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JASSO Scholarship

So at the beginning of my process, my advisor told me about a scholarship for international students known as ‘the JASSO Scholarship’. Basically, the Japanese government would provide the elected exchange students with 80,000 JPY a month for the duration


So, a week from now I’ll be flying off to London to spend a week with my friend before going to Japan. Which meaaaaans, I have to start emptying out my apartment and packing everything up! I’ve been dreading it

High and Low Points

  I think the most amazing thing about my trip to Spain was La Feria. Basically, La Feria is a gigantic state fair that happens in many of the cities in Andalucia and all over Spain. It kicks off on

Why I study German and History

A couple of months ago I entered a writing competition in which one had to write a 500 word essay on “why you love learning your subject and how you experience learning at a higher level”. And while I didn’t win,

Passing the Torch

Now that my trip is over and I am back in the U.S I can really look back and reflect on my service-learning experience in Oaxaca, Mexico. I have grown tremendously because of this study abroad trip, discovering aspects of

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I knew that going to Mexico was going to expose me to a culture that I knew nothing about and I was excited to be able to broaden my horizons in such a way. However, spending time in Mexico unexpectedly

The Sea of Poppies at Tower of London

Are/Will you be in London before November 11th? If so you should head down to the Tower of London to see the art installation, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red. It marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First

Teacher Training

So, I feel like I have been doing pretty poorly on updating on what I’ve been doing… I apologize. Basically Monday through Friday 9am to 4pm I have been in trainings with lots of really inspirational people. We have been

Day 13 and 14: Bye to Panama

Day 13- San Blas (Big Dog Island) Couldn’t sleep much, we all kept kicking each other in the tent and the wind was so loud, because guess what? There are no wind breakers on an island. -.- But we got

Two More Sleeps…

Two more nights in my bed! It’s weird to think about.. Last year I had come home twice during the fall semester so it wasn’t long before I was reunited with my bed! Now I won’t be home for a

“I’m Mr. Satisfaction!”

  No, really. That was literally said by a person I walked pass during an independent exploration.   Before I get into telling you my first few days, I want to apologize for not posting a new post when I

Hannah tries to get a phone

Originally posted on Allow me to share with you all what I pay and what I get for that money with my home phone network in Ireland. For €20, I have: - Unlimited texts to all networks - Unlimited

Initial Impressions

Welcome to Qatar! It’s always a wonder to enter into a new place. There are a lot of firsts to come for me and some were already gathered by the time my plane touched down on August 13th. I have

Letter to the Next

If you are thinking about studying abroad, don’t let the opportunity slip away before you graduate. I always knew that I wanted to study abroad, but I had doubts that I could afford it and fit it into my complicated


I’ve been talking about studying abroad for so long that it never seemed like it would ever actually happen. And now it’s 1am and I’m meant to be up in 6 hours to catch a flight to Heathrow at 9am,

Before Liftoff

It’s currently Tuesday night and I start traveling in a little less than a day. I still can’t quite fathom the fact that I’m leaving the country, jumping on a plane for an ungodly amount of hours, and living in

Thoughts on Traveling Solo

“Haven’t you seen Taken?” “Traveling alone as a girl isn’t safe.” I can’t tell you how many times I heard these warnings when I told people I was planning on traveling by myself. While I understand the concern, the idea

Malaysian Downing Street and Cendol

George Town, Penang in Malaysia has one of the most picture perfect historic zones I’ve ever seen. The buildings are reminiscent of tiered wedding cakes covered in icing. Or maybe I just see food in everything. I think it’s the


           SUPER LATE UPDATE but anw… so in Japan every summer there’ll be displays of fireworks nation wide at different timings…so people can watch a really beautiful display of fireworks as many times as they’re willing

Entering the LDR… (that’s Long-Distance Relationship for those who don’t know)

In 2 days I will be off to Spain to study and work for a year. My boyfriend will be back here in the States, and after 2 and a half years of being together and living together for the

Chicago and DC!

Again, sorry for the length between posts! I’ve had a bit more of a relaxed schedule these last few days, but things have still be quite busy. Since I last posted, I have a fairly quick trip to Chicago, and several

High Point – Low Point and Cultural Identity

I had so many extraordinary experiences in Costa Rica, so it’s hard to choose just one high point of my time abroad. Although the majority of my time was spent in San José, I’d have to say that all of

Day 12: The Beauty of the Mountain Hike to Basking in San Blas

Day 12- 1/8/14 Yesterday’s hikes around the mountain made me more confident in heading back down today. Everyone’s descriptions of the cloud forest hike marked it as beautiful and amazing but also very difficult and intense. Several people told me

A Fangirl’s Tour

Or, more accurately, “How My Family, My Best Friend, and I Spent a Week Chasing Harry Potter, the Doctor, and Sherlock Holmes Around London and Various Other Places”. But that title seemed like too much of a mouthful and it’s

Re-immersing yourself in the Italian Language

An obsessions of mine after being home in Hawaii after living in Italy has been to click through the Italian videos on YouTube.  One of my favorite finds that I’ve been loving has been the videos of Tom or Txxytu.

