rides, fireworks, and more. But in Germany, there’s an entirely different culture built up around it. Not all the festivals happen during the summer, either. Even in winter, […]

Coming Full Circle

This isn’t actually my first “exchange” to Europe — in 2012, at the age of 15, I was fortunate enough to be able to go on a two week tour of Europe with a youth orchestra. We stayed with host families in the communities we visited and traveled through Germany and France. It was an […]

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Studying Abroad in Germany

Now that my semester in Freiburg has ended and I’m headed home soon, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on my experience and consider what might have been nice to know before I got here! 1. You don’t need as many clothes as you think. When I was packing, I had […]

Being “Foreign” for the First Time

I’ve lived in the U.S. my whole life. The culture, the language, the customs, the laws, etc. just come naturally to me, as it does to most of us. Being an American is as easy as breathing for me. Now, studying in Germany for a semester, I’m a foreigner for the first time. Suddenly, the […]

Freiburg As a Springboard to Europe

One of the crazy things about Europe is how easy it is to travel to another country. Because of the Schengen Area and the free movement of people among European Union member-states, you often don’t even need to stop at border control to get from one place to another. Freiburg sits at the intersection of […]

Exploring the Region

As I mentioned in my first blog post, Freiburg is situated in the lower corner of the Black Forest, very close to where France, Switzerland, and Germany intersect. From Freiburg, it’s easy to get to the quintessential Black Forest, to venture into the Badish wine region, or to head into Switzerland to hike in the […]

Studying “auf Deutsch”

A big part of studying abroad for me is that it will allow me to get a major in German, because any class in which the language of instruction is German gets counted as a German class. That’s why I chose to come to Germany instead of anywhere else in the world, and that’s why […]

Faith in Freiburg

Southern Germany, Freiburg included, has been a stronghold of German Catholic Christianity for over 1,700 years, and especially after Charlemagne (742-814 AD) united Germany and France into the Holy Roman Empire under the auspices of the Pope. Even after the Reformation, the south stayed true to the Roman pontiff. In Freiburg, this history has a […]

The Sound of Music

While Freiburg isn’t quite the same as the Austrian alps, and though you’re not very likely to see dirndls here, the streets of Freiburg are frequently “alive” with music. Whether it’s the bells of the Munster, the burbling of the Bächle, or street performers, Downtown Freiburg is quite a musical place. I’ve been involved with […]

Interning Abroad

During my semester in Freiburg, I have the chance to do an internship. The IES staff helped me to write up a German resume and send it to local businesses and organizations that fit my interests. I’m not being paid, because I’m getting credit instead. However, with my student visa, I’m also allowed to work for a […]