There are many things which I am very grateful for having the chance to experience in this life, and one of those is having the opportunity to study abroad in Germany this coming Fall. I’ll be in an intensive language and culture program at Marburg Universität with a friend of mine, and I dearly hope that by December I’ll be fluent in German and he’ll be a more confident and positive person. I’ve been studying the German language since high school, and have since taken five quarters of German classes at my University. Although I make many grammatical mistakes and don’t have a wide enough vocabulary, I do know enough to understand most of what people say and hold my own in conversations. The fact that all of my German classes at my university have been taught entirely in German has helped me tremendously. Before classes start, I’ll also be meeting with my German relatives who I haven’t seen since I was three, although I have written them letters for my Oma and spoken with them on the telephone occasionally. Then I’ll be traveling with my parents for a little over a fortnight to see castles, museums, and experience a little bit of German culture and history before school begins. My friend will be joining us in our travels right before we move into our respective dorms, and will be with us as we visit Burg Eltz, the Rhine, and Trier. This friend has been suffering from depression for many years, and I’m hopeful that a change of scenery and new experiences will help him pull out of it. Of the two of us, he knows the least amount of German, as he has only taken one German language course for a single semester. In a positive environment however, I believe that he will return home as a fairly fluent speaker. Overall, I’m looking forward to the whole experience, including the roadblocks we’ll undoubtedly face.