Letter to the Next

My study abroad trip to Guatemala was a fantastic experience, and even the best advice could not fully prepare me for the changes in culture and customs. That being said, there are a few things I wish I had known

Jinmen: Mid-Autumn Moon Festival Dice Game

So today we went to the the Jinmen Mid Autumn Moon festival Dice Game. The first 300 people would be able to play the dice game, but since we were foreigners we got to skip the line… Privilege. The goal

Letter to Next

To those fortunate enough to go on this study abroad program, If you are going into this experience blindly, have no fear! I had never left the country before, and I had no clue what to expect! Embrace this feeling

High Point & Low Point

The high point of this trip was our safari in Kruger National Park.  Safari in Kruger was unparalleled by any other experience that I have had in my entire life, and I plan to return to Kruger again in the

Academic Experience

I took six credits while studying abroad.  My first course was an Anthropology class studying human evolution and legacy in South Africa.  My second class was a Biology class entitled  ”African Natural and Evolutionary History”.  I found both of these

Academic Experience

Technically, I am enrolled in two courses – “The Atlantic Slave Trade” and “Caribbean Perspectives on the African Diaspora.” When we registered for the program we were required to pick two of three options, the third being “Caribbean History and


Well, this is the moment I’ve been waiting for ever since I was young; to travel to a foreign country without my family. Obviously I am a bit nervous because I got this anxious adrenaline in my head and I

Letter to the Next

The International Consulting Program was the most rewarding experience of my college career thus far. It was a difficult, yet enjoyable two weeks in Spain. When the program began back at VCU, I was not expecting the project to be

Hannah goes to Canada

Originally posted on My first piece advice for those of you travelling from Europe to Canada or the US: your hairdryer will not work. if it does work it’s got just enough power to take about 5 hours to

Back from ‘Bodia

For the past 10 days, I have been wandering around Cambodia. We started in Siem Reap, made our way down to Sihanoukville, then ambled back up to Phnom Penh (the capital city). Cambodia is a busy, rich country. Streets are

Matching Day

May the odds be ever in your favor! Random things about Jinmen: There are babies everywhere. Apparently there is a big government fertility push. All the receipts have lottery numbers on them. So at the end of the month you

Academic Experience

I took two classes during my study abroad program which were Cultural Heritage in Latin America and Environmental Impact and Social Development. My classes were Monday through Friday 8am to 12 and 6pm to 8. It was a bit of

The Highs and Lows and Cultural Identity

I didn’t have any low points in my time abroad – except maybe realizing how I wished a few things back home would change – and almost everything seemed to be a high point. I was so happy to be

Letter to Next Students Going Global: An Unusual Packing List

As I’ve mentioned before, I have travelled (a wee little bit) internationally previously. This past experience helped me immensely for this trip. In the spirit of what I’ve learned from my two times abroad, here is an unusual packing list

Preparing for India…

I’m leaving for a semester in India on the 23rd. I’m super nervous and really excited. I’ll definitely keep this blog updated throughout my trip! A whole day in transit from New York to Bangalore is going to be the

High Point, Low Point, Cultural Identity

Out of the three week period I spent in Spain, both my high point and low point occurred in the city Málaga. We took a train from Córdoba to Málaga the second weekend of the program, which we treated as

Culture Shock

A few other bloggers I’ve read on this site have already started a discussion about the phrase “culture shock.” I would only add that that it seems to have a negative connotation and therefore seems to be phishing for a

Academic Experience

I am taking two classes through my study abroad program. One is a WRLD 391 course run by the VCU professor leading our trip and the other is an advanced grammar course at the language school we’re attending in Vienna

Culture Shock

As far as culture shock goes, I didn’t really experience any noticeable phases of it during my time abroad. This could partly be because I was constantly occupied with classes, weekend excursions, hanging out with friends, and spending time with my

My Progress Thus Far

As my first post on this site, I figured it would be a good idea to update those of you who have no idea who I am, on the progress I’ve made so far. So, I’ve recently been accepted at

High and Low Points; Cultural Identity — I am waiting to go on my big trip and I get blown up in New Jersey…

