OH MY GOODNESS. Look - European stuff! I'm such a tourist. . . . time passes . . . Wait, I do cultural things. I am so a native!
Okay, so maybe my experience on exchange cannot be condensed as such but I bet everyone out there who has studied abroad knows exactly what I'm talking about - that transition from awkward stranger to more self-assured resident. What study abroad really has meant to me cannot be put into words, but I am going to try my darndest anyway. It's been countless hours of travel, numerous firsts, 27 cities, 10 airports, 6 castles, 3 official hikes, 2 restless nights on trains, and one unforgettable experience. I wish I could list all the people I've met and what each one of them has taught me but after my lengthy castle post - I don't think any of you are interested in reading another epic. Plus, I might start crying and I don't want to call the attention of airport security. So to all the people I met, I must simply say thank you and leave it at that.
At its core, however, study abroad isn't just about the places you traveled, the people you met, or an Eat. Pray. Love. - esque journey to self-discovery. I still have time to figure out exactly who I am (I hope!) but what I have discovered during my months in Switzerland is my inner strength. Between the lonely nights, longing for Chipotle, missing family, and language barriers, study abroad is a stressful ball of tangled emotions that leaves you feeling high one moment and oh so low the next. Learning to cope with change in every single aspect of my life has taught me that I have more mental fortitude than I thought. And that the highs in life are most definitely worth the lows.
I'll miss Switzerland and even though I'm still technically in the country, I already want to come back. You'll see me again, Sankt Gallen!
|Can't believe this is the view I will have again soon!|
Until next time, friends.