Name: Megan Luedke
Hometown: Ogdensburg, Wisconsin
Year in school: 3rd year
Major: Graphic Design and Interactive Media
Study Abroad Location: Darmstadt, Hessen, Germany
Hallo, ich bin Megan! Hi, I’m Megan and I am studying at the Hochschule Darmstadt the University of Applied Sciences here in Darmstadt. This is my first time traveling outside of the United States so everything is all so new to me, it was my first time ever flying and my first time experiencing a major language barrier. We flew into Frankfurt International Airport and since I was sleep deprived and in shock I don’t remember much of the day other than dragging my suitcases all over the place and really wanting to take a nap.
When coming here I had literally no knowledge of the German language, and I didn’t start learning it until two weeks into being here. I also grew up in a very small town, so I have never used any public transportation other than the bus that runs between North and South campus at UW-Stout. My first few weeks were incredibly confusing. I was learning the bus and tram system and of course everything is in German so just to navigate through Darmstadt, they say it’s a small city of only 160,000 people but that is 158,000 more people than I am used to, seemed like an impossible task. Now that I have been here for about three months, I have become a pro at public transport and my knowledge of the German language has improved by leaps and bounds. I still know very little German but I am excited to see how much I learn over this next year.
I will be studying here in Darmstadt for two full semesters, the fall/winter semester didn’t get stated until mid-October but I arrived August 30th. I took a three-week intensive language course right away and we had other various activities with all of the exchange students. Now that the semester is in full swing I only have classes three days a week, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday so that means I have Friday through Monday for traveling! I have already been to Luxembourg City, Luxembourg, Brussels, Belgium, and Strasbourg France. All of these cities are all within a few hours of my location so they are pretty easy to travel to. I have also been to several cities within Germany as well. My traveling at the moment has been halted for 5 or 6 weeks now due to issues getting my visa but by January I should be allowed to leave Germany once again. So for now I will be traveling to as many Christmas markets in Germany as I can.
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg