Photograph from Sam Rickner's series, 6 Weeks: 30 Treatments
Photograph from Sam Rickner's series, 6 Weeks: 30 Treatments

Samantha Rickner looks forward to her upcoming semester abroad in Weimar, Germany.

I talked with photo major Alyssa Johnson a couple weeks ago about her preparations for studying in Florence, Italy. This week I spoke to another photo major, Sam Rickner, about her own preparations and anticipations for her semester abroad in Weimar, Germany. From her bonkers travel plan to her excitement about the huge international student presence in Weimar, sounds like Sam will be taking full advantage of this trip of a lifetime! 

Sam Rickner, junior, Photography major


Hey Sam! Where are you studying abroad? How long will you be there?

I am studying at the Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany, for about four months!

Why/how did you decide this was the program for you?

I applied for the program at the Bauhaus in part because I had visited Germany in the past and really loved my time there, but also because I’m passionate about learning new languages and the German language intensive course intrigued me!

Image from Sam's photographic series, 6 Weeks: 30 Treatments

What exactly are you studying there? What projects will you be working on?

For the first month I will only be taking German lessons. After that, I’ll start my project course in photography, along with a couple other classes. Right now it’s hard to say what kind of work I will be producing, but my artistic practice usually investigates the personal narratives of the individuals surrounding me, so the development of my work will be very dependent upon the people that I encounter in Germany and the stories they share with me. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity explore a different country and meet people who can provide new perspectives to inform my work. All I can say for sure is that I know I will be spending a lot of time the darkroom developing film!

Have you talked to any Student Ambassadors about your study abroad program?

Yes, I have spoken with a couple and they have been so helpful! Kathy Huang has been a huge asset to me and even wrote up a document with all of the information she wishes she had known before going abroad, which I am so thankful for!

Image from Sam's photographic series, 6 Weeks: 30 Treatments

What are you most nervous about?

I’m probably most nervous about the first day of travel from the United States to Germany: two flights, three layovers, a three-hour train ride, and then a bus into town. If everything goes perfectly smooth, I will be incredibly surprised. That being said, I’m trying to stay open-minded and just roll with the punches.

What are you most excited about?

I’m very excited to meet new people in Germany! The Bauhaus has a very large exchange program that extends throughout Europe and beyond, so I’ll have the opportunity to meet people who are coming together from all different countries to study art. I’m also looking forward to traveling throughout Europe and visiting some friends that I have there!

Image from Sam's photographic series, 6 Weeks: 30 Treatments

How do you think studying abroad will benefit you or your work?

I think as an artist it is important to listen and learn from as many individuals as I can, especially people who come from different backgrounds than my own. The experience of studying abroad will allow me to work with faculty and students who are unfamiliar with my work, and that exposure to new perspectives will foster the development of my artistic practice. I’m interested to see how the photographic medium is approached at the Bauhaus, and how the different teachings have shaped the artists there.

Image from Sam's photographic series, 6 Weeks: 30 Treatments

Lastly, what would you like to say to your future self on your last day of studying abroad?

Herzliche Glückwünsche!