Germany Week 2 (and 3… and 4…): Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

Germany is pretty cool and I’ve left the house a few times!

The question everyone is asking, “does Mike Cole speak German?” What’s the answer. Well, that’s the debate. I say “Jaaa” but many say “Nein, Nein, Nein!”. I however, am not deterred and have strengthened my resolve to practice pronunciation every minute of the day.

In other news, I left coffee in the coffee maker back home. It’s only been a month, so I’m sure it’s fine. An evil nail also ripped my pants, but I hear ripped pants are all the rage. And I lost my health insurance card, so if I don’t post for a while it either means I’m super busy or got struck by illness and am dead.

Adventures

 Switzerland

My big adventure for week 2 was going to Switzerland, which was absolutely gorgeous! Rhein (Rhine) Falls was absolutely amazing. The Falls are 250 ft wide and 75 ft high (as illustrated beautifully by the photo below). After standing in awe for a good while, we then headed over to Lucerne, where we spent a few hours exploring the city.

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Lucerne was absolutely amazing. The city had a giant monument of a dying Lion carved into a rock. Of course, words and photos can only say so much, but they say enough, so here’s a picture!

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Then of course there was the old town… Which had murals painted on the buildings.

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Other than that, it was just plain beautiful. Walking around, seeing the history of the city, it really is something that has to be experience. There’s a lot of character in European cities. Then we spent 10 hours in Zurich which was more or less the same (not a bad thing). My only regret is that I am but a broke college student, so I couldn’t buy a Swiss watch.

France

This last weekend I was in France, which was absolutely amazing. I drank French wine (both red and white), ate a crepe, ate a baguette (I almost started crying it was so delicious) and had some fancy French Chicken (forget what it’s called).

And of course, the most amazing part of the trip…

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Notre Dame

Disclaimer: I am attending class in case any of you were concerned. First two weeks I had a crash course in the German language, last week I had a Intercultural experience course, and this  week I’ve had business law and leadership.

That’s it, that’s my week(s)! Thanks for reading and stay classy friends!

Germany Week 1: I’m not dead!

I arrived and am alive!

So the first question you may be asking yourself, “Did Mike make it”? The answer is yes. The next question you might find yourself asking “what have I been doing the past week”? Well, let me tell you.

Classes started the 5th and I arrived at 6:10am on the 2nd to Frankfurt airport. Feeling overwhelmed at the airport, I quickly found the nearest Starbucks,which I suppose is better than going to McDonalds. After I had time to collect myself, the rest of the OSU squad arrived and we took a taxi to downtown Frankfurt (don’t, it cost 74 Euros!).  Frankfurt is basically the Wall Street of Europe, so there were plenty of skyscrapers and people in suits. When we arrived, we checked in at the youth hostel, had lunch, and then napped for a few hours (super exciting!). After our lovely nap, we decided to explore Frankfurt. Besides there being a lot of brothels (we didn’t go in, I swear!), there were…

Churches!!!

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I took a lot of photos but the one above is my favorite and is simply here to illustrate the fact that we explored around 3 to 4 churches, all of which were very beautiful. Just to give you an idea of scale: 20160902_170516

After the churches, we found…

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A bridge with love locks! A lot of love locks! That’s about it. It was cool, but nothin’ special.

And Then…

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The creepiest statue ever. And then…

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The chillest statue ever… But of course, I wouldn’t be a good business major if I didn’t take a photo of…

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The Bear and Bull of Frankfurt! So yes, it’s confirmed! Frankfurt is indeed the Wall Street of Europe if there ever was any doubt.

What else did I do? Ah yes, after Frankfurt I arrived safely in Mosbach via train. The housing is amazing and i’ll have more photos on the way… But for now, just to give you an idea of how awesome this experience has been thus far, here’s the bed i’ll be sleeping in for the next four months.

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Yes, it does have zebras! That’s all for now, cheers and stay classy friends!

Germany: What Have I done?

Life is about experience. If you had asked me a year ago where I saw myself a year from now, I bet you I wouldn’t be saying Germany. Yet a little over year ago, I asked myself a simple question, “why not”? I was taking summer classes at the time when I read an email saying “Hey, Study abroad is pretty cool, come listen to some guest speakers from Germany and Sweden talk about the programs”.  So I went. Sometimes that’s all it takes, a little nudge in the right direction. When I went to info session, I fell in love with the German program and as much as I’d love to say I did hours of research into every country I could experience through study abroad, Germany had me at Oktoberfest. I had my reservations at first but here I stand just a week away from what will be the greatest experience of my college career. So…

Why Go?

Perspective – It’s about understanding. The world would be a better place if everyone went abroad and learned that we as human beings are more similar than we are different. More so than understanding similarities, study abroad is a great way to teach you to value the differences.

Independence –  The great quest of the college student, learning how to Adult properly. You can spend your entire college career thinking you can Adult and are getting quite good at it only to realize once you graduate you’ve been doing it completely wrong. What better way to learn how to Adult the right way than in a foreign country?

YOLO You only live once. Was there ever a truer statement? Is study abroad a risk? Of course! I could end up living in a box when I get back from Germany because I spent all my money on beer. Who knows? But if we didn’t take risks, face our fears, and live for experience, then we wouldn’t get anywhere in life!

You actually save money! (In theory) – Groceries are cheaper, housing is cheaper, textbooks, etc. As far as I know, I’ll actually be saving money while overseas! Probably not, but one can dream.

But the main reason you should study abroad…

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As I said earlier, life is about experience, or better yet, life is about adventure. If we’re not moving forward, we are either standing still or moving backward. It is absolutely terrifying to take a leap of faith and say “I’m going to live in a foreign country for 4 months”. Yet the very fact that I’m terrified makes this opportunity all the more exciting. When we are afraid, it means we are outside of our comfort zone. Every time we step outside of our comfort zone, we grow. We push our limits and set new standards for ourselves. Our comfort zone expands each and every time we face our fears and that’s when we say “what’s the next adventure”?