Can you start off by telling me your name and where you are from?
I’m Paul Wolff and I am from Braunschweig, Germany.
What are you majoring in?
I am studying Industrial Engineering and Business Studies.
How long are you in the U.S.?
I arrived here August 14, so about four months now. I’ll be leaving at the end of the semester.
What has been your favorite thing about VCU?
The diversity of this place is one of the best things about VCU. I was surprised to see so many people from around the world studying alongside me. Having that community of international students to support each other during the initial, weird transition period was incredibly important to my success here. Being able to live in the same building as all of them, and knock on everyone’s door to eat and study together, has been one of my favorite aspects.
Favorite place to go in Richmond?
I really enjoy walking around in the Fan. The houses there are beautiful and it’s a great way to relax and de-stress from worrying about classes.
What has been your favorite experience while here?
Playing in intramural soccer and going to basketball games allowed me to be a part of the incredible school spirit here. Also, different events like the Globe Gala and the VCU thanksgiving meal were enjoyable.
Can you talk about a program or event that you were able to enjoy and participate in that you did not anticipate.
I really enjoyed the VCU Brandcenter Friday Forum Series in the Commons Theater. Each week they would bring in someone interesting to talk to us about their business experiences and how they became established in their field. We don’t have anything like that where I’m from in Germany, so I will really miss that.
(To learn more about he VCU Brandcenter Friday Forum Series, visit their website at: http://brandcenter.vcu.edu/resources/friday-forum/)
Did anything surprise you about your U.S./VCU experience?
I was very surprised at how friendly everyone in Virginia is. My first impression of people was always friendly and helpful. Also, testing only in multiple choice is really weird since we never do that in Germany.
The crime in the U.S. was surprising as well. It’s completely different when I’m just hearing about it while in Germany compared to being in the same country as all of the shootings. It was interesting to gauge the reactions of Americans.
What do you want to do the most once you are back in Germany?
I really miss German food and I can’t wait to catch up with my friends when I get back.
What will you miss the most about VCU and Richmond?
One of the main reasons I decided to study abroad was to meet new people and experience the cultures of others. Living in Globe and attending such a diverse university has really helped me to achieve that goal and make genuine connections with students from Richmond and around the world. Above everything else I will miss the friends that I’ve made here. They have made my experience beyond enjoyable.