I agree with Jan. Find a mixed breed. Probably medium in size with a good temperament.
I also think it might be wise to learn about dogs and their behaviors. Just because a dog barks at you, doesn't mean they view you as aggressive. It can mean any number of things, like maybe the dog is trying to scare you off because they are afraid. Or they can tell you're nervous.
GSDs are a powerful breed and not one I would recommend to a first time owner with tension toward large dogs. The fear may be "pretty much" gone, but you're still going to be tense around them and this breed will find that hole and use it.
Also consider, if you're coming back to the states once finished with your studies, where does the dog go? Are you able to afford vet care? What about vet care emergencies? Or vet care associated with shipping a dog overseas and quarantine procedures? Add in the fun fact that a breed restrictions are heavy here when it comes to the breed. If you ever rent, its difficult to find a place that will allow you to have a large dog, let alone a GSD. Insurance companies will deny you insurance. Some places require you to have a certain amount of insurance to cover a dog bite. Insurance companies for management companies will force them to deny you a rental whether you provide insurance or not. Its difficult. Even if you own a place, homeowners insurance can be interesting to obtain for some as well and some companies will significantly jack up the price simply because you have a GSD.