Well, scratch whatever I have said before about being in panic mode, because now I am actually panicking. About everything possible. Money, trips, sights to see, things to do and see around Florence, so many restaurants I still want to try, literally everything; you name it, I’m panicking about it. I can’t believe that I only have fifteen days to do ALL of these things.
Five years after he studied abroad, UI graduate Mark Norris re-visits Reykjavík, Iceland and offers these reflections.
Cape Town is a huge urban center of South Africa, however, it also boasts a plethora of activities for those who love the great outdoors. Because of the surprisingly beautiful winter South Africa has been having, I have been fortunate enough to experience most of these exhilarating experiences firsthand!
“I wonder if U.S. customs will let me bring one back?” This was the question that kept running through my mind as I stared with awe and googly eyes at the reindeer and their calves all morning. It was finally the moment I had been waiting for, to conduct research in Northern Sweden in a Sámi, reindeer herding community. When I received my first call to attend the tagging of the reindeer calves, I was both nervous and excited. My thoughts were racing. Would they accept me?
Living in another country is definitely an experience that plummets you into the unknown. Everything you’re used to is completely turned upside down. It’s a scary, yet freeing feeling that creates independence at a whole new level. Nevertheless, adapting can sometimes be overwhelming when everywhere you look is unfamiliar. Here is my take on a few of the biggest challenges of living abroad from my experiences this summer.
Well, I’ve passed the halfway mark and I am officially in panic mode. I finished my first class, took the final, got to spend ten days with my mom while she visited, have started class #2, and now only have 23 days left of this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. I feel like a broken record… but WHERE is the time going? Cheesy, but time really does fly when you’re having fun. Here's a summary of my trip through Florence, Rome, and the beautiful landscapes of Tuscany.
Though I certainly do feel little pangs of sadness when reminiscing on my favorite UK memories, I can definitely say I have gained a stronger appreciation for my life here in the states as well. For my final entry, I’ve decided to compile a “top 10” list of tips and things I’ve learned, so that whoever’s reading might have some fresh advice on how to have a successful study abroad experience...
It’s midnight in the north of Sweden, just below the Arctic Circle, and I can’t fall asleep. It’s not because I’m anxious or had one too many cups of coffee (which is often the case) but because the sun never sets! Most homes and hotels have blackout blinds or curtains, but my current home, a tent, doesn’t. I decided, after a few restless nights, that I should buy a sleep mask. In the end, I have to admit, camping in the beautiful nature that surrounds me is well worth the lackluster quality of sleep I’ve had.
I recently completed a 5-day field study to Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic; Vienna, Austria; Budapest, Hungary; and Bratislava, Slovakia. What an amazing way to learn about the different cultures. Here are some highlights form Budapest and Bratislava.
I finally feel like I have the hang of getting around here. I also have come strides in what I know now and what I knew when I first came. The research projects I have been doing are definitely widening my knowledge about global health. I also had the opportunity to observe a mitral valve replacement surgery this week.
We had a three-day weekend here in SA because of the national holiday called Youth Day being commemorated Monday. Due to this my friends and I decided to pack up and head out to see the scenic Garden Route. This, by definition, is the beautiful stretch on the southeastern coast of South Africa. It hails numerous stunning towns and countless attractions all along the way. By 6:15 a.m. Saturday, we were on the road heading towards our next adventure!
Three words that are so simple, that we hear every day, yet in this context were so true and impactful. “Live; everyone needs to live all of life’s abundance, take full advantage everything it has to offer. Love; do I need to really explain that one? Lead; lead others through life the way you know is good, because everybody needs to understand and be understood, and forgive and be forgiven.” This little phrase has stuck with me since last week, and it will be how I look at the rest of my time here in Italy. I now realize more than ever that I will be leaving this beautiful place in the blink of an eye, and the only way to make the most of it is to live, love, and lead.
When I first stepped off the plane in Sweden I was told two very important things. First, that I would need a warmer coat. Second, that we were going to have a Fika. Due to my Scandinavian heritage, I had learned about the Swedish, social institution of having a daily Fika (or many), but I highly underestimated how important this phenomenon would be to my daily routine.
I have been in Florence for a little over two weeks now, and I cannot believe how quickly the time is flying by. Even though I am only entering my third week in Italy, I feel so comfortable walking these streets and really do feel like I am at home. I don’t even know where to begin because every day is truly amazing and unique, nothing is ever the same and there really isn’t a routine in the best way possible.
To me travel has always been about the people I would find in each unique place. When I day-dreamt about my future exploits I was never in a given place for less than a month. Once I had decided that I simply had to stay in these foreign locations for a longer period of time, I decided studying abroad was my solution. Now, how just how was I going to pay for it…