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University Groningen, the Netherlands

Blog entry No. 8 - My beloved Groningen

Fri, 5 Feb 2016 | Universität Groningen

“Get out while the going’s good” is what you hear all the time but nevertheless it was harder for me to leave than I had expected. It’s not only the city I have taken into my heart but also all the special people that I came to know and love during these six months.

Sometimes friendships have developed from chance meetings, sometimes people have just crossed my path for a short time, but it has always been an absolutely unique and unforgettable experience. This half year has passed so quickly that I still can't quite realize that my suitcases are already packed and that I'm - not really - ready to go home.

Especially the last few weeks flew by and I tried to make as many more new experiences as possible. I could play out my penchant for trips in the Netherlands and visited the cheese towns Gouda and Dordrecht. The weather could have been better, but what could be nicer than a goodbye with a good portion of wind, rain and coldness? :)

The last few weeks I really enjoyed every single moment to the full extent and yet it always stung me when I said goodbye to my friends. Many good friends from Taiwan or South Korea will travel around Europe for another month until they finally fly back to the other end of the world. Of course we say that we will stay in contact and visit each other – but WHEN? A goodbye forever or just for a few months? I guess you can never know. Even though the probability is quite small I am positive about it. After all, you always meet twice. ;)

Already since last summer I had planned to visit the most beautiful island in the Netherlands "Schiermoonikog" for a weekend.

Unfortunately I couldn’t make it and, admittedly, I was a little disappointed. It’s not possible to execute all your plans, but as luck would have it, I was able to organize the trip spontaneously with my friend and take the ferry to the island. Light fog was wafting over the dunes and completely covered parts of the green meadows and lakes. I seldom have felt such peace and serenity. No tourists... only this indescribable landscape and of course your bike. :)

During the last week many of my friends asked me which city I liked best or which moments and impressions were most formative for me. What should I answer?

For me there is no short, concise answer to this question, because everything that has happened has made me look at things differently. I got to know other cultures, extended my social contacts to the whole world, got a completely different point of view and evolved during this whole process. Sometimes you don't even notice how you have changed and then at the end you realize that you know see many things from a completely different perspective.

Groningen is characterized by all the students that represent the flair of Groningen. This is exactly what makes this northern city so incredibly exciting. It can never get boring, because you always discover something new. For me Groningen was and is my home. Because “at home” for me is where I feel comfortable, where I have friends who are always behind me and on who I can count on. I found such people during my semester abroad and therefore I cannot be happier to have made exactly this decision. Even though the Netherlands may seem rather inconspicuous to many, there is so much joie de vivre, humanity and development potential in this small country so that once you've developed a liking for it, it's hard to get away from it.

It breaks my heart to have to leave, but I know that it will not be a farewell forever. The date for my next visit is already set!

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