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Light Suggestions to Keep in Mind

After spending a year abroad, and currently living abroad again this year, I’ve decided to compile a list of tips to help others make the most of their own years away. These rules are in no way set in stone;

The Most Food Anyone Has Ever Eaten in One Day…

The Date? Friday, October 17, 2014 The Time? Mostly the morning and early afternoon. The Main Focus? Eating as much French food as humanly possible. (Okay, okay, this was not the original goal I had intended, but that is pretty


Hey fellow study abroad people past present and future. For those of you who don’t know me, which you likely do not because I was absolute rubbish at updating my blog during my YEAR (you think if I was gone

I Liked It Dalat

See my pun there? But really, I love Dalat a lot. I do really love Saigon, but going to Dalat was an absolutely necessary break from the heat, pollution, and craziness that is the city of Saigon. I hopped on

12 Types of People You’ll Encounter on a Road Trip

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing,

A year of Lake Erie

The first thing is the lake, huge, reaching Canada, looking like sea. When I think of Cleveland the first thing is the lake. I saw that city wear every season, and lake Erie match it any time. It seemed to

Culture “Shock”?

It feels unfair and ungracious for an American to try to claim culture shock in England. But I should know better than to succumb to that feeling. Traveling from Georgia to Arizona one experiences something akin to culture shock, so

Packing Up

    One of my biggest concerns about going abroad was packing. Do I have everything I need? If I forget something will I be able to buy it there? Most of the time the answer is no, you’re bound

Take a Moment

Hello from Durham! I’ve officially been in the northeast of England for three weeks; I had (have) a very long post in the works about all the nuts and bolts of studying and living here, detailing the craziness that comes

Le Kampuchea

This past week, we went on a whirlwind trip around Cambodia, aka Kampuchea. Bright and too early Wednesday morning we hopped onto a bus and drove the six or so hours it takes to get from Saigon to Phnom Penh.

Cultural Overload

I’ve done and run across a lot of interesting things since my last blog post. I volunteered for the first time at the orphanage.. which was a lot more stressful than I imagined. We only played with one child and

I’m so bad at updating this.

I know… I suck. Sorry. I’ve just been so busy! I’m probably just talking to myself on here, but whatever. I’ll update those of you who might actually read this. Since my last post, I’ve been all over central London

Being vegan in South Africa

It doesn’t matter where you are, the word vegan usually begs the question, “but what do you eat?” (often accompanied by a cringe). In the meat-focused food culture of South Africa, this was more a statement of exasperation than question. Pre-departure

Oops, long time between updates!

I’ll hopefully be posting a proper post here pretty soon (it’s been pretty busy here lately), but until then, here’s the latest post from my wordpress blog!

Photography Sale

Hello everyone, I’ve got some exciting news for all of you photography lovers!  After returning back home, I received lots of positive feedback on my photography that I took while in Italy and in other European countries.  I won my

Advice to the Next Program

If I could give advice to the next group of students going to Buenos Aires, Argentina, I would tell them to not overpack, but they need to pack lots of underwear and socks.  I had to wash my underwear by

Edinburgh! Harry Potter, History, and more Harry Potter

Hello all! So, it has been a long time since my last post and I apologize! I’ve been super busy traveling and with school (and booking new trips!) but I thought I should share my Scotland experience, and more importantly

Phanfone and 3rd registration

So Super Typhoon Phanfone hit on Sunday, but the real magic happened Monday. It rained all day on Sunday and half of Monday. I don’t have photos, but I have a couple videos. I don’t know if I can post

Nikko, from terrible to awesome.

So last weekend I went to a little mountain town called Nikko, well-known for it’s famous temple. I went with Waseda’s Niji-no-Kai, which is one of their many international circles. A lot of us were extremely angry with the group


Looking back, it was maybe a little bit optimistic to think I’d be able to update this blog every week. I’m in my seventh (eighth?) week of classes here at Berkeley, and after several meltdowns I can possibly/maybe say I’m

Home Alone, I mean Travel Alone…

I had my first opportunity to actually travel by myself other than taking the metro around Shanghai. This was in Taiwan during the Chinese October Holiday. I traveled to Taiwan with my friend Roxy, but one day she was pretty

My Real Classes

I am taking 6 classes this semester:   1- French Language: I am learning a little vocabulary and grammar in this class. The important thing is the textbook, which has a cornucopia of exercises for future practice and knowledge. There

Rage Against the Dying of the Light

44 days left in Cape Town. These words are so bittersweet because on one hand, I can’t wait to see my loved ones again, and share my stories with them in person. On the other, when I think about how


Yes, I know, it is a bit early… But who doesn’t want to teach a whole month of Halloween and Dia de los Muertos? My kids haven’t learned about halloween before, which I think is odd. They love yelling the