High Point There were so many high points to the trip. It is not an exaggeration to say that it is all good. I enjoyed a lingering two days in Strasbourg on my own time that were quite enjoyable. These

Day 11: Cloud Forest of Chucanti

Day 11- 1/7/14 Not going on the cloud forest hike. Disappointing, seeing as that hike was one of the reasons I came on this journey, but just now I am simply physically exhausted and unable to take an arduous 8

Korea Trip 韩国欢迎我

One of the biggest advantages of studying abroad is that you’re more than likely going where your only two neighboring countries aren’t just Mexico and Canada anymore. Going to a European country, for example, you’ve got quick access to many

Packing for Spain

In less than one week I will be catching a plane to Spain. At this point pre-journey, packing is my priority. Since this will be my second year-long stint abroad to study, I’m going to try to avoid making the

Initial Impressions

Immediately, I did not notice vast differences between where I flew out of on September 10 of last year and where I flew into the next morning; but that, however, is because I chose to study abroad in England from

The summer process

Hey guys, So I’ve already posted a few points about the process so far on my tumblr. So I’ll make this post more of a summary of all them. February I found out I was nominated in mid-February. I was

Catching up with pictures!

  Figure 1: The fountain in the central plaza in Antigua Figure 2: Cathedral destroyed in the earthquake of 1773 (the capital moved from Antigua to the new Guatemala City) Figure 3: Figures used to preform a dance, the dancer

Cultural Identity

Hello again! I’m writing this blog post from back home. I landed in the US on Aug 1st, and after 11 days to process my time in Guatemala, I do have a slightly different take on my cultural identity. I’ve

Penang National Park and Butterflies

In the morning we took a bus from George Town to the National Park in the north western part of the island. Bus tickets were around 2MYR, roughly 37p each and the bus takes you right up to the entrance.

Initial Impressions

I landed in San Jose during Costa Rica’s World Cup quarterfinals game which made it that much more of a memorable experience. People in the airport were going crazy when Costa Rica scored their first penalty kick against the Netherlands.

Academic Experience: A Co-Learning Team

This course was the Transatlantic Development Seminar — an intensive 3-week seminar of joint graduate study between VCU and University of Kaiserslautern urban planning, public administration, and homeland security students. Mostly planner folk. We were studying the topic of regional

Passport Application

It’s been a while since my first post. I have been pretty preoccupied with other events in my life, most specifically getting ready for my move to Washington, D.C. where I will be interning with the Association of American Geographers.

Academic Experience

In Barbados I took two classes- history of the Atlantic slave trade and the history of Caribbean culture. They were simply fascinating to say the utmost least. Being in a foreign country and learning about subjects firsthand is an experience

Culture Shock

In all seriousness, the was little to no culture shock of any kind during my time here. I’ve lived in Panama for a good part of my life, which made accommodating to the Bajan lifestyle fairly easy. I’m used to

Culture Shock

I feel like I’m a pretty calm, flexible person. Because of this, I really haven’t experienced much culture shock. Also, I feel like it’s difficult to experience culture shock after only one month. However, while not shocking, there were a

Wanted: Social Media Help!

SGG Community, We are looking for someone with free time who is interested in helping us run our Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr social media accounts.  Some responsibility with our university partnerships and general marketing will also be given to the

Initial Impressions

Vienna is visually, linguistically, and socially very different from anything I’ve experienced in America. The city is filled with intricate, baroque buildings. The people have a very close idea of personal space and will not hesitate to bump into you.

A good weekend in Jinmen

Well. Orientation is still going on. Spent the weekend trying to order the 14 possible elementary schools from favorite to least favorite. It was more difficult than it sounds. You have to consider location, class size, commute, school specialty etc.

Today’s the Day!

Leaving for Germany via Copenhagen to see a friend. I will officially be in Hamburg on Wednesday night! Pictures to follow!!

Turning Memories into Keepsakes

Our SE Asia trip took us through seven countries in two months which looks pretty impressive on a map. So for Christmas following our tour, I took inspiration from this blog and decided to make a sewn route map for Adam. I

Prompt #5: Letter to Next

Dear future study abroaders, If you could know just three things before studying abroad, you’ll probably stay alive for at least 4 weeks: 1. Budget money, especially for travel. Never expect your flights to always go as scheduled, especially if

Prompt #4: High Point, Low Point, and My Cultural Identity

Can my trip abroad start with my flights to Spain? Because that’s honestly when the low point of my trip happened. Long story kinda short (I posted about this earlier in the blog site, but here’s a recap): Since (if

Culture Shock: I Almost Have a Chat With the French Police

Our course consisted of a Germany segment, studying with students from the University of Kaiserslautern, a one-week break for travel, etc. and a week hosting the German students here in Richmond, VA. The design of the course was fairly rigorous

