It must be true, I said it on the internet

Two weeks in and I feel like I tripped and fell into the middle of the semester… anyway, good to be back!

Lots of things I want/need to get done this semester, starting with this: self-teaching Arabic.

If I say something publicly on the internet, I have to do it, right? That’s how that works? I hope so, because I’m saying this as much for myself as I am to let you know. I’ve been trying without luck since freshman year to self-teach Arabic, but a number of things (primarily laziness) have stopped me. Not any more, though. Now that it’s up here, I have to.

As you might have gathered, I love languages. I don’t know where my life is headed, but I know I want to spend time working or studying overseas after Rutgers.

I speak German (well) and Chinese (passably).  Languages are cool to me if they’re from different families, they’re beautiful in their own way (most people will disagree but I think German is one of the most beautiful-sounding languages), and languages that will let me to travel to cool parts of the world and talk to the people who live there. Thankfully, German, Chinese, and Arabic meet all three.

And I’m always looking for opportunities to practice! My friends started an awesome club this year called Rutgers Lingua to let speakers of different languages get together to practice. Meetings for the spring semester aren’t set in stone, but it’s generally once a week (Saturdays?) on College Ave. We send out a Facebook poll beforehand to get an idea of who wants to speak which languages. There are usually English, Spanish, French, German, and Chinese groups, but we’ll have any language if we can get two people who speak it.

A typically beautiful view of the German countryside from the Eagle's Nest (Kehlsteinhaus) in the Alps, right before the fog and freezing rain rolled through.

A typically beautiful view of the German countryside from the Eagle’s Nest (Kehlsteinhaus) in the Alps, right before the fog and freezing rain rolled through.

Last summer I went to China (with Professor Simmons through Rutgers Study Abroad) and Germany and Austria (with my brother for a few weeks after he graduated from college). All three countries were beautiful in their own ways. Touring through a country can’t compare to studying/living/working there, just as speaking the natives’ language opens doors that most tourists don’t even know exist.

Which is why this summer, I want to live and work abroad, not just study.

So for the past few weeks I’ve been combing through listings on CareerKnight and the websites of random companies to find work in Germany and China (and maybe Austria, though Austrian German is a little harder to understand than Germany’s Hochdeutsch/Plattdeutsch).

Buildings on the Spree in Berlin, where hopefully I will be this summer!

Buildings on the Spree in Berlin, where hopefully I will be this summer!

Hopefully I can live abroad a bit during summer break and practice my languages while getting some experience abroad. But who knows? I don’t know if I’ll enjoy it until I’m there, so this is also a test. Maybe I won’t like it, and I’ll come back with a new direction?

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