Chris Kenna
BS in Computer Science
BA in German Studies
Hamburg Technical University and Hamburg Universität, Hamburg, Germany

I went abroad in the spring semester of my junior year through the Smith College Junior Year Abroad program. I took classes in Computer Science and German at Hamburg Technical University and the University of Hamburg.

Hamburg, GermanyEverything that I learned in my German classes was also applied to my Computer Science studies. I experienced a new culture in a vastly different educational system than what I was used to in the U.S. Being in Germany helped me to develop skills that I could not have learned at Bucknell. For instance, since all of my courses were taught in German, just understanding the problems that were being asked of me was sometimes difficult. This forced me to develop new ways to approach a situation. By really focusing on the parts of a problem that I did understand, I found that I analyzed problems in more depth than was expected of me. Ultimately, this gave me an edge over my peers. This enhanced perspective has continued to help me since my return from Germany, as have other lessons that I learned abroad. Regarding my languages skills, I developed vocabulary and fluency at a rate I had never experienced before.

My semester abroad required me to adapt to a new lifestyle while at the same time remaining flexible and open to another culture, learn quickly, and build self-reliance by living independently in the city of Hamburg. Overall, I enjoyed the departure from Bucknell's small campus that Hamburg provided.  I paid only slightly more than Bucknell's tuition, and still received all of my financial aid. Who could pass up the opportunity to travel to Europe on scholarship funds?