Stevan Stankovich ’12 – Christmas has arrived in Europe!  Everywhere I have gone for the past week one could see people putting up Christmas lights, trees, and decorations getting ready for the holiday season, and then on Friday night all the lights came on and it was brilliant.  Luckily for me I was in Spain when this happened, and let me just tell you Espania goes all out for Christmas.  I have never seen so many lights and so many types of lights then I saw in Segovia, Toledo, and Madrid it was simply magical.  If you add that to the Christmas markets in Madrid you are in Christmas heaven. 

Stevan with a view of Toledo

I visited Spain this past weekend as you have noticed from above and it was incredible there.  Everyone is so helpful and it is truly a beautiful and authentic country.  Our hostel alone looked like some historic mansion from the 13th century, and the towns of Segovia, and Toledo were incredible.  To get to see the sunset over the town of Segovia while your sitting on a hill with a couple of close friends is awe-inspiring.  Then to see the most beautiful cathedral in the world that I have ever seen in Toledo was an amazing ending to a perfect trip.  Also if one wants to party there is no better place for it then Madrid when they start at midnight with Sangria and go until 6 or 7 in the morning, and the best part about it is that it is cheap.

Stevan in the Plaza Mayor in Madrid

When I came back from Spain I was in a winter wonderland.  Harlaxton and the greater part of the UK are experiencing record snow falls.  So if one adds that on top of all the decorations in the castle it is the world’s ideal Christmas card.  

Well I am sad to say my time in England is almost up and I already desperately want to come back.  I am a football fanatic now (and it is football not soccer), I love pubs, and not being able to walk down the hallways in a 19th century castle in my pajamas will all be missed.  I will miss being able to jump on a plane and travel to Paris, Ireland, Spain, or Amsterdam cheaply.  I will also miss incredible public transportation that I can get anywhere in the UK within a matter of hours fairly cheaply. 

I will miss the British faculty and hearing British accents everywhere I go.  However most of all I am glad to have made life long friends both here with mates in the UK and bros in the States that I will remain friends with for the rest of my life. 

This study abroad experience has truly been life changing, liberating, and amazing.  I am glad to have done it and would do it again in a second, and would recommend everyone else do it to.  On that note I have to study for finals, get ready for a couple of last parties, celebrate an early Christmas with my host family, prepare for my trips to Istanbul and Greece, and pack to head back across the pond to the states. 

Thanks for the experience Wabash and Cheers from England!

Stevan, back in England, in front of Harlaxton in the snow.