Shannon Rose ('12) | Study Abroad
Biology major from
Shannon Rose chose to study abroad in Leipzig, Germany, hoping to refine her language skills - and she did. But more than that, she acquired a new perspective on life and gained a newfound confidence.
There is something about living in a country for four months that changes your perspective on your life, and when you leave, a little part of you stays there.
"I really became my own person while I was gone, and I met some really awesome people that helped me do that," Shannon says. "I learned many things about myself, but the most important thing I learned was how confident I could be if I put my mind to it."
Before her semester in Leipzig, Shannon had "barely listened to anyone speak German, so the immersion was difficult at first," she says. "But as the semester continued, and I stepped out of my box - and realized I knew more of the language than I gave myself credit for - my confidence to speak to locals increased. By the end of the semester, I found myself striking conversation with families that were staying at the Ronald McDonald house, where I volunteered over the semester."
Shannon's semester abroad changed her worldview. "There is something about living in a country for four months that changes your perspective on your life," she says, "and when you leave, a little part of you stays there."
Q&A with Shannon
Why did you decide to participate in Study Abroad?
Since I came to ACU, I knew I wanted to study abroad. Europe has always been fascinating to me, and I have always wanted to have the experience of living within the culture. I have lived in Abilene my entire life, and I found this experience to be as enlightening as I had hoped.
What did you study in Leipzig?
I studied Church History, Renaissance and Reformation History, German Language, and German Culture. I found this semester an invigorating change from the science classes I had become accustomed to. History has always fascinated me, and learning the German language was an interesting challenge.
What was a typical day like?
I had German language every morning, so our group would take the two trams we needed to get to the sprechinstitute and attend class for an hour and half. If it were a Monday or a Tuesday, I would then go back to the flats and prepare for either Renaissance and Reformation or for the German Culture class. Most other days of the week I would wander throughout city center or go shopping in the Hauptbahnhof. Some of my favorite memories include discovering little shops within the city center.
What was your favorite part of the experience?
I have always loved taking walks through cities I travel to, and this semester I had the opportunity to do so often. Whether it was in Leipzig, or in a nearby city, the memories I have from strolling down streets are some of my fondest. Especially in Leipzig where I did so most often, it made me feel as though I had truly become a member of that culture.
What’s the most unusual thing that happened to you on the trip?
The most unusual experience, or rather most interesting travel experience happened over spring break, when the volcanic ash cloud shut down most of the European flights. My friend Jacqueline Maxwell and I had plans to go to Greece, but after two days of traveling to Berlin to try to catch the flight, we found ourselves stuck in Leipzig while the rest of our group was traveling. We then found ourselves scouring the internet searching for a place we could travel to using our Eurail train tickets. We finally set our sights on Füssen, Germany, which was home to two famous castles nestled in the Bavarian Alps. We hopped on a train for seven hours and found our way to the "quaint" little town of Füssen. The entire trip was nothing like I expected, and it continues to stand out among all my trips. I will never forget it, and the moments when all we could do was laugh because it was the only thing that made sense.
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About 25% of a graduating class will have had the adventure of a lifetime through an ACU study abroad program.
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