Incorporating travel within my education beginning my Freshman year was something that I will always be proud of myself for doing. Taking an upper-level course with upperclassmen during my Freshman year so that I could travel over Spring Break, was something that most first-year students shy away from. Since taking that leap, I have been non-stop on the go and wanting to see the world as much as I can. From the Netherlands, to Australia, to Dubai, and to Florence, Italy, I have learned so much about myself and about the world around me that I had not known before. Continue reading
These past few weeks seem to have gone by incredibly quickly. However, it is also difficult to believe I have been here for 4 months and my time here is almost over. Lately I got over a cold, watched more movies than I can count, spent hours on trams, and yet with each day I look at the sky and am still amazed that this place is real. Autumn is settling into the city and although most people do not think of cold weather in Australia, it does happen. This season always makes me reminisce about the past year however this year has been like no other. I feel like I could easily live here for another semester and many others share my feelings. Many of my international friends have also had amazing adventures traveling all around Australia with the short amount of time here. Continue reading
That’s it. In what seemed like five weeks rather than five months, my semester in Spain has come to an end. Early Friday morning, I embarked on my 28-hour journey back to Honolulu. Returning home was certainly bittersweet, as I’m always thrilled indulge in my favorite Hawaiian foods and reunite with my family and friends. However, something just didn’t feel right. Although I was technically heading home, I also felt like I was leaving home behind. Seeing the skyline of Madrid one last time as my plane took off was heart-wrenching, as I really don’t know when or if I will ever return to Spain. When you live in another city for an extended period of time, it becomes a part of you. Being abroad has taught me that I can call a city other than Honolulu home, despite the major differences between the two cultures. Continue reading
As the months and the weeks wind down, I am starting to prepare to head back home to America. It has been a whirlwind of a semester in Florence, Italy this past Spring. From the first moment I saw the Duomo from my upstairs apartment balcony, I knew that I had chosen the perfect place to be living and studying for the following four months. Turns out, I was right.
Spring in Sevilla, Spain is undoubtedly a sensational experience. The city was literally blooming – with vibrant flowers growing alongside pastel-colored buildings and the carefree attitude of its people. The Andalucía region of Spain has a completely different lifestyle than Madrid. Andalucía is best known for its rich Spanish culture, most especially bullfighting, flamenco, art, and raw passion. It has a more laid-back atmosphere that still partakes in siestas and has a nightlife that typically lasts until dawn.
As autumn is settling into the city, it’s definitely time to put the shorts away and bring out the sweaters and scarves. The weather is a major factor in certain activities so we decided this was the week we had to cross them off our list. Ash, Adam, Melynda, Denise, Ali, and I drove a few hours south of Melbourne to the small beach town of Blairgowrie for some cliff diving. While it sounded terrifying and the weather was still on the colder side, it was only going to get colder so it was a “now or never” decision.
This week marked the last full week of classes at SLU-Madrid, which has ended this chapter of my semester abroad. I am officially no longer a student in Spain, and don’t know if I’ll ever will be again. It’s certainly bittersweet to realize this, as I know that I will naturally miss the friends and routine that I established here, but look forward to returning to my social life and extra-curricular activities back at Marymount.