Lifelong Friendships in Germany
Our long three weeks have gone by quickly. Thinking back to our first meeting at the Brandenburg Gate seems like forever ago. We were all strangers then. The relationships that I have gained from this program, the memories, and the growth are non-exchangeable. I really hadn’t expected to become so close with so many different people, but I did. Saying goodbye was difficult because even though we will all, for the most part, be attending the same school in the fall, we won’t be experiencing a new country together. We won’t be the token familiar faces in the very unfamiliar environment anymore. This carries a whole different weight on the dynamic of our relationships.
In addition to the amazing friendships, I loved everything Germany had to offer. It was incredibly different from anything that I am and was used to. What shocked me the most was the vast amount of diversity everywhere. People from all walks of life reside in Germany and that leads to its richly dense culture. Just walking down the street you could pass an array of different restaurants, from Mediterranean to Thai, Ethiopian and, of course, German. All the different dialects also made it feel very international. I knew I was already in Europe, but the abundance of cultures instilled a very global standpoint. This standpoint taught me to never settle. There is always something new to learn about people and about the world.
Reflecting on Germany only makes me want to travel more. I learned so much not only about myself, but the rest of the world. It’s beautiful knowing that there are so many different types of people in this world. It is as overwhelming as it is comforting. I think the group learned this early on as a whole. We were all very different, but it was important to come together and find our similarities. We did the same exact thing with the strangers we met from around the world. We found our similarities and came together to make strong bonds.
Being immersed in a completely new culture made these bonds even more important because Germany was very different from what we were used to. For example, to flush the toilet you had to hit a button in contradiction to pushing a handle, to get the check after dining out you must go up and pay with the waiter versus them coming to you, the bike lane is on the sidewalk instead of the street (had to learn this one the hard way), to turn on the lights you have to hit a button instead of flipping a switch, and the sun sets well after 9pm making Germany a country that really never sleeps.
Despite the differences I’ve listed and many more that I haven't, Germany started to feel like home quickly. It wasn’t hard to acclimate to all the dissimilarities that it held. This is in part due to the friends who were all striving to find comfort in this new place, but also an open mind. Knowing that I will grow through challenges got me and all my classmates though the culture shock.
We are all already planning future trips together. That’s how strong the bonds became. It all began with a similar interest; we love to travel.
Missed Jenny's first blog? No problem. Click HERE. Want to see the rest of the photos for the Germany summer program, or interested in the other programs. Check us out on Instagram at @studyabroadsbcc or #sbccstudyabroad
About the blogger:
My name is Jenny Nnoli and I’m going into my second year at SBCC. It hasn’t taken me very long to realize all the amazing opportunities that this school has to offer. From the TAG program to the Promise, to Study Abroad. It’s not often one is presented with so many outlets for growth and knowledge. That’s why I’m studying abroad. The first and last time I left the county was in 2007. While I did learn and see many things in Nigeria, I’m now at the age where stepping out of my comfort zone is imperative to become an adult. Traveling and seeing the world through different cultures opens my eyes to the vastness of life.