My first year studying in the SDAC program has been filled with many great experiences. The classes themselves have been extremely interesting and eye opening. In addition to our classes, we also had the opportunity to attend the guest lecture series each semester. The lectures range in topic and offer us insights into various research projects and careers relating to culture and decision-making. I have learned something new everyday since beginning this program and I can honestly say that my perspective of the world has changed this past year after attending the courses and lectures.
As for life in Erlangen, it has far exceeded my expectations. Erlangen is a smaller city, but there is always something to do. Picnics in the Schlossgarten, drinking a beer at the Berg, and enjoying the Christmas markets (there are three in Erlangen alone) are some of my favorite memories from this year. One thing that surprised me about Erlangen is how international the city is. I am always meeting new people from all over the world and have made many lasting friendships.
I expected to learn about different cultures through my studies, but I did not expect to also have so much real life experience. I have been introduced to many cuisines from around the world, had long discussions with friends about differences in the way our societies treat certain topics, and am now hoping to visit many of these countries I am learning so much about.