Greeting from Frankfurt airport, gate F02 my friends. On this beautiful Sunday, I officially declare Fall Break closed. Fall Break, in case you are not familiar with the term, is a one week relaxing time after the midterms or at least is supposed to be. For me, it turned out quite different. I travelled to Albania as part of the recruitment team and spent the week in a tour around Albania to represent the university to high school students. LCC offered me this opportunity even though I’ve been here only for two months. Below a brief summary of my days there:
Day 1 was a success. Students find LCC extremely attracting. As I was describing student life today for some students, I realized I had grown to love LCC in a very short time. I have had a good two days since I came in terms of food. I had missed eating something other than scrambled eggs. These are the drawbacks of going to university without having stepped to the kitchen before for reasons other than eating. A friendly note: Take precautions!
Day 2 was dedicated to Lezha, my home city. Three presentations took place in three different schools, including the Public High School of Lezha. Later, we had lunch with the principals of the schools we were invited by and talked about the possibility of future collaboration and the Albanian educational system (Like a boss!). I met with friends on the afternoon and they wanted to know how was I doing. The reply does not take long. “It is simply AMAZING”- I say. Once I received this comment: “If you are satisfied, it should be a good place for real.” Peers in my city take my word for it. With time, we’ll build the same relationship. 😉
Day 3 was another marvelous day. We had to administer a three-hour TOEFL test, but the feeling of triumph that we had gathered 25 students in two days of presentation exceeded our fatigue. We even made it to the local TV, where we talked about LCC and its mission on the Eastern World. Gytis says: “It never stops here in Albania.” Another highlight of the day was the “byrek” my aunt cooked for me. If you happen to come to LCC next year, find me, I’ll make you try it (I will probably know how to cook by then).
Day 4 found us in the capital city. Regardless of my attempts to make the departing time 7:30, the final decision was 6:50 because of the traffic. Don’t worry however, you will get much more sleep during your regular classes week. After having finished three presentations, Gytis suggested to have a traditional lunch, so our driver sent us to this restaurant that serves “jufka with chicken birds”. (Don’t count on me for this recipe) The afternoon was reserved to coffee chats with some good friends of mine. It feels so well to be back in the city around people I know. LCC won though!
Day 5 came without noticing it and we were in Shkodra. Today, a senior class of at least 50 people heard about LCC. The topics Gytis and I focus the most are Student Life and financial aid, both alien concepts for the Albanian youth and Eastern culture in general. On the topic financial aid, we often say that “There exist some good people in this world, mainly coming from North America, who care about the future of Eastern Europe youth and education in general and give money for that purpose”. Student Life is something I am usually talking about and I like to put it this way: “I believe that LCC is truly special in terms of student life and I consider myself lucky for being able to live with my classmates. By the end of four years you will have not only made friends for life, but also shaped a mind free of prejudice and a multicultural empathetic personality.”
As I give you something to ponder about, I wish a very successful and productive week for all of you.
Waiting forward to next time.
Your Albanian Acquaintance in LCC