The Beauty of Sunrise

Knowing that the sun rises every morning is something that I definitely have taken for granted. I realized that the sun rising is a start of something new. While it rises in the same place every morning, it represents something more than that. A new day is not like yesterday; whatever happened then is done and a whole new experience is about to begin. Continue reading

Having Too Much but Not Enough

This week I found myself struggling to write a blog post. It was not that I did not have anything to write about. I just did not have a topic that I felt I could write a lot about. I kept coming up with ideas but none of them seemed to get very far. Then it dawned on me that I was experiencing writer’s block. How could I have writer’s block? I have been here for less than a month and have only written two posts. I felt that I had so much to write about, but could not seem to get the right words on to paper. My deadline for turning this post in arrived and I decided I was just going to email my supervisor and explain my struggles. I asked for some suggestions as well. The response came back telling me not to worry and gave some topic suggestions. The one that jumped out at me was about goals. Goal setting for my time in Spain. This was perfect! I had previously just made mental goals but did not write any of them down. I took this as an opportunity to write down some of my goals and hold myself accountable to them. This breakthrough was what I was waiting for. I finally had something to write!

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Adapting to Spanish Life

Walking down any street in Barcelona, there is bound to be a store for produce, a housewares store, a pharmacy, and most definitely a ham store. While this list of stores seems a little odd to non-Europeans, it says a lot about the Spanish culture. For one they LOVE ham. Iberian ham is a specialty of Spain and they eat it all the time and in nearly every way possible. Spaniards also walk everywhere so going from store to store to pick up items is just another fact of life. In the two weeks I have been here I have learned a lot about Spain and its people, as well as the culture. Continue reading

The Unpredictability of Travel

One of the very first things that I learn about travel, especially plane travel, is that unexpected things happen that we have no control over. The ability to understand that and be flexible is attributed to resiliency or being able to bounce back. The beginning of my study abroad experience was a large test of my resiliency. My journey to arriving in Barcelona was filled with a few unexpected events, like snow on the East coast of the Unites States.

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I Got Caught in a Paris Contest

The Yellow Jacket protestors celebrated an anniversary with a protest. The protest got a little out of hand and a little violent. As a result, tear gas got involved and became quite the experience.  Continue reading

Everyone’s Worst Fear

As I sat through study abroad orientations, I tended to tune out during the short section where insurance is mentioned. I rarely get sick and I have never broken a bone in my entire life. I like to think my body is pretty resilient; even when I am sick, I simply sleep it off and I am fine within the next two to three days. No meds needed. An even less of a problem for me is my dental health, but it just so happened that exactly three weeks left in my program, I needed a root canal. Continue reading

“Homesickness is Too Real”

Homesickness can sometimes bring out the worst of you, but life will always have the best of you. My journey in Paris has caused me to be homesick on-and-off through the first 2 1/5 months. Who knows what the future holds.

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Best Way to Plan Trips

When studying abroad there is a great chance to explore things within or outside of your host country. In my case since studying in Italy and my permit of stay, a legal paper that lets me stay in Italy due to my Visa. Housing gives me the opportunity to explore any country within the European Union (EU). Of course, I’ve taken some trips to enjoy myself and get more familiar with different cultures outside the United States. I will share the sort of process that I have found to be very helpful when traveling for a weekend or during a break. Continue reading

Midway Spanish Language Check-in

Before traveling abroad, it is important to set goals for what you want to accomplish in-country. One of my goals, as well as the reason why I want to study in Latin America, is to learn Spanish. Personally, I always set high goals for myself, because I believe even if I fall short of the grand goal I wanted to achieve, I will land pretty far along on the path in eventually achieving the goal. In Peru, my grand goal was to be fluent in Spanish. I recognize this is an absolutely ridiculous goal to have, but I believe that I am moving pretty far along on my journey.

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Welcome to the jungle

My last journey through the diverse landscape of Peru was in a city called Iquitos. Iquitos is a city that is situated right on the intersection of the Amazon River and another smaller river leading up to the amazon. The streets of the city are filled with more motorbikes than cars; as they drive through the town, they ignore the lanes that are marked on the road. The humidity that hangs in the air is accompanied by warmth instead of the bone chilling coldness in Lima. We planned to spend the night in the city of Iquitos me and, the next day, to board a boat to arrive at our final destination, which was a resort on the edge of the jungle.

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Managing Time

One of the toughest things to manage while abroad, and in general, is time. Wanting to do various trips, homework for classes, and any responsibilities back at home in a completely new time zone: these have been some of my toughest challenges here so far. Because most of my classes only meet once a week, I feel like I got much time. Also, due to my internship, I am working three times a week while also writing journals. When it comes down to it, time is a very valuable resource that we tend to take for granted.

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Nothing Like a Weekend Trip

The great thing about studying abroad is to be able to explore places that you have never seen before. At the University of Lorenzo de Medici (LdM) the school offers day trips to explore parts of Italy and their culture. One trip I took was to Lake Como and Switzerland, which was very close to Lake Como. Both of the places were amazing sites to see which I cannot recommend any higher than I do now. Continue reading

Connections Reward Opportunities

A lot of opportunities are simply awarded by just asking. Don’t be afraid to go after something you want. “Closed mouths don’t get fed”.

Watch Brooke’s Vlog below!

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Uncovering the Meaning Behind the Flag

Walking down the streets of Cusco me and my friends were shocked to see rainbow flags flying everywhere. On every corner and in front of every business there was a flag flying, including in the main square at the center of town. We thought we finally had found the holy grail of LGBTQ+ inclusivity.

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