Next stop, Germany!

Kazmira Ruhland
Management Major
German Business and Culture
Summer I short-term, faculty-led course

As I write this post, I’m sitting in the O’Hare Airport, waiting for my 6:00 p.m. flight to Frankfurt, Germany. This is my first time leaving the United States and my emotions are a roller coaster, as you can image. For those that do not know, I’m traveling to Germany for 27 days to study abroad with Western Michigan University and Dr. Jim Eckert. I am beyond blessed and excited for this amazing opportunity.

I decided to study abroad back in December/January. I went to the Study Abroad Office at WMU and started to ask questions such as, where can I study, what can I study, and when. The minute I found out that Germany was even an option, I jumped on that band wagon faster than you can blink. My heritage is German, so I already have had a wish to visit the country.

Directly after writing the beginning part of this post, my flight was delayed by two hours. First, the plane needed a tire replacement. Which is totally cool, safety first obviously. Next, the gate became jammed pack due to the delay on the 907 flight (my flight to Frankfurt). Once the other flight rescheduled their terminal, things got better. I met a lot of people during my wait. I met a woman that was missing her daughter’s prom due to work, a German man that was going back to Germany to visit the rest of his family, three little old ladies about to tear up Philadelphia, and finally a Canadian woman that I had a wonderful conversation with about the American Presidential Election. I was surprised to find out that they think Trudeau, isn’t the best.

Excitement and fears. That’s what I’m supposed to tell you about. My fears and my excitements about this trip. Let’s start with excitement. Literally, everything. The people, the food, the beer, the buildings, the air, the nature, the atmosphere, and the European-ness. I’m excited to learn, too. My fears? Well since I just got done with finals on Thursday about 4:00, my fears have been minimal. I haven’t had time to be fearful. I guess if I was to pick anything, it would be, me. I’m loud and from what I hear, Germans are not. My laugh can be heard across the room. So I’m concerned that Germans will find me rude. We shall see!

I would like to thank a few different people for influencing me to study broad. Those people would be Kallerine Strazdas, Gabriel Migala, Jeff Ruhland, and Brittany Roelofs. Kallerine studied abroad in Europe with WMU, and loved it. Gabriel studied abroad with WMU as well. He was gone for three to four months! My father, Jeff Ruhland, has constantly traveled the past couple of years for work. He’s gone to India, Japan, Germany, Mexico, and Italy; just to name a few. And finally, Brittany. Correct me if I’m wrong Brittany, but I don’t believe she ever studied abroad, but she definitely went to China with her best friend. How amazing is that?! All of these people gave me the strength and courage to travel and broaden my horizons. Thank you guys for making me challenge myself, love you all.

And finally, how did my family react when I told them I was studying abroad? I would say they reacted neutral. Being an only child and female, made things… interesting. My parents are obviously concerned with my safety. There are a lot of things going on with world, it’s a dangerous place. If the world being crazy wasn’t enough, try having your mother work for the government. I will be smart about my safety.

Well, everyone is sleeping on the plane, I guess I should too. Until next time!

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