It was June when I was wondering how I could make the best of upcoming summer vacation. Just then, I heard about news that ten students will be given a chance to study the language in Germany for a month in August. Although I could not speak German fluently, I hoped to learn more about Germany and experience a foreign culture life. Therefore, I decided to participate in the program, International Sommer Kurs.
The city I stayed in was Bonn, the former capital of Germany, and Universitat Bonn is where I studied. Bonn is a small city but it is a beautiful place along the Rhine River with great views and it is also known as the place where Beethoven was born. The city is not big or crowded as Berlin or Munich, but it is filled with antique atmosphere which naturally proves its long history.
At the first day of the course, students were given a level tests so that they can receive fine-tuned education according to their abilities. This is necessary as students’ nationality and ages were so diverse. I could meet people from all over the world such as Italy, Iran, China, US and so on.
A class consisted of about 10 students and one teacher. In my class, there were nine students including me. I miss Japanese, Greek and Canadian friends from my class so much we had a lot of unforgettable conversation during Kurs.
Kurs provided not only classes but also several interesting activities. For example, we were offered an optional course called AG after regular classes, and excursions around Bonn and nearby areas. Such extra-curricular activities were a great chance to make friends from diverse cultural backgrounds.
There were many excursions for a month but my indelible memory is having a wine party after visiting a winery. During the party, all of us sang our native songs. Although we could not understand the lyrics, the singing made all of us become true friends. The wine party served as a momentum to remove the invisible wall among the students and to feel a sense of unity.
Besides the party, there were so many unforgettable memories I made in Bonn such as inviting a Canadian friend named Adam to the dormitory for dinner or enjoying the delicious Chinese dishes cooked by Chan from Hong Kong. In addition, it was a great experience to talk about the culture of university students from Korea and Japan with Yoshi, a Japanese friend.
While I was enjoying my summer in Bonn, time quickly passed and I had to return to Korea. A month was not such a long time but it was a precious time for me as I could broaden my horizons interacting with a wide range of people. I would like to say that August of the year 2007 was one of the most special moments in my life. I believe that the experience of this summer will help me be a Ewhaian who is not afraid to make challenges for the sake of progress in future.
Joo Soo-young (German Literature, 2) spent her summer in Bonn in International Sommer Kurs.
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