Studying Across Europe: A Vulcan's Tale

A UH Hilo student’s journey across different parts of Europe

Staff Writer Breandain Clarke

Photographs courtesy of Breandain Clarke

Editor’s Note: This is the last of an ongoing editorial column.

Growth can be seen in definite distances, whether it is in the inches that add to our height or the miles well-traveled that show you your vigor.

I don’t mean to get too poetic for the opening of what will be my last “Vulcan’s Tale,” but since I am an English major who has been studying poetry for two years now, it was bound to happen.

This last semester has been such a cross-culturally engrossing, momentous experience, and I have so much to be humbly gracious and thankful for. So many amazing individuals whom I have to thank, and I do thank for the bottom of my heart. I traveled to the Czech Republic, Scotland, Ireland, London, and now back to Hawaiʻi for my final semester at UH Hilo.

When you are in another country and culture, it is amazing how easily you compare it to where you’ve been or where you’re from. During each of the articles, I would often write about both the similarities and vast differences.

It really adds emphasis on our broad world.

I thought that an article like this might help in offering advice and tips for anyone who might have the desire to travel or do a study abroad program. I hope it did not come off as a self-indulgent rant lasting the span of nearly six issues. I really do hope at least one person was able to take something useful from them.

Since my “Vulcan’s Tale” really began with my amazing partner, Mari Svobodova, she is the first person I have to thank, as well as her loving family who really took me in as one of their own. I have never felt so loved and accepted. Having spent the beginning of my “Vulcan’s Tale” in Prague, they made sure to show me the best places and areas to experience and take in. In the photo is the astronomical clock in Prague, which was a sight to behold. That was one of the first monuments I saw when I arrived in Prague.

A clock tower with many bright colors
The next person I would like to thank is my Editor-in-Chief Rosannah Gosser, who was so kind, constructively critical, and understanding while I was abroad and writing for Ke Kalahea. She has taught me so much about journalistic writing.

I would also like to thank UH Hilo Professor Seri Luangphinith, who taught me so much about critical analysis and writing, as well as took a chance on me and has been doing an independent/directive study on the Harlem Renaissance. Her classes and lessons are so engaging and immersive into the times you are studying through the arts and literature of said time. She has strengthened me as a student and writer. I would like to thank the whole Ke Kalahea team for creating such a wonderful work environment both while I was physically there and abroad.

Though I did use airlines which further pollute the world, I did make an effort through either biking and walking rather than the bus.

I learned the importance of time and money management, as well as meeting deadlines in a different time zone!

I have learned that helping others and being of aid to people for the sole benefit of helping someone else is far better feeling than not having done something you could have. We are all together experiencing our individual lives on this small planet. We must be there for one another.

Though the experiences and journeys the world might offer seem infinite, our lives are finite. Never forget that life is meant to feel alive, to grow, and to help people who need help.

Until next time Vulcans, stay warm when cold and cool while boiling, and be sure to thank your professors, friends and loved ones more often. It’ll do you both good, trust me.