Skip to content

The Land of Ire!

My weekend in Ireland can be summed up with one word: craic.  We flew from London to Dublin in about an hour with RyanAir, which was definitely an interesting experience… Let’s just say, I can see why it’s so cheap

TBT – The Best Souvenirs Money Can’t Buy

In honor of the ever popular “Throwback Thursday,” I’ve decided to do a post about one of my favorite parts of any trip, SOUVENIRS (or as my friends like to call them souvies). In essence, they’re the best throwbacks out there.

I’m Back

I don’t even know how long it has been since I have posted anything on this site. It was partially my fault, partially my computers. It was my fault since I didn’t want to do anything the first month I

How to Pursue an International Service Experience

Dear Reader, This is way too timely and salient for me to be comfortable with, but I’m going ahead with this anyway. Also, please know that even though the title is a statement, I’m also asking. I graduate one month

Chugging Along Just Fine

Well here we are, more than halfway done with my trip! It is incredible how fast the time passes. Now that I have been here for more than two months, I’ve started to look back on time here and how

Je suis ici!!!

Bonjour! I arrived in New Caledonia sunday afternoon and went straight to UNC, which is my home for the next 3 weeks. The flight was pretty uneventful but the view from the runway when you land at la Tontuna airport

A good way to end the year

It’s been a while since I’ve done some travelling hence I’ve been MIA, but since I’ve finished my undergrad degree (if I pass my final exams) I definitely think it’s time for a holiday. Once again I’ll be visiting Vietnam

Lisbon in a Day

Hello all! This weekend I went to Lisbon, Portugal.  I just went for a day, but it was a great place to visit!  It’s a really unique city, and it was a nice change of pace to just go walking

A Yellow Umbrella (Protests in Hong Kong)

I’m studying abroad in China but with my program I went on a week long trip that included 3 days in Hong Kong. For those of you who don’t know, there are currently protests in Hong Kong over the fact

The Land of Scot!

Alright, so I’m going to be completely honest here. In all the years I spent planning this trip, I was obviously most looking forward to travelling. I dreamt of seeing London, Ireland, Paris, and Amsterdam… All the typical tourist destinations.

Making the Best of it – My Favorite Things to do in San Diego

I’ve lived in San Diego for almost 4 years now, and in that time I’ve done a lot of exploring. I’ve found that San Diego has a lot to offer, there’s something for everyone here. But since I can’t tell

Spiderman Wetsuits

I wish I could put down on paper the way the kids at Christine Revell say my name. In the past, people have often had trouble pronouncing my name correctly or stumbled upon the word because it is a pretty

Zoning Out

Dear Reader, I’ve got about three main ideas that I want to address here, so let’s see how well I can accomplish that. Intracultural Shock Earlier this week, I finished my thank you cards to those who supported my travel

Exploring Rome

Hello all! This past weekend I visited Rome!  I’ve been to Italy before, but never Rome, and it was a unique experience.  There’s so much to see in the city and our four full days there didn’t even scratch the

Tokyo Tower!

I finally did something touristy here in Tokyo. I feel like I haven’t actually been doing any of the sights and sounds. But a couple weeks ago my friend was getting stir crazy so we dragged ourselves to Minato-ku to

Waseda Sai

I do apologise for the last absence, friends and family! It’s hard to blog about stuff when you’re not really doing much, But I’ve done a few things the last couple of weeks which warrant a little attention. Mainly, I’ve

Cultural Observation #1

While preparing to come to Germany, both the last time around and for my current trip, I’ve read a decent amount about Germans and their particular cultural characteristics. For instance, I’ve read over and over again that the Germans are

SGG Meetup: Tokyo, Japan!

NOTE: We created the original post under the SGG Management Team account, but apparently the comments section wasn’t working properly.  So, the post has now been switched to here. Hey everyone! Based on popular demand, we have decided to host

I Wasn’t Ready for California

After living in Spain for 6 months, I came back to southern California with a heavy heart. The first words I whispered into my mother’s ear upon arrival were, “I hate it here.” I’ve never felt rooted here. Ever since

“Culture Shock”

Since I’ve been in London I haven’t really felt a culture shock, but I have had to adjust to the dramatic sunset. Around 4:00pm everyday the sun begins to set and it’s completely dark outside by 5 which I’ve noticed

October was a busy month

Jinhu birthday Halloween just so happened to be Jinhu GuoXiao’s birthday. While this ruined some Halloween plans I wanted to do… it was a lot of fun! I got to see my fourth and fifth graders practice their specialties. One

Some time for reflection

Hi everyone, I realize that it has been quite a while since I have posted anything here, and I also realize that I still have not posted anything about my trips to Greece and France, but I am sure I’ll

Out of this World

Dear Reader, From Thursday 30 October to Monday 3 November, I travelled with Team Tassy to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. I’m planning to write a series to detail my time in Haiti. Some will be reflective, reportive and otherwise. This is my

One month later..chocolate.

Over a month has gone by now and unfortunately that means that the initial motivation I  felt upon arrival has slowly worn off…making it oh so easy to ignore the guilty feeling caused by going over a month without a

A Broke Canadian’s Guide to Studying Abroad in London (warning – very long)

So… You’re thinking about studying abroad… Gently tossing the idea around in your head, but probably thinking it’s easier said than done. And you’re probably coming up with excuses as to why you can’t do it. It’s expensive, it’s scary,

Seven months until I go to England!

I haven’t had a chance to apply yet because I still have to renew my passport, but I’m getting there! I’m so excited! I really hope I get into the program!

Japanese Chopstick Etiquette

Japanese take their chopsticks seriously, very seriously. If you are dining with Japanese people, they will most likely understand that you do not know [all of] the rules. They will probably forgive you if you commit some major faux pas.

Rule #1 of studying abroad: expect the unexpected.

Okay, so this time I have a legitimate excuse for my absence. See… I’ve been having some really terrible luck with electronics. First it was my MacBook charger which suddenly broke, forcing my parents to buy one for me and

16 Days till lift off

So it’s been a while since I posted…Whoops. Currently I’m doing my end of semester exams so I’m a chocolate eating, procrastinating stress ball at the moment. The idea of being overseas in just over 2 weeks doesn’t seem real.


Originally posted on When it’s been so long since you’ve posted an update it’s difficult to figure out what you should talk about. It won’t be possible to talk about everything that’s happened since I last posted two months

London Adventure: Harry Potter Exhibit (SPOILERS)

So I decided to put this as a separate post because I didn’t want to clutter my London post with the plethora of pictures from the exhibit.  Also, if anyone plans on going to the exhibit, I’d warn you not

London Adventures

Hello all! So last week we were in London! It was a great trip and we saw so much! One thing I would definitely recommend anyone traveling and wanting to see the tourist sites in the city to get the

My South Korean Friend

Saturday was the third get-together with my friend from South Korea. We always meet in the same place near Place Royale near the fountain in the dead center of the square. Ye-Seul is a very kind and intelligent person. She

I Met a Rat

I went out into the city today, on Sunday (le jour de repos). I knew that all the stores and most restaurants would be closed, but I also was feeling a bit hungry around 9:00 a.m. and decided to go

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! Since my last post, I’ve been all over central London a few more times. I’ve been to the historic Stonehenge. I’ve been to the beautiful city of Bath. I’ve started

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

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

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.

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

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.

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