Anyone who knows my good friend Yuliya, 22, also knows that she was raised on chocolate. When I visit her home, I’m always offered fine, imported bars, truffles, or Nutella. They’re ever-present because Yuliya or some other member of her family is always flying somewhere; whether it’s to Switzerland for business (her sister works for Cargill), France to celebrate a birthday (her mom’s), or Ukraine to visit family (where she was born, and which she likes to remind people, is not in Africa). Last year she graduated from Bethel University with a degree in International Business and Marketing. Here she talks about her fantastic study abroad experience.

Agnes:  You are the best-traveled person I have ever met. Is there any country in Europe you haven’t been to?

Yuliya: Yes there are many, I haven’t been to Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Scotland, Croatia

Agnes: You studied abroad not once, but TWICE! Where did you go?

Yuliya: The first time was a semester abroad for International Business at Bethel and we went to Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Poland, Slovenia, France, Hungary, England, Czech Republic. I’m forgetting one or two.

We covered like 30 cities in those countries. For my second I went for Science History with Bethel again, and that was for J-term and it was France, Switzerland, England, Germany and Italy. We learned about the origins of science in Europe and how science affected architecture, art, religion. . . we learned about Newton, Einstein, Galileo, Darwin. . .

Agnes: Tell me about your favorite country or place on this trip

Yuliya: Um it’s kind of hard to pick just one, but if I must, I would say Germany. Munich in particular. It’s the “cultural” center of Germany; it’s where the Oktoberfest takes place. The city center has beautiful architecture, its easy to get around, its very clean and safe, and has really good chocolate. And at night they have many beer halls and beer gardens to go to where you can party with the locals and eat my favorite meal wiener schnitzel.

Agnes: That’s a huge compliment coming from you, that Germany has really good chocolate. Which country had the best and worst chocolate?

Yuliya: Switzerland and Germany I would say are by far the best and the worst is Italy and England.

Agnes: How do German bars and nightclubs compare to our own Gasthof zur Gemütlichkeit in NE Minneapolis?

Yuliya: Haha um its actually pretty similar except there are Germans in Germany who speak German and say “prost” instead of “cheer.” I would say they eat and drink more and just party harder and longer—oh, and the beer and sausages taste better.

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