On June 14th, my host parents allowed me to have my goodbye party (Abschiedsfeier) at our home. Goodbye is such a terrible word. However, if my year did not have an expiration date, I don't think I would have appreciated it as much.

In a year, one can accomplish the craziest things. I have leaned on Angela Merkel's car, stood on the top of the Reichstag, gotten lost in Paris, crashed a wedding in Vienna, run barefoot in Berlin... The list goes on and on. But there are things I can't put into words...

For example, I can't explain what it feels like to see your family only through a computer screen for eleven months. I can't explain what it feels like when you wave goodbye at the airport to a 'sister' you'll most likely never see again. I can't explain what it feels like to make a best friend in such a short time and to leave him in even shorter time. I can't explain how these experiences make you grow as a person, but trust me, they do.