Student Snapshot: Wiebke Müller

Hey, my name is Wiebke and I am a 26-year-old student from Germany. I have been at CEL Downtown in San Diego since June 2018, studying English and completing my internship. So far it has been a great two months and I will be sad when my program ends in September.

Since I study English in university in Germany, I thought it would be great to further improve my language skills and simultaneously gain some work experience abroad. That is why I decided to take a semester off from university and come to San Diego. Besides the beautiful weather, great atmosphere, and the amazing people, the main reason why I chose San Diego is because it offered a great internship program. Before arriving in California I have always heard about this Golden Coast and I must say after living in San Diego for two months, it is 100% true. By far, the best thing about living in San Diego are the beaches. Every day after school, I try to go to the beach to take a dip in the water and relax on the sand soaking up the sunshine. I highly recommend to anyone who is coming to San Diego to go to Mission Beach, which is my favorite one of them all. Another highlight for me has been the world-famous San Diego Zoo. The Zoo is surrounded by a beautiful park in which you can relax before going to see all the amazing animals. I would also suggest to try Mexican food. It is amazzzing. Get a California burrito, you will not regret it. I love San Diego so much, I had to extended my stay.

I found the internship at CEL with the help of the German agency GLS Sprachenzentrum Berlin. After a short phone interview with the school's director of education, I got the confirmation and could prepare for my adventure. I applied for the visa, a nerve-racking and time-consuming procedure, booked my flight, sublet my apartment back home and a few weeks later I finally arrived in San Diego. From day one, I felt like I was at home and welcomed. Like everyone else, I took a placement test on the first day of school in order to know which class I would be in. The following weeks, I had morning classes five days a week and additionally afternoon class on Wednesday and Thursday. Even though the main reason why I came here was the internship, I also really enjoy my classes. Class at CEL has nothing in common with typical English classes in high school. We do not just learn grammar and vocabulary, but do more practical related things. One day we even went to San Diego Courthouse to see part of a murder trial, which was definitely a highlight since I am very interested in crime related topics and enjoyed learning more about the American judicial system.

Thanks to classes at CEL, I do not only improve my English but also get to learn a lot about U.S. culture and life in San Diego. After class, I usually work in the office at CEL. Since I study education back home, I help with the educational team. My tasks vary from "typical office work", such as scanning, copying, and ordering to more practical tasks, like going over the classes' curriculums, which allows me to get a better insight into how the school works. Since I was here doing the school's summer camp, I also got to help out with the activities. I joined a group of students on their day trips to Los Angeles and Universal Studios, took them to their surf lessons, and other places in the city.

During my stay, I have lived with two different host families in two great neighborhoods that could not be more different. My first host family lived in Golden Hills, a nice area in Downtown San Diego. My second host family lives in Mission Bay, which is probably one of the most beautiful places in San Diego. It is halfway to the beaches and school and therefore the perfect place to live in. I just moved to an apartment in Pacific Beach, where I am sure to encounter a new experience and cannot wait for this journey to continue.