Holy jet lag! I’ve been back in Pennsylvania for the past few days and can confirm that I’ve been falling asleep by 8 PM and waking up at around 4 AM everyday. What a lovely sleep cycle. But enough of that, it’s reflection time!
Since I’ve been home, I’ve had the chance to read some of my notes from prior to leaving for the Plus3 Germany trip, and there were two goals that I set for myself before leaving. The two goals were to make new friends and to expand my comfort zone. I can happily say that I went above and beyond both of these two goals. I’ll start by explaining the comfort zone goal, since I think this goal was less important of the two.
Going on the Plus3 Germany trip was my first time travelling outside of the country without my family. It was also my first time visiting Europe, and my first time travelling for more than 4 hours via airplane. In short, there were many firsts for me on this trip, which served to push me out of my comfort zone. Being unfamiliar with the circumstances around me was stressful at times, but this stimulated personal growth. With the help of those around me, I was able to adapt to the world surrounding me, and expand my comfort levels. I now feel more prepared to take trips like this in the future, and to help others expand their comfort zones.
Second, I can happily say that I made many new friends during the Plus3 Germany program. We accomplished a lot over the past two weeks, but my proudest accomplishment is the relationships I’ve been able to build with my peers and professors during the program. The company visits and program excursions were great, but you guys, the professors and Pitt/Augsburg students, were what made this trip one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
With that being said, I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who made this program possible. To Professor Feick, Professor Korbinian Knoll, and Ms. Stephanie Spirk, thank you for giving me the opportunity to join the program. Further, thank you for taking the time to organize and plan all of the details of this trip, and thank you for putting up with all of the goofiness that my fellow students and I radiate! To Maxi, Nikolas, and the other Augsburg students, thank you for taking me in and showing me what life is like in Germany. Further, thank you for guiding me through everyday life, for taking us to the best places to get food, and for joining us in some of the goofiness that I mentioned earlier. I miss you guys already. To my fellow University of Pittsburgh students, thank you for coming along and sharing these experiences with me. Further, thank you for bringing your energy to the trip, for being awesome each and every day, and for having each other’s backs. Like Professor Feick said, we really are like one big family.
Words can hardly encapsulate how special the Plus3 Germany program is. To any prospective students thinking about applying for this program, I urge you to go for it. This has been by far my favorite experience in my 14 years of education. I learned so much, both academically and about life in general.
To wrap things up, I’d like to thank you, the reader, for following along with all of my adventures in Germany! I hope you enjoyed reading about all of the amazing things I got to experience on this program. I had fun writing for all of you!
And with all of that, I’ll see you all tomorrow!
Peter J Busch