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…

Petra/Wadi Rum

From riding camels in the desert, to climbing mountains to ancient monestaries, to getting held up at one of the tightest borders in the world, my first month in the Middle East has been unforgettable as well as exhausting. In this blog post, I’ll talk about my weekend trips to Wadi Rum and Petra. In…

Italy: Eat Like a Pro

One of the classes I am most eager to take this semester is called “The Discovery of Italy through its Culinary Traditions.” The class meets twice a week, once for an in-class lesson about the history and culture behind Italian food and once for a cooking lab practical in the cafeteria. We’ll learn about food…

The Most Important Skill During A Study-Abroad

I’ve been in just Japan two weeks, and the number of differences that I’ve faced have been astounding. Sure, there are tons of good differences: people are unusually quiet, clean, and polite; convenience stores here are a godsend and even put my beloved Kwik Trip to shame; and Japanese toilets are so nice that they…

Italy: The Dos and Don’ts of Weekend Trips

I chose to study in Milan largely because of its proximity to other European cities and access to a well-connected airport. Last week, I visited my friend Belle, who had moved to Brussels at the beginning of the year to work as an au pair. As I planned this trip and my upcoming excursions this…

Italy: Meeting Milan

Hello! This semester, I am studying International Relations and Italian in Milan. My classes don’t start until September 17th, but I’ve been using these weeks to attend orientation, perfect my Italian, and explore my new home. My university, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, partnered me with a current student before I even arrived in Italy,…