Cliffs of Moher and the Burren

I got up early on Sunday the 6th and boarded the bus. I had heard a lot about the Cliffs of Moher, but today I was finally going to see them for myself. I hadn’t traveled outside of Limerick yet, so I was also excited to see some of the Irish countryside on the way there. We headed northwest and upon leaving the city we were quickly greeted with some beautiful views and photo opportunities. My favorite part of the bus ride was looking out the window and seeing all […]

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This is what I ate today – some sort of raw meat with shallots, pickles, mayonnaise, greens, and roasted potatoes on the side. Had I actually understood what I was ordering, I’m certain I would have chickened out. That’s the fun of learning a different language I suppose. However, so glad I tried it! Food is so much more fresh, pleasing to eye, and less expensive for the quality. Raspberry tiramisu for desert!

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A Journey through Sydney’s Chinatown

Lively, authentic, and vibrant all describe the energetic atmosphere that is Chinatown. While exploring Chinatown you’ll find endless dining options, a sprawling market center, and a unique subculture located right in the heart of Sydney. My Intercultural Communications class went on a tour of Chinatown and learned about the history and cultural significance of the area. I’ll touch on what I learned about Chinatown and some of my own personal experiences while seeing the sights! On a sunny, but blustery day we began out excursion through Chinatown at Capital Theatre. […]

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It Was the Best of Times

Time moves differently in Tanzania. The calendar shows I’ve been here just three weeks, but it feels as though it could have been anywhere from a few days to several months. Classes, fieldwork, and socializing have all been such a whirlwind that recalling details makes my head spin. (Or maybe my malaria meds are just making me nauseous.) I only anticipate the pace to pick up from here though, and it may be January by the time I am caught up. Thanks for your patience, Mom and Dad. 9/14/15 Our […]

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This past weekend, my friend Ben and I took a trip to Bordeaux to scope out wine country. We hopped in a Blablacar, which is basically just a carpool, and made our way to the city. Upon arrival, we were dropped off at a tram stop just outside of the city and were instructed to just take the tram to where we needed to go. Easy enough, we are now somewhat experienced in figuring out the public transportation systems of this country and we had an address. It took us […]

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Almost there!

It’s currently about 4pm on Wednesday afternoon here in Japan and I’m oh so close to being completely set up. I went to “au” today (a cell phone shop), and ordered my mobile wifi router. Unfortunately, the device won’t come in until Saturday morning so I have to wait just a few more days until I’m finally able to contact people from my dorm room. This week has been great! As I stated earlier, after Monday’s orientation we had a welcome party, followed by a few of us going out […]

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I’m still in Uruguay.

I’ve most definitely been shirking blogging responsibilities. To the 4 people that read this blog, I’m sorry, but thank you. My own brother refuses to read it. The last two weeks were somewhat uneventful as I finally encountered my first round of tests here in Urugay. I have not gotten them back yet, but I am hoping everything went well. It’s difficult to tell here. When I arrived to my second test, I was feeling great about how the first one went. I slowly realized that the students on each […]

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About to wrap up another busy day here in Japan. Today started out at 8am with part two of our new student orientation, followed by a campus tour, library orientation, and now a HUSA welcome party. There are about 200 of us here and they’re making each and every one of us walk up to the mic and introduce ourselves, so… As you can tell it’s taking quite a while and I think we’re all ready for dinner. Tomorrow my student supporter plans on taking me to set up my […]

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Week Two Shenanigans

This week’s highlights include a man talking to me about the Amanda Knox case that took place here in Perugia. Isabela and I were sitting at the Antica Latteria with our adopted nonno when a man decided to talk to us about Italian history and give us relationship advice. Then, when he asked our names and found out my name was Amanda, he said “Oh.” and gave us all of his opinions about what happened and the trial itself. This has happened to me three times since being here in Perugia. […]

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How’s Classes Alex?

I’m going to keep this blog honest. I want to tell you about the good and the bad times I have while I’m here. As such, this post is going to be a mix of both. My first week of classes was not a good time. In fact, I would say it was a very very bad time. Students in China are not catered to in the same way as students are in America. This means if you have problems, it is a lot less the University’s responsibility to help you. It’s your responsibility to help […]

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Eid Al-Adha

I feel very obligated to write about the Islamic holiday that has just passed. As I mentioned in a previous post, all I really knew about this Eid was that a sheep would be sacrificed, something that sounded vaguely Satanic and caused nervous laughter whenever it was mentioned. Having participated in Eid with my family I have a very different perspective, even without the religious significance that it has for my host family. Wednesday after class I returned to see our sheep in the outdoor garage. Now I had pictured […]

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Cultural Comparisons: India & the U.S.

In-county comparison: 1.) The (historic) culture of tradition and minimal change; and 2.) The (current) culture of technology and a changing reality. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. This is the mechanical relocation of the second hand that I hear from my two favorite spots that physically and culturally a half a world away. In Minnesota, the clock is heard from my oak kitchen table where (if I were there now,) I would be eating a chocolate chip cookie and overlooking the anxiously ripening fall leaves. In India, […]

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New experiences

Well it’s about 10pm here in Japan on Saturday night, and my friend Remco (Netherlands) and I have made our way to the city of Hiroshima. We’re currently sitting at an Irish pub in the downtown district listening to some obnoxious British folks scream at the soccer game. I’m trying to keep my cool and not scream at them, but the British accents are getting to me and I’m oh so tempted to start a good ole USA USA USA chant. So we’ll see how that goes. Other than that […]

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Back to school!

It’s Friday afternoon and I have finally received my wifi username and password from the university. Unfortunately my dorm room won’t be equipped with wifi for about a month but at least I can keep in touch from any building on campus! Japan is great but way too hot and humid. I’m one of only 5 Americans living with 32 other international students from all walks of the globe. I’ve been in orientation all day learning how to register for classes, open a bank account, sign up for health insurance, […]

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Going off the Grid: Life Without Social Media

You might be wondering, “How in today’s society can anyone go a week without using their smartphone or social media!? What are you thinking? What about all the Facebook statuses, Tweets, Snapchats, YouTube videos, calling, texting, and all the other online things that you’ll be ‘missing’ out on?” How on earth can I survive in a foreign country without Google Maps to lead me around and give me step-by-step directions? Well, I decided to conduct a little social experiment by going a week without using my iPhone or social media. […]

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Semana numero dos

This week has brought forth many new exciting things as well as new challenges. We got to start in our language and culture class and I’m in the process of learning Espanol … slowly. I really enjoy getting to start each and every day with Spanish, because our professor is very good about working with people with different levels of experience and he makes it a really fun experience so it hardly feels like you are learning something new, it just comes naturally. We are also starting to plan an […]

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