An Accidental Side Trip to Taiwan

Funny story: I accidentally put myself on a trip to Taiwan over Christmas. It wasn’t exactly anything I expected to do, and it sure wasn’t cheap, but I’ll be darned if it wasn’t one of the most memorable experiences I had here during my study abroad. Here’s how it happened: students at Ritsumeikan University as…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

South Korea: Make the Most of it!

I just finished my first full week of classes, and it was a little tiring but also really fun! Because my program counts for 6 hours of Korean, and it only lasts for four weeks, we have many hours of Korean everyday. Most days we have four hours of classes, but somedays, there are an…

England: The Amazing Month of June II

As my time in England was ending, I spent time with friends that I would miss when I left. I also went to the sister store of the bakery I loved, called Bakery 164. (Well, it’s more of a cafe that serves delicious sandwiches.) As I walked through the city streets, I took pictures of…

England: May Days #2

May is soon over and I have only one final exam left. I can’t believe that in less than 20 days, I’ll be heading back home. The month of exams and preparation: The exams here are really different from the ones in Oxford. The two exams I took this past week were in an auditorium…

England: May Days #1

We are now halfway through May and the weather has somewhat warmed up. There are very chilly days and the casual “great day for a picnic” days as well. UK weather is something that I do not think I will ever be able to get used to, but it has also helped me appreciate sunny…