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Visiting vs Living

11/06/2013 - 08:33-0 Comments by | canada flag

Last summer was my third visit to Europe; I had previously travelled to Italy and then France on family trips for periods of no more than a couple weeks. Obviously there were differences between the different countries I have travelled to, but the experiences I had in Germany were quite unique from my other experiences in Europe; this is because I had the fantastic opportunity to actually live in Germany.

My previous trips to Europe allowed me to experience the wonder of historical landmarks, stereotypical food, and a tiny slice of culture. I found that these trips allowed me to obtain a glimpse of what Italy and France have to offer, but a very incomplete picture; however I didn’t realize this until last summer.

The experience of living in a foreign country is so incredibly different and more refreshing than spending a couple weeks in a hotel in a different country. Actually living in Germany allowed me to experience the country from an insider’s perspective, where I learned some of the social rules, a bit of the language, and a bit of culture and history. Another difference is that like many who visit foreign countries for a few weeks on vacation, I came back from my first two trips to Europe feeling like I was some kind of minor “expert” on the country 😛 . However, upon leaving Germany I felt like there was so much more for me to learn about this wonderful country! Lastly, living in a foreign country has a unique experience that doesn’t come with only a short trip; feeling like that place is another home. It became quite natural for me to refer to my room in Rostock as my home because that is what it became; similarly, when the time to leave Rostock came I was quite sad and emotional, and I do continue to miss Germany from time to time. I haven’t felt that way about any other place except my home in Canada.

Thus, I feel that there is a major advantage to living as opposed to touring in another country when experiencing a new country. After finishing my internship many months ago, I have spent some time trying to find future opportunities to once again live in a foreign country and experience a new culture in the best way possible!  🙂

Tags: English Blog Post, Everyday Life, Society & Culture

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