The End: Semester One

I am sitting in the ISA office with six other students. Momentarily, we´ll be learning how to make Liege waffles with that magical pearl sugar. In 40 minutes, I have my last final at Vesalius College.

Last night, I went out on the town for the last time with other American students. There was a monstrous beer selection, an even more monstrous platter of absinthe shots, electro-swing dancing, killer kebabs and jazzy relaxation for the morning metro ride home.

Tonight is the Vesalius Winter Ball, with a fancy three-course dinner at the fanciest hotel in Brussels, and an all-night after-party with some 100 international students. It´ll be filled with awkwardly permanent goodbyes, because when am I realistically ever going to see that kid from Norway or that kid from Brazil again? Likely never.

The semester is over. And as a study abroad student staying for a full year, I feel real strange with all these goodbyes. Everyone should just stay here! With me!  Seeing my school´s population in January, with 200 fresh students, will be surreal and probably uncomfortable.

But I´m not thinking about that too much. This week has been a whirlwind with normal, constant studying for exams, and then saying goodbyes and doing things for ´the last time´with people. Then I´ve been slowly packing and moving, as I´m switching homestays next semester. And then there´s this whole 5-week winter break I´ve been struggling to adequately plan.

I´ll be backpacking through snow — a sight I haven´t really seen since I was seven — for two weeks. I won´t be blogging. So here is your warning, so that you concerned readers know I´m (probably) alive despite inactivity in the virtual world.

I´m flying into Vienna on Sunday morning. I´m exploring the city´s quintessential advent season for a few hours before boarding a train to Salzburg. Then there will be Munich. Then there will be Prague, for Christmas, in an unknown location with unknown sleeping arrangements — queue thrill and adventure and self-discovery. Then there will be Bratislava, and Vienna again. And then Brussels, and then blogging.

Happy holidays everyone.

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