I’m Katie Wagner! I’m from Goldsboro, NC and I have double majors in International Studies and Political Science with a minor in German Studies. I love collecting postcards, testing my spice tolerance, and movie marathons.

Where did you study abroad?

Heidelberg, Germany

What is Your Favorite Memory from Your Time Abroad?

One of the best parts about studying in Europe was how easy it is to navigate the whole continent. My friends and I made the most of our last month with the “Deutschland Ticket”, which gave us access to every regional bus and train in the country. We took trips every few days to somewhere new, and saw a lot of regional differences firsthand; food, clothing, dialect, personality–you name it. Between all the crazy towns and transfers, travel memories will always be my favorite because of the people in them.

How Has Studying Abroad Helped Your Personal and Professional Life?

I expected studying abroad to give me confidence both in and outside of the classroom, and it absolutely did. Settling into a new lifestyle for a semester overseas improved my German proficiency and personal organization, but I’d rather highlight the more surprising areas of growth. Alongside my independence, this experience paradoxically taught me to ask for help (something I struggle with). Every person I meet has something new to teach, and I’ve brought my international knowledge and this mindset back home with me.

What Advice Can You Offer to Students Interested in Studying Abroad?

If you’re even slightly entertaining a study abroad, my best advice is to go for it. Stay for as long as you can, and go out of your way to do something new every day. Don’t be scared of the cost–that was actually my main obstacle, too! There are so many lovely people who’d be more than happy to make it happen.

Do You Have Any Plans or Ideas to Travel Abroad Again?

I would love to go back abroad! Unfortunately my degree plan only fits short-term options, but thankfully I still got my semester in Germany and there are plenty of other options. An internship in Europe would definitely be beneficial for me: deeper dive into international relations, continued German practice, and reunions with the friends I made in Heidelberg!

You can email Addison at wagnerk22@students.ecu.edu to learn more about her experience!