Hi, everyone! Thank you so much for taking the time to check out my blog. I figured I would use this first post as an opportunity to introduce myself/explain what this blog will be about. My name is Derrick McAllister and I am a junior at Skidmore. I’m an International Affairs and German double major with a minor in French. I have studied abroad twice with Skidmore: I was a London FYE student, and I also took part in the Skidmore in Paris program in the fall semester of 2017.

However, this spring semester, I will be taking on Freiburg! There’s still a lot of preparation to be done, but I’m loving every second of it. The name of this blog, (“Frying the Berg”) was chosen because it has two meanings. Firstly, it is a (wonderful) pun on the city’s name (thanks, Nicol). The second reason is a bit deeper — it has to do with the German language itself! Freiburg is a city known for being surrounded by mountains. Here’s a quick German lesson: “der Berg” means “the mountain”. So, in a way, the title of this blog could be interpreted as “Frying the Mountain”! Clever, huh?

A bit about what I’ll be doing this spring: I have chosen IES Abroad’s Freiburg Language and Area Studies program. I chose this program because it’s the perfect way to immerse myself. All of my classes will be in German and I will be living with German housemates. The courses that are available to me are also perfect because they align perfectly with my future goals. There’s also an optional internship portion that I’m very interested in! I decided to do this program around the same time that I declared my German major — in the spring of my sophomore year. IES programs are wonderful because they’re so well-organized and provide an excellent learning environment. By the end of my semester, I hope to achieve three things. Firstly, an indisputably high level of fluency in German. Secondly, I would like to use this as an opportunity to make connections, both professional and personal. Finally,  I want to grow as a person: this study abroad experience will provide a brand new challenge, as the program is entirely in German/in a city I haven’t heard of outside of the context of studying abroad.

I don’t have any pictures of Freiburg to share with you yet (I leave on February 26), but I just got back from a mini tour of Europe! I went back to London and Paris and even got the chance to visit Amsterdam. I’ll add a few photos of my travels.

Thanks so much again for reading, and I look forward to sharing my journey with you!

Photos from my recent travels:

St. Paul’s, London

One of Amsterdam’s many canals

La Seine (with Notre Dame in the background), Paris