Tales From Abroad: Summer 2015


I studied Social Psychology and The Psychology of Ideology abroad this summer in Leipzig, Germany for a month. Using the money from the Honors travel grant, I also visited Barcelona (Spain), Brussels (Belgium), and Amsterdam (The Netherlands) during the free travel week. The month went by incredibly quickly, and I was back home before I knew it. I expected it to feel much longer, and while I was excited to get back home and see my family, I was not quite ready to leave Leipzig. I did not expect to love the city so much, and I really miss being there with all of the people I got to know. However, I am planning on going back one day, maybe to live for a couple of years.


Besides loving Leipzig, I loved being in the middle of the history that we were learning about in class. Being able to connect concepts from Social Psychology and the Psychology of Ideology to the different things from World War II and the Cold War era made it so much more real, and not just conceptual. It made for a kind of hands-on learning experience that was really enjoyable and at the same time very effective. And while I had learned about World War II and the Cold War in history classes before, being able to visit the sites and monuments dedicated to remembering those times made it so much more real. It was not just some far-off place that you saw only in history textbooks; it was real, and people really suffered and died or were forced to live under an oppressive government in these places. At times that realization was almost overwhelming, but I am so glad that I had the opportunity to experience it.


Something that bothered me throughout the trip was that a lot of times, especially in school, whenever I heard about Germany it was related to one of the World Wars or to the Berlin Wall, so I did not know much about the history before or after all of that. I think it is really unfair that so much of what many people learn about Germany is about that particular period of time in its history, because there is so much good that happened before and after. Of course it is important to remember what happened, not only to pay respect to all those that were affected, but to learn from the past and improve for the future. But a country is much more than its mistakes. Overall, the study abroad experience was incredible. There were a few stressful or overwhelming moments, but I learned so much. Not only in class, but from the experiences of the month I learned about myself, about the world, and a little bit about how I fit into this amazing world that God has given us to explore. The trip was something that I will cherish forever, and I am so glad that I had the amazing opportunity to travel abroad with ACU.