I imagined that the DDP would be kind of similar to your typical study abroad program. You know, go to class a few hours a week, have some fun, visit a country or two on the weekend. But I ended up finding a concerning study to fun ratio, with little energy and time left to travel and escape the arctic tundra of Germany.
What kept me going through it all was the supposed light at the end of the tunnel– the internship semester. It sounded great. No more studying, no more classes, just some hours of work and the weekend was all yours. Who would have thought that an internship would actually require effort, right? Well, it turns out that working does take effort. Lots of it. So now I find myself yet again in an atypical study abroad experience. No sun, no mimosas on the beach, just the daily grind of living in Frankfurt.
Now it sounds like I’m pretty miserable in the DDP after everything I just mentioned, but the crazy thing is, that I think it was worth it. I have met some great people from all over the world that I would have otherwise never crossed paths with. My German is finally on point. I can finally say with confidence that I have survived my first “cold” winter. And it feels great to be doing fulfilling work at my internship. I don’t think many other programs would have been as beneficial as the DDP when considering the academic, professional, and social aspects.
Admittedly, the winter here has been tough. But the early signs of spring are beginning to peak through the clouds and it feels great. Today I didn’t even have to worry about my ears falling off in the cold, and my hands could be exposed to the air without freezing. It was beautiful. Soon enough, Frankfurt will come back to life. The rooftop bars will open, the sun will be shining, and I will be going on whatever Easter trip I have planned. In the meantime, I’ll be doing some interesting marketing projects for Pampers at P&G.