UI Study Abroad Blogger

The city of Valparaíso has gone duck-crazy. A week before the arrival of our enormous yellow visitor I read the newspaper headlines and laughed, “The Worlds Largest Duck to Arrive in October.” My host mom Emma and her longtime friend and roommate Raul chuckled at the idea of the duck around the dinner table as we ceremoniously enjoyed our post-dinner snack, “once.”

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Students from 35 different institutions who are studying abroad in Beijing at the reception. Photo credit: Project Pengyou
This month, I had the honor to attend a reception at the ambassador's residence, organized by the US-China Strong Foundation and Project Pengyou. The event was an opportunity to mingle with fellow students and educators who are living and studying abroad in China. Regarding Sino-Chinese relations, Ambassador Branstad has reiterated his commitment to his friendship with Chinese president Xi Jinping and the well-established connection between Iowa and Hebei.

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The first week abroad is filled with different emotions. Every person is going to feel different emotions at different times throughout the week. I remember reading an article about culture shock a week before I departed for Thessaloniki. I was surprised that it did not hit me right away! It took a while, but it did occur while in my first week of classes. 

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Just chillin with a mountain
Wow sometimes it’s hard to believe how quickly time passes. I feel as though I’ve only just arrived and yet I’m already a quarter of the way through my exchange semester! I do attribute some of this feeling to the fact that I have yet to begin my actual classes. The semester officially began this week, but my first class isn’t until next Monday.

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Stretch your legs and make friends with the hill. That’s my strategy. Here you see the plaza below Calle Mackenna. Down there you might find an 80-year-old man hurling an entire cow carcass into the butcher shop. You might find groups of “punking” (pronou
My daily loaf of bread and the cheese and shrimp empanadas are catching up to me. It seems I’m getting a nice little tummy. However, my legs have never been stronger. This is because I am lucky enough to live in Cerro (hill) Yungay, one of Valparaíso’s 42 cerros. It’s generally quiet, covered in art, and has a great view of that big blue thing over there we call the Pacific Ocean. Cerro Yungay is run by groups of friendly multi-colored cats and overweight happy pups who come and go from house to house as they please. For this post I want to show the short, but oh so steep climb from the base of my street to my house. I will do so with photos…

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clear day
In my high school French class, I recall learning about Paris’ arrondissements, or administrative districts, that circumvent the city. Following my freshman year at the University of Iowa, I spent a small portion of my summer break traveling in China. Of the mere two weeks I spent in China, one week was spent in Beijing. I remember noting the circular metro lines, regarding them as an inconvenience when trying to travel from a stop on one end of the rounded track to another.

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Hey Hawkeyes! Below I have provided a list of items that you don’t want to forget to bring with you when you go abroad, the list especially applies to those going to Italy!

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Being 9 days, 19 hours, and 57 minutes out from my departure for Greece, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on my preparation. I have been talking about my Greece adventure since last January! This preparation process has been quite different than what I expected. But, I can honestly say that I learned more about myself, my plans, and my priorities. Here I have compiled 10 tips that I would give to someone who is starting to prepare to go abroad

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Here are 3 tips to start narrowing down your study abroad destination!

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One of the several courtyards and three of the many tourists at the beautiful monastery in Melk.
Hello all! For those of whom may be reading this and have not yet had the pleasure of making my acquaintance, my name is Bailie and I’ll be writing to you from Vienna, Austria for the duration of this semester! I’ll be studying alongside hundreds of exchange students from across the globe at the Vienna University of Business and Economics, better known as WU.

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