Maria Bell | Exeter, England | Post 7

Maria Bell | Exeter, England | Post 7

Featured photo: Students in Munich watching the sunset on the bridge over the railroad tracks. In the last five weeks, I have been to seven European countries and eight major cities. I’ve stayed in seven youth hostels, a rural Bavarian air B&B, and the homes of three different third cousins of my mother. The April of my junior year was atypical to say the least. Despite possessing little concern for religion these days, UK universities have a month-long “Easter Break”…

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Maria Bell | Exeter, England | Post 6

Maria Bell | Exeter, England | Post 6

Featured image: Max Gate, the house Thomas Hardy built in Dorset and where wrote Tess of the Durbervilles and other works; Courtesy of Geograph. Being an English major, it’s obvious I love reading novels. I’m also an overly curious person. This means that engaging with a story isn’t enough for me. I want to know about the person behind that story. I want to know what experiences and influences in their life brought them to write this particular tale. Yes, I…

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Maria Bell | Exeter, England | Post 5

Maria Bell | Exeter, England | Post 5

Featured Photo: Me in the ruins of an old house-like structure along the coast of Cornwall I am a list-maker. I make lists for all sorts of things. Recently I’ve started a new one: things-Maria-should-probably-have-known-a-long-time-ago-but-didn’t-until-she-lived-in-the-UK-for-six-months. I kind of want to believe these gaps in my knowledge are an American thing but I have a sneaking suspicion they may be a me thing. At any rate, I can either teach you something new or just teach you the limits of my…

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Maria Bell | Exeter, England | Post 4

Maria Bell | Exeter, England | Post 4

Featured Image: On a walk along the Jurassic Coast in northern Devon with Exeter’s Outdoors Society As the vast majority of Vassar students studying abroad last term are settling back in at Vassar, I’ve returned to the eccentricities of life in southwest England. Coming back to a place that is both still foreign and also home produced a mix bag of emotions—it was harder than I imagined watching my friends reunite in the comfortable familiarity of Vassar’s bubble as I…

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Maria Bell | Exeter, England | Post 3

Maria Bell | Exeter, England | Post 3

Featured Image: Looking towards The Coffee Cellar and other shops set into the bank by the river in Exeter. So my fall semester at the University of Exeter has come to an end! Unlike for many other Vassar students studying abroad, my end of term didn’t come with a sense of finality. Rather it brought with it the feeling that I have slowly built a foundation for myself, a launching point for next term when I return to England. There is…

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Maria Bell | Exeter, England | Post 2

Maria Bell | Exeter, England | Post 2

Featured Image: “Barrel Roller” hoisting the flaming tar barrel onto the next carrier’s back There’s nothing quite like watching a large wooden barrel on fire charging straight at you. That’s what my JYA experience has taught me. One of the perks of study abroad is being able to experience other countries’ holidays and celebrations. Studying in the UK, that means you get Guy Fawkes Day, also known as Bonfire Night. In 1605, catholic Guy Fawkes and his cohort attempted to…

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Maria Bell | Exeter, England | Post 1

Maria Bell | Exeter, England | Post 1

Featured Image: Early morning in rural England While making plans to meet up with a friend from Vassar in London, it dawned on me that I was about to spend time with another American student for the first time since my first few days in Exeter. My study abroad experience has been a rather quirky one—I am not in a large metropolis, nor am I part of an established program of other Americans. Back at Vassar, I had my people…

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