Journal Entry:

Anne's Four Pre-Departure Questions:

How do you anticipate your identity will affect how you view and live within your host country or destination(s)?

As an American coming to Germany for the first time, I knew I would have certain expectations and stereotypes integrated into my perspective. However, since I have German heritage, I wanted to go in with a clear mindset and leave these expectations behind. I have grown up with family who claim America is the best country to live in. My response is to say, sure, this is a unique country with wonderful freedoms; however, my family has a narrow perception of the world, having not traveled extensively. I was eager to break this pattern and embrace a larger world-view. One important factor that was humbling is that as a native English speaker, I did not realize how much I had taken this fact for granted until after traveling to Germany where speaking three languages is pretty typical. I realized how I was used to being catered to as an English speaker. Living in a small town in Germany situated in the former East has forced me to respect and adjust to the majority of the generation who refused to speak English. As a result, I had to learn how to speak the language better, which was a major identity shift for me. It turns out the younger generation in Germany loves having Americans there to help them practice their English (which they speak beautifully).