First edition

How The Euroculturer Began: Eureka Over Pasta, Dancing in the Dark, and Our Magazine Here

Eunjin Jeong | eunjin.lynn@gmail.com

Very late at night, I suddenly started dancing in the street. It was an ordinary day in May and I was on my way back home after studying with an Italian friend of mine, Bianca Rubino, for our final exams. Me dancing in public is extremely rare and I would rather appear doing yoga on French national TV than be seen dancing by a stranger. Still, I was dancing, in the presence of random passersby staring, walking in the direction of Robertsau, my residence in Strasbourg, undoubtedly happy.

Three hours ago I was asking Bianca, over pasta that we cooked together, why I should be happy. I had been secretly going through a very hard time for months because of an irrevocably damaged friendship with my best friend. Helpless and hurt, I felt like running away from everybody, especially those who really cared about me. Not knowing what I was going through and how desperate I was, Bianca cheerfully answered, without even stopping to think for one second, “You should be happy because you’ve had a chance to meet a wonderful person like me through Euroculture. Why wouldn’t you be happy?”. The answer shocked me to the point that my world turned upside down. Her not very serious response to my very serious question didn’t bother me at all because it was so right. I had had the privilege of getting to know so many wonderful people during my two semesters of Euroculture, except I hadn’t realised it until then. I believe that that very Eureka moment, later followed by a highly unusual dance performance in celebration, helped to heal my wounds and gave me the strength to kick off The Euroculturer.

Having enjoyed working as a writer for a university English-language newspaper during my undergraduate years, establishing a platform for students to write freely was actually on my dream list since the first day I started the MA Euroculture programme. It was only a matter of inspiration, courage, and willingness to sacrifice some free time. I have been fortunate enough to find all three thanks to the Eureka moment that I experienced in May 2012. The magazine, however, only became possible with the help of many other Euroculturers. The Board of Editors including copy editors, correspondents from each university, and contributing writers, from both Euroculture current students and alumni, are true pioneers fully equipped with the love of their own community. The Euroculture Consortium trusted me with the project and now supports the magazine with funding, which symbolizes the close connection between the Consortium and its students. Dr. Lars Klein of the University of Göttingen helped me greatly throughout all the crucial moments of getting official approvals and funding from the Consortium, not to mention his sincere encouragements from the very beginning of the preparation. Juan M. Sarabia, a Euroculture programme coordinator from Jagiellonian University, Krakow, without whom The Euroculturer would have been homeless, built us a home, i.e. a fabulous website to accommodate all of our articles. He also helped out with all the technical and designing concerns, including the logo. Nora Trench Bowles, a Euroculture classmate from the University of Strasbourg and a Drew Barrymore replica with an excellent work ethic, volunteered to take the responsibility of Copy Chief. She is, therefore, fully in charge of the copy editing process which, with the collaboration of other copy editors, takes care of the quality part of the magazine. This has helped me greatly in concentrating on the content and pulling the overall edition together. Helen Hoffmann, whom I always rely on for important decisions, is a true Miss Help for the magazine. Heartfelt thanks go to all those mentioned.

The only hope we have for this magazine is that no matter how many editions come out in the future, after the first generation leaves, it will remain as a place where all Euroculturers feel truly welcomed to share their stories of Euroculture, regardless of their backgrounds or peculiarities. Every Euroculture student, including alumni, is welcomed to contribute and I want to spare the finale of this acknowledgment especially for the future contributors to The Euroculturer.

eunjinEunjin Jeong, Editor-in-chief

Eunjin is from South Korea and studied Education for her BA. She began Euroculture in October 2011 in the University of Göttingen, later studied in the
University of Strasbourg, and is currently doing a research track in Uppsala University. Her research interests lie in finding ways for diaspora groups to feel ‘citizens at heart’ in host countries. Eunjin is a part-time realist and a full-time idealist.

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