Sunday, August 2, 2009

Georgetown

Once off the shuttle arriving at the gates of Georgetown University, I dragged in my luggage and checked in to my dorm. Georgetown is pretty amazing. I have maize and blue blood at this point, but back in my dream-college planning of high school, the picturesque campus of Georgetown nestled into the cool houses and shops of trendy Georgetown, DC, along with all the possibilities of being in the Capital city [ They trick or treat at foreign embassies! you know Iwas intrigued ] made the school a distant dream [ because I can't quite fork over 45K+ a year... and besides, I love A2 and I am actually going to miss the football season and the great friends I have met - even so, the opportunities there got me where I am going atthe end of this week!].





With my love for Ann Arbor aside, Georgetown is beautiful. I love the campus with its castle-like buildings, and the surrounding town with little lined up houses in a variety of bright colors. The dorms were nice too - frigidly airconditioned... definitely something I didn't get at Couzens. [I had a friend tell me that Umich housing is meant for "Character Building"] Being in the dorms was just like moving into college for the first time - doors opened, lots of in-and-out guests and handshaking, and meeting a new roomate. [ and to make me feel any more inferior amoungst this group of 75 very fluent-in-german and career driven Americans, my roommate Doug is from- as he nonchalantly introduced it - just Harvard... He has just recently graduated, but will also be at the beginners language schoolwith me too in the group of 14. ]




Just after a little situating, all 75 Americans from around the country, from Alaska to New York City, walked down to a casual welcome dinner where we all met more people and tried to connect faces to names on namecards. During the dinner I became a little more anxious. Probably with an uncomfortable smile, I conversed with other "young professionals" and learned just how many are already graduated from college and taking a "break year" to help with career planning, or others that already have a declared major and just have a year or so left in college. And this is also amoungst a group that has 61 out of 75 participants either decent or fluent already in Germany. Fastforward to later in the night, everyone was leaving to hit up some bars in the Georgetown area, and I was one of 6 from what we counted that were left as the "still under 21 group..." and only one other girl was 19 along with me - but she actually knew some German. How was I supposed to feel? - I am one of the youngest, one of the beginner German learners, and a new sophomore in College without a declared major, let alone a solid plan for my career plan. let's face it, I was nervous sitting at dinner feeling like I was on a completely different level than everyone there - only enhancing my gut feeling of"what am I doing here?".



For our meet and greet exercise, everyone partook in "speed dating".We first met with our language school participants, so I went to the other beginners going to Saarbrücken. Next was Bundesland placements,where I met a few going to Niedersachsen, then career field [ comparedto the others at the international relations / political science table I don't know how I will land a job...], and finally hobbies and miscilaneous. It was a good way to meet just how many diverse people are part of this program.



At this point in the evening I was exhausted from the long day and the constant self-introducing, but the final part of the evening seminar made me a little more comfortable. It was an alumni pannel with pastCBYX participants ranging in the past 8 years. They answered questions about host family life, traveling, how to get around and make friends at school in Germany, and landing an internship. They were very honest, which was helpful. At that point I was overwhelmed,but one of the panelists actually found me and asked to speak to me,and he told me that I will have the same host family that he had. I became instantly excited.

I finally recieved a little information on the family. They arearound their 40's, have a few children that are a little older than me and most likely moved out, and they like to host parties and enjoy French wine. That was it in a nutshell, but he told me that I would have a great time. He may have went a few years ago, but he mentioned that in the short 2 month placement he became very close to them [ to which I agreed, since my love for my previous host families also stemmed from just 2 month experiences ]. It was very nice of him to pull me asside, and when he told me that he was brand new to German language when he left and they helped him a lot, I became a lot more relaxed and excited. Excited really for the first time that night.

After the evening seminar, like I previously mentioned, many went out to bars and experienced some Georgetown nightlife which seems very fun, I stayed back and had a great time chatting with those that decded to hang out back at the dorms and walk around the campus. The next day was a big one with more seminars and meetings in the Capitol.

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