Summer Abroad

Name: Hilary Hager   |   Country: Germany   |   Date: Short-term, 2017

Related Experience: Summer Abroad: Germany: Berlin

For how long did you stay abroad?

4 weeks, between July and August

Why did you choose to learn abroad?

I had always wanted to return to Germany, I’d been once before on a high school trip, and because I was also working to complete a German language minor, I thought the course would be a great way to learn some German history, practice my developing language skills, and experience traveling alone!

Understanding and being able to apply an international lens to content in-class, which has helped me even with courses here in Toronto to expand my thinking beyond the subject material.

What are the specific skills that you learned or developed?

One really important skill I learned was how to connect real-world situations to what we were studying and working on, and we did this through experiential learning; it made the program so much more than what it would have been just taking a course on-campus in Toronto over the summer. Another critical skill I’d learned from just being in another country was understanding and being able to apply an international lens to content in-class, which has helped me even with courses here in Toronto to expand my thinking beyond the subject material.

What benefits did you get from the experience?

Personally, I became a more con dent and independent person, and I saw a lot of personal growth, reflexes, and understanding while I was abroad. I also learned how to better work with a group of people that I didn’t always get along with, which is bound to happen in any sphere, be it academic, social or professional.

Hilary Hager
Hilary Hager
Please, name 2 challenges that you faced and how you overcame them in your experience.

Biggest challenge was being with roommates for the first time, but I eventually got over this once I made friends with some of the others who were also in the program and were struggling with similar things. Second biggest challenge was motivating myself to be courageous enough to take the proverbial “next step”. It was my first time traveling alone, so I was really nervous, but once I took that first step, the rest just kept coming and I felt so free and suddenly the world seemed so accessible. I couldn’t wait to make my next travel plans!

I also learned how to better work with a group of people that I didn’t always get along with, which is bound to happen in any sphere, be it academic, social or professional.

Would you recommend learning abroad to a friend? Why?

Yes! 100%. You get so much more out of these courses and programs than you would taking a similar course just at UofT. I can’t emphasize enough how much of a difference being in the place you’re studying, and walking the same streets as individuals who are struggling the same way others were in the past, is just a power and incredible experience. It adds so much to the course material that is just lost entirely when you’re stuck in a lecture hall for 2+ hours.

Hilary Hager