Love of Germany remains strong

New culture exhilarating for correspondent

New culture ‘exhilarating’ for correspondent

Rita Forbes

I’ve never been one to pick favorites. Favorite movie, favorite food, favorite color? I can’t decide. But ask about my favorite place, and there is no hesitation.


This country first captured my heart 10 years ago, when I spent six weeks in the tiny village of Schacht-Audorf in the northern region of Germany.

As I took my first baby steps in learning the language and caught a glimpse into how people lived, I was entranced. And after spending the 2006-2007 school year studying at the Fachhochschule Ansbach, there is no denying that I am in love.

My friends will testify that I talk about Germany with starry eyes and a dreamy smile on my face. I love the people, the language, the food (and drink!), the architecture and the landscapes.

I’m fascinated by the literature, history and politics. And the location is perfect – other European countries are just a “Katzensprung” (cat’s jump) away.

After my year of study in Ansbach, I did not want to come home. I racked my brain, trying to find a way to stay. While I was willing to flip burgers or scrub toilets, neither job would allow me to extend my residence permit. A marriage of convenience might have worked, but a girl’s got to draw the line somewhere! And so, on August 19, 2007, I flew back to Kansas City, my heart heavy, but with a return ticket to Germany already in my pocket.

And here I am, one year later, back in the country I love.

After arriving in Frankfurt in mid-June, I spent the summer alternately staying with friends, traveling through new, exotic countries, and conducting research for the McCaleb Initiative for Peace. So far, everything has fallen into place beautifully. As one new friend observed, it is as if a network of contacts was already here, just waiting for me to fall into it.

Next week, thanks to MSSU’s Institute of International Studies, I will pack my bags and move up north to begin a semester of study at the Hochschule Bremen. There are a lot of unknowns ahead. As I navigate my way around a new campus, make friends and learn more about the country and culture, I’d like to invite you along. Let’s explore Germany.