Summer in Leipzig & Spring 2018

After much deliberation and many applications, I finally have a plan for my summer. I applied for the Critical Language Scholarship to learn Turkish, but unfortunately I was not accepted. Then, I planned to go to Israel for an archaeological dig, and even had paid my deposit. But then, I heard that a spot had opened up for a trip I have been hearing about in my German classes for several semesters now.

Long story short, I’m going to be spending a month in Leipzig, Germany this summer! I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Leipzig

I’ll be traveling with about fifteen other OU students to Leipzig, where we’ll take intensive German classes each morning, make field trips around the area each afternoon, and explore the country on weekends.

I’m eager to spend a month in Leipzig and become really acquainted with the city, and I’m also eager to see many different cities in Germany such as Berlin, Dresden, and Erfurt, to name a few. In the past two years I’ve learned quite a bit of German vocabulary and grammar, and practicing speaking in the classroom and in the real world will help my fluency tremendously.

Since I have the opportunity to spend this summer in Germany, I am considering other options for my semester abroad in spring 2018 so I can experience a different country and take classes more suited to my major, Letters. I’m browsing universities that offer courses in Classics, Greek, and Latin. Aristotle University in Thessaloniki looks like a wonderful option.

Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki

Plans could change again, as they are prone to, but I’m ready to embrace whatever travels my future holds!

Plans

A wise man once said that a person can plan their ways but the Lord directs their steps. The direction I actually end up going may be completely different, but these are my plans for the next year.

OU Cousins
I’m finally applying for the Cousins program this year! I’ll be matched to an international “cousin” at a matching party, based on mutual interests. I’ll meet with my cousin at events sponsored by OU Cousins and outside of those events – I want to be able to do regular life things with my cousin, like eating lunch and going to Target, and also do fun things and show them my favorite places in Norman. In Central Asia this summer, I had several good friends take me under their wings and show me around their city, and I’d like to be able to return the hospitality.

Critical Language Scholarship
The Critical Language Scholarship allows students to travel abroad for eight weeks in order to learn a language of high interest to the US in an immersive environment. The eight weeks of language immersion are equivalent to about one year of study in the language, and no previous knowledge of the language is necessary. The program is highly competitive, and I don’t think I have a very good chance of being accepted, but I’m telling you, readers, for the sake of accountability, so I can’t easily back out of it because I didn’t tell anyone of my plans. The application deadline is in November.
I’m going to apply for the 2017 program to Baku, Azerbaijan in order to learn Turkish. My heart for the region of Central Asia really grew this summer, and I can envision myself teaching English there in five or ten years.

University of Paderborn
I’d like to study in Paderborn, Germany for a semester or a year next year during junior. OU has several exchange programs in Germany, but I chose Paderborn because there are fewer English speakers there than in other German towns with large universities, and I want the experience to be as immersive as possible. I’m also interested in Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland.