By Alexis Menard On August 27, 2019 11:15 am
My name is Benjamin Molter and I am a senior pursuing an International Business Major, a Marketing Major, and a German Minor.
For a long time, I knew that I wanted to pursue a study abroad of some sorts during my college career and I finally made my dream a reality this past summer. At the end of May 2019, I packed my bags and flew to Germany to begin my journey! Over the summer, I stayed at our partnering university in Germany and I successfully completed an internship with private universities in Germany and Luxembourg. While working with the universities, I learned how to communicate with coworkers from around the world, conduct research more efficiently, and write proposals and emails catering to the businesses’ needs and wants. I would highly recommend an international internship because of all the unique benefits you get out of it. You get to live in the dorms in Germany for very cheap, possibly work in two different countries at the same time, learn a bunch about business outside the United States, and be able to travel often and efficiently.
When I wasn’t working, I was traveling nearly every weekend I was there. I would travel with other Americans who were also doing research at the university we stayed at. To save money, we would stay at hostels. Because of this, we met people from all around the globe which really broadened my perspective. I traveled to Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, and Austria. If I had to choose a favorite city, it would have to be Budapest because it was beautiful. The people were very friendly, there was a lot to do, the food was delicious, and it was very affordable.
What surprised me the most about the whole experience of traveling abroad was how well each country could speak English. Almost everyone from the age of 30 and down speaks English fluently on top of their native language(s) and another one based on what they learned in school. It really inspires me to continue to perfect my fluency in German as well as learning a couple other languages too.
The first thing that I took away from this summer was that to achieve what you want; you need to go out and take opportunities that come your way. I probably would not have done the internship this summer if I didn’t go out of my way to talk to people about it and complete all the work that was required for me to go. Though it was a bit pricey, I made it affordable by doing extra work and obtaining scholarships to help fund my expenses. The second thing that I took away from this summer was that you should travel often and make as many connections as you can. There is so much to see and do while traveling that teaches you so much about the world we all live in. Meeting and talking to people while traveling to different countries allows you to learn about the culture and history of each country more than staying in your home country.
What I am looking forward to most this Fall would be continuing work with the International Business Student Organization (IBSO). We are looking to expand our organization, creating interesting and new events, as well as taking another trip sometime during the school year.