Why I Chose Freiburg

Departure update: 42 days!

My schedule for the next month is pretty relaxing as it’s J term at my university. This means I’m taking only four credits (German Cultural History prior to 1740, whoo!) and working fifteen hours a week (got to save up for those European weekend adventures). So needless to say, I have a lot of extra time on my hands (Netflix marathon anyone?) so I thought I would take a moment to explain why I decided to study in Freiburg next semester.

Last January (wow, I can’t believe it’s been a year already!) I went on a Jterm trip with seven other German students from PLU to Berlin. We all got on really well and I had the most wonderful host mother I could have asked for. Anyway, we spent our weeks (Monday-Thursday) in Berlin going to class in the mornings and on tours and museum visits in the afternoon. On Thursdays after class, we went on weekend excursions to various cities around Germany including Leipzig, Cologne, and finally Freiburg.

I had never been to Freiburg before and I can’t lie, first impressions weren’t ideal. We had spent the whole day traveling from Berlin, and due to a comical amount of train issues and bad luck, we arrived at 9 pm, about five hours later than we had anticipated. At that point all I wanted to do was check into our hostel and sleep for the foreseeable future.

By the next evening however, my heart belonged to Freiburg. I don’t think it’s naive or cliched to say that it was love a first (daytime) sight. It just felt like home. In addition, logistically, Freiburg is perfect. It has the amenities of a big city (chain stores, public transportation, and active student population) but with a small town atmosphere. Freiburg really feels like a community. To top that off, Freiburg just looks German; like an illustration pulled straight from a Grimm’s Brothers fairy tale. Situated on the edge of the Schwarzwald (Black Forest), it is geographically, one of the most serene places I’ve ever traveled to.

Just over a month!