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Zachary Benjamin '19 Moravian College Study Abroad in Erfurt, Germany

Study Abroad in Erfurt, Germany: Zachary Benjamin '19

September 3, 2018

Zachary Benjamin '19 is a senior International Management Major with a focus in German. He recently spent a semester abroad studying at Erfurt University in Germany.

When I graduated from Lacey Township High School located within the New Jersey Shore I began my search into schools that provided an education as well as opportunities involving the German language. During my Freshman year at Moravian College I made a customized plan with the head of the German Department Axel Hildebrandt. This plan included an intensive German track as well as a semester abroad through Moravian College which would fire off my Spring/Summer Semester of my Junior year. For me, it has been amazing working personally one on one with my advisor which is something only a small school like Moravian can provide. Being able to work alongside with Dr. Hildebrandt has been phenomenal for me, he is a brilliant professor that cares about his students and gauges progress every semester.

Moravian College study abroad  in Erfurt, Germany

Studying in Germany has always been a dream of mine ever since my success and interest in the past with High School courses, that being said I was eager to go abroad to achieve my dreams. After two years and one semester of courses at Moravian it was finally time to research and choose a program that fit me and my and my Academics as a whole. I decided to study at Erfurt University which is one of our sister schools here at Moravian.

View of the city of Erfurt in Germany

What appealed to me about this program was the small size of the school as well as Erfurt’s central location in the heart of Germany. At the end of my last fall semester it was finally time to fly away from the land that I called my home to a new a country. I had no idea what I was getting into and at the same time I was ready to explore! No matter what I promised myself to use my second language as much as possible and to meet as many new faces as I could.

Moravian College student Zachary Benjamin studying abroad in Germany

What came next exceeded my expectations. The moment I arrived in Erfurt I was welcomed and oriented into the campus community. It was in this moment that I realized what kind of semester I was going to have. I met many German students and felt like I belonged as an exchange student on their campus. I was thrilled! What occurred during my five months was incredible and even that is an understatement! Not only was I able to meet German students but I met wonderful and unique people from all over the world who were involved in a wide variety of majors. We as exchange students were integrated and cared for constantly. I felt comfortable because of my outlet of people as well as enlightened. These friends that I made will be life time friends and excellent resources no matter where I go in the future.

Students enjoying a sunny day in Germany

Erfurt University provides a personal and noteworthy abroad program. The courses are realistic, challenging, and thorough. I think the greatest part about studying in this amazing little city was the fact that I was using the knowledge I gained in class in everyday life every single day! I was in an area in Germany in which I was forced to push my boundaries every day by challenging social barriers and adjusting to a totally new and exciting society.

Zachary Benjamin in the streets of Erfurt

I can honestly attest to the saying that you can learn or improve your skills in a language just by simply living in another country. However, every experience that you have depends on what you put into it. Give everything your all, broaden your horizons, and get out of your comfort zone. This is how that we learn and grow as individuals. My semester abroad was eye opening and extraordinary and I would recommend this program to any of my fellow Hounds!