This is my documentation for my family and friends so that we can keep in touch while I spend a year half way around the world. I will do my best to document the good times, the bad times, the happy, the sad. Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rules and Top Ten Reasons for Studying Abroad

Rule #1: It's not a good idea to speak English in public, and if you decide to do so be prepared to encounter some odd situations.
Last Saturday I went to a soccer game in München with some Americans that are studying abroad here and well they couldn't speak German and it's nice to be able to speak your mother tongue every once in a while so naturally we spoke English. I never knew that doing a simple thing such as speaking English was seen as an invitation for strangers to come up to you and just start asking you random, off the wall questions. Not saying that this will always happen but it is a good possibility that it will happen especially when in a bigger city.
Rule #2: Expectations aren't exactly your friend... don't be fooled
If there is one thing that being here as taught me I would have to say that being flexible it one of them. It's always really easy to just expect people to react a certain way but at the end of the day it is and will always be better to just go with the flow. Expect anything expect the unexpected. The people, culture and custom are often times different and you can't really understand 'why?' but just go with it because that is just how it is.
Top Ten Reasons for Studying Abroad:
1. Learn a language in the country that it is spoken.
Studying abroad is the perfect way for you to becoming fluent in a language. Immersion is the only way to become fluent in a language and not to mention you don't have to memorize vocabulary list :)
2. Learn about yourself and gain independence.
Many people spend a lifetime trying to learn about themselves and fail to realize that sometimes in order to see yourself in a different light you need to change your surroundings and take a journey to a place that is different from what they are used to.
3. Traveling/Studying abroad is a life-altering experience!
Experiencing life abroad is truly an eye opening experience. You are able to think different due to the fact that you have seen the world through different eyes; which is far better than any movie, and magazing could ever portray.
4. Gain perspective on your own country and culture.
When the average American thinks about Halloween, the first thing that comes to mind is trick-or-treat. Do you know why Halloween is a holiday? Most don't, so it's ok but going abroad can aid you in learning so much about your own culture, things that you haven't even thought about before.
5. See the world (or at least a part of it).

There is so much to see in the world and yea you could take a week or two vacation to another country but when it comes to the differences in cultures you won't really be able to see that. Well, lets be honest here most tourist are trying to see as many sites as possible you aren't able to see just the every day to day life.

6. Make connections that can last a lifetime.
Everybody knows the saying "It's not what you got, it's who you know" and well the connections that are formed while on an exchange between your host family or even the friends that you make are connections that you have never been made had you not traveled to another country.
7. Resume builder.
In today's competitive work force it is always helpful to have a little something extra under your belt. Global unification is becoming increasingly important and companies seek people that are able to provide a positive working environment with people from other cultural backgrounds. Studying abroad shows that you have these qualities that they are looking for.
8. Experience hands-on learning.
The amount that is learned from from you actually being there and doing it yourself is so much more worthwhile than reading a book or watching a film; Instead of hearing about somebody else's experiences you get to form your own.
9. Programs work with any academic program.
There is a program that is perfect for you. Can't afford to miss a year of school? Then you can always do a summer program.
10. International travel and study are fun and exciting.
I think this one is pretty self explanatory.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Oktoberfest und Orchester

So on the 2nd of Oktober I went with my host family to Oktoberfest because that was the last weekend that it would be going for this year. We drove to Munchen which is actually only like an hour away to my surprise and I got to see tons and tons of fields where they make beer. Pretty much it was like a HUGE carnival like yea beer was a part of it but I mean there was a lot more too it than that. Not everybody wears Ledershosen und Dirndls although a good amount of people do. I am glad that I was able to experience it, oh and the Bier tents aren't impossible to get into assuming that you are willing to wait a long time in line, and the line isn't even a line its more like a big bundle of people that are crowded together... I must say they are very dedicated because I know it had to be really sweaty standing there. There were tons of rides too but they are really, really expensive and there is no such thing as buying a day pass... it's kind of like the way that there are no refills (which sucks by the way).

The day after that I went to the Junior Classic Orchester (Orchestra) that plays here where I live and it was really nice, I enjoyed it alot and since I didn't have a violin yet the teacher let me use his.

On Sunday, Oktober 3, I went out with my host siblings. We went bowling and well I suck at bowling but it was fun.

Dienstag, Oktober 5, my host mother and I went to the Geigenbauer and I got a violin!

And now it has been a little bit over a month since I have been with my host family and well I think my German is getting better, I know that I can understand a lot more than I could before. Some days you feel awesome because you understand most things and then there are days when you feel like you haven't learned anything so it's pretty up and down.