Spring break is now in the rear view mirror, and Fletcher students are very much in the home stretch toward finals. That means it’s time hear a bit from our first-year student bloggers on how they spent their break. First up is Lisa, who took the opportunity for a visit to her native Ukraine:
Last semester, I was repeatedly told by Fletcher professors and second-year students that the spring semester flies by even faster than the fall one. I did not believe then that it was possible, but now I completely understand what everyone was talking about. Spring break started rather unexpectedly for me in midst of papers, midterm exams, work, and various events. After my midterm exam in statistics was submitted on Thursday, I quickly pulled my suitcase out of storage and literally started stuffing it with anything I could find in my closet because my husband and I had a flight to Kyiv, Ukraine, later that night.
You know you study in an international affairs school when you bump into basically a third of your classmates in the airport. Fletcher students go on a variety of fantastic treks, and my friends were traveling to all kinds of places, ranging from Brazil to Russia! I participated in the Japan trek over the winter break, and I highly recommend these intellectually and culturally enriching trips.
During spring break, I chose to travel to my native country, Ukraine to see my family and friends. Kyiv greeted us with moderately warm weather and almost no rain, which was wonderful for walking around the city. Over the week in Ukraine, my husband and I accomplished one of the things he has had on his bucket list for quite some time: we visited the Kyiv central railway station, where the Apple Watch series 3 commercial had been shot. It always fascinates me how the things that are considered incredibly trivial and even unattractive by most Ukrainians are found to be extraordinary by foreigners!
We also attended an incredible Chinese lantern festival on Spivoche Pole (lit. The Singing Field) in Kyiv. The display included various figures made out of large-scale Chinese lanterns that lit up in the night. It might be difficult to imagine what I am talking about, so I have included a picture of one of the exhibits. We spent the rest of the evening walking around the city, first to the Memorial to Holodomor Victims, then to Maryinsky Palace, the official ceremonial residence of the President of Ukraine, and finally to the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, to take some photos of these beautiful locations at night.
Other than that, my husband and I spent most of our time with my family, indulged ourselves with amazing Ukrainian food, walked around beautiful spring Kyiv, met with our friends, and took a significant number of photos. Our week in Ukraine flew by in what seemed like one day, and I felt a little sad coming back to school. However, it was nice to reunite with my Fletcher friends and to hear about their amazing spring break travels!
All in all, my spring break was an amazing and much needed vacation. I feel recharged and ready to tackle the end of my second semester at Fletcher as I balance my classes and work and frantically finalize my plans for a summer internship.