What is your year and academic concentration?
I am a fourth-year student at Ramapo College of New Jersey and I am a history major.
Why did you choose the ESC Heidelberg program?
I have always wanted to visit Germany; I have always been interested in history and Germany’s history has been especially intriguing to me, even before the world wars. Three years ago, the German language course was reintroduced at Ramapo, and I took the classes for three semesters until it was discontinued on a scheduling issue. Taking the language increased my desire to go to Germany, but the second German professor I had had such a passion and love for the language and the country that I knew I couldn’t let this opportunity of studying abroad pass by me. When it came to choosing where in Germany, however, I had two options: Berlin or Heidelberg. There were at least six different programs for Berlin – all more suited to my major – and there was only one for Heidelberg. I’m not a big city person so I wasn’t too inclined to go to Berlin. I had never heard of Heidelberg before so I did some research; a quiet, beautiful, old college town on the Rhein. The more I looked into it and learned, the more I realized I wanted to go to Heidelberg. It was a long, stressful, and arduous task to get here – there were several financial aid mishaps and heartbreaks – but I am so thankful that I am here.
What are you most looking forward to during your semester abroad program?
I am excited for everything there is to learn. I have never left the country before so I am looking forward to everything Germany has to teach me. I love to learn so combined with the classes I am taking – which all interest me deeply – plus the experience of living and getting used to a foreign city is all exciting to me. Not including the excursions, the program has planned for us, I am also excited for the trips I want to take on my own accord. Something I am especially interested in visiting, are local farms. I interned at a farm during the summer and from working there and visiting other farms, I developed a passion for growing food and living sustainably and
I would love to see that culture reflected here, in a country that pays great attention to recycling and composting.
What do you expect to gain from your semester in Heidelberg?
I seek to gain a better understanding of myself. I have learned that I am constantly changing and I want this semester to be the example I look to in the future. I expect to gain independence, a wider worldview, to become a master at public transportation. But I also can’t wait for the things I will learn that I am not even expecting, and can’t predict in any way. I can’t wait to be surprised.