Like I’ve said in each blog post before, I was beyond lucky to have gone on this trip. The fact that we were able to visit the companies and places we did was incredibly special. The connects that Dr. Feick and Korbinian have really make a huge difference. Seeing real applications of so many different aspects of industry was truly eye opening. I believe that is so important to see industry like we did before one leaves university. Going into a job blind to what industry is truly like would not be ideal, and I know I’m very fortunate to have visited the companies I did while in Germany. There was such a great amount if to be taken in from the company tours, but it was applied right away on our group presentations. They have might not have been exciting working on them, but it truly allowed for the students to grasp an even stronger understanding of what we were seeing.
It was also special to be immersed in a different culture. I feel like I learned a lot about what Americans are doing wrong with the environment and how we treat life in general. Germans are much more conscious about preserving the environment and being healthy in general. Not wasting food, their public transportation, the amount of people biking, and being more aware overall of one’s impact on the earth gave a lot of insight on what I can do differently back home. Overall, I think it is vital to experience as many different cultures as possible.
The challenge of going to a foreign country with people you barely know is daunting, but I would say taking on that challenge was the most important part of the experience. I will share the experience of the trip with the others forever, and it creates a bond that is very valuable. Each new friendship I made I will cherish greatly, and I can’t wait to see each person again back at campus. Overall, I think it just going into the trip with no experience made it worthwhile. Taking the risk and diving in head first may have been scary, but this trip has taught me that making choices like that can teach you so much.
Dachau was certainly the most important place we experienced while in Germany. The way that the German people deal with their own history gave me a vital insight into taking responsibility and ensuring that new generations learn about their history. The events of the past can teach so much, and I think experiencing the places where history happened is just as important to the process. Being at a Dachau gave a much deeper meaning and feeling to the same information I learned in the classroom throughout my life. There is a level of understanding that can not be reached unless you visit the history yourself.
Once again, this just explains how important I have learned it is to travel abroad. There are certain things about the world and about yourself that one can not learn unless they experience a new place. It is also such a nice benefit to spend one’s time with a group of interesting and fun people as well. I would recommend Plus 3 to any Pitt freshman, and study abroad to any student at some point in their college journey. There are absolutely certain aspects about a trip like the one I took to Augsburg that you can’t get anywhere in Oakland. Even if it turned out to not be the best, I think it is one hundred percent worth it to try it. I have no regrets about taking the opportunity to travel abroad, even after getting Covid and being under quarantine for another week.