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A Conversation with Michael Ziegler

September, 2011

Congratulations to Michael Ziegler, our Exchange Visitor of the Month! We caught up with Michael to learn more about his J-1 experience in the United States.

How’s your training going so far?

Very well! One of the projects here was the basis for my thesis paper in university. There are a lot of new things and customers. Everyday there is a different task.

 

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of training?

Traveling! And I love sports I do sports almost everyday. CA has a lot to offer. It’s the perfect place to live. I play the trumpet and play it everyday after my flatmate got a guitar. I found it on Craigslist just like pretty much everything else in the apartment! Staying in contact with family /friends takes a lot of time too because of the time difference.

 

Tell me more about your travels!

We have our own car and have traveled all over California and Nevada, Vegas Grand Canyon, other national parks, the California desert. And places near by like Long Beach. I am a member of couch surfing. You send a request to another member to stay with them. The big advantage is that you come in contact with locals and you get to see things that you wouldn’t see as a tourist.  We recently went on a road trip of CA. Drove up Highway 1 to San Fran. and then the Sierra Nevada, Yosemite and LA and San Diego. It was like 2400 miles! I’ll be sad when I have to sell the car before I go home. Maybe I’ll sell it to one of my friends here, then I’ll know she’s in a good home!

 

Any surprises about life in the US?

It was pretty easy to dive into the cultural environment here. LA is a melting pot, you meet people from all over the world. I was surprised by the beauty of the nature here! There are great mountains where there’s no one living. I was surprised that it was so cold in San Fran.

 

Any favorite foods in CA?
I tried to avoid fast food as much as I can. Mexican food is a good option. We buy our stuff in the Mexican supermarket. The people are so nice! We spend an hour there tasting everything in the salad bar.

Favorite thing about the training?

I learned a lot because ecommerce is new to me and it’s fascinating to see how systems are set up and integrated.  It’s good to see how the theoretical knowledge from university gets put into practice.


Any advice?

Leave your luggage at home! Everything is so cheap here compared to Germany. Levi’s jeans for $30! It would be over a hundred in Germany! Throw away your stereotypes! Take the non-touristic way and try to dive into the culture.