Tag Archives: First Impressions

And So the Adventure Begins!

Hello everyone! I am so excited to be able to blog while I have this amazing opportunity to student teach in Auckland, New Zealand! Let me start by saying welcome to my blog. I am excited to share my experiences with you all! As I sit here on the plane, waiting for my flight to take off, I am going to start writing my first blog. What a bittersweet feeling!

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.

Continue reading

What They Do Not Tell You about Learning a Language

My decision to study abroad was mainly influenced by my desire to learn a language. The reason that I have only studied abroad in Latin American/Spanish speaking countries is because I believe in order to have a truly authentic experience one must know the language or have an idea of the language, but that is a topic for another blog post. My strong feelings about language learning pushed me to have a learning experience outside the classroom. I felt in the US learning a language was such a sterile process. Continue reading

Kia Ora

Kia ora! That’s hello in Maori, New Zealand’s indigenous language (it would be like us speaking an American Indian language except like 50 years after the colonist settled in America). The Maori language is very much present in culture and students take Maori classes. Many people here are half or full Maori.

I have only been in New Zealand about a week and still very much jet-lagged. Continue reading

Tackling Myeongdong: The Dark Alleys

So for most people maybe Myeongdong isn’t the best place to tackle on your first day in a new country where you barely know the language, but for some it may; for me it was. As someone who absolutely loves shopping and has almost made a sport of it had figured that I could do it successfully anywhere. If anyone knows, Myeongdong is a a huge area (maze) filled with everything imaginable. They have clothing, makeup, skincare, health, food, shoe stores etc. Continue reading

The Luck of the Irish

Hey Marymount! It’s over a month into summer already but it’s only one week into my internship program in Dublin, Ireland, so the fun has just begun! This past week was jam-packed, what with flying into Dublin airport, moving in last Monday and meeting all of the other interns in the program, and starting work full time the very next day. It feels great to be settled in now and to be able to write and process my experience so far. Continue reading

So Let This Adventure Follow: A Classic(al) Struggle

It’s often said that the stories that stand the test of time are the ones that speak to us in relatable ways — they get right down into something gritty and human about our experiences, and this is why we keep them around. Now, I believe that’s a pretty accurate statement, but for the absolute life of me I’ve never understood how Homer’s Odyssey could make the list of “relatable” unless you’ve been in the very specific circumstance of returning from war and taking 20 years to do it (also recommended: fighting with at least one god and accidentally getting all your friends turned into pigs). Writing this blog, however, on the other side of a 3 day trip that, in its most practical form takes maybe 8 hours, I feel like I finally understand the primal humanity I share with Odysseus, the sorry guy who just wants to get where he’s going.

Continue reading

Learning Where to Walk and How to Talk

More often than not I find myself overestimating my abilities. This may have come to my detriment when filling out the housing questionnaire for my study abroad trip. On the questionnaire I emphasized my desire to be in a household that I was able to practice Spanish. In my mind I was going to be able to speak fluent Spanish by the end of the month long program. I mean I know how to conjugate -ar, -ir, and -er verbs, what more could you ask for? Another piece of evidence I used to justify my unobtainable goal, was then fact that while in Cuba I was able to order food on my own and asked for directions in Spanish. Of course, I failed to remember the strange looks on native speakers faces when I uttered grammatically incorrect phrases. I simply remembered the fact that I spoke Spanish, and I received an answer in Spanish, which I partially understood. Continue reading

New in Nippon

I landed in Narita on a Wednesday. We stayed in a hotel near the airport, shuttled into Tokyo  the  next  morning,  and  got  situated  into  our  dorms  and  homestays.  For some people, adapting seems to come easily. You might have been in the country before, studied kanji, or have a little bit of the language under your belt to hold a conversation. The other demographic are the students  who  have  never  been  out of  the  United  States, and  speak  absolutely  no  Japanese whatsoever. Take a wild guess which group fall under. Continue reading

My Journey to Prague

Saying goodbye is the hardest thing to do, but starting all over in a new place is even harder. My journey starts with traveling from D.C. to Turkey to Prague. I was rushing to say my goodbyes to my friends and family since my plane to Istanbul turkey was leaving in under 30 minutes. Continue reading

First Feelings of Italy

Firenze, I have made it to you after anxious months of waiting, and I couldn’t be more in love with your breathtaking city and everything you have to offer. The long flights and hours of traveling were worth the arrival and experiences that occurred within my first week. I found myself missing family and friends during my travels which blocked my viewpoints on the wonderful opportunity I was about to endure for the following four months ahead. Luckily, upon my arrival I was quickly refocused. Continue reading

Firenze Firsts

My first week in Florence has been filled with overwhelming emotions. Happiness, excitement, and nerves to say the least. Moving to a different country for four months is a big change followed by lots of adjustments. These past seven days have flown by. I feel like just this morning I was saying “arrivederci” to my family and friends back home. Continue reading

Getting the Ball Rolling in Madrid

Any avid soccer fan will tell you that Madrid is currently a hub for world class football. The cities two largest teams, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have recently enjoyed success on not only the domestic league of Spain, but also on the largest stage in European football, The Champions league. Continue reading

A Week of Firsts, Tears and Water

I am a huge believer in that everyone should once in awhile take a leap of faith and do something absolutely terrifying. This leap of faith for me was the decision to study abroad. I have never been out of the country let alone traveled alone, so here I was early last week flying across the ocean to the world of unknown by myself. I will never forget that feeling when I first landed in Rome and went well now there is no going back. But even though I was nervous and fearful I had never been so confident in my abilities before. Continue reading

Old Goodbyes and New Hellos

Goodbyes have always been hard for me, the anticipation of missing someone is unsettling and scary. But leaving for Rome was different than normal, still hard, just different. I was overwhelmed and excited, there was so much to do before I left and the goodbyes were the last thing on my mind. I didn’t have time to be sad about leaving, and honestly I didn’t want to be. “See you in December” felt weird to say when it’s still 85 and sunny, but before I knew it I was on the plane headed to Rome for 4 months. Continue reading