Intro by Meredith Wenzler

My name is Meredith Wenzler. I am a junior at CofC double majoring in German and Communication. This summer I have the opportunity to enroll in the exchange program at Otto Friedrich Universität Bamberg. I’ve been studying German since I was fourteen years old. It has always been a dream of mine to live abroad. I knew I wanted to when I was deciding where to go to attend college. Being from Detroit, Michigan, the move out of state to Charleston was intended to be practice for the greater move later in my life. At my freshman orientation I met with Dr. Koerner, the head of the German and Russian Department and I set my sights on Bamberg. It is exactly the program I wanted. I want to be fully immersed as an exchange student. I want to cultivate a better understanding of the language, the culture and inversely my own.
All I have ever wanted to do in my life is meet and connect with people outside of my own upbringing. I completely appreciate and love my home in Michigan more than anything, but my eyes have always been set on the horizon. I wanted to do something different, something that no one else that I knew has ever done. That’s why I decided to do an exchange semester rather than an affiliate program. I know that it will be far more beneficial to my growth in my language as well as my personal growth. Even if it is challenging and uncomfortable, being uncomfortable will make me grow in ways that I did not expect. I know a lot about German culture and language given the fact that I have been interested in the country for so long, but I suspect there will be surprising elements that will test my ability to adapt. I can’t wait for this opportunity and I am excited to see what it brings to my life.

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