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.

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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.

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Topics covered in this episode:
- Favorite place to hangout in Iowa City?
- Favorite food from your country?
- What do you like about Iowa City?

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Today I finished my Responding to Climate Change course. I took a final exam, turned in an 8-page paper and presented on the paper with PowerPoint. Whew. All done. When I passed around Belgium waffle cookies and chocolate crisps after we (all 2 of us students) turned everything in and completed our presentations, the professor said, “I hope this is not corruption.”

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Blake Rupe considers herself an accidental entrepreneur. The 26-year-old UI student had no plans to start a business, but a trip to some garbage-infested beaches in Mexico convinced her a mobile application to encourage recycling could help.

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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.

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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…

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At 5 a.m. Beijing time, I awoke to the sound of absolute stillness and the shafts of dull grey Chinese light through the dirty windows. Not knowing Dan (my new roommate) very well, I hesitated to get up and risk waking my likely equally jet-lagged companion. I opted to pull out my Nexus 7 tablet and play Pokemon Emerald version until further notice.

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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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Moving to Africa is a big enough change all on its own, but the day-to-day differences are definitely the ones that are the hardest to get used to. Here are a few differences I have really noticed in my daily life here in South Africa...

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