travel stories

Zwina is one of the most beautiful (ha) words in the Arabic language, in part because it can describe literally everything – the food is zwina, the weather’s zwina, this class is zwina. The idea of food being beautiful or tasting beautiful is a strange expression in English, but is common and complimentary in Darija. In Rabat, Morocco, the world is zwina – the people, the ancient city, the cafés on the corners and morning call to prayer. The weather is a sunny 75 degrees, and coastal breeze blows in each evening from the sea. The Kingdom of Morocco is zwina.

Keywords: 

Author: 

When I was applying to IES Rabat study abroad program, I struggled with the question of whether or not to stay with a host family so much that I submitted my housing application two weeks late. I had heard good things about homestays from friends who had studied abroad, but was worried about the awkward interactions that the language barrier would create, worried that I might lose all the independence I had gained when I moved to college after high school. Others warned me that I was moving to a dangerous country in which the culture was too different from my own for me to function within the confines of a foreign family unit. It would be more comfortable for me to live with other Americans in a condo in the city.

Keywords: 

Author: 

One of the most significant aspects of studying abroad is seeing everything you possibly can, while learning and growing every step of the way. After getting settled into my new life at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia, I was quickly ready to get out there and begin seeing all the things I had spent months pinning on Pinterest. After all, my parents were beginning to wonder what exactly I was getting out of spending day after day at the beach.

Keywords: 

Author: 

UI Study Abroad Diversity Ambassador Scholar Mikkia Graves is a senior majoring in mathematics with a minor in statistics and a certificate in entrepreneurial management. This winter, Graves studied abroad on the USAC Havana Program in Havana, Cuba, where she explored the history and culture of Cuba. In this letter, she reflects on her study abroad experiences in Cuba and India as both a first-generation college student and an African American woman.

Keywords: 

Author: 

UI Study Abroad Diversity Ambassador Scholar Azzah Nasraddin reflects on her identity as a black Muslim American woman while abroad on the UI India Winterim program– and how her experiences broke down her stereotypes and prejudices. Azzah is a sophomore majoring in psychology and social work with a minor in global health and Arabic.

Keywords: 

Author: 

In my last year at Iowa, I served as a Diversity Ambassador in a study abroad program which took me to Havana, Cuba. It was an unforgettable month of culture, dancing, cuisine, and lifelong memories. During my time on the island with the 20 other Americans participating in the USAC program, I learned much about group dynamics, gained some close friends, and had the time of my life experiencing such a unique learning opportunity with a well-rounded group of peers. The most important lessons I learned with regard to diversity, I learned from the people I met on the island.

Keywords: 

Author: 

In Morocco, they take it easy. As soon as my plane lands in Rabat, I can feel the change. The other passengers do not push against each other to stand in the aisle. They take their time gathering backpacks and briefcases from the overhead compartments. My flight is late, but that’s no problem. IES Abroad’s driver is just arriving to take me to the Center, where the other students are. I don’t know much Darija (the local dialect) yet, and he doesn’t know English. We smile at each other. It’s not uncomfortable.

Keywords: 

Author: 

I have been at the University of Newcastle, in New South Wales, Australia for nearly three weeks already, and yet I continue to wake up most mornings in awe that this is actually my life. I prepared for this journey for quite some time; making and saving money, meeting deadlines for paperwork, and doing lots of research. To finally be here, literally on the other side of the world, can at times be hard to grasp.

Keywords: 

Author: 

If you are reading this letter, you may be pondering the idea of studying abroad and trying to decide whether it is something you should do. As a senior in my last year in the College of Education, I debated the idea for many reasons, but the biggest one being the cost. See, my original goal coming out of high school and soon to be first generation college student was to go to college and excel in my academics in order to achieve greatness, but never was it in my plan to study abroad.

Keywords: 

Author: 

My first experience abroad was in Spain during winter break of my freshman year. While this was an enlightening experience, it was not so different from my own culture. Traveling to India, however, I was excited to explore those cultural and social differences. Starting with the sheer amount of people on the streets of Chennai, the town I flew into, I knew the YouTube travel videos I’d watched in preparation were not exaggerating.

Keywords: 

Author: 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - travel stories