Jalilah Byrd | London, England | Post 3

Jalilah Byrd | London, England | Post 3

So, academics. That’s what I’m here for, right? Obviously—with no hint of sarcasm. (No hint.) I really didn’t think studying abroad would be that different from Vassar. To be honest, I thought it’d be exactly the same, just with easier assignments. Not really sure why I thought that, really, seeing as people here don’t even know which side of the road to drive on. (Sidenote: a friendly elderly man on the bus informed me that this was because of jousting,…

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Angela Della Croce | Australia | Post 1

Angela Della Croce | Australia | Post 1

Before studying abroad, I had only camped once in my life, when I was ten. We slept directly underneath the star-laden Arizona sky and watched a rare meteor shower until the summer breeze lulled us to sleep. It was truly terrible. I had no tent—no protection—from the endless unknowns of the wilderness. It seemed as though every insect from the Sonoran Desert was out to get me. And where was the bathroom? Was I expected to simply relieve myself behind…

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Hannah Snyder-Samuelson | Sligo, Ireland | Post 3

Hannah Snyder-Samuelson | Sligo, Ireland | Post 3

It’s almost 8:00 on Monday night, and I’m writing this from a 2nd grade classroom in an elementary school just outside of Sligo, Ireland. I’m having one of those fascinating moments in which you wonder how many chance occurrences it took to lead you to this particular time and place. (I’ve been having quite a lot of those this semester.) This moment, at least, is a result of my coming here with the farmer that I’m volunteering with during my…

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Natalie Gerich Brabson | Madrid, Spain | Post 3

Natalie Gerich Brabson | Madrid, Spain | Post 3

I am now very much immersed in life in Madrid, and a significant part of my life here is my university studies. The process of choosing and enrolling in classes took an unusual amount of time for me, because I decided to take two classes at a second university that had a later start than the program’s home university. In total, I am taking five classes this semester. Three are at Universidad Carlos III—the university where the Vassar-Wesleyan Madrid program…

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Harper Cleves | Santiago, Chile | Post 1

Harper Cleves | Santiago, Chile | Post 1

I ended my first day in Santiago washing strawberry cake off of dishes at a sink built for a woman a foot smaller than me. I kept thinking someone should take a picture of me, oddly tall, occupying too much space in the tiny, rectangular kitchen, while a petite, 75-year-old Chilean woman buzzed around me insisting I drink more tea, and finish her cake. “Eres bastante flaca, Chiquita.” “You are too skinny, little one.” I declined politely for the fourth…

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Jesslyn Mitchell | Kitgum, Uganda | Post 3

Jesslyn Mitchell | Kitgum, Uganda | Post 3

My Excursion: Leaving Home Again and Reculture Shock This past week, we had a group excursion to Kitgum, Uganda. Kitgum is a district in Northern Uganda that was particularly hard hit by the conflict with the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army). It was also the site for many IDP (internally displaced person) camps. One reason that it was so affected by the conflict is its very rural setting. The majority of my time is being spent in Gulu town, the second…

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Juliava Struve | Paris, France | Post 3

Juliava Struve | Paris, France | Post 3

Tips for going out in Paris and the best secret gelataria in Rome    I’ve been going out every weekend in Paris since I’ve gotten here and I have discovered an undeniable fact: every weekend that my friends and I go out, we get a little bit better at it. Here are some of the lessons we’ve learned so far: -Pregaming on the subway at night is slightly socially acceptable, the same can be said for drinking in parks in…

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Eliot Cowley | Kyoto, Japan | Post 4

Eliot Cowley | Kyoto, Japan | Post 4

First Two Weeks in Kyoto A lot has happened in the past couple weeks–I’ve finished my first job at the Airinkan, the day care center for people with cognitive disabilities, and I’ve started my next job, at the Bazaar Cafe. I’ll do my best to neatly sum up how it has been. February 11 was a Japanese holiday, National Foundation Day (Kenkoku Kinen no Hi). This day celebrates the ascension of Japan’s first emperor, Emperor Jimmu (Thanks, Wikipedia!). For some…

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