8 steps to owning your semester abroad

I returned home from my exchange sad to leave such an amazing country and great friends but also extremely grateful for the opportunity and experiences I had. I was the second student from my school to go on exchange to Wits University

Latest Photos

My Updated Schedule

L’Emploi du Temps de Rachel Markle (à partir de 4/10/2014): lundi: 0h30-1h30 enseignement d’espagnol 10h30-11h30 cours de français 11h45-13h00 cours d’histoire nantaise 13h15-14h30 cours de poésie française 16h30-17h45 cours de cinéma français mardi: 0h00-1h00 enseignement d’espagnol 12h00-13h00 poste bibliothécaire 13h00-14h15

Nantes, en octobre

Nantes en octobre est très jolie. Il fait tellement plus froid que Chicago. Il est 57 degrés ici, à Chicago c’est 71 degrés et la semaine dernière c’était 81 degrés. J’étais surprise parce que j’étais sous l’impression qu’à Nantes il

Hello world!

My name is Ariana Katsigiannis and I am a freshman at NYU in Florence. Studying abroad my freshman year has been a very interesting experience thus far and I can’t wait to see what else awaits me! I was born

Vegetarian and Vegan cafe

So I am neither a vegetarian nor a vegan, but my friend Jeppa is a vegetarian so we decided to try this little cafe hidden near Waseda campus. It’s all vegetarian and vegan on request. Also! They have dogs! 2

Sunday, September 28th, Birthday Celebration!

So yesterday (Monday) was my 20th birthday!! But since it was a Monday, we decided to celebrate on Sunday. Actually, it was meant to be a joint birthday party for both me and Mari (whose birthday was the 21st) but

Goodbye Lah

It took me about four months to acknowledge the fact that I did not write a closing blog on my year abroad in Malaysia because I refused to say goodbye. How was I supposed to say goodbye to a country that

Video Update!

BONUS POST! For my scholarship I have to make a series of videos, so here is my first one! The song used in the video is In A Perfect World by The Sam Chase.

One Month

I can’t believe that it has been over a month since I left the US! I’m trying not to think about the fact that December is approaching much more rapidly that I would ever think. In the past month I’ve

Hello, England!

Last spring it felt as if this day would never arrive, and suddenly, you’re here—er… I’m here. There. I’m abroad! Initially one would think that England would not be too different from the US—that the shared language and history would

A day in the life

Hey hey, I thought I might give you just a basic run down of what a normal school day looks like for me here 6:20 wakeup and get dressed and ready 6:40 make tea and have breakfast (cookies) 7:10 mess

On Untranslatable Words

So yesterday I mentioned I loved untranslatable words, here’s a link to the sort of thing I mean.

Can I stay here forever?

Sorry for the lack of updates – I’ve been crazyyyy busy, but I’m having SO much fun. I’ve gone out basically every single day and every single night for these past two weeks, so I’ll try to fill you guys

How to Survive a Quiz Everyday

Yes a quiz every day. And usually a test every week. That’s how my program teaches Chinese. I’m in Beginner I but it is the same format across all levels – the more advanced just have more homework, etc. So

Hello London!

I arrived in Europe one month before the dance program at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire actually started, and already it feels like I’ve been away from the US for much longer. I wanted to experience being in a new area

(not title)

The word warm does not seem to exist here. It translates directly to hot (caldo) Not sure what I should say for weather that is “warm” how else do I describe this. “between hot and cold, but not just normal,

and there was one…day in the weekend

So I’ve successfully navigated m first week here in Avezzano. It’s been, well… intense. to say the least. I am understanding much more italian than I was at the beginning of the week. I feel like I’ve gained about 1000 kilos (but

My bento for tomorrow!

I bought my own bento box recently and this is the first time I’m using it so check it out! The top part is sausage, broccoli and miso chicken and the bottom part is rice, half covered in sakura denbu

Panino, Panini | The Rough Guide to Florence

Now let’s get something clear: panino = sandwich, singular and panini = sandwiches, plural.  Get this distinction right and you won’t be laughed at when you order these simple yet ridiculously flavorful handheld feasts.  If you thought you had it

Point of No Return

My life is pretty much packed into three bags, a purse, and an envelope. This is going to be a quick post, because I’m sitting in San Francisco International Airport, waiting to board a flight to Copenhagen and then make

Lets begin! 开学

School is finally here! I made it back to Shanghai after 5 hectic days in one of the most densely populated places in the world: Kowloon, Hong Kong. view from my hotel window I wish I could say I did

Letter to Next

Hello future Vienna visitors, language studiers, and beer connoisseurs. Settle in and get ready to take note, I have some tips for you. First, while Vienna will show you what good wine and beer is, don’t overdo it. Yes, they

High Point- Low Point and my Cultural Identity

It’s hard to think of one high point during my study abroad experience, since there were so many good instances. So, allow me to begin this post with my low point. The last four days of our program were spent

WuZhen: The Venice of the East

I spent a weekend in WuZhen and loved it. The shops, the cute restaurants, the snacks, the water, the views. The best way to describe it to you is just to show you the amazing photos.

