Sunday, 29 January: Madrid – the Other MAD City

Hola, ¡todos! Espero que estén bien. In other words, I hope you all are doing well. Welcome to another entry of my experience abroad for the spring semester of 2017. The second week of classes at La Fundación Ortega-Marañon started off swimmingly. For one, I don’t have classes on Monday! In addition, this past Monday in particular, 23 January, marked the feast day of Saint Ildefonsus (San Ildefonso, in Spanish). Ildefonsus was the metropolitan bishop of Toledo in the mid-7th century who was canonized for his good life and theological […]

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A Pence For Your Thoughts

Days have been long  and nights even longer, but I have never been happier. I still wake up every morning and smile just knowing that I am living my dream of traveling and exploring the world. The hectic life of a poor traveling college student is a life I would never give up for the world! Since the last time I posted I have traveled to Hungary, Ireland, Italy and Denmark…. I know, it’s a lot. While all my travels have been memorable and amazing in their own way, the […]

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MONTH #1 OF CHILE

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Wohin ist das Wasser gegangen?

There are no water fountains here.   Seriously, the last time I saw one was in the Amsterdam airport. They’re not on the street, they’re not in the university, they’re not near bathrooms… and it’s not like German tap water is unsafe to drink or anything. It even tastes great. So what gives? In Freiburg they’ve literally diverted the Dreisam river into little canals, called Bächle, that run along half the streets in the Altstadt but it’s impossible to get a simple drink of water. Carrying a water bottle is […]

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Heidelberg: wie ein Märchen

On Sunday, a group of fellow international students and I decided to take a day trip to Heidelberg, a German city a ways north of Freiburg. We actually had the opportunity to go as part of a field trip through Uni Freiburg, but it was cheaper to buy our own bus tickets and go on our own (€20.50 round-trip; not bad at all!). We were very glad we did it that way, as it ended up being less restrictive.   Heidelberg is the city I visited the last time I […]

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NOT JUST HERE FOR THE EMPANADAS (I GO TO SCHOOL TOO)

Despite what my blog posts and Instagram pictures show, I’m not just in Chile for hiking, sightseeing, and eating. My main purpose for travelling to Chile is to improve my ability to communicate in Spanish and one of the ways I am doing this is by attending classes at La Pontificia Catolica Universidad de Valparaíso (PCUV) three days a week.  Through my program, I was able to enroll directly in classes at La Catolica, in the international studies program, or in classes taught exclusively for CIEE (the program I am […]

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Being a Dirty Street Creature – A memoir by Jonathan Tvedt

Now that I’ve finished looking through all the South Padre snap stories, I figured I would write this quick post before I took a shower and deleted all of my social media forever (kidding, mostly). I got back last week from a trip to Italy. I flew in on Sunday to stay in Florence with Lana (longtime friend from the U) and her roommates in Florence, and their flat with 20 foot ceilings and a view of a nice (slightly noisy) club across the narrow Florence street. It’s interesting to […]

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Perceptions Abroad

I’ve been thinking a lot about the abroad experience lately, and learning about the Development of Intercultural Sensitivity has really impacted the way I view my situation. It is comforting to have a chart to make sense of my feelings and insure me I’m not the only one who has been there before. By analyzing Daisy Miller and Italian Journey, I found comfort in the fact that fictional and non-fictional characters both have such realistic experiences with their new cultures. Without further ado, here is my full analysis: The Intercultural Development […]

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Studium und Sprache

For our program, we actually arrived 6 weeks before the start of the German summer semester. The first 3 weeks are taken up by an intensive pre-session language course, then we have a 3-week break, then the semester begins. After an online placement test, we were sorted into small classes based on our proficiency level. It’s all very approximate, but higher-numbered classes are supposed to be higher-level. I’m in Deutsch 11, and have colleagues who are as low as 7 (though he really should be higher, from the sound of […]

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Stages of Traveling Alone:

1. Not thinking about it  Plane? Booked. Ticket? Booked. Googling pretty pictures of your destination and getting hyped up? Done and done. 2. Oh crap Here’s where it gets tough: your trip is no longer a far-off fantasy. It’s real and it’s coming quick. Whether this hits as you pack like a panic-ridden person hours before or as you’re sipping tea before bed a week before, it’ll hit. Traveling alone means figuring out public transportation on your own. It means that if you get lost in Germany, you have to […]

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LA CAMPANA HIKE

My legs really hate me today, but yesterday was so worth it. I left my house at seven a.m. to meet six other girls from my program in Valparaíso to take a train and a bus to La Campana National Park. The park is about 25 miles from the coast, but the landscape changed dramatically once we left the city. In Valparaíso and Viña del Mar the geography is flat near the beaches and then extreme hills a mile or so inland. However, in the countryside there are more mountains than […]

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Die schönste Stadt

 The European aesthetic has always captivated me; cobblestone streets, tiny hole-in-the-wall shops that have been family-owned for generations, and centuries-old castles and cathedrals literally across the street from super-modern monoliths of glass and steel. There is simply nothing like this in America. You almost get whiplash just by crossing the street, like you’re suddenly traveling in time. The main shopping streets in the Altstadt are incredible to me. There aren’t many cars (and in some streets no cars), so people walk all over the street, but tram lines crisscross the […]

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Das Abenteuer fängt an!

The adventure begins! After a slow start at MSP Airport my travels went without a hitch or delay. The 8-hour transatlantic flight was actually rather pleasant, all things considered. One of the complementary movies one could watch on the plane was Mad Max: Fury Road, which I saw for the first time and enjoyed heartily. They were also very diligent with supplying us with food and drink, the former of which was surprisingly tasty and filling. The worst part by far was having to sit down without being able to […]

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