*The title translates as ‘goodbye for now’ in Irish.
As the time of my departure draws near I have come to realize that living in Ireland is different from what I thought. A very naive part of me thought that American and Irish culture were fairly similar, however I have learned that there are many differences between both the Irish and American traditions. One day I can specifically recall was St. Patrick’s Day, which was easily one of my most favorite days in Ireland. In America one would find everyone wearing green clothes, shamrock headbands, and shirts that say “kiss me I’m Irish”. There are parades with young girls Irish dancing, men playing bagpipes, and then perhaps a drink or two between festivities. However in Ireland the tradition is a bit different. Some people wear green, but not many. The parade was a bit strange and did not seem to have anything to do with St. Patrick’s Day; it seemed more like a celebration of many other cultures. And since St. Patrick’s Day is a bank holiday and students have the day off it is a great excuse to go out on the town and have a good time. Now, even though I was not dressed in all green, and I didn’t enjoy the parade I still had the best St. Patrick’s Day of my lifetime. It seemed as if everyone just wanted to have a good day with their friends and family which made for an amazing atmosphere in town. There was plenty of traditional music to be heard, friends to be with, and even a few Irish ciders here and there as well. Although this year’s St Patrick’s Day was much different from any other that I had experienced before, it is definitely one I will never forget! Read more
So a question I’ve been hearing a lot is “Are you ready to go home?” The answer unfortunately isn’t that easy to give. On so many levels I’m not done with this place—the people, the traveling, the experience. But it has made me realize some important things about the US.
I will always be tied to the US because that’s where not only my family is, but also where I was shaped into the person I am today. Not saying that living here in Belfast hasn’t also shaped me, but my foundation, as a person, was built in the US. So as much as I love this city and this country, it will probably never bear the same sort of attachments as the US. Read more
When parents come to visit, it usually means days of museums, tours, and fancy lunches, it usually means hotels and mature, censured conversations and saying goodbye to friends for a little family time. When Sarah Kass comes to visit, it means normal life plus one. My mom had a perception of Cape Town as The Africa of The Apartheid. Although the ramifications of that period in history unfortunately remain and affect Cape Town today, the city itself is a vibrant metropolis with the opportunities and wonders of a first world municipality. As you will see, the adventures we took part in were far from my mom’s expectations, yet, they still awed and surprised her with their uniqueness and variance from American culture… Read more
This week is Design Week in London (May 24-26). During the week, over 60 showrooms will be opened up and a number of other designed focused events will take place around the city. Read more about the week here: http://www.clerkenwelldesignweek.com/.
So is London the new Milan? The Huffington Post reports that British design has it’s own sense of creativity and originality, setting it apart from other design hubs. So if you’re looking to study Design and/or Fashion during your semester abroad, and perhaps haven’t had a chance to brush up on your Italian, London may be the place for you! Here are two Interstudy programs with Design and Fashion options for study abroad students: Read more
Just a mere half hour from Pietermaritzburg is a little town that, while well-known in the surrounding area, remains undiscovered by most tourists. The town is Howick, home to many small cafes and beautiful shops, and most notably Howick Falls, a one hundred meter water fall that is said to be one of the most spiritual places in the world, one that still draws people to the God said to live behind the falls. Part lion, part snake, and part bird, this God receives many offerings of fruit and tokens of respect from the locals who believe in it. Read more
How do you condense your study abroad experience into a 2 minute story? With so much to tell after a semester or year abroad, that seems like a daunting task. Check out how Interstudy alumnae, Natalie Bennett (Cape Town, Fall 2010), does just that with her Digital Story, using words, pictures and music to convey her story. Great work Natalie!
Well, it’s been fun. Thanks for 5 months of near-perpetual perfect weather, greasy Steers fries, 30 rand wine and movie nights. Sure, we had our disagreements here and there – I know I can be too uptight, and you’re the kind of place that asks for a lot of adaptability, but I think we came to a pretty decent balance most of the time. Thanks for the cool people you introduced me to- I’m just as sad to leave them as I am to leave you, truth be told, and even for dragging me hiking that one time in the Drakensburg. (Note: I’m never doing that again.)
I know our time together was short – feels like it’s been a matter of weeks sometimes – and if I could make it longer, I would. But we both knew I’d have to go back to Philadelphia eventually, Durban. It’s about that time now.
I still maintain that there’s no such thing as too many photographs, so when Philadelphia gets too chilly or rainy, I know I’ll be rifling through pictures of you and me and remembering the good times– the beaches, the marketplaces, the weeklong jaunts to Cape Town and Mozambique. You’ve given me a lot, Durbs, and I’ll always remember our time together as absolutely fantastic. Do me a favour and take care of the next new girl you meet, alright?
Please join us in congratulating our 2 Early Action Raffle Winners for the upcoming Summer and Fall semesters! These students were chosen at random from amongst the Interstudy applicants who applied by the early action deadline (March 1 for Summer, and March 15 for Fall):
Stephanie Clemens, UMASS Boston
Fall Semester: Queen Mary, University of London
Note: it was entirely by chance that both students came from the same school!
I thought I would devote a bit to the seemingly random activities I end up involved in here in Cape Town…what would life be like without the usual (very usual, in my case) randomness, hey? The thing I’ve realized since I’ve been here is that South African life, in all it’s wonder, excitement, and seemingly primitive nature at times, it is surprisingly familiar. As the mystery has worn off, the sense of home emerges. This is no longer a vacation; it is a lifestyle (perhaps a luxurious lifestyle, but yet I will count it as such). And what would “life” be like without the usual patterns and the moments that, although seem silly, make all the difference. When I leave South Africa, it’s not the beaches and shopping and sights that I will miss most; it is the life, my life. Here is a sneak peak into my “normal” life. Read more