Saturday, June 30, 2012

An Introduction to the Benjamin Franklin Translatlantic Fellows Institute 2012 - Day 1

And I guess now begins a new sector of my blog! Right now I'm at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with 49 other students from all around the United States and Europe! I'm one of the 10 United States representatives to the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Institute, which is a program that endeavors to "foster relationships among youth from Europeans and American in order to advance links and awareness of shared values, encounter principles of freedom and cooperation as challenges of the global 21st Century", as it says on its website.

Well, the relationships have begun. 

I arrived around 7:30 PM-ish on campus to meet and greet a few students who had already arrived. I'm honestly astonished at how some of the European students are still awake and fully functional at this point--I live only around an hour and a half away from campus and I was already tired. Some of them had nightmare stories about airport and airplane food and multiple connection flights. But everyone was so interesting and kind, and I spent most of the time until now getting to know a few of the people. As well as a few of the animals. Here's the golden retriever my mom dubbed the "official BFTF dog". And since I know my mom's probably going to read this, HI MOM!

My roommate, Martina from Slovakia, just got here maybe around 12:30 AM. I'm really looking forward to getting to know her, and we've already talked a little bit about her potentially studying in the United States! And since I'm also a rising senior and looking into colleges, I think the topic of universities will come up quite often. It's only been around 6 hours since I got on campus, and I've already learned key phrases in a few different languages, met perhaps 40 or so new people, and am incredibly excited for the upcoming month.

Maybe a little bit too happy. I'm cheesing away even just setting up my sleeping space. 

On another note, I am a little bit apprehensive. While I know that I will have the time of my life, it's going to be hard balancing other responsibilities and commitments while I'm here. I'll just have to do my best and see what happens!