Pre-departure Emotions

Time passes so fast. In no time, I’ll be in the capital city of Germany, Berlin! There are so many emotions going through me all at once. I’m excited, but nervous and sad at the same time. It was the same exact feeling I had when I left home for the States. This time, it is even more nerve-wrecking because I will be taking classes in German, instead of English. I have not mastered the German language and I’m not confident in speaking German so it will definitely be a huge challenge for me. “What if I’m not good enough? What if my classmates are better in German than I am? What if I get a bad grade? How do I buy groceries when my German is not that good?” These questions kept spinning around my head. I know I need to stop worrying and focus on my goals for my semester abroad. After all, I chose to study abroad in Germany to improve my German!

Leaving home is never easy no matter how many times I’ve done it before. I’m about to leave what is familiar to me and head into the unknown. It is like doing college all over again — meeting new friends, getting used to the new environment, and adapting to a new culture, etc. “Will I be able to fit in? What if my classmates do not like me? Will my host family like me? What if I offend people with the things I say?”

Saying goodbye is also never easy. I had such an amazing time back home in Penang, Malaysia, where I spent my Christmas break. That one and a half month seemed so short. It felt like it was only yesterday when I first arrived in Penang. I couldn’t believe it when it was time to say goodbye again. I thought it would be easier because I’ve done it a couple of times before but truth is, it is still very difficult when it comes to saying goodbye. I was not ready to leave my friends and family. However, holding on to the fact that I will see them again has kept me going when I was studying in the U.S. and I believe it will also keep me going when I’m in Germany.

Well, putting all the negative emotions aside, I’m really excited for what my semester abroad in Berlin has in store for me! I’m excited to explore and immerse myself in a new culture. I’ve only seen Germany through books, videos, and movies, and now, I finally get to experience it first-hand! I can’t wait to travel around Europe, and study in a big and international city like Berlin, a much-needed change from Holland, Michigan. I’m also really excited to meet my host family, and get to know them better! I hope to form long-lasting friendships and gain a deeper understanding of myself.

Berlin, here I come!

Published by Yung Yue Tneh

Class of 2020 IES Abroad Berlin, Germany Global Studies and German w/ minor in Music

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