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This summer for the first time, I got to go to Scotland. Although I have spent a significant amount of time in England, I had never before been to the other countries in the United Kingdom. With the referendum on

Rooftop parties, pools and 20 years young

We began by hopping into a taxi. 150 baht (5ish USD) later, we hopped out. We walked down Soi 14, thinking we were headed in the right direction. Welp, we were wrong. So we jumped on the BTS (subway) and,


The capital of Spain, Madrid, has a perfect blend of attractions for people with all kinds of interests. It was only a 30 minute train ride from my house in Alcala de Henares so many times after school we would

Highs and Lows and My New Cultural Identity

It’s hard to determine a definite “high” of my time studying abroad. The entire trip was such a great experience for me, and I would say I experienced my “high” when I was in a beautiful city or on the

Excursion to WHO headquarters in Geneva and last day in Emmental

One the fourth day of “ETH Sustainability Summer School 2014 – Future Health, Technology and Innovation”, we took a day trip to Geneva to visit the headquarters of the World Health Organization.  Sitting in the simple and beautiful meeting room,

ETH Sustainability Summer School – Week One in Emmental, Switzerland

After a prolonged graduation celebration and a short trip to world cup Brazil, I arrived in Zurich, Switzerland on the morning of July 19. I am here to join the ETH Zurich Sustainability Summer School on the topic of “future

Community Service

Hey there everyone! So today was pretty interesting. We went to the school down the street and worked with some of the kids on various things. When we first arrived all of the kids were super happy to see us.

Less than 24 hours!

Well the day is almost here! I’m currently in hotel across the road from the Sydney International Terminal, watching the AFL on the tv (go Swans!), after having Red Rooster for dinner (not the best food, but it is a

A day in Pattaya

After an hour and a half of driving on a cramped bus with my classmates, we finally made it to the gardens. There, we saw Thai dancing, elephants, beautiful orchids and colorful parrots. We also came across a tiger, who,

4 days and 23 hours

Okay. So it is officially 4 days and 23 hours and some odd minutes until I depart for Taiwan. A lot of things have been happening… so I’ll share some highlights birthday presents: Alex made me a Totoro doll to

Fashademic Experience

When people hear “study abroad” they often underestimate the real learning experience that happens away from home. I was one of those people! I knew that I was going to Italy to study fashion, but I figured the classes would

Day 5: Last Day in Juan Diaz Mature and Mira Flores on the Panama Canal

“Day 6                                                                                                                         1/2/14 Summary of the Day: Temp: 79.3-88.8 degrees F Humidity: 87.5%-72.5% Time: 6:15AM- 12:40PM Site: Juan Diaz Mature Weather: Humid, hot, sunny (cooler than yesterday) Soil: Muddy, not terribly wet; still no standing water (odd for

Not for vegetarians

How about this for a BBQ? Here’s a look at your classic Argentina “asado” from the past weekend while celebrating Dia de Amigo. Looks like we’ve got rabbit, sausage, blood sausage, wheels of provolone, bell peppers, some pork, and other

Cultural Immersion

    Hey there everyone! So the last few days have mainly been spent doing more social research and being involved in the local community. Yesterday, (7/24) we went into the Kimb ya Simba community and did some surveys on

Academic Experience – Field School, Lectures, and Religious Sites

It’s really hard to fathom just how much I’ve learned over the past month. We had some readings and assignments prior to the start of the physical program, lectures 4 nights a week, and the dig is a field school,

Initial Impressions

White sandy beaches, different shades of blue fanning out all the way to the edge of the sea’s horizon- they got it all if your coming here as a fat tourist looking to sip your Puerto Rican rum margirita while you enjoy

Initial Impressions

Greetings from Barbados! My name is Tyler and I’m a senior at VCU doing a double major in History and International Studies with minors in Religious Studies and Gender, Sexuality, and Women Studies. This is my first trip abroad and

Academic Experience | Work Hard Play Hard

    Through the International Consulting Program, I was able to get real world experiences in a work environment. The ICP Program teaches us how to be business consultants and the processes of a consulting project. The courses we took

Culture Shock: an unwelcoming welcome

I had dragged my suitcase up the stairs to my third floor apartment and was delighted to find a welcoming open door.  That meant I did not have to wait for a Santa Reparata International School of Art (SRISA) representative

Thanks to everyone giving advice about traveling with a diet :)

I won’t be sticking with the Paleo, but I will be eating healthier, and all of your advice will definitely be helpful for when I’m trying to make good decisions abroad.

