Reflections on Our Experiences in Marburg

Wabash students in their morning language class

Cole Chapman ‘16 – Our time in Marburg is coming to a close, as Friday is the last full day before we leave. The past two weeks have been an experience and an adventure for all of us. From that first step off of the plane, 4,400 miles from home, to our increasingly comfortable knowledge of the city, a lot has happened. That first day was exhilarating yet terrifying. Being in a country where everyone speaks a language you’re still trying to grasp can be a real shock. We rose to the challenge, though, found our feet and fought through, just like we always do. I have become, I now notice, more confident using German around town.

Two students working on an assignment get some help from Almut, a former German language intern at Wabash.

The language school, or “Sprachschule” as we call it, has expanded our vocabulary and our knowledge of Marburg and Germany. School was early, school was long, but school was also helpful. Whether we were learning about “Kneipen” in Marburg or “Kraniche” in flight, we absorbed all we could.

The rest of the time here has been divided between group activities and independent exploration. The activities we did together with Dr. Redding and Dr. Tucker gave us structured learning about the history and culture of such an old city. They also gave us the opportunity to visit interesting cultural and historical sites in other cities such as Frankfurt and Kassel. A large part of our learning experience also came from the exploring and searching that we all ended up doing, either alone or in small groups. We met new people, saw new sites, and experienced a country that was different from anything we had encountered before.

All in all, it has been an amazing and unforgettable immersion trip. We had fun, had some laughs, and learned a lot about a country, a culture, and a language we hold dear. This closing experience for German 202 has encompassed everything we learned back at Wabash and has put that learning in a new light. It’s one thing to need accurate German on a homework assignment, but it’s something quite different to need good German on the bus, on the street, or in the café. All in all, it’s a been a great time, and now home is just around the corner. Tschüss!