The IUHPFL Experience

Student Stories

4th of July, 2011 in Germany
Louise Hibner
Krefeld, Germany

I have to say living in a bakery was pretty sweet. My host mom was really nice to me, and I distinctly remember being asked every day what kind of cake I wanted.

4th of July, 2011 in Germany

I have to say living in a bakery was pretty sweet. My host mom was really nice to me, and I distinctly remember being asked every day what kind of cake I wanted. I was allowed in the bakery day or night, and my family was more than willing to help me- with homework or any questions I had over German culture and whatnot.

I also think one of the coolest things I experienced this summer was the last week. On Sunday we went to Holland/the Netherlands and Belgium, which were both awesome!! The food in Europe is just amazing. That night we came back to Germany. Then that Wednesday was departure, where we stayed in France for the connecting flight to Chicago. So, technically, for my last week of the trip, I was in five countries in five days. I just think that's awesome.

I didn't expect culture shock when I returned to the US. I thought I would be so happy to see my family again that I wouldn't care anymore about Germany. I was wrong. The first thing I noticed was that my real family sounded a bit like hillbillies, and I couldn't hardly speak English with them. I think that's a good thing and that I learned a lot, though. I also experienced a mild depression upon my return. The first week was really difficult, because I missed my fellow students who were now my good friends, my host family, the teachers who were there for me every day, and Germany as a whole.

With time, it got better as I reconnected with my friends and entire family at a reunion the next week. I guess this experience reminded me of how much I love my family in America and introduced me to a great culture in Germany. One thing is for sure: I know I will definitely be visiting Germany again someday.