Hello my name is Courtney and I’m currently a Business Administration student at Oregon State University-Cascades. I studied at DHBW Mosbach, Bad Mergentheim campus as an exchange student until June 29th. You can read up on my first impressions here. In this blog entry, I am saying goodbye to my temporary home in Bad Mergentheim.
My last few weeks in Germany it started dawning on me how soon I would be leaving back to America, and I started thinking that I didn’t get to see enough, and I didn’t spend enough time there. I started taking walks through town every day just to soak it all in a little more before I left. On my last day of school all the students in my class decided to have a picnic so we could all say goodbye. We all sat in front of DHBW and talked about our fun trips and summer plans. Saying goodbye was hard because we were all just thinking we would probably never see most of these people again, so it was goodbye forever.
I spent a few extra days in Bad Mergentheim after class ended. My boyfriend flew out to travel with me so I showed him my town and my school, he made me take a picture outside of the Schloss and in front of the DHBW sign. Walking around showing him the town I called home for the last 3 months made me sad to be leaving it all and I tried to just take in as much as possible. I hope someday I get to go back to Germany and visit again.
#How I have changed and what I learned
Now that I’m back in the states I found that I’ve changed in little ways. At work I don’t get as frustrated talking to people who don’t speak English. I remember how hard it was for me to be in a country where I can’t speak the language, and what a relief it was when someone was kind and tried to understand me rather than be annoyed with me for not knowing German.
I think I also realized that before I went to Germany I thought America was a lot worse than when I came back. I now realize that while some aspects of politics or the way America is run is bad, other countries also have problems. While in Germany I learned a lot more about politics in Europe, the issues the Germans have with their government or how things are run in that country, and I also got to see more of the good things the U.S.A is known for, from an outsiders perspective. It made me see that America does have a lot of really good things, and it also has bad things, but every country does.
#What I will miss - and what not
One thing I do not miss at all now that I’m back is not having A/C and having to open the windows but not having screens on the windows so everywhere is just filled with bugs. I also don’t miss pork and bread, I think I’ve had enough pork and bread for the rest of my life, (but the pork in America is not as good as Germany anyway). I miss the way the villages look. I think the houses are so cute and the streets with cobblestone are straight out of a picture. I also miss walking to the Ice Café every day and getting an ice cream cone. In America I would never think to have ice cream so often, but in Germany it just seemed like a normal thing.
Another thing I miss about Bad Mergentheim is Solymar. I love swimming but I have sensitive skin and chlorine usually makes my skin so dry so I never swim, but I could go multiple times a week in Germany and it was good for your skin. I’m going to miss swimming all the time so much. Solymar was the best!
Overall I loved my experience abroad and I’ll never forget my 3 months I spent in Germany. I learned so much, saw so many places and met awesome people. My time there was unforgettable. I think everyone should study abroad at least once in their lives, it is definitely the best experience! I can’t wait to go back to Europe and check a few more countries off my bucket list, but visiting other countires is a completely different experience than being immersed in one for 10 weeks. You understand a lot more and get to experience so much more that way. I’ll miss Bad Mergentheim and hope I can visit again!
Exchange students can join one of our 3 month-long International Programs. Business students can choose the International Program in Business (IPB), which runs three times per year. For Engineering students, we offer the International Program in Engineering (IPE). The classes are taught entirely in English and you can earn up to 30 ECTS in each three-months program.
Exchange students join DHBW Mosbach students, so there is an intercultural mix of students in class. We keep the class size small: you get to know everyone very well and be one tight group during your stay here. Each program includes an Intensive German language and culture course. The programs also include excursions, cultural events and company visits, so you have a great time with plenty of fun and adventure.
The DHBW Exchange Scholarship is provided by the DHBW-Stiftung / DHBW Foundation. With the help of financial contributions from companies and private individuals, the DHBW Foundation’s goal is to strengthen the profile and expertise of the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University and to give further impetus to teaching and research. By awarding the DHBW Exchange Scholarship, the Foundation wants to support our efforts to further the university’s internationalization.
DHBW Mosbach has decided to award this scholarship to two students from Oregon State University, Cascades Campus, Bend coming to DHBW Mosbach, as well as two DHBW Mosbach students, spending one semester at OSU Bend.
More information on the DHBW Foundation can be found here.