Victoria Sweeney, Reutlingen, Germany

Well, it has been 3 weeks since I have landed back in the good old USA. Reverse Culture Shock does exist, let me tell you! Hearing English and seeing signs in English is something I still haven’t become completely used to yet. I speak to myself and others in German and I still think I have a 6 hour time difference, but it is getting better!

After my trip to Berlin I didn’t do as much traveling. I did go to Paris for a weekend. My best friend lives not too far away outside of Paris so we took a trip to her house! I traveled there a few weeks before the Christmas holiday so the city was decorated for the Holidays and the Christmas Market was up and running. Paris is absolutely beautiful, and it is even more breath taking when it is all decorated for Christmas! I didn’t think I would ever miss hearing the German language, until I had French surrounding me. I think listening to French exhausted me! The Eiffel Tower is, of course, amazing. I took a boat tour around Paris at night. After I got off the boat my friends and I looked up at the Tower and it was lit up and was twinkling with white lights. It was surely a sight to see!


After Paris my life calmed down a little. My classes were soon finishing up so I had a lot of studying and presentation work to do. One weekend, to get away from the student life, I went to 3 different Christmas Markets in one day. Christmas Markets are crazy in Germany! There are so many people and they are all trying to do their Christmas shopping! People from all over Europe travel to go to the most popular Markets in Germany so you are surrounded by so many languages. I think the best part about the Markets was just watching the different people that were there. People watching is very enjoyable in another country! (Not to sound creepy or anything…) I also went to a Chocolate festival, which was as delicious as it sounds. Chocolate everywhere, it was great. People were painting with chocolate, had every food imaginable dipped in chocolate, shaped in chocolate. It was crazy and such an experience to go to! The picture below is of a building that was decorated during the Chocolate Festival.


Like I said, my life got a little boring. School work took over my life, but I had something to look forward to! In my first 2 weeks of Germany I worked at a Children’s camp and lived with 3 students from England. After my finals were over, I was heading to England to spend Christmas with them! It was so exciting because I thought it was going to be years before I would ever see them again. I had a proper English Christmas, including the Queen’s Speech. They took me around Liverpool and the city of Chester. The weather was so…England like. Raining, windy, and cold!


Studying Abroad has changed my life. I have become a more independent and outgoing person. I can’t imagine my life without these past 4 months in Germany and I will do anything I can to go back. It is hard to wrap up my experience in any type of sentence, paragraph, paper, anything, because it is something that everyone should experience. I recommend Studying Abroad to everyone and anyone, you won’t regret it.

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  • Mary Lou Kline  On January 27, 2014 at 4:11 am

    Thank you so much for taking the time to post your comments, Victoria. I am so pleased that the experience was so meaningful to you. It truly is a life changing event. Thank you for sharing it with us. Blessings and success as you move on with your life. Mary Lou Kline, RACC.

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