The worldwide Augustana College experience

On the Way Out

Today is my last full day in Wittenberg. I can’t say it’s been eventful, but I’ve had some time to reflect. I packed up my things for a good part of the day. Then I went for a run and finally climbed a really steep hill I’d been looking to climb for a couple weeks (really soft, sandy slopes and forgetting exactly where it was hindered earlier efforts). Once I reached the top I looked out over the landscape of the outer Wittenberg area. I could see the Schlosskirche, the Stadtkirche and everything in between. (I later got lost in a densely wooded forest, which makes one appreciate even more the view one has from a high point). It was pleasant.

As I stood at the top of the hill looking over Wittenberg, I thought about the fact that I would probably never stand in that same place again. After over 2 months in the same place, a thought like that really hits home. I’m still not going back to America for a week and a half, but leaving what I’ve called home for the past couple months almost feels the same way it did when I left Illinois for Germany. It’s weird how that works.

I’ve rediscovered a lot of things about myself that I had forgotten and some things I didn’t know about myself at all. I believe I have become more confident and adventurous. I think that happens when you have to try to communicate a point to someone in a foreign language; suddenly communicating making a speech in English is not that hard, nor is it intimidating. I’ve become more adventurous and outgoing. When you have so much free time in a foreign country, you have to push yourself to talk to people in order to get something out of it. The shame of it is, I feel like there is still more improvement to be had. Damn these short trimesters…

I’ve formed relationships here that I won’t ever be able to forget. My host family has been great and I almost think of them as actual family after only such a short time. I can’t say I’ve made a great number of friends while here, but the few new ones I have made count for more than I could have ever predicted. Unfortunately it is time to leave the fantasy that has been studying abroad to return to the grind of real school work and applying to graduate school.

Tomorrow is Reformationsfest (large celebration in Wittenberg for the anniversary of something specifically Lutheran, but I’ve forgotten what exactly. I think I have a Luther overload at this point) and then a train to Berlin to see my uncle. Then I leave for Vienna on Monday. This could be my last post from Europe but I’ll try to squeeze in one more. Bis spaeter, meine Freunde!

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