Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Already June?!?

My roomate linda, who also happens to be my closest friend here in germany, came to my room last night needing to talk to someone. So of course we ended up talking all about relationships, friendships, life, etc. I believe I look at life optimistically with the glass always being half full. So with all that being said, this was definitely one of those times you just want to grab a big tub of ice cream and pop a really funny, girly dvd in, but with my lack of ice cream and no tv here, we settled for just talking about things.
Which leads me to my next thought. The whole study abroad experience is not just about taking classes and getting course credit. of course that IS the ultimate goal and it wouldn't be "study abroad" if you didn't take classes, but there's so much more to it that you get out of the whole experience. It's also about traveling to new places, seeing new things, learning about new cultures, experiencing new ways of life, meeting new people, and creating new friendships and bonds between people. For me, it's also been about finding myself. I feel like such a different person since living here in Kiel. I've adapted to a new way of life, of course American culture is very prevalent in European life and contrary to what some people may think, Europeans do not hate Americans, they simply hate our American govt. And honestly, who can blame them? But since the american way of life is so common here, it's hard to imagine that I've had to quote on quote "adapt or change to life here," but it's true. I can count on one hand how many Americans are actually here in Kiel. My friends I have made are from all over the world. I've grown a lot more tolerant to things I would never have been 3 months ago. I feel more knowledgeable, I have a stronger desire to learn more about different cultures, languages, history, and lifestyles. And even though it's only been 3 months and I've only been here for half of my semester, I can already feel the positive changes the whole experience has had on me. I feel more mature, and well, I guess moving to a foreign country, knowing not a soul around you will help you with that, but none the less I feel I hold a different perspective on things and ideas. And I am anxiously looking forward to what the next half of the semester will bring. And what new journeys and adventures I can and will embark on!! :-)

Last weekend, Linda, Ellu, & I went to Hamburg for a day. It was a lot of fun! Hamburg is one of the biggest and richest cities in Germany and luckily for us is only about an hour away from Kiel. We spent the day being tourists and doing a lot of sightseeing. There is a beautiful lake in the middle of the city and is also on the Elbe River and has one of the busiest harbors in the world. Here are a few pictures from that:

And tomorrow Linda, I and our friend Björn are driving to Denmark!! I am so excited!!! We will go to Odense where Linda is from and spend a few days in Copenhagen as well. The weather is supposed to be awesome! I will have a lot of pictures when we get back Sunday as well :-) I can't believe it's already June 3rd though! Time really does fly when you're having fun!

Liebe Grüße von Kiel

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