In this blog post, I am specifically writing to my minority readers.
As you begin to settle into the routine of life abroad, you begin to look around. You become aware of the people around you. The realization that there is no one around that looks like you hits you. For me, this means every single room I walk into, I am the darkest person with the coarsest hair. I immediately stand out. Continue reading →
For me, classes started on September 3rd so I was able to have a long summer, but the semester finally arrived and I was ready for classes! My Monday class was cancelled till the 10th of September so my first class was my African American Literature class on Tuesday. I know it seems kind of random to be taking this class abroad and to be honest it wasn’t my first choice to take a class in Korea that has to do with America. I was very interested in how my professor would approach the subject. I always wonder, while trying not to care, how and what other countries learn and know about Americas history & present. I was also curious on what my classmates would get from our readings including what they had to say about them. Continue reading →
After being here for about three weeks, for most of the time, I was pretty much just an average “tourist”. My main purpose in the country was to experience the culture, visit museums, and eat their delicious food. Whenever I was roaming different areas of Seoul and saw another foreigner (non-Korean), I wouldn’t think much of it and just assumed they were here doing the same things I’m doing. It wasn’t until I went to Sunday mass that it started to get me to question why foreigners are here in South Korea, the same, this very moment too. Continue reading →
I like to be good at things. I think I can safely say that everyone likes to be good at something or other. We often build a sense of identity around the things we’re good at, whether you would define yourself as athletic, artistic, intellectual, funny, hard working, or charming, there’s some part of your personality that you lay claim to, and when someone asks you who you are, that thing is what comes to mind (whether you feel confident enough to say it or not). It’s a comfort object, like that favorite toy you had as a kid, and you hold it quietly in your hand or your pocket to run your fingers over it and feel safe when things aren’t going so well. You might have messed up x, y, or z, but you tell yourself that’s just “not your thing” and in your thing? In that you are a rockstar.
But what do you do when that fragment of identity is questioned? What comfort do you have?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 →
Throughout my semester abroad, I’m surprised to be learning more about myself and my culture than ever before. Over time, taking advantage of opportunities that I would’ve been too afraid to do back home has allowed my confidence and judgement to flourish with each new experience.
This weekend, I traveled to Ireland on my own to revisit County Kerry, where my paternal family is from. Before boarding my flight, I began to feel so anxious and apprehensive, as I realized that I’d be spending the weekend in a new country where I knew no one – had I officially gone mad? Probably, but I knew that this trip would teach me more about a different aspect of my identity and contribute to my personal growth. Continue reading →
I have now been living in Florence for just over a month! Throughout that month my roommates and I have been traveling around Italy to see all sorts of different popular sites! We went to Venice, as I wrote about before! We’ve been to Pisa, Verona, and the Italian Riviera. It was not until recently that we traveled outside of the country! Our first trip was to Vienna and Salzburg, Austria. It was such a great time to see a culture that is so much different than Italy’s. It was especially great for me since they speak German there and I am proficient in German as well! Typically, my roommate helps me out with Italian, so this time I got to help her out with German; it was a lot of fun! Although we spent the weekend traveling through Austria, we did miss Florence quite a bit. Continue reading →
After writing this week’s post, I had hard time thinking about a title that would best fit it. The events that have occurred are a bit scattered, and I couldn’t find a word or phrase that could tie everything together. Nonetheless, this week has been nothing but eventful — ranging from an exuberant ESL class, visiting London, and redefining home.
This week’s theme for our ESL class focused on stereotypes about Americans and the Spanish. Alex and I both thought that this would be a great opportunity to tackle some of the common misconceptions about the United States in Spain, and vice versa. We had the class break up into small groups and make a list of all the American and Spanish stereotypes that they were aware of. Continue reading →