Classy Classes

Buenos tardes otro vez de Xela Any experience outside of one´s culture and comfort zone is a learning experience, but it´s now time to talk about the much more structured class time. Since my graduation from the Spanish school Juan

Letter to Next

If anyone is looking to study abroad in college, they should really consider their options…. And realize that every single option is pointing them in the direction of yes! There are really no concrete reasons you should not study abroad,


Thanks to some cheap Ryanair flights, I got to spend 36 hours in a city I have wanted to visit for a long time. I got to go to Dublin! I didn’t really know exactly what to expect but I

Culture Shock

Coming to London, I was expecting to feel much more of a culture shock than what I have been experiencing. I see the differences, but I don’t really feel them. Even the five hour time change has not had much

Culture Shock

Having been abroad before, I had already been through the whole homesick phase. I am used to being away from family, and even friends for a long period of time. I am also quite good at making new friends, so

Boston to Bangkok

Sawatdii kha, friends! Greetings from Bangkok. It’s been a little over a week since touch-down, and my feet ache like nobody’s business. I’ve been to Buddhist temples (Wat Po), amazing clubs and bars, beaches, gigantic malls and water-parks. Navigating the

Initial Impressions

  Ciao! My name is April and I am a first year Grad Student working towards my Master’s of Teaching in Early and Elementary Education. I had the wonderful opportunity to travel abroad to Florence, Italy during Spring Break to

High Point/Low Point & Cultural Identity

On Wednesday the 18th I had to say my goodbyes to Florence. The night before, our last Tuesday night, was spent how we spent all of our Tuesdays in June: watching the Beatles tribute band at the music venue Bebop,

Lazy Days and Ngorongoro Crater

So it has been a little while since I posted last! Sorry about that! I know some of you all at home are having withdraws from my awesome posts. So lets see Monday (7/21) was less then eventful, we spent

Letter to Next

Studying abroad in Spain for a month was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I was able to completely immerse myself into a different culture and make life-long friends. However, there are some things I wish I

Conquering Mountains and Fears

The day at K-House usually begins with us rising after a short night, groggily greeting each other in the kitchen, eyes half closed, and then making Nutella or PBJ sandwiches. I’ve begun to realize that there’s something really special about

Hong Kong aka the greatest city in the world (Shanghai and Beijing are up there too I swear)

Hello everyone!! This post is about my 10 day break in China, where I and 5 other people traveled from Tianjin to Hong Kong then to Shanghai. It was, most definitely, an adventure. Hopefully I’ll be able to capture the

Initial Impressions

My roommate Brittany and I have finally arrived in London! After a two hour delay and ten hours of being on our the flight from Dulles, we made it Heathrow International Airport. We do feel like we lost a bit

The start of another adventure…

“A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.” -John Steinbeck

Day 5: Juan Diaz Mature Full Field Day and Academic Experiences

I’ve been stocking up these posts, so I’ll be putting them up in quick succession this week. My computer has been “in the shop” so to say, and I’ve been accessing things through my phone, which is not very good

Benvenuto a Italia!

So, considering my exhaustion and prolonged jet lag, this blog post will be a brief one. The following are just a few snapshots of my favorite moments within my first 48 hours in Italy. I captured the best drinks: a

Una Carta al Próximo Estudiante

This is it: the last post! I’m going to tell you here some things I wish I had known before going. First off, bring a towel. My family had no problem supplying me with a towel, but it honestly seemed

Back in the States, Baby!

I’m finally back home and, yes, it is as awesome as you would think. I’ve flushed the toilet paper, drunk from the sink, and even slept in two days in a row. Life is gooooood. Right here I’m supposed to

Do You Really Want Me Back?

For a second, we’re going to pretend that this blog’s title isn’t just coincidental, that it doesn’t find its explanation in the song I was listenning to just then. We’re going to pretend it’s a call back to this amazing

Packing… Light?

Packing. Just the word itself makes me sigh a breath of frustration. Pack “light” they say but how do you pack “light” when you’re going somewhere where the weather is ever so changing. Well, I hope that I can be

A Quick List of Things That Are Different

I meant to write this earlier in the semester, when the differences between life in America and life in Prague were more noticeable. However, as time as gone on I’ve been able to gain more perspective, so posting this at

High point and Low point

Throughout this trip there have been many high points and also quite a few low points, but both have helped better me as a person and solidify my cultural identity in my mind and others. The first high point that

Academic Experiences

  The academic aspect of this study abroad trip has been my favorite so far, with incredibly famous archaeologist Yosef Garfinkel leading our program there nothing we can’t do. I picked this study abroad because of my interest in archaeology

Culture Shock

There were several components of Israeli society that I could say “shocked” me, the first of which was the literal wall they have placed around Palestine. Very reminiscent of the Berlin wall this wall disconnects Israel from the predominantly Arab

Initial Impressions

Upon Arriving in Tel Aviv Airport I was greeted with a relaxed security and a problem less entrance into the country. My cousin was supposed to pick me up right when I arrived, but when I called him he hadn’t

Academic Experience

I know this post is also one day late…sorry! I took 6 credits at Universidad Internacional in Cuernavaca, Morelos. Both classes (3 credits each) were VCU classes: Spanish 321 (Latin American Civilization) and 331 (Latin American Literature Part 2). They

Culture Shock

I know this post is one day late, but I got home really late last night and I was too exhausted to think, so I figured it best to do this today instead. The first week was bad, frankly speaking.

