Before heading back to the states at the end of this month, I am setting off on my last, and most ambitious, European adventure so far this weekend. It’s an Interrail trip, covering 8 countries in 16 days. I have two friends from the states who are making the journey across the Atlantic to travel with me. Our post-graduation Europe trip looks like this:
- Days 1 & 2: Paris, France
- Day 3: Zurich, Switzerland
- Days 4 & 5: Vienna, Austria
- Day 6: Bratislava, Slovakia
- Days 7-9: Budapest, Hungary
- Days 10 & 11: Zagreb, Croatia
- Day 12: Ljubljana, Slovenia
- Day 13 & 14: Venice, Italy
- Day 15: Milan, Italy
- Day 16: Travel day –> Milan, Italy back to Reims, France
I am so excited for this trip and cannot wait for all of the adventures that happen along the way!
After months and months of work, I turned my thesis in yesterday!
Regardless of the grade I get on it, I am extremely proud of all of the work I’ve done. Fall semester my sophomore year at Elon, I took a French Literature class. The final for this class was a 5 page paper analyzing a short french book that we read. The night before it was due, I remember writing it in my dorm room stressed out of my mind because the paper was in French. Since it was exam time, there was a 24 hour quite policy in the dorm room, but someone had decided to host a game night in the common room…which was right outside of my dorm. Needless to say, that did not help my stress levels and my roommate was kind enough to go sassily ask them to be quite because I was writing a paper in a foreign language.
Fast forward 2.5 years to now, when I’ve turned in a 70+ page, 25,000 word thesis in French. Writing a short, 5 page paper in French seems like a breeze now that I’ve finished my thesis. It’s hard to believe that I was once so stressed about a short assignment and it’s even crazier to think of how much I’ve changed and grown these past 2 years in France. I’ve very proud of everything I’ve accomplished during my time in France. And, hey, if I can write a 70 page thesis in French, I can do just about anything. Thanks so much to everyone who has supported me throughout my time here! I couldn’t have done it without your support.
Finishing my thesis also means that I am one step closer to graduation. But, while the hardest part is behind me, I’m not quite done yet. I have one more exam and the oral defense of my thesis to pass before I’m done. But, there’s only 14 more days until my oral defense and last exam will be finished and 45 days until I’m flying home. I’m almost there! 🙂
Today marks the beginning of the end of my undergraduate experience, with the last day of class. This semester has flown by, and the end of classes shows just how quickly the end is approaching. I can count the number of weeks and assignments I have left on one hand. Only 1 projet, 1 thesis, 1 retake, 1 thesis defense, and 5 weeks stand between me and finishing my degrees. I’m not quite done yet, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and am looking forward to finishing strong.
So much has changed since our first day of classes (including the name of our school), but I am so glad that I’ve gotten to share this experience with these girls. I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished these past 2 years. It’s been a great experience with lots of challenges, but also many wonderful adventures along the way.
My last few weeks of college are going to fly by, especially if they go by as fast as the rest of this semester has. I look forward to making the most of theses last few weeks of college, celebrating the end of undergrad and all that we have accomplished, and soaking up my remaining time in France. 🙂
After a short train ride from Hamburg, we arrived at the final stop of our trip, Berlin. Our first day there, we took another free walking tour of the city. It was a great tour that helped us get oriented in the city and see some of the major sites, including the Berlin Wall, the Holocaust Memorial, and the Bradenburg Gate.
The second day was a Monday, so all of the museums in the city were closed. Instead of seeing more of the city, we decided to take a tour of the nearby concentration camp, Saxenhausen. It was a good, but hard day. I’m glad that I was able to visit a camp in person and learn more about what happened during the holocaust.
And then, all too soon, our time in Germany came to close. We ended the trip in Reims. I showed Ben the cathedral, my school, and we went champagne tasting at Taittinger. It was the a great, and relaxing, end to our trip. 🙂
Did you miss any of the posts about our trip? Catch up here!
My brother, Ben, get’s here tomorrow and I cannot wait to see him! 🙂 He’s never been to Europe before and can’t wait to show him around and explore some new cities together. Here’s what the next 12 days look like for us:
- Ben arrives in Paris, France and we spend 2 days sight seeing
- Take the train to Brussels, Belgium and spend 2 days there
- The next train will take us to the Netherlands where we’ll spend another 2 days in Amsterdam
- After a quick morning trip, we’ll be in Germany where we’ll spend with next 4 days, starting with 2 days in Hamburg
- Up next, another train that will take us to Berlin for our last 2 days in Germany
- Another flight, this time back to France where we’ll fly into Paris and then take a train to Reims
- Spend 1.5 days exploring Reims, France
- Ben flies back to the USA
We’ve packed a lot into this trip, but it allows us to see as much as we can in the short amount of time we have. I’m really excited for this trip and am looking forward to seeing more of Europe!
I bought my one way ticket back to this USA last weekend. I know that this is my last semester of college and my last semester in France, but knowing the date I’m leaving and having a plane ticket makes everything seem so much more real. But, I’m still here until the end of June and plan on making the most of the time I have left 🙂
This semester, I’m taking one class at a time, like winter term at Elon. I have 1 class down and 5 more to go. The class I’m taking right now is Project Management. For the class, we have to plan a project and my group’s planning a month-long trip in Southern Asia. The project is so much fun to work on and is making me want to travel to Asia asap. Unfortunately, that trip will have to wait until I have a bit more time to travel, but hopefully that won’t be too long! In the meantime, I plan on seeing as much of Europe as I can–starting with the trip I’m taking with my brother. In just a couple of weeks, we’ll be visiting 4 countries in 12 days and I cannot wait!
And, lastly, a mini catch up of some traveling I did in December! Before heading home for Christmas Break, I took a day trip to visit the Christmas Markets in Strasbourg and a weekend trip to Paris. It was so nice to be able to take some time to travel and relax after exams! Pictures below 🙂
Week one of exams is complete! Only 2 more days and 3 more exams to go.
Counting down the days and hours until Tuesday at noon when my last exam ends is both terrifying and exciting. Terrifying, because I have soooo much to learn in the next days, but exciting because I’m almost done with the semester. Plus, there is a good chance that this is my last official final exam period. Ever. Next semester we only take one class at a time (similar to winter term at Elon, but for a whole semester) and exams will be at the end of each class and I do not have any immediate plans to go back to school. Either way, it’s the last one of my undergraduate career. And it’ll be over in 3 days. Crazy.
For the past week, I have done nothing but sit on the couch, in my room, at a coffee shop, or at the library studying (except for the time I spend procrastinating…). So, I don’t have any exciting stories or travels to share, but here are a few interesting articles that I’ve come across this semester. Just a little food for thought and perhaps some inspiration or a study break for everyone else who’s struggling through finals week one cup of coffee at a time.
7 Strange Questions That Help You Find Your Life Purpose: http://markmanson.net/life-purpose
10 Things that Change One You’ve Lived Overseas: http://takingroute.net/2014/09/22/10-things-that-change-once-youve-lived-overseas/
The Thing No One Tells You About Traveling: http://thoughtcatalog.com/allison-pardys/2014/04/the-thing-no-one-tells-you-about-traveling/
51 Quotes to Inspire Success in Your Life and Business: http://www.inc.com/jayson-demers/51-quotes-to-inspire-success-in-your-life-and-business.html?cid=sf01002
And just for fun: Flash Mob : The U.S. Air Force Band at the Smithsonian: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cKE8pyfcZc