My experience studying abroad is one of my favorite subjects to talk about with my fellow students and friends. During my undergraduate career, I studied abroad as a part of an elective course through my university.
I went to Germany, Italy and Switzerland for 10 days during our University's spring break. For the class, we had to pick a country we were traveling to and make a PowerPoint presentation to present to the class. It was beneficial to find out more information on the country we were traveling to.
Exploring a new country was incredible. Like 100 percent, one of the best experiences of my life. Here's what we did on our trip:
Day 1: Started our journey to Germany. We boarded our plane in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and took off on a 13-hour plane ride from OKC to Dallas to Frankfort, Germany. Once we landed in Frankfort, we met our travel guide (she spoke six different languages!) and went to our hotel for the night.
Day 2: Boarded our personal travel bus and headed to Rothenberg. In Rothenberg, we explored the Marktplatz (Market Place), which was the downtown area. The stores looked like a little German village (the picture at the top of this article was taken in Rothenburg).
Day 3: Traveled to Munich and visited the Neuschwanstein Castle. It was snowing that day, which actually made the castle look even cooler. The story behind this castle was that it was a summer home for Ludwig II of Bavaria and was intended of him whenever he was made King. Unfortunately, he died before he was made King and it was opened to the public.
Day 4: More Munich sightseeing! We went through Residenz (a former royal palace), Nymphenburg Palace (a summer home for former rulers of Bavaria), Alte Pinakothek (one of the oldest art galleries in the world), BMW headquarters (yes I pretended to drive the most expensive BMW in there) and Marienplatz (the main central square in Munich).
Day 5: Traveling day from Munich to Venice, Italy.
Day 6: Explored Venice landmarks including St. Mark's Square (main "piazza" or marketplace, with all the shopping and foods), Doges' Place (the residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority figure of former Republic of Venice) and an Italian glass-blowing demonstration. While we were here, I also went on a gondola ride and had the very best spaghetti of my life.
Day 7: Traveled to Lucerne, Switzerland. This was my favorite part of the trip. Switzerland is breathtaking. We went on a guided tour through the town and the Romeo and Juliet balcony.
Day 8: More Lucerne sightseeing! We had a full day of seeing the town and then finished the night with a traditional Swiss Dinner with Fondue and a Swiss chocolate fountain. Wow, no words to describe how amazing it was.
Day 9: Travel to Heidelberg, Germany, and saw a cuckoo clock demonstration, and went on a tour of the Heidelberg Castle, a wine barrel visit, University of Heidelberg and Marktplatz (Heidelberg's main square).
Day 10: Flight back home to Oklahoma.
If you are ever able to get the opportunity to explore a new country or place, go for it! Yes, finances are always a factor, but I have no regrets spending the money I did to go on my study abroad trip. It was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.