Tschüss, Deutschland and Hello Again, Florida: Reflection

I can’t believe the trip is already over; it went by so quickly! Complaining about it will not reverse time, so for this post, I’ll simply reflect on my experience and share a few facts I learned while abroad.

Remember my second post where I briefly mentioned about the lack of air conditioning in Germany? I now have a better explanation for it. At first I thought it was because it only gets hot for a couple of weeks during summer. Although it sounds logical, a better explanation, according to my professor, is to avoid expensive spending from importing coal and other resources to produce and run the ACs. Having no air conditioning was quite a shock for sure, but a refreshing experience nonetheless. It reminded me of the old times when I was in the Philippines. It also made me aware of how much energy we consume on a daily basis, from heating water and air conditioning to using lights. I believe this links to the UN goal #13 on Climate Action, which include raising awareness on and reduction of our carbon footprints. In my case, that may mean walking, riding my bike, or start using buses for commute to reduce my impact on top of minimizing the use of electricity.

A random building with some open windows for air because there’s no air conditioning.

On top of that, this experience made me realize what patience being a virtue means. This experience made me aware of how I have taken some things for granted and how I’ve become used to instant gratification. It may mean that I should spend more time in person with my friends rather than through social media, or reconsidering what I’m about to order on Amazon.

Moreover, academically, the program has encouraged me to consider dual majoring in German Studies on top of Environmental Science and Policy. I’ve been wanting to learn another language, and having been to Germany and knowing how environmentally friendly it is, I’m hoping to take my Master’s over there. For now, I’m planning to take a placement test for German in a week or two, and we’ll see how it goes from there.

There are many more that I want to talk about, which I’ll probably post later, but for now, I just want to let you all know how grateful I am for this experience. I now know the challenge of recovering from a jet-lag (shout out to the frequent travelers). I’ve also come to know of the vast opportunities that lay in front of us, and this experience has been truly humbling.

  1. Great reflection! It’s wonderful that you inquired about the lack of no AC only to get an answer that made you feel ok without the modern day convenience, especially when it benefits the planet. Well done!

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