Imagine you are at the beach in California and it is about 7 pm local time and the sun is just beginning to set. At that same time on the other side of the world there is someone on a beach who woke up early to watch the sunrise. Though both people will have a different experience they are both still looking at the same thing – the sun. Similarly, while the whole world experiences the same global struggles, everyone witnesses something different.
Today in class we have been learning about the refugee crisis that has been going on for several years now. While refugee crisis’ are not something new, the level which this current refugee crisis has reached is far beyond that of which any sane person would allow. Before coming to Europe I knew little, to nothing, about the refugee crisis going on half a world away; mostly because it did not affect me and I simply had not heard of it. Now that I am in Europe and I have not only heard, but seen, just a fragment of what this crisis has done; I now understand the issue better. This crisis is more than just a European problem, it is a world-wide problem.
Another thing I have seen in a different light is the EU, or rather the European Union. Before coming to Europe I just assumed the EU was a group of countries that were near each other and decided to form a coalition of sorts. Now that I am here I have learned that it is much more than that. It is a group of nations that has come together as a response to avoiding WWIII. It is a collaboration of European countries that include trade agreements, free travel agreements, and even using the same currency to establish a single market economy so that they can all be on the same level of GDP, socioeconomic status, production, etc. One really cool thing I learned is that the UK sees themselves as being separate from the rest of Europe. They don’t necessarily see themselves as better than other Europeans, they just see themselves different than “continental Europeans” as my professor explained.
Being in Europe and seeing everything in regards to the way people live thier lives and the feeling you get from being here is best explained by the following quote:
“From the outside looking in, you can’t understand it. And from the inside looking out, you can’t explain it.”
At the end of the day it doesn’t matter whether you are looking at the sunset or sunrise, either way you still end up looking at the sun. The important thing is that you saw it and got to experience it!