German Buddies

Amanda Serna, Engineering the German Way Summer 2022

One of the main reasons my trip was so memorable was because of the amazing people I met on the trip. For our program we were assigned 4 German buddies that helped us explore and be familiar with Munich and take us to the activities planned for us. Our 4 buddies were students in the school we were attending in the master’s program. From the first day when they picked us up at the airport, we quickly became friends with them. They were so much fun having around and took us to the best activities such as a day trip to Austria, eating döner for the first time (best meal of the whole trip!), touring the FC Bayern Museum and stadium, and taking us to Landsberger Weisen, which was similar to a mini-Oktoberfest festival. A memory I will never forget is when we had a free night during the week, so our buddies took us to a karaoke night and we were all performing, singing, and dancing all over the stage while everyone in the crowd cheered for our whole group. We also got to sing Sweet Caroline (the Pitt way), and everyone was very confused why we all screamed “LETS GO PITT” in the middle of the song. The buddies were also very informative and were able to tell us about the best restaurants and foods to try on our own and the best places to go out to on the weekends. Without our buddies I could not imagine my experience being nearly as great. To this day everyone in our program still keeps in contact with our German buddies and text in our group chat even after leaving Germany 3 months ago. 
We also got to meet a lot of students in the school when we were assigned projects and  assignments to complete with them. This was a very nice opportunity to be able to work together and meet new people and not just work with our fellow classmates from Pitt. We learned a lot about each other and compared the differences of living in America compared to living in Germany. In addition to meeting the students, all of our teachers were extremely friendly and wanted us to be successful and have the best experience in Germany as possible. They took us to a BMW tour and encouraged us to come back to Germany if we ever wanted a career abroad. They also really enjoyed hearing about our point of views on the different teaching styles compared to lectures in Pitt. Lastly, the locals have also been very friendly towards us, and we never encountered a negative experience. I can honestly say that the people I met on my time abroad made my experience so great.