My Experience In Europe Fall 2018

Traveling is not at all what I expected. It’s long, tiresome and confusing. However, it’s also exciting, life-changing and empowering. I didn’t have expectations of what Luxembourg would be like before I left. When I got to Luxembourg it felt overwhelming. I had jet lag despite my solid attempt to sleep on the planes. Then all of the students were immediately thrown into their host families. I was so lucky to have had such an amazing host mom who made me feel right at home. I was not expecting her house to be as modern as it is. It is in a beautiful part of the small area of Oberkorn. Her son paints amazing modern art and it is displayed beautifully throughout the apartment. My room was gorgeous, large and had its own balcony. She also has a dog named Winston who is such a cute loveable retriever. He reminds me vividly of my dog with his bounding energy and happiness to see me every time I open the door. The first night I got to Luxembourg, my host mom served us dinner and a great Luxembourg champagne. It was a nice gesture and my roommates appreciated it too.

My favorite part about starting something and not knowing anybody, are the first couple of days. Those are the days that everyone wants to get to know everyone. The first Friday night in Luxembourg was definitely one of my favorite nights on this program. The atmosphere that night was so exciting and upbeat. It made me feel like I was a part of something great.

The coming weeks were extremely exciting. I had the opportunity to go to Paris! I enjoyed the Musee d’Orsay and sitting under the Eiffel tower watching it sparkle with a bottle of rose in my hand. Laughing with my new group of friends under the Eiffel tower made me feel like I was on cloud nine.

During the week I went to school in a castle and took a train from my host mom’s house to school. I found that I enjoyed leaving the castle during the week to go to coffee shops. I liked having the opportunity to be surrounded by people that live in Luxembourg and be immersed in the culture.

The next weekend, I went to Ireland and that’s when I truly fell in love with a foreign country. As I flew into Ireland and saw the sea of green I felt a huge sense of comfort. When I landed and I started to walk around the quaint city of Kilarney I was in heaven. The next day we explored the countryside, climbed up large hills that felt like mountains, saw a castle and went on a wonderful boat ride. Through this whole experience, I had a hard time comprehending the beauty I was seeing. In addition, the people in Ireland that I encountered made me feel so at ease. While I was hiking I felt so happy and at peace. It’s inspiring to know that my ancestors were from such a beautiful and humble place filled with down to earth people. I hope to go back someday with my family.

There are so many more places and things that I experienced while studying abroad for a full semester. This included visiting a total of 13 countries, volunteering at a local international school, getting to meet the U.S ambassador of Luxembourg, eating many croissants, and making friendships to last a lifetime. I recommend studying abroad to anybody who is considering it. It might seem scary and intimidating and often times it is at first. However, you learn how to overcome the fear and in doing so it boosts your self-confidence. All of these experiences I will keep with me for the rest of my life and they changed so much of how I see everything. I can’t wait to see where my new perspective of the world takes me and I hope to never stop adventuring.