Ich habe mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren.
Ich habe mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren.
Totsiens means “goodbye” in Afrikaans, but I suppose “until next time” is what I’m really hoping for. These past couple of weeks have been absolutely amazing. Due to frantically finishing class assignments and then an incredible Garden Route Tour around the southern coastline (without my laptop or much wifi), I’ve neglected posting a bit. Hopefully this can sum everything up well. I finished my Philosophy and Ethics class with no trouble. It was quite interesting learning about different philosophical viewpoints like Utilitarianism and Deontology and tackling some controversial debate topics with these perspectives in mind. I’m really enjoying the open-book exams and 3-page final papers; wish my classes were always like that!
I am currently sitting in the Copenhagen airport waiting to hear the outcome of my standby status. Apparently the city didn’t want to let me go! At this moment though home is the only place I want to be. I have missed my family and friends so much and I cannot wait to see them when I finally get off the plane in Vancouver. Other than that the only thing I have missed about the states is the lack of pressure to be doing something every moment. It will be so nice to get to relax at home.
I will miss Copenhagen, and Europe in total so much. I will miss the air and the atmosphere. I will miss the cobblestone streets of Copenhagen and the graffiti-ed walls of Berlin. Interestingly, something I will miss the most about being abroad is hearing all the different languages. I have loved the white noise of people speaking, but not understanding them. I also will definitely miss the hotdogs!
I do not think that I was abroad long enough to experience reverse culture shock when I get back since I wasn’t fully immersed in my host culture.I see this as both a good and bad thing. I wish I could have been there longer, but it will be nice to go back with not struggles except jetlag. I almost immediately go back to work so I think throwing myself into the real world will help quite a bit with the sadness and any reverse culture shock I may have.
I have added many of my friends of social media and plan to keep up with their lives moving forward. I have met some wonderful people and I wish them all the very best in their lives. I have learned a lot about myself and being a global citizen while abroad and I can’t wait to bring that back with me. I have learned so much about identity and personal biases and how we can better deal with them and create a more inclusive world. I hope to influence others to think of the world as their home.
I think that in coming home, I might experience a bit of reverse culture shock. I feel that I have grown a lot as a person and as a teacher. One thing that will be interesting to readjust to will be eating all of my meals with a fork instead chopsticks and a spoon. I’m not overly concerned about reverse culture shock as I have maintained connections with my family and friends back home but I will have to wait and see how or if reverse culture shock will really affect me and to what degree. I’m hoping that this blog as well as the reflections that I kept during my teaching will support me in both sharing my experiences and transitioning back into my home culture. I also took many pictures to document my daily life so that I can share this experience with both my family and my friends.
In order to keep my study abroad experience as a key factor in my life, I hope to continue to foster the relationships that I have developed here both in professional relationships I have made in the school and the more personal relationships that I have maintained with family of my friends in the United States. I also hope that in the next 5-10 years I can return to Korea and teach again. There are many programs to facilitate this within Korea. I think that it would be a great way to continue to grow as both an educator and as a person. I also hope to continue to develop my Korean language skill. I am able to read Hangul (written Korean) and I can understand a small amount of what I read. I can also understand more that is said to me particularly in regards to food but I am not particularly skilled at speaking or writing Korean. My productive skills are lacking but I would hope that by the time that I might return to Korea my skills would improve a bit! I also plan to find ways to incorporate what I have learned particularly about English language learners in my school into my own future classroom and to use that knowledge to better my skill as a teacher.
Korea and the United states have several things in common but there are a lot of things that are different. There are things I can get and do in the United States that I cannot get or do here as well, there are things I can get and do here that I cannot get or do easily in the United States.
One week left. I knew it would fly by, but why didn’t anyone tell me just how quickly? I’m just now getting really acquainted with my life in London, and now I have to say goodbye to it. But, no matter how sad I am, and how weird it will be to return home, I can’t deny that I’m looking forward to the moment I land in Seattle. I miss my family and friends, and the familiarity of my hometown, and the way I can guilelessly watch TV in my living room without feeling like I should be out doing something. God, I miss The Bachelor.
Are you excited about study abroad, but stressed about navigating your housing situation – before you leave, while you are away, or when you return to WWU?
We are here to tell you that it IS possible to work out housing during the school year and that you are NOT limited to only summer programs. Education Abroad, University Residences & Off Campus Living are here to help you navigate your housing situation with resources and tips!
With finals completed, some friends having already left for home, and my metro passes running out- the end of my time in Barcelona is officially closing in and I am having a hard time leaving. My month in Spain has been unparalleled, a cultural experience that surpassed any preconceived expectations. Living in an entirely new place truly helped me gain a different perspective on life.
Remember when I started my blog counting the weeks as they went by? Now I have to say. . . I have less than one week left until I move out of my dorm room. I am certainly having some bittersweet feelings. I’m thankful I get to stay a few extra weeks in Korea through.
I only have one more month left in Chile. I have never really had to leave behind so much before. In Seattle I have lived in the same house since I was a baby. I may have graduated through the Seattle school system, but my friends and everyone I knew were always in the same city as me. If I wanted I could reunite with them and even sometimes just run into them during a normal day. Though I have finished things the people and places were always accessible. Now I am discovering a very strange sensation of true disconnection. True, I can use technology to talk with my friends and family in Chile, but it really won’t be the same. Even if I return to Chile the other foreign exchanges students will be scattered across the globe.
Now, this sounds as if I am becoming homesick for my new home already. The fact is I am excited to return home to Seattle, and I am sad I am leaving Chile but I plan on taking part of the wonderful country with me. Through my spanish, pictures, my diary, my memories and moments of reflection with friends I made here I can find my Chilean home. It will be yet another gift of maturity Chile has given me. Something more to grow from.
So what does one do with a limited time left in a far away paradise? I already feel very satisfied with my time, nothing feels wasted. So what do I do? There are so many possibilities, but for now I believe it will be best to spend it with the people and the city of Valparaiso.