an ability to see the world

If you are presented with an opportunity to study abroad, do it, because studying abroad introduces you to a world unseen by many. There really is a world out there that can offer you a wealth of possibilities. I am coming upon my final weeks of my five month experience abroad. Not only have I met amazing people in my host city and university, I have been given the chance to immerse myself in cultures and societies throughout Europe. Every city offers a different, yet amazing, perspective on life. This perspective, however, lends itself to a familiar sense of purpose and things of which to aspire.

 

Take chances and find new experiences
Take chances and find new experiences

Before even setting out upon my time abroad, I was trying desperately to rein in my lengthy list of top travel destinations. Yes, I understood that studying was to be priority number one; however, the rest of Europe would now be within arm’s reach. I could now see things I always dreamt of while scouring the pages of my art history texts and notes. The biggest hurdle that lay before me was in meticulously identifying and planning all available travel options throughout Europe.

 

Venice at night during an unusually high tide
Venice at night during an unusually high tide

There are so many means of transportation: bus, plane, train, and ride-share. And of course with each of these, you have individual companies within each city, region, and country. You can find cheap bus travel, but would you rather save a day and fly instead of being cooped on a train for 7+ hours? Of course this means that you might need to spring for the more expensive fare. Regardless, transportation in Europe is far more diverse and prevalent than anything I’ve seen or experienced in the States.

 

Visiting Italy quickly became a must - so beautiful
Visiting Italy quickly became a must – so beautiful

Currently studying in Germany, I have identified several “fare-saver” options through using the Deutsche Bahn Card and Mitfahrgelegenheit.com. These are all sites anyone should frequent when studying in Germany. And what if you’re not in Germany? No problem. I would highly encourage visiting Rome2Rio.com for a quick overview of transportation options between cities and countries of your choice.

 

Traveling via train through Rheinland-Pfalz of Germany
Traveling via train through Rheinland-Pfalz of Germany

For me, however, train travel is my favorite means of transportation. Sitting on a train from my host city of Trier to Munich was a breeze, despite it taking me 6+ hours to reach my destination. Train travel gives you the best way to see the countryside in Germany. I could gush about the Mosel Valley and its castle ruins nestled atop rolling hills. I could also tell you about all of the quaint and picturesque villages you’ll see along the way, but I simply cannot. It’s so difficult to explain the pure beauty of what I’ve seen while sitting by my second class window. The only way to understand it is to see it for yourself. This is why traveling while studying abroad is so important to gain a well-rounded education.

Traveling home to Trier via train
Traveling home to Trier via train