Wander with this year's Study Abroad participants

Online or around campus, magazine highlights a host of experiences

Image from the cover of Wander.

Wander: Brandeis Abroad, the magazine which chronicles in photos, poetry and prose the experiences of Brandeis students who spend a semester studying overseas, has published its fourth edition, in conjunction with the Office of Study Abroad.

This edition highlights three prize-winning essays: Katie Doody ’14, who was in Seville, Spain, won first place, Natalie Shushan ’14 in Paris took second and Charlotte Erb ’14, also in Paris, took third. Sadye Sagov ’13 in Copenhagen, Denmark. scored top honors for photography.

Wander: Brandeis Abroad can be viewed online, and printed copies are available at the Shapiro Campus Center newsstand and major entrances on campus.

Following is the essay by Shushan, a history and American studies major:

Not All Those Who Wander

You mean to walk a straight path but, comme d’habitude, you’re distracted by the splendor of this magical city that you’re lucky enough to call home. The quiet, unassuming side streets call to you, one after the other, until suddenly you notice that you’ve lost your way. Your eyes are open wide in an attempt to see every city that is layered upon one another because you know that if you look hard enough, you can see Napoleon’s city, too. Tucked away behind everything that the eye can see lies the dreamers, the poets, and the painters that came before and you realize that you are no longer walking with any real destination in mind but, instead, you’re wandering aimlessly along these winding roads that seem to twist and turn more with every step you take.

Award-winning photo

Sadye Sagov ’13 scored top photography honors.

C’est l’amour: the real love that makes your heart swell until presque breaking point. Vrai amour. Pulse racing and pupils dilated at the very sight of your love that has you enamored. Enchanted. Walk out of the métro to greet Notre Dame, it’s your breathtaking “am-i-really-here?” aha moment. Realization. The realization of a dream come true depuis longtemps que j’ai rêvé de toi, mon amour. The real love that shakes you to your core and breaks you down until you are reduced to nothing but a heart whose beats sing the song of the accordion player in front of Sacré Coeur. This tune that resonates throughout your body until you can feel it in your bones and it fills you in places you didn’t even know were hollow. You have been transformed in the way that Monet was transformed when he laid his hands on a paintbrush for the very first time. Complete. 

And there is nothing better than when the stars align and it’s that perfect time: à l’heure. Isn’t she brilliant? She shines brighter than all of the stars in the sky, every hour on the hour. Her majesty. This real love that you feel for the first time and that you’ve dreamed of for your whole life. And when you see her, it’s everything you feel when you fall in love condensed into one eternal moment. Time stands still or maybe it ceases to exist altogether because it’s only a concept and, now, love is a fact. More objective than 2 PM, this love is so real that it surrounds you, becomes the air you breathe and the music you hear and all you see is your love. This love you feel for the very first time that has changed you and turned you into everything you’ve ever wanted to be. You are the best version of yourself, grace à ton amour. And you beg for it to never forget you because is it really ever better to have loved and lost? Once more, you look up, wide-eyed and wonderful, at the city of your dreams and realize that, although you’ve wandered so far and you’ve lost your way and you don’t know exactly where you are, in this moment, you are exactly where you were always meant to be. And it is this certainty, which creeps up on you quietly while you’re trying to find your way in a foreign city, that paves the way for your real love. You breathe deep, content with the knowledge that the night has never made you feel so alive and you realize what you might have always known: that not all those who wander are lost.

Categories: International Affairs, Student Life

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