Well, we’ve made it. I’m leaving tomorrow afternoon. I can’t believe I’ve been in Germany for five whole months. This is the longest amount of time I’ve ever spent away from home. I’m ready to leave! Not because I hated Germany (in fact, quite the opposite), but rather because I feel like I’ve spent enough time here. I’ve also done everything I set out to do at the beginning of the semester. I’m definitely better when it comes to German, and I’ve established a few contacts here in Europe. This is my third semester abroad, and I must say that this semester has been the best overall. I came to Germany confident in my German skills with a set of expectations, which is something that I cannot necessarily say for the other two semesters in Paris. While this has been a very new experience, I feel like being a two-time study abroad veteran has prepared me for a number of things. I have not suffered from homesickness, though I do miss many things from back home. I never once longed to go back to Chicago; I was always happy being here. Having studied abroad twice before has also helped me in terms of adapting to foreign teaching styles. While IES is technically an American program, the teaching styles of professors are very authentic. Taking two classes at the University of Freiburg with Germans is also something that I’m proud of myself for. This has definitely been the most challenging semester so far in terms of new things, but I managed to do it! And I couldn’t be happier with my decision to study here in Freiburg. I’m looking forward to my classes back on campus. I’ll be a senior next year, which is something I’m still coming to terms with. This past semester has been a great way of preparing myself for the academic challenges ahead. I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my blog posts! This has been a wonderful way of sharing my study abroad experience with the world. I’m very grateful to have had this opportunity.

I’ll attach a few photos from the past couple of weeks here in Freiburg.

Vielen Lieben Dank!

-Derrick

~)

Schulfest: a party thrown by Rotteck to earn money for individual classes

Käsespätzle

Fireworks show at Seepark

From the Lehrerparty at Rotteck