German grad student embraces life abroad in Kassel, Germany
We asked German graduate student Alicia Marvinetz to tell us about her experience studying and conducting research abroad in Germany this summer, and here's what we learned...
Q: Would you introduce yourself to the readers?
My name is Alicia Marvinetz and I'm a Graduate Candidate in the German program, starting my second and final year of my masters program.
Q: Where did you summer travel take you, and for what purpose?
I went to Kassel in northern Hesse, which lies essentially in the center of Germany to participate in an intensive language and culture program at the University of Kassel. I received a scholarship through the German program, which is largely what enabled me to go.
Q: Can you tell me a story that stands out from your summer travels--a new destination, a challenge, a moment of amazing hospitality?
I have several amazing stories from my time in Kassel, but one of the things that stick out most is having had the opportunity to visit old friends in Gießen, a city I've studied in before. I also visited a pen pal in Koblenz for a weekend and stayed with her family. One of the most amazing experiences overall was the fact that I got to stay with a host family during my time in Kassel, which aided in bettering my language proficiency, but made my time in Kassel feel much more like home.
Q: What are you bringing back to Wayne State from your summer travels?
Having had the opportunity to stay with a host family, I'm coming back to Wayne with significantly more and closer ties to people in Germany than I built the first time I went, even though I was there for a shorter amount of time. My host family and their friends became like a second family to me, and it made my experience all the more meaningful.
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering study abroad?
If you're considering studying abroad, do it. Do whatever you need to do to do it, whether that means applying for scholarships, talking to an advisor, taking several semester of a foreign language. Whatever it is you need to do, just do it. It will be the most amazing experience not only of your college career, but of your life. The world seems so big when you spend your whole life in one city, one state, one country, but once you travel the world and see new places and meet new people, the world seems smaller.
You realize at the core of it all, people are all the same. We all just want to be happy, to be in love, to live life to fullest, and to have no regrets when our lives have passed us by. I have been so fortunate to have studied abroad twice, and both times have made me a better student, a better teacher, a better friend, daughter, sister, girlfriend, and an overall better person.