Hejsa venner/hallo Fruende, it’s been a little time without a blog post, but it’s safe to say that I haven’t been up to nothing. In the past three months, I have flown back from Denmark to Minnesota, attempted to adapt in Minnesota, and moved to Germany.
You may be wondering why exactly I would do this. I am aware that it is very common to stick in one’s home country for their undergraduate degree, especially in the United States. I can promise you that I thought this decision through thoroughly, and don’t doubt it the slightest bit.
A while back, I heard that tuition was free for foreigners in Germany, and I did some research on the internet about the programs that were offered. It turned out that there was one program that I really wanted, and it just happened to be located in Flensburg, a town that is awfully close to the Danish border.
I went on exchange in Denmark, absolutely loved it, and realized that I wanted to become a journalist. Journalists do not make a lot of money, and going to college in Germany would be much cheaper. Flensburg is an affordable place to live and my program has no tuition. I could learn German and Russian, but still have the chance to speak Danish at some places.
These reasons all contributed to my desire to go to Germany, but when it came down to it, I felt a strong sense that my time in Europe was far from over. One of the best ways to start on a path that will hopefully lead to a career in Europe is to go to college in Europe.
I knew that this process would be a bit more complicated than going to college in the US, and I wasn’t wrong. Getting matriculated was a bit complicated, and the process of applying for a visa isn’t the most straight forward thing. It turns out that moving to a new country is pretty exhausting. However, I will choose being exhausted and overwhelmed in Germany over a relaxing day at university in Minnesota every time. This is the place where I am meant to be right now.
Following my intuition and going to university here paid off. I absolutely love this program that I am, European Cultures and Society, and I will be able to focus and do projects in journalism. This program will give me a political and cultural perspective of Europe while in Europe, and I do believe that I will go with the society path in this program. I decided to start Russian courses, which are taught in German, which makes it extra confusing and provides more German exposure. As of now, I am hoping that I can study abroad in Russia, with a program offered by my university.
The people I have encountered have been nothing short of wonderful. I may have moved to a new country, but I am far from alone. I have been lucky enough to meet some fantastic people right away, ones that I know that I will be friends with for a long time. My German friends want to help me learn German and help me adapt to German culture. I’ve gotten to do some exploring with the international community on campus, and seen a castle in Glücksburg and had a city tour of Hamburg. There has been potlucks for both my study program and the international students, and I have found that no one will ever complain if I make chocolate chip cookies.
I am so happy to be back in Europe. Getting to have my dad come and visit Denmark for a short time was a surreal experience. Coming back to Denmark felt like coming back back home, being with my host siblings felt like I was complete again. I felt like I finally had found my place when I started classes here. It’s all coming together in the unnatural way it has all been playing out.
I may miss Denmark a bit, but it is my time to adapt to everything that Flensburg has to offer. This harbor town, a small city of beautiful old buildings, known the famous Flensburger beer, a place where you can buy great fish sandwiches – is my home for the next three years. I couldn’t be more happy about my decision to be in this beautiful town, and never have I felt a stronger sense that I should be somewhere.
*here are some pictures that sum up my time in Minnesota and coming back*
I got to meet Princess Frieda, our adorable new shelter dog, and became rather close to her within the two months. It was not fun leaving her.
I went to the Central States Rotary Youth Exchange Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the pizza on the way back might have been the best part.
I had Zorbaz pizza and Long Bridge’s wings again, within good company of course.
I got to see Megan and her dogs again!! She, Daisy, and Bodhi all remembered me, even if Bear might have forgotten.
I met Leon, the German exchange student who is in Detroit Lakes this year, and went out on the lake for the first time with Germans who were speaking German. To put it in Leon’s words, it wasn’t bad.
Then Zosia arrived from Poland, and I got to know two wonderful exchange students and show them the glorious sights of the area – Dunton Locks, the World’s Largest Turkey Statue, and the World’s Largest Loon Statue. We had a mild car accident together that while a little scary, was slightly entertaining for Leon (no one was hurt).
I spent my last week camping in Jay Cooke State Park with my dear friend Dorothy. It was a very memorable last weekend, and I wouldn’t have wanted to do it any other way.
I went back to Denmark with my dad, and life was alright again.
To finish it off, here is a picture of the beautiful town I live in now. I am looking forward to three more years here.