No, my name is not Bilbo Baggins and I`m not from Hobbiton. My name is Haroula and I am from Greece, where I have studied translation for the past four years. In order to graduate from my school’s translation department, we have to spend a semester in the UK or Germany to practice the language and learn the culture. I am currently in Germany for one semester and I am writing this small article about my so far experience here.
Let me note here that the Greeks are not the adventure types of people who leave their country to go and live in a different place. They will need to have a good reason for doing so, like no jobs (as is the case now) or education. As a typical Greek, it was really hard for me as well to leave my comfort zone and go to Germany for one semester.
October 6th I was on the plane along with 11 other students from my university. I arrived at the place where I would be staying and unpacked full of thoughts and mixed feelings. October 7th. Mixed feelings, gone. Just joy and satisfaction by breathing a whole different air.
The town where I am staying is small, but beautiful. Nature everywhere, beautiful buildings, new things that I was so longing to see! In an instant all the negativity turned into creativity! Speaking a new language, communicating with people that have a totally different background than yours and a university that I loved from the first time I sat in the classroom! I found out that learning is not just sitting in a classroom but learning another culture, making the most of everything you have and jump into experiences that you would have done before! If this semester was not mandatory, I would still be in Greece. I was a person who loved my comfort zone more than anything.
Although the town is very small, the university is like a multilingual society. People speak at least three languages each and the university offers more than 10 languages. I had the privilege of meeting people from all around the world to see what it`s like to live outside of Greece.
I am pretty sure that there are people like me out there. Who are afraid to venture out of their comfort zone, who might not want to do things because they think they will fail or because they just “don`t want to.”
If I can do it, be here and enjoy it so much, then you can do it too. I am now thankful that I was “forced” to spend a semester out of my country. I`ll be going home a whole new person and see life from another perspective. Don`t get me wrong. There are some things that are quite challenging – but yes, this is part of the fun as well.
I want to encourage you to do things you never thought you would do. God put us all here for a reason and He made all these beautiful things on the earth for us to enjoy! Everything happens for a reason. I finally learned that when life gives you lemons, make a lemonade and don’t ask for oranges.
I was like Bilbo, who had a nice routine, wouldn’t change it for the world but then was “forced” to go on a journey with dwarves that he barely knew! In the end, he didn’t want to go back home!