By: Lenelle Jordan Kutzner, University of Victoria, winner of the 2017 Stories from Abroad Scholarship.
By: Alice (Ruo Ran) Wang, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, winner of the 2017 Stories from Abroad Scholarship.
I am sitting on the train heading to a small town in Germany called Kassel. The quinquennial contemporary art festival—documenta—is taking place there and as a budding art historian, it is imperative that I visit it during my artistic pilgrimage. After two weeks in Paris, I am looking forward to being in a smaller city. Big cities have their glamour and dynamics, but it is in the countryside that we find the space and air to breath.
After seeing eight countries and eighteen different cities, I am finally back in Vancouver. I was quite sad to say goodbye to my apartment, friends, and my favorite city, Berlin. It was definitely a mixed feeling between excitement to see my family, especially my brother whom I had not seen for two years and his new wife; and sadness at leaving Berlin.
Today I finished the last exam of my study abroad semester. I have three more weeks in the lovely city of Berlin and I can’t help but have all types of strong emotions. In Berlin, I found out who I really am, what I’m looking for, what I can’t stand, and what I wish to have. In Berlin, I found out what true happiness is. Most importantly, in Berlin, I found out how amazing it is to have a simple life.
You know the phrase: ‘be careful what you wish for’? Well, on my study abroad program I definitely learned that it’s one very true statement. Before coming to Berlin when people asked me why I chose Berlin and why I decided to go study abroad, I always answered the same thing: I want to grow, I want to learn, I don’t want to be dependent on my parents, I want to not live somewhere where I am so incredibly comfortable, and most importantly, I want to get out of my comfort zone.