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Study Abroad in Italy

Sicily

The water bleeds into the sky; it’s impossible to tell the difference. Out the window, all I see is a piercingly incredible blue. The streets wind wilder than anything I’ve ever seen. It’s like God randomly decorated the ground with rocky roads and then decided a town should accompany them. In five minutes, I’m entranced. In ten, I’m in love. Although we have an insanely busy week ahead of us, the effects of the town are not lost on the other girls in my program. The light reaches people’s eyes, […]

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Travel Tips for Every Trip

Spring break season and summer are quickly approaching. That means vacations galore! Follow my odd-but-handy travel list to make sure you don’t forget to do/pack the essentials.  1. Meds and, depending on the country, the written prescription that clearly states they’re yours.  2. The correct converters so you don’t get caught empty handed with a cell-phone charger that can’t charge.   3. Specialty items like retainers that you cannot get anywhere else  4. If you’re leaving in the morning, pack everything as you’re using it. Toothbrush, eyeliner, deodorant, contact solution…  […]

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Perceptions Abroad

I’ve been thinking a lot about the abroad experience lately, and learning about the Development of Intercultural Sensitivity has really impacted the way I view my situation. It is comforting to have a chart to make sense of my feelings and insure me I’m not the only one who has been there before. By analyzing Daisy Miller and Italian Journey, I found comfort in the fact that fictional and non-fictional characters both have such realistic experiences with their new cultures. Without further ado, here is my full analysis: The Intercultural Development […]

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Stages of Traveling Alone:

1. Not thinking about it  Plane? Booked. Ticket? Booked. Googling pretty pictures of your destination and getting hyped up? Done and done. 2. Oh crap Here’s where it gets tough: your trip is no longer a far-off fantasy. It’s real and it’s coming quick. Whether this hits as you pack like a panic-ridden person hours before or as you’re sipping tea before bed a week before, it’ll hit. Traveling alone means figuring out public transportation on your own. It means that if you get lost in Germany, you have to […]

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Scotland was Worth Every Pound (Lol Currency Puns)

Since I was a little girl, I’ve dreamed of the medieval times. Of palaces and crowns. All of it became real in Scotland. From learning about my favorite historical character–Mary Queen of Scots–to hiking the highlands, I feel like I discovered part of myself. That is so corny but so, so true. Scotland is truly the most amazing, impressive place I’ve ever been. If I’m rich one day, I’m taking everyone I love there. And I’m not letting them leave until they love it as much as I do. Mwahaha. […]

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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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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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Corinne, or Italy: a Brief Reflection

“Here the genius feels at home, because here reverie is so sweet. If he is restless it soothes him, if he regrets some unattained goal it presents him with a thousand golden visions. If men oppress him nature is there to welcome him.” I just started re-reading A Room With a View, which I bought at a bookstore with my parents when they dropped me off for my sophomore year at the U. Needless to say, it’s a special book. However, the above quote is from Corinne, or Italy. The […]

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48 Hours in Paris

This weekend I spent 48 hours in Paris, and probably did 48 miles of walking. In all honesty, Paris was not on my list of places to see. It sounded overrated, crowded, and expensive. If I wanted to see the Eiffel Tower, why not just look up a picture of it? Then I realized why not: because it’s transformative. I’m not a person who likes to be too cliche, but Paris changed my outlook on life. Pre-Paris, I was homesick, lonely, and counting down the days to seeing my old […]

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Week 1 Recap

Living in Italy isn’t completely what I’d expected. I miss Kraft Mac and Cheese and my mom substantially more than I should. That being said, through the tears of homesickness, there have also been many bright times. Every day, it take courage to leave my apartment and step out into the world, to venture into shops where I don’t understand the language/culture. It takes courage even to go to classes to meet other people in my program… they seem to have it all together and I do not have it […]

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7 Things You Will Feel Before Going Abroad

Leaving home is a huge step. Monumental. In order to make it through, realize that an emotional roller coaster is OK. It’s healthy even. To make the most of your time abroad, get in touch with yourself. Understand the following emotional stages are key to success abroad. 1. Indecision It’s okay to take a long time to figure out if something is right for you. It means you care. It means you’re making the best decision for yourself as possible. The indecision and confusion at this point are normal, but […]

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{Barcelona, Buddha-Pest and just a bit of finals procrastination}

Wrapping up an adventure of a lifetime and a semester that changed my life is hard to say goodbye to. As sad as I am to leave this beautiful country, I’m so incredibly thankful for the experiences I’ve had, for the places I’ve seen, and for the memories that have been made with people who have become my closest friends. Listening to violins in the piazza through the classroom windows, gazing at the incredible Italian architecture and eating my appetite full of hearty Italian food with a strong glass of wine […]

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Auschwitz, Poland

Not a blog post I would have ever thought to write about, nor a pleasant one, but a very important part in our nations history to remember the many beautiful souls who were lost. An experience that I can’t really explain to stand in the spot where up to 1.5 million people were killed. While hurting for answers, not being able to grasp how such a horrific time in history happened, I wasn’t sure what to expect on my first visit to Auschwitz but was eager to pay my respect […]

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​{the reality of leaving home was scary but the reality of leaving Florence is even scarier}

“Never walk alone” “always hold your purse shut” “stand your ground” “this experience will change your life” “please be safe” “you’ll come back a new person”. Ever since I brought up the idea that I wanted to take my studies abroad, these words became redundant. The nerves, the excitement and the unknown were exhilarating and the fact that I would be studying in the capital of Tuscany didn’t seem real. Heading overseas with a passport in hand and a spirit of adventure was all I knew, but it all felt so distant. As I was entering […]

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The Louvre, the Lock Bridge, and the Next Step

There’s no time for sleeping in on vacation. Not in Paris. On day two we forced ourselves to wake up early enough to beat the crowds at the Louvre. Our alarms buzzed at 8am. Snooze. Our first day exploring we were up and at ’em by about 9:30am. The line for the Louvre around then was nonexistent, so our groggy morning minds figured we could sleep until 9, leave the hostel around 10, and be one of the first in line at the Louvre by 10:15. Not true. We got […]

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