Bethan Johnson | Oxford, England | Post 2

Bethan Johnson | Oxford, England | Post 2

“Alkdnasdlkfnadsl.” This delightful collection of letters characterizes almost every message I have written home thus far, and also the truly great and terrible beauty of studying abroad at Oxford. I will warn readers that this blog may be somewhat hard to follow, as the writer is still dealing with the constant screams of Oxford students in the aftermath of the JK Rowling interview, most of which sound something like the word I used above; this holds particularly true for whoever…

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Jesslyn Mitchell | Gulu, Uganda | Post 2

Jesslyn Mitchell | Gulu, Uganda | Post 2

Home Away from Home My home stay family calls me Laker (Lah-kay). The first day that I was with them, my mommy sat me down and told me she was going to give me a new name. Most people in Gulu have a name that follows the same pattern: traditional name-Christian name-family name. The traditional names all have meanings. For example, one of my host sister’s names is Aber (Ah-bay), which means beautiful. For me, Laker means “coming from a…

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Jalilah Byrd | London, England | Post 2

Jalilah Byrd | London, England | Post 2

My rather preachy last post spent an unnecessary amount of words directed toward those back at Vassar who may be frightened, or at the very least daunted, by the concept of going JYA.  With all that high and mighty posturing, what have you got to show for your efforts, Jalilah?  O teach us, enlightened one–tell us of your rad adventures. Well, hypothetical and overly-sarcastic reader, the outset of my journey was anything but rad. Burdened with unexaggeratedly the WORST sore…

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Hannah Snyder-Samuelson | Copenhagen, Denmark | Post 2

Hannah Snyder-Samuelson | Copenhagen, Denmark | Post 2

I’m really surprised to realize that I’ve already been in Denmark for a whole month. It’s been feeling a lot like my first month at Vassar did — meeting so many new people at once, needing to learn how to navigate new buildings and spaces from the get-go, and feeling like each day has surely lasted more than twenty-four hours. With all the newness, though, it’s been comforting to be taking classes that are so similar to Vassar classes, in…

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Natalie Gerich Brabson | Madrid, Spain | Post 2

Natalie Gerich Brabson | Madrid, Spain | Post 2

I have been in Madrid for almost a month, though I cannot decide if it has seemed much longer or much shorter than that. Because of the nature of constant learning that is part of studying abroad, time has felt blurry. Each day, I learn new Spanish words, customs, and mannerisms, and because a couple classes I plan to take will not start until next week, I have yet to fully figure out my schedule. I still feel far from…

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Eliot Cowley | Kyoto, Japan | Post 3

Eliot Cowley | Kyoto, Japan | Post 3

Well, I’m finally here! This is my second full day living in Kyoto. The day I left Tokyo I had to get up at 5:30 AM to make the shinkansen (bullet train). I wasn’t sure if I would be able to because the night before I had suddenly become very sick. I have no idea why, but thankfully I was well enough to travel the next day. Kayla, who also attends Vassar, is doing the same practicum as me, and we both…

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Juliana Struve | Paris, France | Post 2

Juliana Struve | Paris, France | Post 2

The All-Carb Diet For the few weeks leading up to my departure, I was exercising like crazy. Images of impossibly thin and chain smoking French girls kept running through my head. I made it my goal to keep off the holiday weight as much as possible. All I really wanted was to fit in! Anyway, in the three weeks or so that I’ve been here, something quite unexpected has been happening. I have been actually slimming down. Never mind that…

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Jesslyn Mitchell | Gulu, Uganda | Post 1

Jesslyn Mitchell | Gulu, Uganda | Post 1

All the Feels of Being Far and Away My first week in Uganda was the biggest roller-coaster ride of my life, both emotionally and physically. I had never left the United States, and for some reason I decided that going to Uganda for my first outing would be a good idea. On January 31st, I left on a plane to meet the other students participating in the SIT Uganda/Rwanda Post-Conflict Transformation program.  Pictures and words will do no justice to…

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Eliot Cowley | Tokyo, Japan | Post 2

Eliot Cowley | Tokyo, Japan | Post 2

Ryokan The past few days have been a mix of crazy and relaxing. On Friday, my program, Japan Study, had a final meeting about our upcoming cultural practicum, which, if I haven’t explained it before, is something that everyone in the program has to do. We each go somewhere for a month and volunteer, intern or something similar. There are several options provided by the program, and what I’m doing is working at a café and a day center in…

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Moorea Hall | Napoli, Italy | Post 5

Moorea Hall | Napoli, Italy | Post 5

 10 Things to Do in Napoli I like to think of Napoli as my drunk great-aunt, who wears fabulous dresses, chain smokes, and says inappropriate things about her lovers at Thanksgiving dinners. You can see how beautiful and charming she must have been as a young girl, but you can’t help but love her more now that she’s a little run-down with a lot of personality. (Disclaimer: I don’t actually have a great-aunt like this, but if I did she…

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