Making Plans to Study Abroad
I’ve spent countless hours this weekend updating my Pinterest account and setting up a Facebook page for this blog and now I need a little relaxation in the form of writing. Good thing I have awesome news to write about!
Brandon and I have been planning for years to live abroad and about a year ago we discovered a program called EUROTECH at his school of choice, the University of Connecticut. The program would earn him a dual degree in engineering and German. An internship abroad is required and a semester of study abroad is encouraged.
We knew we wanted to make this a family affair so we could all experience living abroad in Germany. Besides, we’ve already done our fair share of family separation from the military, we certainly wouldn’t want to do that again if we could help it. We assumed we would live overseas for roughly 7 months with Brandon taking summer semester classes and then completing his internship in the fall so we began to save up money in preparation for that.
But first Brandon would have to get accepted in UConn. And then he would have to get accepted into the engineering program there.
Done and done! He’s now doing his first semester at UConn as a transfer student.
This week Brandon met with the professor that’s in charge of the Eurotech program and we learned a few new things that have affected our planning. First, it’s likely that we will be spending at least 10 months over there instead of 7. The first part is a 6-week language immersion course (not required but encouraged) followed by a semester of studying. It turns out that German winter semesters run October through February so Brandon will only be completing one semester of college courses over the course of a regular year at UConn. After his semester ends in February he will complete a 3-4 month internship at one of the companies in the area with the possibility of earning up 6 credits from that internship. So to sum it up we will likely be living in Germany from late August through May or June.
We’re not sure exactly what town we will be living in but the program works with the universities in the Baden-Wurttemberg area. In the far southwest of the country near the Black Forest the Baden-Wurttemberg state of Germany includes such towns as Stuttgart, Heidelberg, and Konstanz. It borders France and Switzerland and is also close to other Bavarian cities like Munich (and we’ll probably be there during Oktoberfest!!).
There’s still a lot to do before we actually move abroad for those 10 months. First we need to recalculate our budget so that we’re prepared to stay over there for an additional 3 months without pay. Second Brandon needs to take enough German classes to be able to excel in a German university and company. While we technically could take this trip next year Brandon really doesn’t think he will have enough German under his belt by then so our move will probably take place in 2017 instead. So that’s 2 years of saving, 2 years of planning and 2 years of waiting. Still, I’m sure I will have plenty of side trips planned by the time comes. I’m really looking forward to this!