Johannes Kode, Germany
University of Erfurt, Germany
2007-2008 Academic Year
Areas of Study: Political Science and Philosophy
My aim was to spend a significant amount of time at a liberal arts college in the US. First and foremost, there was my goal to learn more about America in general, more about its culture, its politics, and, last but not least, its intellectual atmosphere. Besides that, I wanted to ameliorate my language skills by living in an academic campus community that allows reconciliation of academic interests with the advantages of living together.
I came in August 2007 as a one term student planning to graduate after the fall term from my home university in Germany. Eventually, I decided to extend my time in Beloit for another semester for it had been a great time, even though there were stressful and bad times too... usual up and downs. Now, I am finally about to graduate and I really have to say that the college and the people here are great! Towards the end of my time here, I even feel affiliated to this place as well as to my home university.
I enjoyed a lot of things here, most of all the general social climate. For me, intense social life is especially important in times of intellectual activity. Academic scholarship is somewhat an experience of loneliness – though a vibrant community can transform it into an experience of solitude.
Beloit is academically demanding – especially for international students, but if you are socially well embedded, it gives you a solid basis for your work.
As long as you are here: reduce sleep for the sake of intellectual and social activity! Use your room to sleep and the campus to live, the library, the C-Haus, the Coffee Shop, the quad, the JJ etc. Ask whatever you want and talk to everybody you want to talk to – Beloit is the place where you can do it. Inhale all the wonderful things in Beloit.
Being in the US, I realized a lot about my own culture. Tiny things and major differences between Germany and the US. For instance, Americans tend to value social contact in general regardless the particular circumstances. I esteem that. Social life in Germany is not that easy, but relationships generally seem to be stronger once they are established...there are too many things that I've learned in the US...there is not enough space to talk about all those experiences that I've had in Beloit and in this country.
Je ne regrette rien... If I were in the same situation, I'd do the same things.