Thursday, August 23, 2012
I assume you're here because you know I'm leaving the country for the year. I'm finally starting my blog because I only have 10 more days (ahhh!) before I leave! I decided a few months ago to apply for the Academic Year in Freiburg program, which allows me to study for two semesters in Freiburg, Germany. (This is super cool, if you're really interested in what this gorgeous city looks like.) The program works with University of Michigan, Michigan State, University of Iowa, and University of Wisconsin Madison to send American students to Albert-Ludwigs Universität Freiburg. In total, I think there are around 35 kids going this upcoming year, 7 of which are from Michigan. I'm lucky enough to have two close friends joining me in the program, and I'm already getting to know a few of the others, so I'm not jumping into this all alone :) As long as everything goes according to plan, this year will earn me a German degree in addition to my Computer Science degree. Which will be neat. But that means all of my classes at Universität Freiburg must be in German, and likely all non-technical. So for a year I'm saying goodbye to engineering and brushing up on my history, literature, and of course my German!
Anyway, here's the breakdown of my impending travels: On Sunday, September 2 I'm flying from Detroit to JFK, and then JFK to Frankfurt. From there, I've got to catch a train to Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, where I'll be spending the next 12 months. The month of September will be well-spent in a language institute, where we'll all get a chance to learn as much German as possible before we're thrown in the regular university. (I'm entering the program with the minimum required German -- 4 semesters. Some of the kids, I assume, will be close to fluent already, so there will be quite a disparity.) After that, we'll get a few weeks off before the semester begins in October. Winter semester runs from the middle of October to March, with a break for the Christmas season. We'll then get about 8 weeks off to travel and work, before the Summer semester begins, and runs from April to July. I'll be heading back to the States sometime in August 2013, date to be determined. It's so far away, they're not even selling plane tickets yet :P
The last few weeks and the next 10 days will be a frenzy of packing and list-making and a bit of Michigan traveling. Little sister Emily is moving down to University of Michigan on Friday. With all the chaos, you may or may not hear from me again before I'm in Deutschland. But you probably will, as I predict a panic attack 2-3 days before my departure.