Now that I've been back nearly a week, I'm finally rested and free enough to have had time to reflect upon my time in Germany. To sum it up simply, I could not be more thankful for the opportunity that I was granted with this experience.
In the Pitt IE department, it's a requirement for you to study abroad (there are other options, but this is easiest and the most recommended). Last year, I nearly went to Uruguay to fulfill this requirement. I'm glad I put that off so I could travel to Germany. It was a place I always had wanted to travel, and the program sounded most like it would align with my career goals. It definitely lived up to those expectations.
What surpassed my expectations though, was the people I met and the experiences we were given. First of all, I've never met a better staff of people than I did on this trip. The professors were some of the most knowledgeable I've ever had, true experts in their fields. To be able to have them give us tours of the facilities that they'd worked with was even better. The two trip coordinators, Maria and Katharina, were simply amazing. They went above and beyond for us, and truly treated us to a full cultural experience of Munich, Bavaria, and southern Germany. I couldn't have asked for better hosts. Finally, the three students that accompanied us, Andrea, Tanja, and Chris, were also incredible. They were very welcoming of us, and always willing to spend time with us when they could. They made this trip so much fun for all of us, simply because they enjoyed their time with us as much as we did with them.
We also were treated to a full scenic and cultural experience of the region. Several times we traveled to the Alps, which were just breathtaking every time. We climbed in a high ropes course, traveled to the top of mountains, and rode an alpine coaster. We visited two castles. We traveled to the Tegernsee, which led to the best day of the entire trip. We toured a traditional Bavarian brewery, one of the best in Germany. And we visited Dachau, a real moving experience. I'm sure I'm missing something, because we experienced so much, and had so many good days.
All that said, I truly couldn't have asked for a better three weeks. I'm thankful for the time I spent, and I hope to be able to visit again soon. I'd like to thank everyone involved that made this possible, because without you, I'm not sure I could have gone.