UI Study Abroad Blogger

Stopped for the view on the way to Volubilis and Meknes
Prior to my arrival in Morocco, I was aware that there would be significant differences between the classical Arabic that I had been studying at Iowa and the colloquial Arabic used in everyday exchanges in my host country.

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Upper Florentine Valley
I am so grateful that I am spending my semester in New South Wales, Australia, through SIT’s Environmental Action and Sustainability study abroad program. During my time here, I have learned from leading environmentalists, listened to impactful activists, been exposed to the indigenous Aboriginal culture, and experienced indescribable moments of connection with Earth.

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Hotel Oudayas
While it’s more fun to show pictures of all the adventures I’m having, the reality of study abroad is that it is, in fact, study abroad.

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These ruins of the royal stables at Meknes used to hold 12,000 Arabian horses. Because why not.
As soon as we’d settled into our school routine, it was time to shake things up with a seven-day tour of central Morocco. Rabat is fairly far north, so “south” encompasses most of the country. It was our first excursion, and first time leaving the home-base of the Rabat Medina neighborhood.

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lee ann
Lyon used to be just a dot on the map for me. Situated in the east of France and tantalizingly close to Switzerland, this city was my obsession over the summer and fall of 2017.

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plane
One day you are tackled by time and realize that you have only a week to go before spending the next semester of your life in another country. Then you suddenly find yourself stuffed in the middle of a Boeing 777, with a stomach full of airplane food and butterflies. 

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oming from January in Iowa, my first two impressions of Morocco were “Wow, all the colors are so bright!” and “Wow, it’s so warm!” The rich orange dirt contrasting with greenery and palms is stunning.

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Yesterday my group and I visited the Valley of a Thousand Hills to get a visual representation of what it feels like to be on top of the hill, looking down.

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taxi
Catching a taxi in Dakar using Wolof (one of the native languages of Senegal).

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My class of twenty-four was split up into groups of four and five and sent out to different special needs schools in the Durban area. We went there to witness the structure of the institution, the funding allocated, and talk to the faculty about their experience working there. 

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