april travels through europe

So every time I write a new post I remember how many months I have left. It's only one more now...But I know I'll live in Germany again! My plan: I'm going to study at UC Berkeley, but I'll spend one year studying abroad at RWTH University in my host city Aachen or the Technical University in Munich or Berlin. Studying abroad at one of these tech universities = living in Germany again (!) and saving money because tuition here is so cheap.

But that's a little while off from now. So what have I recently done?? During the two-week-long spring break, I visited England, France, Switzerland, and Southern Germany. I was in Cornwall, England with my best friend Karla and her parents. It was SUCH an adventurous, exciting, and crazy time. We were jogging every morning along the beach and coast; trekking and exploring through mud and heavy winds; and getting soaked by two-story-high waves spilling on the port. We also visited an island only accessible to pedestrians during low tide, checked out a sheep farm, and went surfing and horseback riding.

The second week my host family and I drove down to Colmar, a city in the Alsace region of France. Each morning, I went on a run around the city then picked up fresh, warm croissants for breakfast. We ate so well there. The FOOD, the WINE. So tasty. I understand the hype around French cuisine now. We also did a lot of day trips in the area, including to Basel in Switzerland and the Black Forest in Germany.

In high school, my goals were to maintain straight As, create art, and improve youth education in my city while balancing a social life. Quite academic -- school was the biggest priority. My exchange goals are more about enjoying my time with my friends and host family, cultural integration, and language fluency. A group of girls from school recently told me that I was the most integrated exchange student they've met, as I spend time with Germans, not other exchange students, and only speak German. That was so nice to hear. I'll be taking the B2 German intermediate-advanced test in September in San Francisco. Having this certificate will provide evidence of my advanced German skills for job applications.

So I was hardly even home during break. As soon we got back from France that Saturday night, I took the train to visit a friend in Bonn, the capital of West Germany during the Cold War. On Sunday we walked along the Rhine river. Bonn was another beautiful German city.

& Pics from my two vacations below!!