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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Sunday, 19 February: Wowed by Waffles, Enchanted by Chocolate, Surrounded by Speculoos

Hey, everyone! After delays in posting on this blog, I’m trying to catch up a bit. Thankfully, we just ended midterms here at the Fund, so I have some free time to write and – hopefully – enjoy the Carnavál festivities this weekend. Descriptions of those will have to wait until the next post, of course! In my last post, I left you all with a bit of a cliffhanger: after a fantastic weekend in Florence, I was in for un día de retos (a day of challenges). I left the […]

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Semana 6: ¡Ya está!

¡Ya está! does not have a direct translation, but it is muy sencillo or “very simple” to explain. It is the perfect phrase to use when you put the cherry on the top of an ice cream sundae or in my case start your internship and finish three midterms in the same week. I love my internship! It is exhilarating to maneuver the language barrier to discuss food science topics. I am learning poco a poco or “little by little.” My supervisor let me complete a moisture analysis assay by […]

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Pre-Departure

Well, this certainly came up quickly. I was accepted to the University Study in Freiburg study abroad program in August 2016, and had been gathering materials for the application since May or June. And now I leave for Germany on Sunday the 26th. The reading materiel I’ve been given for class posits that the study abroad experience actually begins before you arrive, while preparing, so I thought I might jot down some of my thoughts. This won’t be terribly eloquent, I’m afraid; I’m too frazzled to write that way right […]

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Sunday, 12 February: Grazie, Firenze!

Salve, tutti! You’ve reached the blog of Alex Gruber, self-professed bibliophile, Catholic fanboy, and St. Norbert College student studying abroad in Toledo, Spain, for the spring semester of 2017. For those of you who already know this information, mi dispiace (sorry)! Let’s get on with the actual blog. You may have noticed that I used Italian instead of Spanish in the title and first paragraph. That’s because I was lucky enough to travel to the incredible Italian peninsula and spend the past weekend in Firenze, or Florence as it’s known to us […]

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LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS A CHILE

I’ve sat patiently waiting for this day to come, the day a plane will take me from the familiar comforts of my homeland to Valparaíso, Chile. Since I left Minnesota last semester, I’ve been counting down the days until I would set foot in Chile. Finally, the countdown is over and I am terrified/ecstatic. The next four and a half months will be scary and full of new adventures, but I can not wait to experience them. While in Chile I will be attending La Pontificia Catolica Universidad de Valparaíso. I’ll […]

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Semana 5: Esperar. “To hope and to wait.”

I love the verb esperar. It means to hope and to wait. Last Sunday I decided to go on an adventure and hike a trail that I had not hiked before. It is one of my new favorites! In addition to physically training for the Camino, am enjoying learning more about the context of the Camino in my class El Camino de Santiago: ayer y hoy, “The Camino to Santiago: yesterday and today.” The Camino is composed of a string of cities that lead pilgrims to Santiago. In these cities, […]

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Portugal

First off I just want to say that Portugal is an amazing place and I would honestly recommend that every one go there. This trip was pretty last minute for me, I think I only bought the tickets a week before we left but some friends invited me and they already had a place to stay so it wasn’t going to be difficult or anything. However, that Friday morning that we were leaving, I woke up around 4am and just puked for no reason, I honestly don’t know what I […]

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Madrid

Ok so this blog is basically going to be a recap of my weekend trips because nothing crazy really ever happens during the week. Also not really going to censor it, not that I would need to most likely lol but we’ll see. The second weekend here we went to Madrid on Friday morning by bus. Once we got there we stopped at a museum which was pretty cool but we stayed for a long time and a had a tour guide and after a few hours everyone was starving […]

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The cheesy time I bought pizza on Valentine’s Day & why you should too

This morning, my professor said Valentine’s Day is only for couples but I beg to differ.  After a morbid cemetery tour where I learned the tragic love stories of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Margaret Fuller (stories for a different day, perhaps) I took myself to the Florence Chocolate Festival. I bought a delicious waffle covered in dark chocolate and basked in the sunlight.  At 60 degrees, there’s not much in life to feel sad about. Sure, I’m alone on this dumb holiday, but I’m self-sufficient and that counts for something. […]

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London Adventures – Feb. 14

Helllooo everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, but honestly, I’ve kind of just been relaxing this last week and trying to take in everything that’s being thrown at me while here in London. Last week, and weekend for that matter, were very low key and not a lot happened… (which kind of sounds dumb to say considering the fact that I’m in London), but in all reality, I’ve basically been going to class, doing homework, and drinking a lot of coffee because midterms are next week. That […]

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Weekly Update: 13.2.17

Short post today. This was my first weekend spent in Oslo in 3 weeks, and it was much needed. I finally got my haircut after it was the longest its been since I’ve been in college. I wondered over to a haircut place I was recommended only to find they were booked solid for the entire weekend. Since I was pretty set on getting the haircut done on Friday, I kept wandering around a little more. A few blocks down the same street there was a bumping little barbershop on […]

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72 Hours in Venice

Of all the beautiful pictures I took in Venice, this one isn’t the obvious choice. It’s dark, deserted, dismal. But the tranquil experience it provided me is reason enough for me to want to share it with you. Through many struggles (getting lost for hours in the middle of the night/thinking we’d have to sleep outside, plane delays, missed trains and busses) three of my favorite people made it. This weekend was many things: relaxing, picturesque, and just right. It’s surreal to me that I can meet my closest friends in […]

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