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.
I feel truly blessed to have had the chance to do my study abroad the final year of my studies because it changed my life for the better and it opened my eyes to possibilities for the future.
In the last four months I visited fifteen cities and eight countries. I met hundreds of people from different cultures and backgrounds and shared beautiful memories with people from all over the world. This is something that I’d always dreamed of doing and finally my dreams all came true – it seemed like a movie.
While this all may seem exaggerated, I’m not even fully expressing how I truly feel. The love I have for the city of Berlin and for this experience is something that I will never forget. Moreover, the most important and beautiful thing that happened on this trip was the amount of love and respect I discovered for myself, as well as the sense of independence I’ve gained. It’s amazing how much I’ve enjoyed travelling by myself, going out by myself … sitting outside a café and thinking about all of my adventures and my bright future.
Having said that, I’ve even gained a name over this trip: #RoyaTheExplorer. No other name could better explain my journey here. Since my journey began, I’ve been exploring cultures, people, behaviors, norms, languages, and even how business is done in different cities in Europe. It’s safe to say that my whole experience here has been full of education, history, and love.
Likewise, I’ve become friends with people that I know will stay in my life for a very long time; and I connected with some very talented people who have taught me so much about life and beauty.
Finally, I’m glad I went through the toughest six weeks of my life in the beginning; because I believe that it’s due to those difficult times that I came to appreciate the smallest and simplest things that followed afterwards. The fact that I didn’t give up and kept positive throughout – and then to have all these amazing experiences afterwards – that was the biggest lesson.
By: Roya Firoozbakhsh, winner of the Stories from Abroad: British Columbia Study Abroad Scholarship