Julia Petron is an Ambassador who did an internship in Germany
Major: German, Pre-Med
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I chose to study abroad in Germany because I loved the individualized and independent experience it offers. This is a program that matched me with an internship in the exact field I want to work in post-graduation and allowed me to make independent decisions in both the professional and private areas of my life. As someone who has been speaking German for about seven years now, this program also offered me an excellent opportunity to immerse myself in the language environment and improve my German-speaking skills.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
Being immersed in the culture and language of Germany for the entire summer caused me to see the world in a new and different way.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
Spending the summer in Klinikum Augsburg's OB GYN ward has helped me discover what I believe I want to do for the rest of my life. I was presented with opportunities to do hands-on work in my future career field while making friends and expanding my network along the way. My colleagues in the OB GYN department took me under their wings and helped me improve my language skills and build upon other skills that I will use for the rest of my life. I have found a home in a small Bavarian city, 4500 miles away from St. Joseph.
Based on your experiences abroad, what are some of the benefits of spending a semester abroad? How has studying abroad contributed to your personal, academic, and professional development?
Spending a short term abroad in Augsburg, Germany helped me take my summer break and put it towards something both fun and practical. I used this time to focus on building a future for myself in the medical field while also furthering my studies of the German language and culture. I learned everything from basic medical procedures to cultural norms and colloquial sayings. The doctors and surgeons from my department have become a part of my professional network and will continue to be resources for me in the years to come. The medical students who I spent my time with have become some of my closest friends that I remain in contact with, despite being an ocean away.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
Use the resources around you to help make your application process and internship experience successful. Spending a short term abroad allows just enough time for someone to become immersed in the culture of their host country and leave them looking for more. Once you start, you'll never want to stop!