Saturday, July 2, 2016

Sorry Europe -- You're Not Getting Rid of Me Yet!

Samschdeg, 2 Juli.

I first arrived in Luxembourg a whopping 295 days ago-- bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and ready to jump into nine months of adventures in the Grand Duchy. As the year went on and the prospect of leaving my new international life became all too real, I hemmed and hawed about finding a way to stay in Europe. ("Just find a job here!" my housemates counseled me, blissfully unaware of the challenges that face a non-EU citizen trying to enter the European workforce. Hello, work visa!) However, the plan -- as evidenced by the round-trip KLM tickets I purchased back in August 2015 -- was always to return to the United States and to the Washington, D.C., area after finishing my grant in July.

But you know what they say about plans. Namely, they change.

And so, instead of returning to the United States in July, I will be moving to Brussels (!) to begin a full-time job (!!) as the new Fulbright Program Manager and EducationUSA Adviser with the Fulbright Commission (!!!).

I'm not exaggerating when I say that this has been my dream job since day one. While I am sure that this new experience will come with its own unique set of challenges (not least of which being the continued absence of Target and authentic Mexican food in my life), I could not be more excited. I cannot express how lucky I feel for the opportunity to continue my involvement with Fulbright, to learn more about the field of global education, and to live in a city as beautiful and dynamic as Brussels.

I will be starting work in just under two weeks, which means that I'll be leaving Luxembourg ten months -- to the day! -- after I arrived, way back in September. Although I won't be moving very far away, I know that it will be difficult to say goodbye to this wonderful little country and to the people who have made the past ten months so wonderful. Instead of dwelling too much on our upcoming departure, my friends and I have decided to make the most of our last couple of weeks in Luxembourg by doing all of the things we've intended to do, but somehow never got around to. Stay tuned for nine days of indulgent bucket list fulfillment -- and, more than likely, a handful of weepy blog posts! ;)

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