Tree Planting and Farm Touring

So, as I had eluded the other day, yesterday (7/19) we went out to the local school to talk to the kids about planting trees and encourage the school to plant things and be kind to the environment. We didn’t

Culture Shock and Military Conflict

I think culture shock is a terrible term. It’s really sensationalist. There was nothing shocking about my experience in Israel, although there were many striking cultural differences that I found fascinating. I came to Israel with an open mind, expecting

Day Trip to Córdoba

Yesterday, my roommate and I took a day trip to Córdoba! Córdoba is a very historical city in the South of Spain. It was the capital of an Islamic caliphate, and in the 10th century, it has been estimated that

7 days to go! (Packing and Roommates!!!)

Well, this time next week I will be 10 hours into my fight to New York City (via Los Angeles)! With a week to go I’ve still got a couple of things to do:  have my last shifts at work,

Culture Shock | Avoid the Gypsies

I experienced culture shock several times during the trip. First, I found it unusual how cheap everything is at restaurants. At most places in Córdoba, I noticed that you get a free tapa (appetizer) when you buy an alcoholic drink.

“Education is the most powerful weapon to change the world.”

Issues in education are widespread throughout Slovakia, but they especially affect Roma communities. I’ve spoken with Roma parents as well as leaders from Slovak, Roma and U.S. groups who have cited a lack of care for Roma students in schools.


So I managed to completely forget I had done this blog and got really confused when I had an email saying someone had commented on one of my posts! So happy I have rediscovered though because all my old posts

Letter to Next

So this last post is going to be a hypothetical letter to the next group of participants in this program! Dear Next Graphic Design student in Florence, One of my favorite pictures – sitting at the Ptitti Palace and looking

Kudu and Klipspringers

I’m sure everyone is getting really tired of me talking about how exciting it is here but it’s so true! Today we went out to Manyara Ranch, which is a place where the locals can bring their cattle and shoats

It’s (quite) time to leave again!

I’t been a while since last time I wrote. I’m avoiding reading my old post, it would be too sad…懐かしい! I’m sorry not to have written in my last weeks in Japan, but I was busy studying and trying to

The Slav Epic

May 14 After visiting the Toy Museum in Prague Castle, I stopped inside the Lobkowicz Palace, also a museum of historical Czech and European artifacts collected by the titular old Czech family. I walked past the entrance maybe three times,

Toy Museum (Muzeum hraček)

May 14 After walking through the castle gardens, I made my way towards the Toy Museum I was curious about. I didn’t expect it to be thrilling or anything, but I figured it was a cute attraction I might as well check

Lacuna – Lexical Gap

Dear Reader, Once again, I am caught off-guard that two weeks has passed, and I am reduced to using a dust-gathering draft to satisfy my bi-monthly writing requirement. We’re in the doldrums. We’re all familiar with the phenomenon when one

High Point, Low Point, and Cultural Identity

One of the high points of studying abroad in Spain was learning the language by being forced to interact and engage with native speakers of Spanish whether it be on the streets, in restaurants, hotels, bars/clubs, and even travel agencies. I


I had the hardest time making friends at home, but since I’ve been abroad I’ve honestly met some of the best people. I’m afraid that once all this is over I’ll never talk to them again, since that is what

A Stroll Through the Royal Gardens

May 14 I began today with a plan to hit up some of my as yet un-visited areas of Prague Castle, including a stroll through the Royal Garden (Královská zahrada).  It only adds a few more minutes to your walk to

Academic Experience

Throughout my trip in Greece I had the opportunity to intern for a company. Even though I wasn’t taking traditional classes abroad, I still learned a lot from this experience. Our internship consisted of creating a consulting report and presentation

Going Paleo and am traveling in a year. Any advice?

