Southeast senior Majhon Phillips is a very busy student. Aside from her double major in music performance and German, she also enjoys writing, traveling and dancing in her spare time.
This summer, Majhon’s desire to study music and travel the world was fulfilled with a unique opportunity to go to Germany, one of the world’s great centers for music. As the birthplace of some of the world’s best known musicians and musical movements, Germany for Majhon has been a learning experience for both of her areas of study.
“Germany is not only amazing because I’m getting to learn another language and culture," Majhon said, “but also I’m getting to learn about the rich history and performance practices of classical music in this amazing country.”
Interestingly, the worst and best aspects of this experience for Majhon were actually the same thing: the culture shock.
“The best and worst part of this experience,” she says, “is the culture shock of not being in America anymore. Everything here is far more perfectionist and slow. I’m so used to the hustle that coming to this culture really made me slow down and realize the importance of every waking moment. The people are amazing, and I’m learning so much about language, life, and myself.”
She said she is adjusting so well to her new surroundings that, even though it was once hard for her to get used to the language, she now finds it hard to think in English. That is quite an adjustment for such a short period of time.
Majhon, in addition to her studies in music performance and the German language, is also taking advantage of the chance to see all that she can in terms of German culture, architecture, and history. The chance to take in the sights of a country that was the home of such larger-than-life figures as Beethoven is overwhelming, she says. But Majhon is taking it all in with great appreciation.
“To realize that many of these buildings have stood before the time of Martin Luther, and even before Christ in some areas, truly astounds me,” she said.
Majhon says her international study experience has represented a chance to broaden her own horizons and to educate herself on many levels.
“The best way to decide who you are and what you want to do is to separate yourself from everything you are familiar with and start fresh," she said. "This experience has made me want to strive harder for all of my previous goals along with adding to my personal goals.”