Blog Archives

Pardon

I knew that food would be cheap. I knew that restaurants would keep strange hours. I understood there would be a language barrier. I was not prepared for this. I was standing in the middle of a train station, surrounded by hundreds of people, and I could not understand any of them. I knew that if I had a question – if I missed my train, if I got

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Found: Lost American

Studying abroad in Granada, Spain was an insane experience throughout its entirety. Not only was I able to develop my language abilities, expand my values as they extend to culture and politics, and communicate effectively with others, but I was also able to find a part of myself I had previously lost. Spain was an experience in which I never completely experienced “culture shock”. Upon arrival and first encounters,

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Differences Make Us the Same

Going to Japan was a realized pipe dream. Growing up as a child of small-town America, the fact that I made it all the way from Columbia, Tennessee to Tokyo, Japan still amazes me after my trip has ended. Seeing life in a different culture made me appreciate that, even though we live completely different lives, everyone is, at their core, the same. While in Japan, we stayed at

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A Great Moment

I studied abroad in Nairobi, Kenya and it was truly a once in a lifetime experience.  I spent 3 month (99 days) becoming intimate with the Kenyan culture. One of the most prominent aspects on this trip was “Kenyan time”. Over and over I hear this phrase and it is 100% true; there is no rush in Kenya. If someone were to tell you to meet them somewhere it

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My Time Abroad

Studying abroad has become one of the most interesting stories I have to tell about myself now. Considering I have done it twice; Last year to China, and this past summer to Spain. I find it amazing how an experience becomes a part of your whole being. That is what traveling is, telling a story and learning other ones along the way. Your story is what you get to

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Experiencing the East

I stepped off the plane, red-eyed and exhausted, but excited nonetheless. The only thing separating me from Tokyo was an incredibly long customs and immigration line. I stood in line, passport in hand, for nearly an hour taking in as much of my limited surroundings as possible. People from all over the world stood in line with me, with the same goal in mind: get through this line as

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Differences in Mundane Culture and the Importance of Prolonged Stay

Studying abroad is an interesting and unique experience. There is something special about interacting with a very foreign and different culture. One may see things that many of those belonging to that culture may take for granted or view as normal. These are things that people often find not worth mentioning when they talk about their home country. I, however, find that these mundane things are the most valuable

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An Open Letter to Costa Rica

Pura Vida. In Spanish, it literally means, “pure life”. It is used as a greeting, a farewell, to ask for a favor, to say thank you, and everything in between. Over the course of 11 weeks in Costa Rica, I learned that Pura Vida is more than just a phrase, it is a way of life. I changed drastically this summer, and although I took classes, it was the

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A Glimpse Into Tico Time

This summer I spent 11 weeks in San José, Costa Rica. During this time, I completed 19 credit hours, by studying Biology and Spanish. In Costa Rica, I lived with the sweetest host family. I really felt as if I was an integrated member of their family. I went to school 5 days a week, and the work was intensive. I had only heard about the traveling part of

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My Trip to Paris

Going to a new country has been a great experience that has broadened my worldview and knowledge base. I have traveled to many new places around the city of Paris and beyond, learned about the city itself, and through my classes learned about the world of luxury goods. This trip has also pushed me to be more self-reliant and flexible as most of the amenities I am used to

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