Italy: Living Large in Small Ways

Pop culture has ingrained in us, and young women especially, that Italy has a magical transformative qualityー ever heard of Roman Holiday or Lizzie McGuire the Movie? I have to admit that I fell for that allure when I signed up to take Italian freshman year, but despite not becoming an Italian popstar, I found…

Jordan: What studying abroad has taught me

What Studying Abroad Has Taught Me About… Friendship The nature of friendship is inherently transitory. When you look back on your life, at your elementary, middle school, high school, and college friends, you see how you’ve changed through the lens of the different people who have blessed your life. Some stay, and others move in…

Jordan: Culture Shock

Culture You hear a lot about culture shock while you’re preparing to study abroad. Some get it worse than others. I think the most determining factors are preparation and openness. Meaning, it is absolutely necessary to prepare for living in another country for a semester by reading up as much as you can on societal…

Japan: Small Details Make For Big Differences

It’s interesting how much difference there is between the U.S. and Japan that doesn’t meet the eye at first. When I arrived here in Japan in early September, I had the idiotic delusion that American life is not that different from Japanese life. Of course, on the surface, that is 100% true: very few differences…

Japan: Food Heaven

Let’s talk food in Japan, because holy mother of God…the food here is just as good as you would expect. Now, before I continue, keep in mind that I’m not here on vacation, so the really expensive stuff is very much out of reach for me. (I’m saving the Kobe/Wagyu beef and Michelin Guide restaurants…

Italy: The *Study* in Study Abroad

I know I’ve written mostly about my experiences outside of the classroom, but now is the perfect time to put the STUDY in study abroad. When choosing my classes at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in the spring, I sought courses that would be relevant to my academic needs but also would supplement my understanding…

Italy: Navigating Navigli

The libraries in Milan are closed on Sunday, so to take a break from midterm studying, I embraced the warm weather and went shopping. The last Sunday of every month, the Navigli neighborhood near my home hosts a vintage market. “Naviglio” actually means canal in Italian, which is an accurate descriptor for this area. Milan’s…

Japan: Not Quite Paradise

Most Americans (and Westerners, in general) who are interested in travelling hear amazing things about Japan: amazing food, beautiful scenery, polite people, and incredible culture. I’ve been lucky enough over the past two months to experience these things for myself. For example, I went to a world-renowned restaurant for tonkotsu ramen with a fellow American…

Istanbul

For the week-long fall break, my friends and I planned a trip to Istanbul. Istanbul is one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been. It felt like European city, but full of Eastern history and beautiful mosques. We stayed within walking distance of another wonderful shopping street, Istiklal. Our neighborhood was right underneath Galata…

Jerusalem

I’ve been in Amman for over two months now. Approaching the halfway point has been an incredible (albeit sometimes exhausting) experience of culture shock, adjustment, and adventure. My trips outside Amman have allowed me to have a more immersive and diverse study abroad experience. In the next two posts, I’ll be writing about my long…

Italy: Language Learning

As a student minoring in Italian, one of my focuses this semester has been to strengthen my proficiency in the language. I’m taking an Italian language course while I’m here, but this has only been a part of my education. Here are the places where I have gained most of my everyday knowledge about Italian…

48 Hours in Helsinki

In a serendipitous chain of events, my dad was in Helsinki, so I was able to visit him for a weekend. To avoid missing class, I booked a trip that arrived at 1:00 a.m. on Saturday and left at 6:00 a.m. on Monday. It was a tight deadline, but we were able to pack a…