Greece, Bulgaria, and RomaniaEuropean Union, Fall 2011
I have three weeks left in my program. Three weeks to finish my research papers, complete various projects, study for finals, prepare for Mock EU, and figure out how to say goodbye to Freiburg and the friends I’ve made here. We just got back from our final field study trip and I feel like the program just began. We started off in Athens, Greece. Being there was honestly a dream come true. I can’t think of a single thing I didn’t like about it. I walked around a tourist-free Acropolis and took in amazing views of the city. We spent a day visiting Aegina, the closest Greek island. It was picturesque and quaint and cliche’ and everything I hoped for. Oh, I even got to photograph and videotape an actual Greek riot. And then there was Romania…Now, how do I describe Bucharest, Romania? It was an interesting experience to say the least. Never have I ever seen a city so grey and desolate. There were times when we felt like the only inhabitants. I think my favorite part of our time there was our first academic meeting about corruption in the government. According to the woman we spoke with, government leaders can and are often bribed with expensive gifts, like designer handbags and fancy shoes. We went to Sofia, Bulgaria expecting the same level of poverty and depression as Romania. But we were pleasantly surprised to see that Sofia is actually a hustling and bustling city. The atmosphere was young and alive and kind of hip. I don’t know why Sofia seems to be doing so much better than Bucharest, but I have a lot of faith in their future. And for Thanksgiving, we were lucky enough to enjoy a traditional meal, courtesy of IES. That was probably one of the happiest and most enjoyable nights I’ve had since my time abroad. Now that I'm back in Freiburg, it's time to focus on homework, enjoy the Christmas market, and spend as much time as possible with my friends.
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