Monthly Archives: June 2012

And so it ends…or begins?

I can assure you this won’t be a long post nor will it be filled with crazy exciting trips, because you see in only 2 days I will board a plane bound for the States.  Yes, that is right on Monday my four and a half months of studying, developing,

This is from the Latvian bonfire/dinner party. In Latvia they celebrate (hard core) the shortest night of the year at the “Midsummer Fest”, which we of course had to do here as well! Oh and yes, I did make that AMAZING flower crown.

and amazing memories will come to a close.  The sadness and pain of leaving is battled with happiness and excitement to return home; however, the thought that I won’t ever have an experience like this again is enough to make small puppies cry.

The end of last week, and the beginning of this week I spent hours and hours fretting over exams and cramming studying in so the thought of departure rarely entered my mind. But with exams in my rearview mirror and the days flying by, the reality of leaving becomes more and more vivid. I packed up for good on Friday, and believe me it was much more exciting the first time!

While I may have packed up my belongings and completed my departure paperwork, I without a doubt packed away all of the semester’s memories as well. From late nights socializing, to galavants across Europe, to being blindsided by final exams, I will always hold the memories and experiences of this semester as a reminder of the woman I have become as well as the amazing people who I have met, and the bonds formed.

My flower crown was just so great, Rocio had to steal it for a picture.

That old saying “all good things come to an end” may be technically true, but I truly believe this is the beginning of so much more. The friends I have made will truly be those I have for the rest of my life all across the world, and the skills/knowledge I have acquired while abroad will undoubtedly lead me to pursue great things. After all I can’t let it go to waste!

I told you I would keep it short, so as promised I will now conclude this post with five interesting facts of the week:

1. Final exams are no joke. These professors mean business, and even though I feel I was as prepared as possible, I still am not 100% I passed.  Only time will tell, and believe me as soon as grades are posted you will know!

2. Football fans REALLY like to rub it in when their teams wins and yours doesn’t. Just wait until next time Italy…

3. The anticipation of being home on the Coast in God’s country can only be satisfied by blaring Jimmy Buffet on full volume for the nest 3 days.

Our lovely Latvian hostesses!

4. Wearing a dirndl in public and having people assume you speak German and then having to let them down is probably the most disheartening thing ever.

5. Fun fact: my mother has literally been counting down the hours until I am home.  For the past two weeks. Miss me much?

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Goebel goes Global: Entry #20

Another typical day in Liechtenstein

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Goebel goes Global: Entry #19

A typical day in Liechtenstein!

Indulge me in my procrastination of studying…

It has been quite a calm week around here…no jumping off bridges just a few bonding nights at the dorms and a day trip to Innsbruck.  Like I mentioned a few

Quite a few weddings in Innsbruck this weekend! We got to see everything from the salute, to the cultural dress, and more.

posts ago, Jennifer and I have been really trying to take full advantage of the local area and the camaraderie with our friends and fellow students here and we were indeed successful the past couple of days.

Last Friday we had a girls lunch outing with the fabulous Mrs. Kay, and American

From a previous post, the boys VERY seriously decorating their American flag cakes. Commence USA chant now!

transplant in Liechtenstein which was of course full of food, good conversation, oh and in English!  I never realized how nice it is to be able to talk with someone who understands every reference to home, US politics, or even pop fiction! Friday night was quite the opposite. Jennifer and I attended an event in Schaan

Embracing the local Indian culture for the night.

which celebrated the opening of a new Indian photography exhibit complete with Indian cuisine and a speech by the Foreign Affairs  Minister. Who by the way is the most amazing woman ever!  Seriously, she had a baby less than 2 months ago and looks FABULOUS as well as dresses to the nines, and has a great powerful aura about her.

Enjoying our tour of Innsbruck.

Saturday was our buddy trip to nearby Innsbruck, which while great was also quite bittersweet for me. This after all was the last official traveling I will do before I leave, and I won’t ever again be 20, carefree, and studying abroad. Quite emotional, but of course I didn’t let this bitter truth stop me from having a fantastic day! We toured the city, and afterwards did a bit of shopping and enjoyed cocktails in a venue with a 360 degree view of the city.

PS-When I say shopping one of my purchases was a (non official) Germany football jersey from H & M for 4.95 euros! Best purchase thus far!!

Elina, Jennifer, and I left Innsbruck a bit earlier than the group to attend a barbecue at a fellow students house in Bludenz, Austria. See I told you we are meeting locals!  It was a very interesting/neat experience to be able to enjoy the

Caught in action enjoying Innsbruck!

company of so many new people and locals, as well as step inside a legit Austrian home!  Although water balloons may have caused red wine to cover my white shirt and skirt and face with Greek sauce, the food was delicious, the company excellent, and the night superb.

