She’s fabulous, funny, and now fifteen. I really can’t believe how old she’s getting – it still seems like only yesterday that we were bringing my new baby sister back from the hospital and showing her around her new home.
Happy birthday, Jenny – I love you so-o-o much! Wish we were together to celebrate today, but we’ll just have to make up for it with even more celebrating when I get back from Prague. : )
This has been one of the most amazing times, and greatest of opportunities, of my life. I have absolutely loved my time spent abroad studying Germany and the European Union.
I had the great fortune to be able to travel to lots of different cities and countries this semester – sometimes with my study program and sometimes on my own. I spent so much time making all these great memories and the rest of my time cramming for school…. And sometimes, I didn’t get the chance to blog about it all.
SO! My plan for after I get to the US of A: finish blogging and fill in the gaps. There’s still a lot about study abroad and my experiences that I can’t wait to share with you guys! Stay tuned for….
It’s been finals week here in Freiburg, and I officially finished my last one today! It feels great to be done with all the exams, but my study abroad program still has one more big academic event….
The Model European Union Summit, 2011.
This weekend, all the students on my program are suiting up and stepping into character to represent EU member states in a simulation summit. We’re divided into two groups: Heads of Government and Foreign Ministers. And we’re all discussing hot topics facing Europe today, just like in the real EU.
I’m the foreign minister for Lithuania…
…and I’ll be talking about European Neighborhood Policy, European Enlargement, the new European External Action Service (EEAS), and Common Asylum/Refugee Policy.
Most of my time will be spent in this room:
It’ll be around 13 to 14 hours of debate, discussion, and compromise. The goal is to draft some legislation addressing those EU topics, but mostly we’re here to learn about the involved, complicated, and difficult process of meeting the needs of all European states.
It’s been sooo busy these past few days here in Freiburg! Everyone had a lot of projects, papers, and presentations due this week, which meant a lot of hours at the library and in the computer lab.
Last week, I went to Luxembourg, Brussels, and Paris to study institutions of the European Union and enjoy the sights of the cities. We met a lot of interesting people employed by the EU as well as experts from both economic and foreign policy think tanks. I can’t wait to post more about it asap! : )
In the meantime – here’s a photo from Brussels, Belgium….
That’s the St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral in the background. We got to spend about half an hour in a small park in front – enjoying the view and the unusually nice weather of Brussels that day.
I am sooo excited and grateful for the honor of being “Freshly Pressed” yesterday! Thank you, WordPress! And a big welcome, new visitors! I’m thrilled you’re here and appreciate your comments! : )
To answer some of your great questions about sledding in the Swiss Alps….
The sun on the Alps was definitely intense while glaring off the snow! This was something our coordinators had luckily given us the heads up about: bring sunglasses and plenty of sunblock. So I had on tons of sunscreen and fortunately didn’t get burned. It was so bright though – I was squinting even behind my sunglasses!
Sledding down for 5 miles wasn’t too scary, although you definitely needed to stay on the course and slow down for the turns! To hit the brakes, we just dug our feet down into the snow and it would slow us down. That made our feet and pants get covered with snow and totally wet by the time we got to the bottom.
It was really a can’t-miss experience! Such a fun day, and it was even more awesome than I could ever have anticipated!
I have a great window – a big door that lets in plenty of light and even opens up for some fresh air! : )
My study abroad program focuses on the history and institutions of the European Union. To go along with our classes, we are traveling to lots of places in the EU to see up close how the government and economics here all works. Next week, I’m heading out to Berlin and Prague to see the sights and the history of the cities. I’ll be away from the computer, but I’ll update with pictures and stories as soon as I get back home to Freiburg and back to my dorm in Germany!
It’s the last day of 2010! The beginning of 2011! Time to celebrate!
2010 was a great year…. hello, 2011! What are your plans for welcoming the new year?
As for me, I’m packing today! Jan 11, I’m flying out to Freiburg, Germany where I’m going to be studying this semester! And as I start to pack and organize everything for leaving, I’m feeling…
Mainly, I am really looking forward to all the ins and outs of another culture!
I know it’ll be a challenge, though. But I figure that’s just part of the authentic experience. Along with all the excitement and adventure, I’m expecting a few rough and tumble days — homesick, culture shock… but I think I’m up for it!