Richard Brach, Mainz

Middlebury College

My time in Mainz and various other cities in Germany has been one of the most important and enjoyable experiences of my life. Not only have I had the pleasure of meeting and interacting with so many kind and friendly Germans, but I have also had the pleasure of experiencing the many different and enjoyable parts of the German culture. Karneval, Christmas markets, sunny days by the Rhine, Mainz’s beautiful Altstadt, and the delicious Federweißer, Hefeweizen, and German bread are just a few parts that make Mainz so special. The university work can be quite strenuous at times, but the Middlebury tutors and directors in Germany are so incredibly helpful and caring that it is not a problem. The idea of taking classes alongside other German university students was at first a little terrifying, but I did well in my classes discussing philosophy, history, and anthropology and even gave a couple successful presentations. Speaking German daily with other students and at the university has improved my German tremendously since I arrived in September and I can now quite comfortably carry conversations with others in German. The German language is daunting at times, but I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to navigate the German culture with its language as an important tool.