So glad I Madridn’t: 6 reasons why I am loving smaller-town study abroad

I studied in Madrid from 2009-2010 for my first year of undergrad. Going back to Spain for my Master’s, I was hoping my new university would place me to work in a school in Madrid so that I could live

My arrival: the good, the bad, and the British

I know I’ve only been here for a few days now, but I’ve already experienced a roller coaster of emotions. My long awaited arrival to the UK took an unexpected turn of events in the beginning. Things are going amazingly

I Voted Yes

It started in France when a Finnish friend told me she did not think Scotland constituted a country. I was shocked, and I rejected this judgement. Then it happened again in Spain when a teacher told me she did not

Mid-Autumn Moon, Taipei, Taizhong, Beach, and Teaching

kmdtaiwan I am a very bad blogger this time around. I don’t remember being this tired when I was studying abroad in Beijing…. even though I am sure I complained relentlessly about how tiring memorizing characters was. Well, I went

Changed Perspectives: High Point/Low Point and Cultural Identity

Yes, I am going to be cliché and say that it is impossible to pick just one high point of my study abroad experience. My time in Italy was, for a lack of a better word, magical. After four weeks,

Letter to Next: Barbados Edition

Dear future participants, I don’t know how much anyone can be prepared for a program like “Atlantic History and Culture” in Barbados. It is quite cliché to say “expect the unexpected” but that is exactly what someone preparing for this

Letter to the Next

To the group that goes next year, I have a few things to say to you. Firstly, you should NOT go to Israel if the massacre of the Palestinian people is still going on, I know I won’t. Secondly, Be

Dear Future Travellers:

Get pumped! This trip is awesome and fantastic and you will love it! Be sure to get plenty of rest the whole month before you come because you will not be resting on this trip. It is nonstop action and

highs and lows

A high point on this trip was all the traveling we got to do.  Though it was exhausting it was also amazing to be able to see famous places like Rome, Pompeii, and Venice and then see other places that

non so la lingua!

Italian Italian Italian.  Literally the only classes I took.  I took an Italian language intensive class and boy was it intense.  Two to three hour classes twice a day, everyday.  Then on top of that there was hour to two


I think the only way I felt culture shock during this trip was through the other Americans who travelled with me and the ones who I met while I was there.  I’ve had my fair share of travels during my

Ciao Italia!

Spending two months (one actually in school) in Italy was the longest time I had ever spent in Western Europe.  I’m so used to the grey and brown, neutral colored architecture, the constant reminder of communism and dictators looming over

Letter to Next

For those of you interested in the International Consulting Program (ICP) I highly recommend you go for it! Things to consider: Banks in Cyprus have odd hours.  After being there for two weeks, I still can’t tell you when they

High Point, Low Point, and my Cultural Identity

Each and every day I spent in Barbados was wonderful, but if I have to pick just one moment to be the high point I would choose a day we called “Family Day.” Family Day happened about three days before

Highs, Lows and Cultural Identity

“You speak English but I know you aren’t Eurpopean. Where are you from?” “The United States.” *eyes wide* “Well what are you doing in Cyprus?!” “I’m participating in a study abroad program in conjunction with the University of Nicosia.  I

Academic Experience

The Artisan Resort, Cape Greco National Park is made up of fifteen homes located near the beach in the park.  My team’s consulting project task was to develop recommendations on how the resort could increase revenue during the off season. Interacting

Culture Shock

Before traveling to Cyprus, I really did not have any expectations of the country nor the people.  I purposely went to the country with a blank slate.  Every one I came in contact with was extremely hospitable.  Think “Southern Hospitality” times infinity.  As a part

Initial Impressions

Kalimera!  Good Morning Nicosia, Cyprus!  In June 2014 I participated in Virginia Commonwealth University’s International Consulting Program (ICP).  As a Virginian, I am accustomed to sweltering summers thick with humidity; however, in Nicosia, Cyprus I felt no humidity…just heat which is perfect for visiting

Packing, packing, packing…

It rained most of the weekend in Wisconsin, but on Saturday it was perfect. My sister’s wedding took place and once the “I-do”s were said, the dance floor broken in, and all the gifts unwrapped, it became time for me

