Alas, it is the end of the school year at Michigan Tech, and thus the end of my blogging. While Michigan Tech’s school year ends the last week of April, school is still in session at SLU until the first week of June! In the next two months I will be participating in various forestry related excursions in and around Sweden, such as: the Skättilljunga sawmill, a non-traditional oak forest in Blekinge, a non-traditional beech forest at Ryssberget, Söderåsen, a beech forest in Halland, and the Bialowieza National Park in Poland.
As I reread some of my entries, I am humbled by how lucky I have been – experiences, health, opportunities, traveling, friends, family, the list goes on. This time abroad has truly changed my life, from my confidence as a traveler to a more globally minded scientist, and everything in between. Though attempted through this blogging experience, words really cannot describe what I have experienced in the past year of my life.
I thought it would be fun to make a quick list of my favorite things in each country I have visited (thus far),while studying abroad:
- Finland: Free Education
- Switzerland: The Blend of Cultures/Languages
- Germany: The Art - Graffiti and Museums
- Scotland: The Highlands
- Lithuania: KGB Museum and History
- Latvia: Forestland and Local Medieval Folk Rock
- Estonia: The People I Met
- Russia: The EXTREME Culture Shock
- Sweden: The Diversity and Open-mindedness
- Denmark: The Funky Architecture
I would not feel right if I did not send special thanks to everyone that has taken the time to read my blog over the past year – what an adventure it has been. I would also like to acknowledge some very special people that have made this blogging experience possible:
- MTU ParentNet/IPS/Technical Assistance: Gretta Gustafson, Katie Russell, Michelle Nightingale, Lisa Pignotti, Donna Armistead, & Scott Shannon.
- ATLANTIS Coordinators: (MTU) Dr. Shekhar Joshi, (NCSU) Dr. Bronson Bullock, (SLU) Dr. Eric Agestam, and (UH) Maija Kovanen.
- Photography: Chris Johnson, Elina Inkiläinen, and Shekhar Joshi.
- Professors: Dr. Vilis Brukas, Dr. Kathleen E. Halvorsen, Dr. Andrew Storer, and Dr. Pekka Nygren.
- Flat-mates: Blake, Ivanna , and Marta
To avoid making an enormous list or forgetting anyone, I will keep things short and general – thank you to my friends, family, and especially my fellow ATLANTIS students, (both abroad and at Michigan Tech). My Michigan Tech ‘family’ of friends, as well as my international ‘family’ that has developed over the past year will forever be in my heart. The gifts, travel stories, social events, late nights, early mornings, bike rides, bus rides, dancing, studying, crying, laughing, screaming, frustration, joy and love have made all the difference.
And now, for my final farewell, I will leave you with a quote from one of my favorite authors, Henry David Thoreau:
Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes.