Experiencing What New Cultures Have To Offer

Matt Faremouth
Integrated Supply Management Major
German Business and Culture, Summer I 2017

Studying abroad helped me grow tremendously personally, academically and
professionally. I have never been to Europe before, so going there for an extended period of time was a challenge. Going out of my comfort zone and deciding to go on the trip allowed me to see places, things, and people that I would otherwise never got to experience. The trip was a good academic learning experience because the course topic was related to a subject that is important in my area of study. I now know how to interact more effectively with people from other cultures, which will help me as a business professional.
There were numerous unique experiences I had while studying abroad. One of the things I enjoyed most was interacting with European students. Doing this allowed me to learn about their culture, and learn something about each person. For example, seeing how they interact in a social setting is different than American culture. American restaurants are often loud and rambunctious, but most German restaurants are the opposite: quiet, and calm. Something that Professor Eckert said to our group many times was the phrase “German voices” meaning that we were being too loud and needed to quiet down.

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Daily life in Germany was much different than my daily life in the United States. We had
a very detailed itinerary that we strictly followed for the duration of the trip. We would have free time to do whatever we wanted some days, but many times our day was entirely planned out. I was not used to this because I do not follow a strict schedule for planning my day when I’m in the US. Although it was an adjustment getting used to following a strict schedule every day, it helped everyone in the group stay organized, and allowed everyone to plan their day accordingly.
Studying abroad helped me change my perspective in a lot of ways. Being in Germany
for an extended period of time made me realize that there are many great, unique things to see in the world. As a person who has lived in the United States my whole life, it is sometimes challenging to think about what else is out there in the world outside of America. After reflecting on the trip, I now know that I want to travel to many different places in the world to experience what other countries and cultures have to offer.

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