Living Abroad for a Year: The Truth

Sara Kroboth ’19 is a senior International Business and German major. She had the opportunity to study abroad for a year in Marburg, Germany.

While in Marburg, Sara had the opportunity to live in Marburg’s Castle.  She knew from the beginning she would want to live in the castle because it would allow her to have a roommate and give her the amenities to make friends while improving her language skills.

Starting off the semester, Sara had difficulty making German friends. German individuals are slower to become friends. This, combined with Sara’s level of language skills, made it increasingly difficult to make fast friendships. She spent most of her time with other BCA students and listening. Spending time listening helped her improve her language skills and eventually make friends. Staying a year allowed her to improve these friendships.

Besides being able to make friendships, staying the year allowed Sara to experience the German semester fully. Because German semesters run differently than American semesters, staying the year allowed Sara to travel during the break and spend one-on-one time with her friends, improving their relationship and her language skills. Staying a year also allowed her to take a variety of courses at the university and experience all the seasons of Europe.

There are also a few disadvantages to staying the year. Sara experienced loneliness, homesickness, and did not know what to do with her free time. She missed what she knew from Elizabethtown, but learned to adapt.

Being abroad has taught Sara many things. She learned how to cook, how to be alone, and rediscovered her hobbies. She was able to learn about herself and how her personality differs based on what language she’s speaking. Although going abroad for such a long period of time was scary, it was also a rewarding experience Sara recommends to anyone wanting to leave their comfort zone and learn an new culture.

*Click on the hyperlinks above to learn more about the Marburg, Germany program and to read Sara’s original blog published by BCA Study Abroad on April 4, 2018.

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