Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Journey's End...

It is simple not possible that three months have come and gone so quickly.  It feels like just last week Natalie, our awesome coordinator, was picking us up from the airport in Frankfurt.  I have experienced so much in my time in Europe - how do I sum it all up in mere words?  I have met so many people from all walks of life either in the program, at the university, or from my travels.  I have learned a great deal about the history, politics, and culture of France, Germany and many other parts of Europe.  From eating amazing food in Greece to fearing for my life in a crazy car-ride through the Lithuanian countryside I have enjoyed every minute of it!

I have learned more than I thought was possible about European Politics - who knew there were so many institutions...  While it can be confusing at times, read Europe in 12 Lessons by Pascal Fontaine (it's a life saver), they have done a pretty amazing thing here.  In an area that has been plagued with countless wars the forefathers of the European Union decided that enough was enough.  They devised a system that has led to lasting peace since World War II.  While the EU faces some hefty challenges in the wake of the sovereign debt crisis the mere fact that France and Germany have been at peace for over sixty years is accomplishment enough to call this grand experiment a success and so the dream lives on.    

Before this program, I was lucky enough to have already led a pretty interesting life.  From my time in the military to traveling the globe I have done and seen some amazing things, but I can honestly say that this has been one of the best experiences of my life so far.  I for one am walking away a richer, fuller person and I am so grateful I was able to take part in this program.

Goodbye for now France, and merci beaucoup for an amazing journey!

Nick Gwinn     

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