JWU Student Blogs

Pre-Departure

Hey Everyone, my name is Laurie and I’ll be traveling to Koblenz Germany for four weeks to study abroad in the wine training program.

Before I was even accepted into the program,my Grandma helped me apply for my passport. Once I had the passport I knew I had to make this study abroad trip happen. I bought my ticket the day after I received the flight parameters in January and I got a great price (compared to others who waited).There are people that say you should wait a certain amount of weeks before buying your ticket, but I ignored that advice and got a great deal!

I’vebeen setting aside items for Germany ever since I got accepted in November. I was nervous at that point because I had not taken any of the Sommelier courses yet at Johnson & Wales. In February, I started my first class Oenology. After the first day, I knew I made the right choice accepting a spot in the program.

I was sort of packed for Germany for the past week, as in I’ve had stuff in piles next to my bags for days. I’ve made lists of what I needed to bring several times making sure not to forget something, but as we all know that is impossible but there is still hope! I finally finished packing tonight (the night before leaving) and I am just on the border of the weight maximum. My carry-on and back pack have extra room which will be great to bring back souvenirs on the way home.

There were a few things that friends and family stressed while packing. The first thing was to pack a change of clothes in my carry-on in case my luggage was lost or my flight got delayed. The second was to have a flashlight (or two) in case the power goes out where I am staying. Sometimes the electric converters do not have surge protectors and the power will go out in the entire building. A friend of mine had to take a shower and get ready in the morning while using a flashlight. Other people with her had to shower and get ready in the pitch black.

I’m a little nervous for the flight which is a direct flight to Frankfurt. The farthest I’ve flown was from New York to Orlando, Florida so this should be a new experience. I’m also nervous for the work load. I have no clue what to expect. We have class every day during the week and at the end of the program we take a certification test. I tried to learn German but it was a little more time consuming that I planned for so I only know the tiniest amount possible. I am definitely scared to be in a country where English isn’t the first language. How do I order dinner off a menu if I don’t know what any of it means? I downloaded a German-English dictionary-like app that reads outloud the word or phrase. That makes me feel better but I just don’t know how the people of Koblenz will like that.

I am really excited to meet my new classmates. Two of my friends are studying abroad with me but everyone will be a new friend! I can’t wait to learn about wine, the German culture, and make memories with new people. I love taking photos so hopefully I’ll have time to photograph the city of Koblenz and the parts of France that we are visiting. I’m really looking forward to the German food. I can’t wait to try all of the sausages, spatzle, and pretzels! When you go to JWU for any culinary major, you usually become a foodie and I cannot wait to see what German food is like!!

Bis nachher!