I know this sounds silly, but for anyone who has gone on a diet (for health concerns, not aesthetics), you know that it’s hard to stay on track. I’m going to England, which I know really isn’t known for it’s

The Infant of Prague

May 13 Today I stepped inside the Church of Our Lady Victorious (Kostel Panny Marie Vítězné), a church I’ve passed many times by the Hellichova tram stop in Mala Strana. It houses the Infant Jesus of Prague. This is a really tiny baby

Madrid – 2 week update

Hello everyone! I’ve been in Madrid for two weeks so I’ve done a videoblog update. Unfortunately it won’t let me add the video to the post, so below this paragraph you have a link to youtube where you can watch

Initial Impressions | Bienvenido a España

Hola! My name is Matt Ong and I am a junior at VCU studying Business Marketing. I am very fortunate to be able to study abroad in Spain. This blog is to document my journey for those who wish to

My High/Low Point & Cultural Identity

Low Point I think the low point of my time abroad was the racism I have experienced. I know it is a heavy topic to speak about. It was not intense or extreme racism I have experienced, but it was

T-17 days

I guess you could say this is getting real. 17 days left until I depart to Taiwan. 4 days left of service with AmeriCorps. 6 days until I move out of my apartment and stay with my parents and pack.

Nanjing ! Nanjing ! 南京 !南京 !

The other day we decided to visit China’s old southern capitol of Nanjing. We were there for 2 days and didn’t get around to much because we were on our own with 2 friends as tour guides and taxis and


Tifenn, Laura and I took a mini bus at 5 am from Maputo to Tofo Beach. It was 9 hours of being stuffed in an 18 seater (often seating more than 18 people) plus everyones’ bags and groceries. We waited

Letter to the next

If you are planning to study abroad, here are a few tips that I found helped me make the most out of my trip. 1. Meet as many locals as you can This has many benefits. You get the inside

Korean Wisdom

Some ‘Korean Wisdom’ as I’d like to call it or things you should know before coming to Korea. This list could be longer if I had thought to write it down sooner. Like most things, I remember when I see

High and Low Point

I’d have to say the high point of my time in Spain was our trip to Granada. I think it may be my favorite city that I have have ever visited. We were able to explore, have a group dinner

Cultural Shock

The study abroad program was full of surprises. I had experienced cultural shock during our field trip to Aegina, an island near Athens. Before that weekend trip I didn’t really feel like I was in a completely different country. Locals

Hello world! Teacher and Student fom Tucson

Hi all! I am a teacher of English Language in Tucson, AZ, USA. I am working on building my own classroom blog this summer, where my young students can practice their writing ( I am also taking an online course

A note for future South Africa study abroad students!

Dear future South Africa study abroad students, Although I had no trouble with culture shock, Dr. Rector-Verrelli was very good about asking us everyday how we were feeling, and what was on our minds. When you go abroad, and if

2 weeks to go!

Wow, how time flies! It’s now the 14th of July here and I fly out to New York City on the 27th! I’m currently in Sydney, enjoying what this incredible city has to offer, and more importantly, having my J-1

Preparing for Auschwitz

Before visiting the Roma Cultural Museum in Brno and Auschwitz in Poland, I stayed in the Slovak town of Kežmarok: a village boasting a 13th century castle and vocational school for Roma. I learned from the English guide that during

Academics Abroad

Spanish 305, also known as advanced conversation, was the most challenging and rewarding class to take aboard. You see, I have only studied Spanish for a year now, which makes this class challenging. However, the reward was well worth the

Gardens of Mexico

The 4th weekend. Today. A few of us went to the Gardens of Mexico this morning. largest botanical garden in the world they export like 43 million flowers per year to around the world the rarest plant they have is

Puebla and Cholula

The 4th weekend (this weekend). We went to Puebla and Cholula yesterday, Saturday. super picturesque towns in the mountains, surrounded by a few volcanoes. one of the volcanoes was spewing some smoke BEAUTIFUL churches from the era of the conquistadors


The 3rd weekend we were here, we went to Acapulco, a very popular and famous tourist destination here in Mexico. It’s kinda like Cancun, but a notch lower and less expensive. I want to say this is probably the most

Experiencia Académica

I’m sitting here in my new basement room of my host house on the first free day I’ve had since I’ve been here in Cuernavaca. Did you hear that? I haven’t had a free day since June 19th. Regardless, today’s

Playing blogging catch-up

Playing blogging catch-up. So due to being months and months behind on year abroad blogging, I’m going to do a very simple bullet pointed list of everything of note that I got up to in the months between march and

Bless What You See

Life in Cape Town is treating me well. The other day, a group of seven from Kimberley House decided to travel down the coast to Boulder Beach where African Penguins live. We didn’t make it all the way there because

Who are the Roma?

   The identity of the Romani people(s) is a complex issue with differences not only ranging from continent to continent and country to country but as magnified and particular as village to village. Roma living in cities are different than

High point, low point

Table Mountain, Cape Town I have been thinking about this for a while, and I cannot narrow down one aspect of the trip that I would consider to be the high point over all else. The fact is, this education

Prompt #5: Letter To Next

To the new adventurer discovering a foreign land, Preliminary To-Dos:       I think one of the most beneficial things you can do is to plan for the worst…make photocopies of everything. Copy the front and back of credit