China: The Finale

Final exams are finished. We officially completed the CET program. Our language pledge is over. The two months of intensive classes are finally done. I’m en route to Pensacola, FL for vacation with my family. But this ending is much less climactic than what I had always imagined. On the days I spent cooped in…

Morocco: Willing To Be Bad at Arabic

I just wanted to buy chocolates for my host family. We needed directions, so we asked for a “chocolatier.” “Toilette?” “CHOC-late” “You want toilette?” “I want CHO-CO-LATE.” After my third technical year of learning Arabic, having conversations that go like this on a daily basis is endlessly frustrating. I think to myself, “When someone pronounced…

Morocco: The Best 10 Things I Packed

1. The Sandals These deserve to go first because I love them so much. They’re Skechers (easy on the wallet) They feel like a yoga mat They’re light I can work for 8 hours or walk for 12 hours in them They match everything Airport security is a breeze! 2. The Hand Wipes / Makeup…

Morocco: Learn From My Packing Mistakes

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the way I packed for Morocco. All of the essentials made it in the bag, and—by some miracle—my suitcase wasn’t overweight! Next time around though, there some things I would change. Here’s what I regret most about the way I packed for my eight weeks in Morocco: Not Packing a…

Home away from home

Hey y’all! It’s Madison again! I wanted to talk to y’all today a bit about how to create your home away from home. First things first, I’m not naive enough to say that you won’t get homesick, or that your apartment/living arrangements will be as cozy as your bed with your 10 pillows and smell…

Morocco: All That Glitters Is Not Gold

Navigating the Souks of Morocco Walking through a souk in Morocco is a blend between sightseeing and shopping. You feel the pressure of time and money, and merchants can be pushy. Salesmen shout at you in every language, the smells of raw meat waft through the air, and the sun still beats down on you…

Morocco: One Weekend, One Backpack

For a weekend in the beach town of Asilah, packing extra light was my goal. I wanted to make use of a little backpack from Fez instead of my standard one, but I’m an over-packer and over-preparer so it was a challenge. Here are five tips for smarter, lighter packing: Pack with Friends My roommate…

England: Actually Studying During Study Abroad

Since “study” is half of “study abroad,” it’s important to have an idea of what you’re getting yourself into before you start planning all of your exciting new adventures through Europe. I found the UK system of few assignments and multiple essays a little harder to adjust to, as I’m used to minimal essays and…

Italy: Think Small (Reflection)

When I came to Italy, I became an idiot. The first night I arrived, my host sister could hardly eat her spaghetti because she was chuckling so hard at the incorrect way that I twirled my pasta. Over the first days, I said “yes” consistently to questions whose answers were definitely not “yes or no,”…

England: Tips and Tricks

Though this might be among the more boring of my posts, I’ll try to jazz it up a bit with a few fun photos from my time in England. However, the information that I’m going to give is extremely useful, mainly for people who plan to study abroad in the U.K., but some information can…

When a Man is Tired of London, He is Tired of Life

Studying in Reading has the amazing perk of being just an (inexpensive) 30 minute train ride into Paddington Station, a fact that I seem to never shut up about. There is so much to see and do in London that it blows my mind and it pains me to know that I won’t be able…

Italy: Live Like a Local

For my program at l’Accademia Italiana in Salerno, I have class from 9-1 each day, followed by excursions to local museums and lectures in the afternoon. I love being busy (and it has kept me from being too homesick), but I also don’t have time to do day trips to cities further than an hour…