Tag Archives: Growth

The Unthinkable

Kia Ora! Welcome back to my blog! It has been one crazy week! This week I had the lovely ladies of JCL visit me! JCL (Junior Class Learning) is the program that we are here student teaching with. Mary and Judy (the ladies who run the program) came by to see me and to make sure that everything was running smoothly. Always love a visit from them! Continue reading

Challenges While Abroad

Studying abroad has been one of the best opportunities that I have been able to experience in college! It was one of my goals for my college career. And I am grateful that Marymount has such an amazing study abroad office that helped me get here. Going to a new country to spend a semester learning is filled both opportunities and challenges. I get to learn about another place while fully immersed in the culture. I get an opportunity to further develop my understanding of a language. And I also get to meet new people and discover new adventures. However, studying abroad does not come without its own set of challenges. Continue reading

Preparing for Goodbye

As you can imagine, panic has finally settled in. Not only do I only have two weeks left in Korea, but I have to spend most of it studying for finals, packing, and preparations for next semester. Korea has become another home, I’ve built a bond with the school, the students in my classes, and overall I’ve built friendships. I’m worried these last weeks will be so hectic, I won’t be able to reflect on all the people and places I’ve bonded with. I’ve had my ups and downs here in Korea, but overall Korea has been a positive and amazing experience. I’m not going to lie: I miss my family and friends back home so much! I’m excited to get back home to California, and then Virginia for school, but I know I will begin to miss Korea. I wonder what it will feel like to be back in the US. Continue reading

Giving Thanks

Christmas is my favorite season, but it honestly doesn’t feel like the Christmas season until you go through Thanksgiving. I hadn’t realized how much I depend on Thanksgiving to transition to Christmas until now. Thanksgiving with my family is a very traditional one. My entire family (extended and all) gathers at one home for turkey and pie. Our family gatherings are always so fun and never entail family drama. Though we are close, we have never been the ones to go around the table and say what we were thankful for. We may not vocally say what we are thankful for, but we spend the whole day catching up on each other’s lives. Since I wasn’t able to celebrate with my family, I was lucky enough to spend the day with new friends. Continue reading

Dating Seoul

It feels like it’s been years since I first applied and got accepted to study abroad in Seoul, South Korea. Midterms were last week which made me really think about how far I’ve come. I’m finally at the halfway point of the semester, and I guess you could say I’ve survived! I’ve prevailed! I’ve- whatever you wanna call it! In between studying of course, I would spend the week reflecting on how my lifestyle has changed from the first weeks to now. When thinking about my experiences here in Seoul, I couldn’t help compare it with a new relationship. This may sound strange, and I’m not saying I’m literally dating Seoul, but I think it fits perfectly as a metaphor. I’ve gone through three stages of the relationship so far. First stage, the awkward phase, second, the lovey dovey phase, third, the comfortable phase. There may be better names for these phases, but I’ll use these for now.  Continue reading

Goodbye for Now

As I sit on Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia, writing my last blog for Marymount, it is so hard to believe that my abroad experience is over. I have traveled a lot in my life but I have never been so fully immersed in a culture in the way that I was in New Zealand. I have met people from all over the world, tried new foods, made a few close friends and yes- even though New Zealand is an English speaking country- I have indeed learned heaps of new words. Continue reading

The Length of a Day

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” This is a quote I recently learned, from St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta. It’s now one of my all-time favorite quotes because from a Christian perspective or otherwise, it really describes the peace that we can find by living in the present and not worrying about things we can’t control. I hope you also can appreciate its simple motivation to make the most of each day. This is especially important during any time we spend visiting other countries, but I don’t know why we rarely apply it to our “normal” lives. Continue reading

Ressembler: To Look Like

Days are passing by as if in a blur now, and at the end is that inevitability: the departure. It is perhaps somewhat telling that I think about the end of my program not as my “return” as many of my fellows have spoken of it, but that “departure.” I think very little of what I’m coming back too, and constantly of what I’m leaving behind. Continue reading

Bilingual Limbo

Your first instinct on seeing this title was, perhaps, to imagine the fun and popular party game limbo, in which competitors aim to shimmy beneath an increasingly lowered pole without falling. You maybe imagined some kind of allusion to how as time goes on and language skills get better I might be expected to perform more and more complicated linguistic hurdles as fluency improves. You hoped that maybe I’d make some kind of fun allegory out of the game to explain the continued and continuously harder approach to fluency. I’m sad to say this is more the “uncertain and pseudo-hellish waiting room” kind of limbo. (That first idea sounds better, huh? I think I made the wrong commitment on the direction for this entry.) Continue reading

The LAST Blog Post

“It was about my fifth time I was rereading my host mom’s name, “Carmen”. I had waited weeks and weeks for the information about my host family to arrive. I quickly called my mom to tell her about the family. The months leading up to the trip I was eager to tell everyone I was going to Costa Rica but, in this moment it all became real. I was going to be traveling to another country by myself. I had limited information about what I was going to be doing once I got there, and I had very limited knowledge about Costa Rica. There have been a few times this week, where I could not even talk about leaving home without crying. I honestly have no idea what I am doing and who I am going to be with.“ Continue reading

Why Would You Ever Do That?

While abroad, I have stayed in contact with a few of my friend back at home. Coincidentally, one of my two friends I have kept up with is studying abroad this summer in Europe. When messaging in our group chat I jokingly asked my other friend, “When are you going to study abroad?” This joke quickly turned into a small debate we always have. She wonders why I would want to leave Michigan and accumulate debt, when I could simply stay at home in order to work to save up money to pay for college. I think the easiest way to justify my choice is to explain the importance of experiential learning. Continue reading

Open to Connections

The number one problem I foresaw when studying abroad was making new friends. I am very selective when it comes to choosing friends. Friendship is one of the most important things in this life. Choosing to talk to or hang out with someone solely because you like who they are as a person is pretty profound and should not be taken lightly. Also, friends say a lot about you are as well. Therefore, I find myself being selective about the friends I make. When in a situation where I am meeting new people for the first time I simply just sit and observe in order to gauge the personalities’ of others. I realized this slightly judgmental approach would not fly when I left the country. There would only be a small number of individuals who are part of my program and an even smaller group of individuals in my classes. Therefore, I made it one of my goals to get off of my social high horse and be open to making a diverse group of friends. I was quickly reminded of this goal when I arrived in San Jose. Continue reading

All the Small Things

My semester abroad is quickly coming to an end. It was as if in the blink of an eye everything has turned into memories. I am sad to be leaving, I feel like a part of me will always be left in Florence. It was tough at first, but I have learned how to adjust to a completely different life in Italy. Continue reading

Home Away From Home

I have a little over a month left here in Florence and I can’t help but be a little overwhelmed by that. Over the past three months, Florence has become my home. It is strange knowing that in a few weeks I will not be waking up to the sound of church bells outside my window or listening to the busy happenings of the city life. Continue reading

A Week in a “Poor” Country

This semester I was blessed to be able to visit Accra, Ghana on a Global Classroom Series trip over spring break. I have spent the semester learning about global inequalities and development through a course called Economics of Poverty, and it was such an academically beneficial experience to be able to actually go to what is called a “developing country” and see what we’d been learning about firsthand. But beyond that, for me, this short one-week trip was one of immense personal growth and discovery. Continue reading