Caitlin Cronin | Cardiff, Wales | Post 1

Caitlin Cronin | Cardiff, Wales | Post 1

Wandering in Wales    Various people have asked if I have culture shock while studying abroad, and I always answer with a resounding no—I was practically British before I even hopped on the plane to Wales. One of the things to which I’ve had to adjust is how different Cardiff University is from Vassar, which really drives home the fact that Vassar is not the real world, but a bubble filled with love and glitter. Cardiff University has ten times as many students as Vassar does. At…

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Emily Dowling | Paris, France | Post 2

Emily Dowling | Paris, France | Post 2

Paris is an incredible city, filled with more monuments, museums, and restaurants than I could possibly see in one semester. During the week, I am constantly moving, trying to schedule museum visits around French university classes and lengthy meals. The weekends provide the perfect opportunity to escape the busy city for a day trip to other beautiful, famous locations in France, most of which can be easily and quickly reached by train or bus. For my first French excursion outside…

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Ruth Bolster | London, England | Post 2

Ruth Bolster | London, England | Post 2

When I first learned of my study-abroad living situation in the northwest London neighborhood of Camden Town, my stomach dropped. As a New Jersey native, I only associated “Camden” with the city on the Delaware River that runs parallel to Philadelphia and boasts gang violence, the highest crime rate in the United States, and lots of murders. Needless to say, the Camden I knew was definitely a scary place, and I hesitated to move anywhere that remotely resembled it, even if only by name. Driving through Camden…

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Jessica Tarantine | Oxford, England | Post 1

Jessica Tarantine | Oxford, England | Post 1

Unless you’re my parents—in which case you’ll happily read anything I’ve written—you’re probably reading this to gain further insight into studying abroad, either at Oxford or in general. Thus, instead of waxing poetic about English architecture and cuisine, I’ll lay out some of the basics of studying here at Oxford. The College/University System: If you wish to study abroad at Oxford, rather than applying directly to the University, you must first apply to one of the 30-some colleges included within it. If you’re like or…

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Nathan Tauger | Oxford, England | Post 2

Nathan Tauger | Oxford, England | Post 2

The Usual Suspects For the short of mind, allow me to sum up the story thus far. I’m a PI—hard-boiled, etc—in a bad spot in a foreign country with limited options to crack the case, get the dame, and save my skin. How’d I get there? Like I said in my last brief reflection, I had just arrived in Oxford, England to retrieve some kind of treasure stolen from my home turf of Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. I got to work immediately and found…

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Andrew Jdaydani | Dunedin, New Zealand | Post 1

Andrew Jdaydani | Dunedin, New Zealand | Post 1

The activities in which I’ve participated within the past few days astounds me. After an entertaining and food-filled 13-hour trip to the wonderful city of Brisbane, Australia, I flew a couple more hours southeast to Auckland, New Zealand. On the flight, after ten minutes of attempting some frustrating sudokus and word searches on my own, I struck up a conversation with two fantastic people—Cara and Valter. Breaking bread together, we laughed and enjoyed the tasty Lebanese delicacies that my mother had provided for the remainder of the flight….

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Skyla Lowery | Bologna, Italy | Post 1

Skyla Lowery | Bologna, Italy | Post 1

Gli Italiani When you move to a foreign country for six months, you expect to learn about the people and the culture there, as well as to temporarily adopt their way of life. In my case, I’ve adopted Bologna, located in the northern region of Emilia-Romagna, Italy, as my international home. The perfect place to study abroad, Bologna is filled with college students and people who refuse to speak English to foreigners—as opposed to locals who cater to tourists in major cities like Florence, Rome, and Venice—which forces visitors to familiarize themselves with the language. Small enough to redner walking almost anywhere feasible and large…

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Ruth Bolster | Stratford-upon-Avon, England | Post 1

Ruth Bolster | Stratford-upon-Avon, England | Post 1

As one might imagine, London is January is dreary, cold, and damp. While these characteristics do not detract from the city’s quirky red busses and gothic spires, they do, unfortunately, make for shit pictures. However, there was one spectacular day when the sun did come out and I was finally able to trade in my polka-dotted wellies for my more stylish pair of brown boots with a three inch heel. Fortunately this magnificent weather corresponded with a day trip I…

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Emily Dowling | Paris, France | Post 1

Emily Dowling | Paris, France | Post 1

The Cheesier Side of Life When I first arrived—jetlagged and surrounded by unfamiliar people—at the Charles de Gaulle airport, I could only think about two things: the next time I would get to sleep, and the moment I would get to eat my first piece of real French cheese. As a lifelong cheese-lover and admitted Francophile, cheese had become one of the central elements of the elaborate Parisian fantasies preceding my journey abroad—what type I would buy, which wine I would drink it…

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