Where in the World is Miami Wednesday: Germany


By Nicole Richards and Syd O'Wesney

In this week's, Where in the World is Miami Wednesday, we meet Ryan, a senior Geography and Sustainability major studying abroad in Germany. 

At Miami, Ryan is involved in Associated Student Government, Geography and Planning Society, and Stage Left. Ryan is studying German Language this semester with USAC’s Lüneburg Germany program. 

bubblesWhy did you choose the program that you did?

I wanted a program that offered an intensive language track for beginners, and this was the most affordable one. It actually ended up being much cheaper than a semester at Miami!

Coolest places you have visited?

So far, the coolest place I have visited was Berlin, Germany. However, I have plans to visit Athens, and I am very excited for that!

What is your favorite part about your program?

The language track and the size of the city. I did not want to be in a huge, overwhelming city, so Lüneburg was perfect. I learn German for about 3.5 hours a day and then I get to go out into the city and practice it for real. In places like Berlin, most people will immediately switch to English if they see you struggling with German. Here, I have to work out my communication as best as I can, which I think is helping me tremendously.

two students smiling in Germany kneeling in front of a small boatHow has your identity impacted your time abroad?

Being a LGBTQ+ person in Germany is a bit different than in the USA. It seems that many people here look past that as part of your personal being, which is kind of nice. I feel more comfortable entering new spaces knowing that my sexual orientation isn’t a factor of my personality that will cause me to be treated differently.

How has the study abroad experience changed you so far?

So far, my problem solving skills have greatly increased. Being in a medium sized city that isn’t very known for speaking English, I have had to simply “figure things out” when I am not sure how to communicate properly. There have often been times where I have gotten lost and had to ask for help. Although it is not extremely easy going up to a random person and asking where something is, it is crucial to making sure you get by in a new country. When returning home, I think this will help me not be afraid to go up and talk to new people when I am in a new environment (new job, moving to a new neighborhood, visiting a new city, etc.). 

Catch us next week as we continue to travel around the world to feature the amazing opportunities that Miami students are taking and the experiences our alumni have had since graduating!

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