Studium und Sprache

For our program, we actually arrived 6 weeks before the start of the German summer semester. The first 3 weeks are taken up by an intensive pre-session language course, then we have a 3-week break, then the semester begins. After an online placement test, we were sorted into small classes based on our proficiency level. It’s all very approximate, but higher-numbered classes are supposed to be higher-level. I’m in Deutsch 11, and have colleagues who are as low as 7 (though he really should be higher, from the sound of […]

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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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LA CAMPANA HIKE

My legs really hate me today, but yesterday was so worth it. I left my house at seven a.m. to meet six other girls from my program in Valparaíso to take a train and a bus to La Campana National Park. The park is about 25 miles from the coast, but the landscape changed dramatically once we left the city. In Valparaíso and Viña del Mar the geography is flat near the beaches and then extreme hills a mile or so inland. However, in the countryside there are more mountains than […]

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Die schönste Stadt

 The European aesthetic has always captivated me; cobblestone streets, tiny hole-in-the-wall shops that have been family-owned for generations, and centuries-old castles and cathedrals literally across the street from super-modern monoliths of glass and steel. There is simply nothing like this in America. You almost get whiplash just by crossing the street, like you’re suddenly traveling in time. The main shopping streets in the Altstadt are incredible to me. There aren’t many cars (and in some streets no cars), so people walk all over the street, but tram lines crisscross the […]

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Das Abenteuer fängt an!

The adventure begins! After a slow start at MSP Airport my travels went without a hitch or delay. The 8-hour transatlantic flight was actually rather pleasant, all things considered. One of the complementary movies one could watch on the plane was Mad Max: Fury Road, which I saw for the first time and enjoyed heartily. They were also very diligent with supplying us with food and drink, the former of which was surprisingly tasty and filling. The worst part by far was having to sit down without being able to […]

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London Adventures – March 2nd

Hey friends!  I’m sorry it’s been a while, but it’s been kind of a chaotic couple of weeks. Last week I had midterms, and spent the whole week crammed up in coffee shops studying and writing papers. (It was all worth it when I got my grades back). This last week I’ve been on spring break, and it’s been so relaxing and much needed. My roommates are all off doing their own adventures throughout Europe, but I’m here in London making sure that I get all of the things done […]

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Sunday, 26 February: No Ordinary Time*

Hola, hola, ¡todos! Espero que estéis bien. Es decir/That is to say, hey everyone! I hope you all (informal; sorry if you prefer ustedes) are doing well. This past week was a special one both at the Fundación José Ortega y Gasset – Gregorio Marañón, the program through which I am studying in Spain, and in the city of Toledo and the wider Hispanic world in general. The same word can signify different things, of course. Regarding my week at the Fund, “special” means a bit stressful (yet somehow also relaxing?) […]

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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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I suck at traveling, and other fun things in Europe

I think the last time I posted I was going to Finland soon. Well Finland was rad. We landed Friday night to a pretty wild central station. Finland, right away, seemed a lot edgier than I had thought. It wasn’t what I had been expecting after coming from Oslo, but it was cool change up. The city itself had a lot more Russian influence than the previous cities we visited. It was easy to tell that right away. Finland didn’t feel like Scandinavia, it had it’s own feel. The architecture, […]

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The Arrival, The Family, and The Market

I’m three days into this adventure and already I have some things I want to share. I took off from Chicago on Wednesday and landed in Miami, where the plane to Santiago was delayed by over two hours. Eventually I arrived in Chile and met up with the CIEE group. From the airport thirty five of us took a bus to Valparaíso on the coast of the country. From the get go, the program has kept us busy with activities to better acquaint us with our new country. I met […]

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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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