It's officially been a month since I returned home from Europe! I've loved spending the last few weeks sharing stories about my trip to friends and family. Talking about my time in Europe really makes me think about the cultural differences but also all the similarities Germany and the USA share. After returning home, all I could talk about if how I wanted to move to Germany. When I was in Germany I felt extremely independent; I saved up for this trip all on my own, traveled on my own through your Germany and extended my trip to travel alone with friends. Thinking about how I was just on the subway a month ago in Stuttgart, meeting up with friends to shop is so bittersweet. I'm very proud of myself for being able to get down the subway system and travel alone confidently. To some people this might be very silly or not important but after my trip I felt a lot more empowered. However, there wasn't much of a language barrier which helped me greatly. When I was in the schools listening to the children speak German I felt very overwhelmed and impressed. I think it's amazing that these students learn German and English, then eventually pick up another language. This makes me think about those who come to the USA from other countries. The struggle of learning a new language and being in a whole new country is a lot to get used to. Trying to learn German was very hard for me and I didn't learn much. I wasn't able to follow most of it either because I felt like everyone talked so fast. This is something I'm going to consider when I teach; people say I talk fast all the time and it's something I need to become more aware of. I want to make sure I'm talking clear and slow enough for my students in order for them to fully understand me, especially those learning the language. This trip has taught me many ways to incorporate those of all cultures as well. I think it's very important to highlight every culture in the classroom. There is so much we can all learn from each other and our cultures. I will definitely allow students to talk about their cultures with the class each year in order to teach each other and to help make all my students feel accepted. I am very grateful to have been able to have this experience.