Amsterdam, Brussels, Prague… OH MY!

This week was The University of Edinburgh’s ‘Flexible Learning Week’ which means the students have a whole week to catch up on work and focus on their studies. I decided to go to three different countries instead. I am not advertising procrastinating and not getting your work done- I just decided to take the week…

Japan: One Final Look Back

My time in Japan has come to an end. It’s bittersweet: I’m ready to get back to the US and get to work since I now have my degree, but I’ve really enjoyed my time and how much I’ve grown as a person while abroad. I gained a ton of perspective about the world and…

Japan: You Can’t Do Tokyo In Just Three Days

My time in Japan has been winding down, so I decided to end my time in Japan with just a few days of relaxation and enjoyment by visiting Tokyo and Yokohama before heading home to the good ‘ole US of A. I even roped in one of my newfound friends from Ritsumeikan to come along…

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…