Jacqueline Maxwell ('12) | Study Abroad

jacqueline maxwell

Elementary education
major from Abilene, Texas
 

When Jacqueline Maxwell signed up for the Spring 2010 Study Abroad semester in Leipzig, she was concerned about spending so much time with eight other students she didn't know well.

The peer mentors ACU set up for us really encouraged each of us to get out of the ACU group and meet the Germans. I gained a few very close German friends with whom I plan to keep in contact and see when I return to Europe someday.

"I worried that because there were only eight of us, we would kind of be stuck with each other," she said.

Those worries were unfounded.

"We all had completely different majors and somewhat different personalities," she said. "This made our class discussions and even our own private discussions always interesting, because we had such different perspectives. I can specifically remember certain discussions because I was forced to expand my horizons. I loved it."

While in Leipzig, Jacqueline studied the German language, Bible and international studies.

"Every day was a little different," she said. "Weekdays began with German lessons. Then I had lunch in the Leipzig city center or Hauptbahnhof, and continued with either my international studies course or my Bible course. Then I ate in on the weekdays with my roommates (the other three girls there), the entire group, or some of the German friends I made. The weekends were spent either doing some traveling or hanging out with my ACU friends and German friends." 

Building relationships

Her favorite part of the experience was forming relationships outside the ACU contingent, she said. "The peer mentors ACU set up for us really encouraged each of us to get out of the ACU group and meet the Germans. I gained a few very close German friends with whom I plan to keep in contact and see when I return to Europe someday."

Traveling abroad was not a new experience for Jacqueline. When she was in sixth grade, she accompanied her father, ACU's Art and Design Department chair Jack Maxwell, for a summer session in Oxford. Then after high school graduation, she joined her parents for the ACU in Italy art program.

"But out of all the times I have been, nothing compares to the almost four months I spent in Germany," she said. "It was the greatest and most life-changing experience of my life."

It was so life changing, in fact, that it has shaped Jacqueline's future career path.

"My experience in Germany made me realize that I want to teach or at least intern in a foreign country for an extended amount of time," she said. "I gained so much confidence in myself in realizing that I can do something drastically different on my own and have a great time."

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