Sunday was spent lounging by the public pool and continuing the dreaded final exam preparations. And let me emphasize the DREADED part. I have been studying for quite some time, but as with anything I always like to be fully prepared so the non stop studying shall continue until next Wednesday at 3:30 when I will officially be done!

Sunday Jennifer and I put our newly purchased jerseys to use, and attended a

Victory for Deutschland!!

public viewing of the Germany vs. Denmark Euro 2012 game in downtown Schaan.  I guess it is about time to admit that I am officially a football fan, and from here on out will be a loyal Deutschland fan. You have to start somewhere right?!

Oh I almost forgot, I also cooked chicken gumbo and bread pudding for a dinner party at the dorms one night, as well as red beans and rice another. I have found I really enjoy cooking for others, and when I get home dinner parties will certainly become a regular event of mine.

Enough rambling about pointless things…I guess I better return to studying about European Financial Law…

Thank you for indulging me in this post which really was for no other reason than to take a break from studying…hopefully it wasn’t too boring! Till next time.

“Meet a United States ambassador?” CHECK!

It isn’t everyday, or really any day  for that matter, that a girl from Mississippi gets to meet a United States Ambassador…well scratch that because not only did I have the privilege of meeting the US-Switzerland/Liechtenstein Ambassador, I also got to talk with him, show him around the Uni, and even eat good ‘ole American BBQ with him!

Now don’t those look like two diplomatic faces!

Before I go on, I must give all credit for the meeting and greeting to Jennifer, because of course it was her crazy ambition and email skills that even arranged the ambassador’s visit in the first place…all I did was help cook and schmooze. Seriously, Jennifer really sent Ambassador Beyer a message on LinkedIn asked him to speak at the Uni and a few emails and contacts later, the visit became a reality.

I mentioned in the last post that we spent all day Sunday preparing desserts for the BBQ, and Monday afternoon was spent decorating and setting up for the event. And when I say decorating, Marie in the International Office may have

United States Ambassador, Don Beyer, addressing the University students about brand management.

gotten a little excited needless to say we had American flag plates, cups, napkins, tablecloths, balloons, and the works! Even toothpicks with tiny flags on them!

While the BBQ was the main attraction for many of the Uni students (especially those darn Architects), Ambassador Don Beyer addressed interested students with an hour-long, riveting speech about Brand Management and his experiences with the topic in the business world as well as political arena.  Ambassador Beyer served as Lt. Gov. of Virginia as well as a number of other political offices/jobs,

The International Office representatives, Jennifer, Me, and Ambassador Beyer

and runs numerous auto dealerships in his home town back in the states. His past business and political experience, combined with his alluring personality and true Southern charm kept the entire audience interested and excited throughout the speech, and it truly was a privilege to listen to such a powerful person speak.

His visit included a brief tour of the University and dormitories (we even cleaned

Ambassador Beyer enjoying the fruits of our labor..hamburgers and hotdogs galore!

our room for him!) and of course the American BBQ complete with hamburgers, hotdogs, salads, chips, and desserts galore. Speaking of which if you want to see something funny put key lime pie and bread pudding on a desert table un labeled, and watch foreigners taste them and try to figure out what it is…PRICELESS!

The visit was a huge success, attended by over 100 people and a cooperative effort of the International Office, START (a student led organization), the Bern Embassy, and many more individuals and groups. I checked bungy jumping off the bucket list, and it looks like I can now check “meet an US diplomat” off as well!  Yet another amazing study abroad experience for the books.

Five interesting facts for the week:

1. Rain is the ultimate excuse. Running? Nope it is raining. Grocery shopping? I’ll get wet. Anything other than napping? Impossible.

I’d say the desert table was a smashing success!

2. Group projects aren’t really that bad…as long as you get the good group! And after a successfully completed International Human Resources project, I can say Jennifer and I were lucky enough to get a good group…I’ll have to remember that next time.

3. Much can be learned about business from politics and vice versa. Just ask Ambassador Beyer. That might just come in handy for me one day…we shall see.

4. Apparently everyone BUT the US calls bell peppers “paprika”. This of course causes Jennifer and myself significant amounts of confusion in the kitchen…

5. Life without a laptop is certainly NOT easy.  Although it does help that I can’t

See what I mean about getting super excited about the US decorations?

watch my tv shows all day instead of studying, anytime I want to send an email/blog/etc. I have to either hope Jennifer has disappeared so I can steal hers or walk ALL THE WAY to the Uni. (3 minutes maybe…)

Till next time readers!

