Monday, October 1, 2012


Jessica Smith-Salzinger (Austin College Class of '07, Double Major in German & Political Science:
"I studied abroad my Junior Year in Munich and immediately fell in love. Sure, I met my husband that year, but the absolute first thing I fell in love with was the city. It didn’t take long to know that I had found the place I wanted to call home. And now, five years after officially moving here after getting my BA from AC, I still can’t help but fall back in love with the place I live. It doesn’t take much to take the city for granted. We all get stuck in the grind of work, but one of the reasons I love it here so much is the work – life balance that Munich offers. It is practically unheard of for most people to work more than 45 hours a week, giving everyone here time to enjoy the city and the people they love the most. Every day going to work, I ride my bike through the English Gardens, through the beautiful Schwabing area and over to Nymphenburg-Neuhausen. I still can’t believe how beautiful the buildings are that I pass regularly.

Englischer Gasten in Munich
But more than the beauty of the city, it is the Bayerische Gemütlichkeit that keeps me here. Everyone living in Bavaria has a kind of Southern charm, not unlike the States, but here is it really being comfortable. We all have our favorite local pubs, restaurants and cafes. Sometimes I feel like I’m in one of those 90s sitcoms, because my friends and I really do meet nearly every day at the same street walk pub after work, where we are friends with the owner and all of the other regulars. No matter where you go here, it feels like home. Munich is incredibly inviting, and its people are very warm. On the weekends we enjoy the Gemütlichkeit of the English Gardens, relaxing on a blanket and soaking up the atmosphere, or jump on the S-Bahn and go into the mountains for a hike.

I am incredibly grateful for my study abroad experience, and encourage everyone who has the opportunity to take advantage of it – not just a Jan-Term, but at least a semester! Getting to really know the lay of the land and the way of the people has completely changed my life, and truly feel more gemütlich in my own skin. I would never have become the person I am today, and don’t think I could ever found the kind of happiness I feel from living in a place where I feel like I honestly truly belong."

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