Although this is being typed up retroactively, the international internship program Cultural Vistas had their participants write down our expectations and goals for our experience while still in America. For this reason, I can share my pre-departure thoughts in their original form.
I have never left the continental United States my entire life up to this point. I am unsure exactly what I expect from this experience. I expect to learn about the German culture and also Europe as a whole during my time abroad. I am anticipating living in a Wohngemeinschaft, or shared apartment, with other roommates living in separate rooms and sharing a kitchen and bathroom. Living with Germans is a great way to learn more about the people and ensure an authentic experience. Hopefully my roommates would be a source of local knowledge and I would be able to learn from them.
As far as my internship position, I am not sure exactly what I will be doing yet. I am an intern with the Klimaschutz und Energieagentur – Baden-Württemberg, or the Climate Protection and Energy Agency in the southwestern German state. The work is primarily in energy contracting which involves replacing old energy systems in public buildings with new, efficient systems. I am prepared to do whatever work is needed of me and keep an open mind throughout the process. I am excited about this opportunity to work in the energy sector and learn more about implementation of energy systems in the real world and all of the work that goes into climate protection. It is my ultimate goal to do work related to the energy fields and I hope for this to further my interests and provide me with a jumping off point into the area as I am coming from a purely natural sciences background.