Video

Goebel goes Global: Entry #18

Bungee jumping!!

Pinatas, guacamole, and the good ole USA!

Well I guess it is about that time again…time for the weekend recap of our fabulous study abroad adventures!

As I eluded to in my last post, this past Friday was the “North American” Party, which pretty much was just the Mexican dinner party and they recruited the

Organizers/chefs of the “North American” party. Mexico, the US, Canada all represented..oh and a South American from Brazil, but we let her jump in too

help of the US and Canada for the desserts, hence the name “North American…”  Since the Mexicans, Jennifer and I, oh and Elina (Latvia) are pretty much inseperable (kinda) we of course were obligated to help prepare the food for the party, and I can honestly say I have never had such a good time cooking!  We began cooking around 1:00 pm and finished literally 15 minutes before the party.

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to cook, but I never thought cooking could be such a cultural and inspiring experience.  We spent the entire day immersed in each other’s culture, laughing, cracking up, oh and a heck of a lot of chopping and stirring!  When I look back on my study abroad memories that will surely be one of the more prominent ones, I guess there is something about chopping 2 kilos of carrots that really brings people together…By the end of the 6 hours, there was enough food to feed an army, which exactly what we did.

In honor of our Mexican buddies, I feel an obligation to explain a bit about what “Mexican” food is exactly. Well for starters remove anything you have ever tasted, seen, or heard about Mexican food, because I guarantee you…it isn’t.  Taco Bell, that local Mexican restuarant down the street? Nope. Not even close. REAL Mexican food is sometimes spicy, but not always.  Tortillas are small and corn not like the gigantic, flour, pizza size ones in America, and they MUST be eaten with every meal.  Cactus salad, chilis with cream, and cookies with caramel are all among the “legit Mexican” list, oh and refried beans in the US are a joke. REAL Mexican fried beans are about 100 times better!  We even cooked a soup that was served with lettuce and radishes, and chicken with chocolate chili …who

Jennifer and I are trying our best to teach the “sorority girl” photo pose to the girls here…seems to be working right??

would have thought?  Jennifer and I provided brownies and Oreo pudding cake for dessert, and while it couldn’t really compete with the killer main dishes, they did go pretty darn quickly so I guess that is a good sign.

The party itself was a huge success.  The local television station was there, as well as over 50 people.  The events kicked off with Pinata in the REAL Mexican fashion, and the last of us retired for the night around 3:30 am…I’d say we had a great time!

Sunday was another day filled with cooking/bonding.  I may have mentioned this earlier, but in case you missed it the US-Swiss Ambassador visited the Uni yesterday and his visit (which I will tell more about in a later post) included a traditional US BBQ complete with hamburgers, hotdogs, and the works.  The event was attended by over 100 people, so of course this means there has to be enough food, and Sunday was the day chosen to prepare all the desserts.

Six hours, 2 bread puddings, 3 key lime pies, 4 strawberry shortcakes, 2 batches of brownies, and 5 American flag sheetcakes later we finally finished our task for the day. Again the hours of baking time spent in the kitchen was such a neat

The fruits of of Sunday afternoon work!

experience.  Roope (Finland) and Pepi (Czech Republic) as well as Elina of course (Rocio offered moral support) were our recruits for the day, and if you ever want to see something quite entertaining put two guys in a kitchen with women, hand them a beer, and tell them to ice a cake with blueberries and strawberries!  And before you start thinking the cakes turned out a disaster let me tell you, those two were the most detailed perfectionists I have met!  The blueberries had to be the same size and shape, the icing just right, and the strawberries in exactle the right direction!  Theydefinitely have a future in cake decorating.

The rest of the weeend included a football viewing party (and by football I of course mean soccer), a good bit of napping, and studying of course.  Exams are in fact a real thing even while studying abroad, and they just so happen to be less than two weeks away!! EEK!

I have officially begun my crazy, psychotic amounts of studying and spending hours at the Uni due to my lack of a lap top so be expecting to see quite a few more posts.  Blogging offers me a reward after completing a study task…

I can’t quite come up with 5 interesting facts for the week so I guess ya’ll will just have to settle for two:

1. Ikea desk chairs are perhaps the most uncomfortable chairs in the world. Sitting in them for hours at a time does wonders for the back…really. And by wonders I of course means it makes walking and sitting up straight incredibly difficult.

2. Getting in shape while abroad is a VERY difficult task.  Exercising without a gym or weights as well as eating healthy when tempted by so much fantastic food is definitely a trying experience.  I can’t say that I have completely mastered this yet, but I am trying my best…

 

(I apologize for the lack of pictures in this blog…Jennifer and I are experiencing some technical difficulties…)