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Study Abroad Interviews

Mira Ehrenfried

winter in BillingsAge: 23

Home Country: Germany

Home University: Pädagogische Hochschule Ludwigsburg (Ludwigsburg University of Education)

Subjects of Study: English, Biology and Chemistry for Seconardy School

Note: In German Universities one must have three subjects. The first is your "major," then you have a second area of study almost like a double major and then a third subject which is like a minor.

Mira and friendPrior Language Knowledge: I had English from grade 5 to 13, so I could speak and write well.

Where did you go? Billings, Montana, USA

When did you go? August - December 2008

Have you studied abroad before? No

Why did you do it?
I didn't want to tell my future students about the U.S. without ever being there myself. Also, I wanted to improve my language skills and gain more confidence.

Mira and friendsWould you do it again?
Yes, because it was an awesome experience! You meet new people and learn about other cultures and/or customs. For me, seeing the other people's lifestyles and comparing these to mine helped to decide what is important for me in my life and what's not.

What was your favorite part?
My favorite parts were meeting new people, visiting Yellowstone National Park, and enjoying life at the University.

What was your least favorite part?
Sometimes I missed the food I am used to. Also, there were times when people were overfriendly (i.e. fake) without meaning what they were saying.

Mira sightseeingWhat was the easiest thing about the study abroad experience?
That's a tough question -- I don't know another answer to this right now, but I would have to say that getting to know the other internationals was the easiest thing about studying abroad.

What was the hardest thing/challenge you faced studying abroad?
Not having my own friends (from Germany) around, the different food, and being an intergrated part in the Volleyball team.

How has this study abroad affected your life now?
I have more confidence in some parts of my life, I can speak with an American accent, I have improved my language skills, and now I have new international friends.

What advice/words of wisdom would you offer students interested in studying abroad?
There might be situations in a foreign country that are hard to handle, but you should face them and you should not miss the opportunity of studying abroad!

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