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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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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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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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Spring Adventures

I’ve been going on lots of adventures! Most notably, I visited a portion of the great wall in Tsingdao. People were shocked when I told them I had never been to the great wall, considering I’ve been here for eight months now. The reason is actually deliberate.  In general I don’t enjoy tourist attractions, especially those set up for foreigners. I think in order to experience the real China your time is better spent elsewhere. I am saving the touristy part of the great wall for when my girlfriend comes to visit […]

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Practicing humility, feeling underestimated

To start, I want to briefly express that the earthquake that hit Ecuador Saturday night was an unexpected tragedy that has affected the entirety of the population of this amazing country, just as raw destruction of this magnitude always does. My heart aches for the loss that so many are undergoing; the loss of life, of property, of security, of peace. Anything I can do to help, rest assured I will do it, just as I would expect anyone else to. If any of my family or friends have the […]

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Scandinavian Edition: Chapter 5

The field trips here rock. We’re talking better than the 6th grade carpools to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Homes where you got to leave school early and your mom brought candy for your car. And this is saying something because we got to churn our own butter and taste it on this field trip. It was quite an authentic experience. We were fortunate enough to have company visits to the Google, Facebook, and Amazon WebServices headquarters in Dublin, the internet capital of Europe. We talked about the advertising communication of […]

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Integration

Last night my sister asked me to come with her to the boutique in our neighborhood to buy bread for dinner. I put down the book I was reading and bounded down the stairs two at a time, aware that she was already halfway out the door. I reached our front door and just as I was reaching around to close it I realized something. “Tabara,” I asked, “Est-ce que je peux porter des shorts?” (Can I wear shorts?) “C’est pas grave,” she said with a smile (it’s not a […]

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‘We’re french, we put cheese on everything.’ | Paris

Hello! This past weekend, I traveled to Paris through Weekend Student Adventures (WSA). It’s a tour group designed for study abroad students and they book your hostel and plan out your itineraries for the weekend. I was looking forward to not planning my weekend as much since I was sort of still recovering from traveling from spring break. With that, the only affordable flight out of Dublin was at 6:50am and since we live over two hours away from Dublin, we had to take a 1am bus to Dublin to […]

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