“Europe is a work in progress” – Corinna Goodman

Answering the question why I love Europe was not as easy as it seemed. Being born in 1994, I’ve never lived in a disunited Europe and can hardly remember the time before the Euro. In other words, I’ve always taken a peaceful, united Europe with all its advantages for granted. But going to College in the US with people who often only know little about Europe has made me realize why Europe is so special and why, while I love studying in the US, I miss Europe when I’m on the other side of the Atlantic.

I obviously miss the food and the possibility to get a good, authentic, and especially payable dinner at the Italian, French, or Spanish place around the corner. And, yes, I also miss the real football, a game that is much faster and, in my opinion, way more exciting than the American equivalent. But it’s so much more than that. It’s living amid the remnants of Europe’s old and complex history: Wiltshire’s Stonehenge, Athens’s Acropolis, and Rome’s Colosseum to name some of the oldest one’s. Barcelona’s Sagrada família and the Eiffel Tower among the more modern architectural highlights in Europe. And the fact that any European whose country is part of the Schengen Accord can visit all these places without a visa or border controls makes European history, architecture, and culture accessible to millions of people.

bildbuntEuropean culture: another aspect I love about the continent. For me, there isn’t one clear definition of what “European culture” is. Rather, it is the cultural diversity that is so special. Where else can you experience a completely different culture with a completely different language by traveling less than 500 km? Of course the situation in Europe isn’t perfect at the moment: the economy has not yet fully recovered from the financial crisis and more and more Euro-skepticism is prevalent in many European countries. But nobody’s perfect. Europe is a work in progress. It has always been that way. My love for Europe is not based on a political structure or idea but rather what unites Europe: the culture, the history, and the people.

Image courtesy to “Bildbunt” via Flickr, released under creative commons 2.0 share alike.

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