Amanda Bartlett

E.g., Tuesday, December 23, 2014
E.g., Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A group of 14 Russian educators from various U.S. states traveled abroad to Moscow for an intensive four-week teaching workshop this June. The program, titled ‘Russian Teachers for the 21st Century: Maximizing Teaching Effectiveness by Immersing into Language, Culture and Standard-Based Teaching,’ was directed by two University of Iowa faculty members – Irina Kostina, Ph.D., lecturer in Russian and Anna Kolesnikova, Ph.D., adjunct assistant professor of Russian language.

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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...

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According to many paranormal investigations, the Edinburgh Vaults are reportedly one of the most haunted locations in the world. Mustering up all of our courage, our group went on a ghost tour of the vaults, learning of the spirits that still roamed its corridors from the 17th and 18th centuries. One of the famed ghosts is known as “Mr. Boots,” an evil entity who is believed to have murdered a woman and kept the body in his “house” inside.

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I have seen Big Ben, the London Eye, and ridden a double decker bus. I can (sort of) navigate the underground tube system. I’ve even gotten to know a couple of the locals on a first-name basis. All in all, it’s safe to say that I’ve fallen in love with the bustling city of London. Despite this, it was nice to get out of the urban atmosphere for a day and visit the beautiful city of York, England.

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Our trip has been filled to the brim with breathtaking tours offering us a take on London’s most popular attractions. However, things shifted a bit when we gathered on a cobbled stone road, just as the sun began to set for the evening. Rather than giggles and an overall uplifting vibe, the nervous tension and quickening heartbeats rose from our group.

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Although he was a fictional character dreamt up by Scottish author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the late 1800s, many of Holmes’ techniques are effectively used today – over 130 years later. Indeed, the magnifying glass is an effective tool popularized by the detective, as are his methods of logical reasoning, disguise, and forensic science, which were simply unheard of at the time.

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As I write, I am sitting in bed, all of my clothes are packed in vacuum-sealed bags, copies of my passport are scanned, and my alarm is set. Yet here I am, wide awake, eagerly anticipating the big trip.

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Ever since I first picked up the novel American Psycho a couple of years ago, I’ve had a sort of infatuation with famous serial killers. I became intrigued at the thought of gaining insight into America’s criminal justice system by studying its British roots – criminology is something that has always captivated me. In just a few days, I will be studying abroad in the United Kingdom in a program called Crime and Justice and Britain.

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