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Mighty craic in the first couple of weeks

Hello! My first couple of weeks here in Ireland has been amazing with loads of craic {Gaelic word for ‘fun’}. Even though I’ve been here for almost two weeks, it still feels surreal. The most overwhelming feeling I have about life at this moment is gratitude. There’s really nothing to complain about when you’re living out your dreams. ​So I guess, let me start from the beginning. I have never flown alone so I was pretty proud of myself for navigating airports and my flights and making it to my […]

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Minnesota Nice

Of all the things to remind me of home, I did not expect hockey to be one of them when I decided to study abroad on the French Riviera. In Nice, where the average temperature in January is 48°, where 300 days out of 365 are sunny. And now people want me to believe that the biggest sport in this city is the one that involves ice. Well, I did. I believed them, gave them a shot, and went to my first French hockey game last night. This experience was, […]

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Unpacking

I always assumed people were exaggerating when they talked about culture shock. Or, maybe I just (arrogantly) thought that I would never be someone who had a difficult time adjusting to a new culture. Whatever the reason, last week as I was being pummeled with jet lag, I also found myself overcome with a very strange feeling. Homesickness. Never in my days of summer camp, weeks of travel to “far flung” places like Montana and England, or year and a half of college did I find myself longing for the […]

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Expect nothing; go, be, & do.

It’s the end of my first week abroad in Quito, Ecuador, and I don’t really know where to begin writing this post. Since I have yet to post while abroad, I will try to expand a little on some of the most important things from my first week here; that primarily being the first few days and the importance of mi familia ecuatoriana.  Monday was one of the hardest days I’ve experienced since I was más joven, when I constantly was being torn away from half of my heart and […]

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First look at Sénégal

I’ve been told that the East Coast is expecting a snowstorm tomorrow and that classes have been cancelled! A bit ironic seeing as there is approximately a 0% chance that my classes will be cancelled as it won’t be raining for a very long time here in Dakar. Everywhere there is sand, and the temperature runs at a solid 75-80 degrees daily. I’ve been in Dakar since Sunday and what I can say is that in my few days here, I’ve discovered that this city has a liveliness that is […]

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My minimal travel necessities

“He who would travel happily must travel light.” – Antoine de St. Exupery Ciao amici! It feels like I’ve been preparing for this moment for years. Although I couldn’t possibly be more prepared in terms of packing, researching, etc, I truly think that there is no adequate preparation to feel ready for a new life in a new land than to just get there and experience it. So here I am, sitting in the gorgeous city of Firenze, Italia, slowly but surely absorbing the constant stream of new sights, smells, […]

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My first couple days in Toledo!

I have only been here a few days, and I feel like I have done a total of a few weeks’ worth of learning! Even though it has been pretty hard at times, I feel like after these three days, I am finally starting to adjust. Everyone keeps saying just wait 10-20 days, and you will see how much you feel adjusted and how well your Spanish improves even in that short of time. So every day, I wake up and say to myself “I can do this – for […]

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Scandinavian Edition: Chapter 1

I’ve only been in Denmark for a few days, yet so much has already happened. I face-timed with my mom and dad back home today and they probably thought I was talking a million miles an hour. But from 20+ hours of traveling, to exploring the city center, to smelling delicious danish after delicious danish, there are no details to be left out! In the Chicago airport, as I saw the HUGE double decker plane pull up to the gate, I knew this flight was no joke. The British flight […]

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Vale!

It has been a hectic five days here in Toledo, Spain, but I’ve loved every single minute of it. For starters, in order to even get to Toledo I had to go on an incredible adventure.  After our flight to Madrid was delayed for two hours, we arrived in the beautiful city in mostly one piece.  We thought the hard part was over.  Now, we were where we’d all dreamed of being.  It was all downhill from here.  However, the lull didn’t last for long. A friend of mine left […]

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Arriving in Toledo

After flying overnight from Philadelphia to Madrid, then taking a short bus ride from the airport, my group finally arrived in Toledo, Spain! I still cannot believe I’m not dreaming…this all just doesn’t seem real. Once we got to our home/school for the semester–La Fundación José Ortega Y Gasset–we received our room number, unpacked, ate lunch, and relaxed. I was fortunate enough to be put in my own room with a beautiful view! I share my bathroom with an awesome girl from Puerto Rico, named Yaureliz! We have already become […]

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Day One

After two quick flights to JFK and Madrid, we arrived in Spain at about 9 am this morning. Picked out of the crowd right away because of my Minnesota sweatshirt, some workers from La Fundacion showed me to the bus where I met a ton of people in my program. After an hour bus ride from Madrid, we arrived in Toledo. Some initial thoughts included the following: “Wow” “How many bricks do you think are in that huge cathedral?” “Wow” and “Why doesn’t Eagan have a moat that surrounds the city?” Toledo […]

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1st Week in France!!

It has officially been an entire week since I’ve been in France and so much has happened in these short 7 days, I don’t even know where to begin and what to post. I am studying abroad this semester in France (SPRING 2016); more details in future posts. Things continue to happen so, I will recap the first week. We arrived in Montpellier, France Monday the 4th of January Last week. Spent a Night in a nice hotel, the Ibis–which I’ve noticed is in a lot of different places in the […]

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