A big part of why I wanted to study in Europe was because it afforded me seemingly endless travel possibilities. So here I am two weeks into my three week Easter holiday with five countries and seven cities under my belt. Currently I am sitting in my hostel in Munich, Germany after what can only be called an absolute nightmare of a day but things are beginning to look up. In light of today, I would like to offer a list of traveling—one for every country I have visited so far: Read more
In the four months that I have been abroad, I have had the opportunity to see and experience many places throughout Europe. I have walked among the rolling hills and breath taking mountains of Ireland. I “segwayed” my way through the streets of Granada in Spain, and I have even been underneath the streets of Paris to walk through a kilometer of catacombs filled with thousands of skulls and bones. Sometimes it was stressful booking tickets, or getting to whichever station on time. Other times it was relaxing whether I was horseback riding through the mountains in Killarney or when I took a break from walking all day to sit on a lawn and stare up at one of the world’s most famous monuments known as the Eiffel tower. But for the most part, it was very exciting to see new places in the world in the company of some fantastic people. Read more
I’m scanning the Interstudy blog here and the shock of returning home comes back again. Yup, that’s right. I’m back in the states. I’m looking through all of your posts, completely and 100% jealous that your experience continues. I had fallen in love with London, the elegant buildings, the relaxed culture, the beer…It’s a place that I could return to and live long term. In fact, I’m penciling that into my life plan as we speak. Read more
One day my friend Patty, a slight, smiley blonde from Minnesota, was in the dorm kitchen cooking breakfast when Eunice, one of the women who works in the building, walked by. Patty, being the sunny, amiable type, smiled and said good morning and asked how Eunice was. Eunice broke into a responding smile, replied, and after a short conversation, turned to go – but not before cheerfully observing that though Patty was very thin when she had arrived in the dorm, she was “now getting fat!”
This directness is the kind of thing that still takes me (and a few of my other friends) by surprise down here. It is one of the culture clashes that I’m not sure will ever entirely pass – even after months here we still trade stories about the surprisingly candid comments that we hear.
For months you plan ahead for your semester abroad – what courses to take, what to pack, where to travel. After a successful (though possibly emotional) departure from the US, you arrive at your destination. The first days are a whirlwind of excitement and new experiences but somewhere around week two, it might hit you…what now? Getting involved in campus activities is one of the best ways to fill that time between class and homework while abroad and meet new people at the same time.
Here’s how one Interstudy Alum, Andrea Fasen, from Colorado State University, got involved on the Queen’s University, Belfast campus during her Fall 2010 semester abroad. Andrea’s involvement in the Mountaineering Club shaped her time abroad and shows the importance of “climbing” out of your comfort zone in more ways then one! Read more
Who can describe the character Gilbert for me?”
“Well, he’s British, educated, admired by the people, and deeply committed to the well-being of his community.”
More silence… Read more
The best part about studying abroad in Botswana, is being able to travel to some amazing nearby places. For semester break I traveled with three other international students to Ponta de Ouro, Mozambique: a county that is said to have the most beautiful beaches in all of Africa. Just getting there, was an adventure within itself as we began our trip by not being let through the South African border, therefor missing our bus we had already paid for. Instead, we ended up hitchhiking to Johannesburg, then catching our next bus to Moputo, taking a ferry to Contembe, and then being driven by a jeep for the last three hours, until we finally reached our backpackers hostel. I four-wheeled up the coast, bought food from the local market, negotiated for local crafts, and spent my days laying on the beautiful beaches and trying to avoid the blue jellyfish as I swam in the warm ocean. It was a wonderful vacation filled with relaxation, adventure, and culture. Read more