Tschuess!European Union, Spring 2009
Und so, I am home.
Studying abroad was one of the most challenging and rewarding journeys I have ever undertaken. It was very difficult experience at times – the language, the culture, the homesickness, but I have never once thought “I wish I didn’t do this.” I’ve gained so much from this four month journey that you just can’t learn in a classroom. Seeing eleven countries in a four month period (to recap: Germany, Estonia, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, France, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungry, Slovakia, and Spain) will really give you an irreplaceable adventure.
I’m happy to say that I haven’t had the much forewarned “reverse culture shock.” Yes, at times I have had the urge to respond with a “Ja,” “Nein,” or “Natürlich,” and I have been craving a good brat. I will miss the wonderful culture of Germany, the language that has so entranced me, and the warm people that live there. Especially Freiburg, my little city that is tucked away in the black forest and will always have a place in my mind as this wonderful idyllic town with a huge, domineering cathedral at its heart. While I will miss the breakneck travel that has so often characterized my study abroad experience, I feel that I really did learn how to live in Germany, despite being out of the country so often. I hope to come back to Germany and Freiburg eventually, and I know that some part of me will always long for it.
In spite of these minor set backs, it’s great to be home. I’ve yearned for newspapers in English and a nice, big cheeseburger, not to mention the people that I’ve missed for four months. And now that I am sitting here in my living room with my dog on his pillow and half a bag of Harbro waiting to be snacked on, I can look back on my days in Europe and just be grateful for my time there.
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