Exchange student: Nina Herzog, Berlin
Name: Nina Herzog
Major: Business administration, with a focus on accounting and human resources management
Home institution: Berlin School of Economics and Law / Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht Berlin, class of 2019
Period at Mount Holyoke: fall 2018
Why did you choose Mount Holyoke? In Berlin, I work for an engineering project management company. I wanted to take courses that would help me advance but were not available at my college. The opportunity to dive into not one but five colleges would give me more options and the experience of American college life.
How did Mount Holyoke differ from your previous college experience? I was surprised by how strong the community is here, and the emphasis on taking time to eat, join in activities and to get to know one another. There was space to explore academics but also to realize the importance of living a full life. I also felt freer to study what interested me most.
Were you surprised by anything at Mount Holyoke? I was able to go with the German studies department to New York City and take it all in, sharing the experience with other students and faculty. Another unforgettable experience was having Thanksgiving with a Mount Holyoke family in Springfield. They cooked a full Thanksgiving meal. We played cards. There was such a warm glow that lasted for hours.
Also, there are so many things in American culture that are different from home: access to education — it’s so expensive here! Same with health insurance.
How has your perspective changed? I’m excited to return to my work in Berlin with new ideas and skills to contribute.
Have you made any lasting friendships with students or faculty? I became good friends with a much younger British student (I didn’t start my studies until I was 28) and we will see each other in Europe. For three years I worked on a cruise ship, and so I was already accustomed to being around people from diverse cultures and religions. Though there were differences among people at Mount Holyoke, I didn’t feel separate from them.
Would you recommend this experience to future exchange students? Oh yes, absolutely. I would tell others that this is a very special and they should come and experience it.