Day 10: Relaxation in Chucanti

“Day 10- 1/6/14 Good morning! I slept for what seems like forever and still managed to wake up at 4AM due to habit. I rolled over and tried to go back to la-la land, but it seems I was already

Initial Impressions

The exchange trip to Kaiserslautern was a bit of surprise to me. I am a older graduate student (I call myself a “gradual student”), and have a lot of barriers to taking this type of trip. It was nothing short

Countdown: Day 12

Well, it’s under two weeks and the excitement is really starting to kick in! I have found out that a fellow blogger and I are are rooming right across the hall from each other and many shenanigans are going to

Hello all!

Hello all! So with school starting just a few weeks away, I thought I would make my first post about things to do before you leave.  There’s a lot to consider before leaving the country for an extended period of

The King in the Car Park

There was a story a couple of years ago–a team of archaeologists were digging in Leicester on the hunch that they would find the final resting place of King Richard III. Turns out, they were right–DNA and dental testing revealed

Final Presentation and Last BBQ in Zurich

ALL DONE! On wednesday night, we stayed until 9pm to finish the editing job for 7 films and prepared our own parts of the final presentations, where all three teams of the ETH Sustainability Summer School (data, design, and marketing


Bonjour tout le monde! So let me introduce myself. I’m in my 2nd year of my BA majoring in French and minoring in Spanish and I’ve decided to do an intensive French summer school course at l’Université de la Nouvelle-Calédonie

Film Editing – new experience everyday in Zurich

The third week of the ETH Sustainability Summer School was film editing, at least for my team. After a few filming sessions and excursions in week two, we had all the video clips needed for one Cybathlon movie targeting potential

High Point-Low Point and Cultural Identity

I would have to say that most of my time spent abroad was a high point. I enjoyed learning all about the culture I was in and having the opportunity to experience new things, whether that was the language, the

Academic Experience

The classes I took for this Study Abroad program were Educational Psychology and Reading Diagnostics and Remediation. Since this was a Faculty-Led, two week study abroad program, our time spent in Italy was an addition to our regular class time

Day 9: Terrors on the Trail

Day 9- 1/5/14 “Today was, in a word, terrifying. The hike and ride up were so intense and crazy, I thought I wasn’t going to make it several times. I’m not religious, but I found myself praying on occasion. It


(Long post up ahead!) Once again, the last few days have been incredibly insane! Today has been our first day in Orlando where we haven’t spent all day at a theme park. The previous 7 days were filled with getting

A Letter to Future Participants

This post is meant to inform potential future participants about the program I studied on and why they should too. Going to another country can be a risk, but that’s ok. You’re not a child anymore. You’re an adult, and

New, Different (better?) Academic Style

I took comparative public health systems courses while studying abroad. In the Netherlands I studied their healthcare system and when I was in the UK I studied the National Health Service (NHS), which is their public healthcare system. I liked

I ♥ George Town: Arrival in Penang

Penang is a funny little island just jutting off the Malaysian mainland, connected by two massive bridges and a regular ferry. We arrived by air, with the intention of having our base in George Town. Confusingly enough, there are two

Photo Contest for Study Abroad Students

Hey everyone!   I would greatly appreciate it if you would vote for my photo from my study abroad experience in Costa Rica. Click here to vote!!  Thanks so much!!  

Study Abroad Photo Contest

Hi all! I would appreciate it greatly if you would vote for this photo from my study abroad experience in Costa Rica. Thanks so much! ClICK HERE TO VOTE!!    

Back from Summer 2014 Adventures

[Photo taken near Jackson, Wyoming] Wow! The summer has been extremely busy and I’ve only had a short break! I’m already back on the road of life onto my next chapter. Ecuador and the Galapagos were amazed and I have

New Friends Help Cushion the Blow of Being Away From Home

I didn’t really experience culture shock in either Amsterdam or London. They were both similar enough to where I live in the United States that I didn’t feel too thrown off. There are definitely major differences between the two places,

Aug 4- Aug7- Jinmen Taiwan

Random things from past couple of days. It is currently Ghost month in Jinmen, they celebrated last Sunday by firing fireworks and making food offerings to the ghosts. Ghost Month Taboos no washing your clothes at night because the ghosts

Countdown: 24 days

I have sort of been putting off the fact that I am going to be going to China. I will get on kicks where I am super excited and start reading a bunch of blogs or plan a ton. But

Letter to Next

My advice to any student who is thinking about studying abroad in London is to go for it! It has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Although I was only able to take one summer class