May 30, 2018
Life At Witt

"You'll Never Be Able To Live Like This Again"

Katie Hodson '20 Tells Us About Her Semester Abroad In Germany

Katie Hodson chose to spend one of her semesters as a Wittenberg student in Germany. An English major with minors in French and political science, Katie broadened her horizons by studying a range of subjects, completing an internship, and traveling extensively through the Witt in Wittenberg program.

Why did you choose to study abroad in Germany? When did you study abroad?

I chose to study in Germany because I have always wanted to study German language, and the Witt-in-Witt program seemed interesting. I traveled abroad during the spring 2018 semester.

What immediate cultural differences did you encounter between Ohio and Germany? Were there any differences that didn't become apparent to you until later on in your experience? How did you navigate such differences?

I immediately noticed the differences in transportation. Most Germans walk, bike, or ride trains. While some people owned cars, they were used less frequently than in the U.S.—this was fairly easy to navigate. Germans also do not tip or pay sales tax. That was a nice difference, and easy to navigate as well.

Where did you intern in Germany?

I interned at the Evangelische Grundschule (Evangelical Primary School) and the Evangelische Gesamtschule Phillip Melanchton (Protestant Comprehensive School Philipp Melanchthon), serving as a teaching assistant in English classes.

What subject area(s) did you study while abroad? Did any of these areas relate to your major(s)/minor(s)? Were any of your classes gen-ed credits? Did you take any classes abroad due to special interests?

I studied German, international relations, and communications. None of these classes really contribute to my majors or minors. I took what was offered, and I already had all of my general education credits. Honestly, it was a break semester for me.

Do you feel that your experience abroad provided you with knowledge that you wouldn't be able to gain by studying on Wittenberg's campus alone?

Absolutely. I gained a lot of independence, learned non-verbal communication, and figured out how to use public transportation.

What challenges did you face as an American in Germany? Do you feel that you were able to overcome such challenges? If so, how?

The biggest challenge was language, obviously. Nobody really pointed out that I was American (they even tried to speak German to me), so I did a decent job of fitting in. I used what I could from our German language classes in the town, and tried to use patterns I learned in class for other phrases. This did not go well.

Besides studying, how else did you spend your time abroad?

I traveled, explored the town, went for walks, and experienced good German food.

What advice would you give to students thinking about studying abroad, specifically through the Witt-in-Witt program?

Take the chance if you get it. You’ll never be able to live like this again. What adult can feasibly travel so much, all while having a (basically) free place to live as home base (basically meaning it’s part of the housing cost we would have to pay on campus, anyway).

Katie Hodson ‘20
Major: English
Minors: French and Political Science
Hometown: Fort Wayne, Ind.

About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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