Time flies. My final week in Cologne is now in the books. Just like that, my summer abroad has come to an end. My last week abroad was just as exciting and full of adventure as any other week!
The week started on Sunday with a nice breakfast and conversation together with Klaus and his wife, Monica. After breakfast we hit the road and headed to Aachen, a German city right on the boarder of Belgium and just a short drive away from Cologne.
In Aachen we walked around the old town, where we visited two more beautiful churches. Later, we walked through a cemetery for American soldiers from World War II. We ended the outing with Kaffee und Kuchen, coffee and cake!
For my final class on Friday, we visited the Amtsgericht, the local courthouse for Cologne. It was cool to see how the justice system in Germany compared to America while also putting my improved language skills to work in the real world!
The final week was full of goodbyes. I’ve made a number of friends in Cologne – from in class and outside – and saying goodbye is never easy. A German phrase I recently learned made the goodbyes a bit easier and filled them with a sense of hope: Man sieht sich immer zweimal im Leben!
The phrase literally translates to something like “You always see each other twice in life” or “You always meet twice in life.” It can be taken to mean that you shouldn’t burn bridges, since chances are you’ll see your acquaintances at least once more in the course of your lifetime. I take it to mean something more: Even though I’m leaving Germany for now, there’s always a good chance that I’ll return and reconnect. It’s a small world, and I’m confident this won’t be the final “Auf Wiedersehen” as I leave Germany.