Looking back on my time abroad, it’s overwhelmingly strange to believe that I was actually able to accomplish and survive such a long time on my own in this strange new world. The places I’ve seen, the people I’ve met, the cultures I’ve experienced, and the things I have learned will always be carried with me for the rest of my life.
Taking classes in another country was definitely an experience to say the least. Adjusting to completely different time schedules, figuring out how to learn material in a different manner, and no longer being on the grueling 10-week Drexel program all added up to create quite a few difficult obstacles to overcome, but with some patience and a little bit of creativity, all of these become second nature when you’re finally in the trenches.
For me, the most beneficial portion of taking classes at Mannheim was the pivotal moment of taking a specific marketing class that has actually now influenced my career choices. It was a Brand and Product Management intensive course that delved into the different real-world difficulties and triumphs of having a successful product brand. Because of this class, I’m now heavily considering entering the branding portion of marketing, something I hadn’t even remotely considered before coming here.
Growing up and hearing all about people studying abroad, I always pictured myself having a very stereotypical type of experience once I finally went to Germany. I expected to eat gelato in Italy, sit under the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and ride around on a Vespa all day long. Boy, was I in for a treat. Who would’ve thought that when you study in another country you actually learn. I discovered things about myself that I hadn’t even known were possible, and most importantly, I interacted with students every single day who lived lives that were astronomically different than mine.
As an International Business major, it’s crucial for me to gain a larger understanding of people’s backgrounds, cultures, traditions, mannerisms, languages, and so on when moving forward in my career. It was fascinating to constantly be breaking stereotypes over and over again as I met more and more people during my time in Germany. I never thought that I would want to actually live in Germany, let alone work there, but now I can’t imagine my life without this beautiful country and the memories it has given me. Danke schön Mannheim, Auf Wiedersehen!