Cuba: High Point/Low point

In ten days of experiencing this country, identifying the low points will be quite difficult.  If you’ve read the previous posts, you’ll encounter some examples of the stories and situations that I may consider low points.  However, overall, the experience

Cuba: Culture Shock

Culture Shock My culture shock might be a bit different from what other people may consider shocking.  I am Hispanic, speak Spanish, and grew up in a Hispanic household.  Therefore, I have been exposed to similar type of food and

Cuba: initial impressions

Initial Impressions: Study Abroad Course:  Adult Learning in Global Environments: Focus on Cuba Level: Graduate students Group: 10 students Duration: Ten days My initial impressions started even before arriving to Havana, Cuba.  In conversation with my travelmates, they questioned how

Cuba: Academic Experience, Pre-departure/Post-arrival

PRE-DEPARTURE If current UNICEF statistics rates a country with a 100% adult literacy rate, wouldn’t you think that it would be a country that could be a global participant in the economic and cultural stage? Maybe part of the European

Cuba: Letter to Next

In reality, all four prompts prior to this one have consisted on reflections about what you should know before-hand, what to expect, and what and how to prepare. However, here are some last minute tips that may also help. First

Letter To Next

First off, if you’ve made the decision to attend Dr. Moitt’s Barbados Program, congratulations because you have made an unbelievably awesome choice. My only hope for all future Bajan students is for them to leave all of their expectations and

3 weeks & 3 days

So far its been 3 weeks (and 3 days) since I arrived in London and 1 week (and 5 days) since I started my program here! I haven’t written anything and I’ve blamed it on “settling in”  but it’s about

Letter to the Next

One of the best ways to prepare for your study abroad trip, in my opinion, is to be very open minded.  This is especially true if you’ve never traveled out of the United States before.  You are going to a

High & Low Point of My Trip

  The highest point of my time abroad was when myself and 5 of the other girls I went to Italy with took a ferry from Sicily to Malta and spent the weekend in Malta.  We went sightseeing the first

Letter to Next

See previous post for apologies… Dear Future Mexico Study Abroader, It’s awesome. I don’t think I need to say much after that, but I’ll elaborate a bit. It’s a very unique opportunity to study abroad. More so than being unique,

En classe encore, oh lala…

Been in Grenoble now for a week and a half, finally starting to settle After a hectic first week of classes, hopefully things now will settle into a smooth routine. The other day I was feeling particularly spunky so I

High-Low Point

By far, the highest point of the entire trip was being alone, totally immersed in Bajan society and conversing with the locals. It allowed me to get away from the tourist track and to get a really authentic feel of

Seaside Towns Worth Your While

Hello all! Since my last post, I have done even more exploring of Dublin and the surrounding areas, as well as starting classes. One thing I’ve found that I would recommend to anyone coming to Dublin, and Ireland in general,

Academic Experience

Ah, classes.  I am taking an Italian course as well as a Documentary photography and film course.  The Italian class is teaching us the basics, such as numbers, how to order food at restaurants, and how to formulate sentences.  We

Culture Shock

  The biggest culture shock for me was the fact that nobody exercises in Noto.  It was kind of mindblowing to me as an athlete that I only saw about 3 other runners in the town throughout the whole month

High Point, Low Point, and Cultural Identity

Sooooo…this post is VERY late…I’m REALLY sorry. I got caught up with school. Tons of stuff going on here. I’m on the executive board of 2 clubs and I’m taking 20 credits this semester. Just found some free time (a

My Arrival in Italy!

After a flight delay (shout out to the Chicago airport), missing the first day of touring cathedrals, and temporarily misplacing luggage, I was ecstatic to finally get to our first destination, Palermo.  The very first thing that stood out to


I am about to wrap up my first week here in Barcelona and figured some reflection was necessary. I must admit this past week has felt more like a month. So much has changed in just a matter of days.

Letter to Next

Letter to Next- It’s been a real joy writing out my adventure for you, and getting to re-live one of the most important journeys that I could ever have undertaken in the process. I hope you all enjoyed it and

Memoirs of Bangkok, September 13th

Hello my world-traveling friends! Since I haven’t written in a while, I’m going to post an excerpt to the journal I’m keeping here. I hope you all are enjoying yourselves and your times around the world. “Today, it is rainy.

A part of India I didn’t want to have to see…

So Wednesday night I was introduced to Bangalore’s healthcare system. After suffering a few days from horrible stomach cramps, my friends took my to St. John’s ER around midnight. I was nervous about having to seek medical help in another

Academic Experience: Being a Student Abroad

I think the strangest part about studying abroad is defining that gray line between being abroad to study and being abroad to ‘vacation,’ so to speak. Everyone around you tells you to enjoy your experience abroad to the fullest and in