I recently arrived to Germany! I am excited to travel and learn about European management and politics. On the other hand, I feel nervous about the social norms and worry about ensuring that I follow them. Germany is so punctual, and I am not used to everything having to be followed in the U.S.
I am also thinking about how my identity will influence my time here. In the U.S., I am a tall, bi-racial woman going to school to set herself up for the future. In Germany, I am a tall, bi-racial woman from the United States who is loud and strong-willed. I think that my ethnicity and my home country will affect how people perceive me. There are biases in how people perceive bi-racial people and how people from the U.S act. My ethnic identity and home country might shape my experience in different ways. My ethnic identity could shape my experience by having a negative experience by having people look at me differently and or treating me differently. My home country identity could shape my experience by having people treat me based on their perceptions of America and then getting to know me.
I think that these aspects could translate to my experience abroad because there will be a lot happening. Trying to get involved with the culture, interacting with local students, and taking in the dorm room life will be a challenge in a different country. At UW Tacoma, my biggest struggle on campus is getting involved and figuring out college life. So many events and aspects of the college experience make me nervous and overwhelmed. Especially the fact that I have no close friends that go to UWT. I feel overwhelmed trying to get involved on campus and make friends. Trying to get involved on campus creates anxiety because not knowing how to get involved, where to get involved, and feeling like I would look stupid creates a lot of stress. I am an extrovert. However, I am also socially awkward, and mixed with the fact that trying to get involved in something that I don't know where to begin puts me out of my comfort zone. Also, trying to figure out parking locations, trams, and room numbers on campus was also an overwhelming factor.