As I was sipping on an iced coffee a few weeks ago, the number 15 hit me upside the head with all the subtlety of an open palm. More specifically, 15 months, since after this week, it will be 15 months before I'll be in Oberlin again. That means 15 months apart from Slow Train, the grand staircase in Peters, the Con practice rooms and all of my professors, colleagues, and friends. Since I rather like Oberlin, this was a pretty shocking realization, but hardly one that I can be upset about since I'm spending most of the next 15 months studying abroad in Munich!
That's right, folks, after a summer at home, I'll be spending two full semesters in Germany. The program that I'm going on is called Junior Year in Munich and as you may have guessed, the program specifically caters to German students who want to go abroad for their entire junior year. JYM offers some American-style classes taught in German - mandatory grammar classes; a class on academic writing; survey classes on German literature, art, and theater; classes specific to the city of Munich; etc. - and allows students to enroll in classes at Ludwig-Maximillians-Universität München or the Technisches Universität München. During my first semester (October-February), I'll probably take three classes through JYM and one or two classes at LMU Munich. If that goes well, I'll take most of my classes at LMU during my second semester (April-July). In between, I'll hopefully use the long winter break (a full month longer than Oberlin's winter term!) to travel around Europe.
I was tempted to spring my decision to study abroad on the Oberlin blog community at the last possible minute, until I got to Germany if possible, simply because I like surprising people, but there were a few flaws in that plan:
1. Careful readers will note that I already alluded to the fact that I'm studying abroad in my last post and I'm sure I would've accidentally mentioned it again.
2. I want to write a little bit about the process of applying for study abroad programs, which I doubt I'll want to do when I'm actually abroad (much like I don't want to write about the college application process now that I'm in college).
3. I am really excited about going to Germany and I want to tell everyone about it!
All of this is so absurdly exciting to me that I'm barely feeling scared or pre-nostalgic for Oberlin. It would be a lie to say I'm not feeling those things at all, but the truth is that when I feel fear or pre-nostalgia coming on, I just let those feelings pass and remember how excited I am. I can't tell if this is because studying abroad is such an amazing opportunity or because I'm growing as a person (or both), but either way, I'm down. Of course, I'll probably be a bit sad that I'm not in Oberlin when everyone is starting classes again and I'm still at home waiting for the Wintersemester to start, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
I intend to write at least one post about how study away programs work at Oberlin over the summer and to continue posting here while I'm in Germany (Ma'ayan, hold me to this). If you have any study-abroad-related questions, ask away in the comments and I will focus my future posts around them!