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Hello Spring Break!

Spring Break came a little late for us in France (about a month later than Penn State). I had basically a week and a half to travel anywhere around Europe. It’s super easy to travel anywhere in Europe since flights and train rides are very cheap and affordable. Before traveling, I did my research online to find the cheapest tickets I could to places I more South and by the beach. I ended up buying a 15-euro ticket to Ibiza, Spain, followed by a 10-euro ticket to Naples, Italy, and […]

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The Great Outdoors

Spring Showers Bring May Flowers At Peking University, students in the school of Chinese as a Second Language are taken on one expense-paid field trip per semester. Last semester our teachers took us to the Summer Palace and out to dinner. This semester we went to the Beijing Botanical Garden so I hopped myself up on allergy pills and took a lot of pictures. I’d never seen so many flowers in my life. The Russian Embassy I don’t have any religious background and in fact have never even attended a […]

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Thank You

After a semester of meeting people from all over Europe, I have often asked myself what my life would be like if I were born somewhere else. In my travels, I have seen new lands and experienced unfamiliar cultures. Each one was unique and has given me a new perspective. France: Thank you for my most immersive experience. Not only did I learn about cultural practices different than my own, but I also adopted these traditions; some are temporary, some permanent. Here I learned that there is nothing wrong with […]

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Scandinavian Edition: Final Chapter

I was totally in my element the other day when I avoided doing homework and went to lay on the beach with a friend. The pale Danes were OUT TO PLAY.  Never have I felt more at home on a beach than with this bunch of pasty people. Claire and I dropped our backpacks in the sand (questioning why we even brought them) and nestled into our little spot near the doc. Loads of kids were splashing in the shallow water and even some adventurous adults plunged into the cold ocean. […]

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Last Hurrahs

Zamora y Camino de Santiago For my last weekend of my study abroad experience I went on a last school excursion to Zamora, Spain and also to Portugal to do part of the Camino de Santiago. It was a more relaxed travel experience, with lots of free time to just explore the little towns we visited and to hang out with friends. Here are some of the highlights from the trip below: We took a guided tour of the city of Zamora (all the buildings were beautiful except for the […]

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In Search of Stability

The past few years have been ones of extreme change and formation. Just like all of my friends my age, I’ve moved off to college, met new friends, joined new clubs, decided what I’ll be studying, started to discover what I want to do with my life, etc. It’s all so exciting and I’ve loved every minute of it. Everything is constantly changing. For me, this has almost solely taken on the form of excitement; it’s synonymous. I’ve always been one to look forward and meet change with open arms, […]

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Saying Goodbye

My last day in Senegal is quickly approaching, which means this is my last blog post of the semester. Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to read this blog. I hope you gained as much from reading it as I did from writing it. Goodbyes. I try so hard to avoid them, all of the discomfort and sadness that they bring. Sometimes, though, I think a goodbye turns into something more. Sometimes goodbye isn’t really a goodbye when you know you’ll be taking something with you. […]

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The past month or so

Hey everyone – After receiving anywhere between negative one and one texts saying, “Hey Erik, why haven’t you been keeping up with your blog lately? I’ve been really excited for you to write another post!” the wait is over! Sorry to keep you all waiting; I’ve been traveling, had some finals, and now my parents are here in Spain! I’m currently sitting on the beach so this will be quite abbreviated as I’ve got some sun to get back to, but I’ve highlighted a few things I’ve been up to […]

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My quest for crêpes: A Crêst

During my last week in Nice, my friend Meredith came to visit! We had a wonderful week catching up on each other’s study abroad experiences, and I had the pleasure of being able to show her firsthand what the highlights of my life in France have been. She also arrived with a short list of things of French things she wanted to do. One of the biggest items on this list was to have a proper French crêpe. Being in a homestay, I’ve had crêpes a few times this semester, […]

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Things that I noticed while living in Spain…

There is a time in the middle of the day for rest that is called “siesta”. From around 3-5pm, all of the shops close and all Spaniards participate in a few hours to unwind before the evening. People don’t smile to each other when passing on the street. Sometimes it can be considered flirting! The foods are not as processed. Always made fresh with healthy ingredients. Spaniards eat A LOT of bread and olive oil. It became a main part of my diet while living abroad. Being topless on a […]

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Tenerife, Canary Islands

Buenas tardes from the Canary Islands! As my semester came to a close with the completion of my final exams, I felt as though I had accomplished something greater than myself. To be honest, before coming to Spain I assumed that my classes would be a breeze and school would not even be a concern. Unfortunately, I experienced the exact opposite. Taking courses in another language–one that I was not fluent in–wasn’t exactly a piece of cake. Although it was a challenge, I can proudly look back on my semester […]

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Does Privilege Shade Our Experiences?

This weekend, my study abroad program is spending 3 days (technically less) in an indigenous village just outside the city of São Paulo. What we know about this stay: They live VERY humbly, we may not get to shower, there are lots of bugs, time moves slowly, and only two meals are typically made a day. Leading up to this week, there has been little positivity and a lot of complaining; I, myself, am guilty of whining a bit. The question I want to challenge is WHY? In 2011, I was […]

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