UI Study Abroad Blogger

In class our professor told us about "spazieren gehen," which means to take a walk without a real destination. There's not an English phrase quite as concise with the same meaning, but it's somewhere around to stroll or to wander. She tells us this is a very German idea, but she is wrong.

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My event planning class worked towards putting on one event at the end of the month to put into action some of the skills and practices we learned throughout the semester. We targeted other Lorenzo de’ Medici students and their friends studying for the summer and learned how to make focaccia while watching a documentary about how a small town in Italy worked to beat out McDonald’s by providing quality, delicious focaccia and other local favorites.

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Girl with two small children
Though English is dubbed the main language of commerce here in South Africa, there are still times (and by that I mean most times) that I find myself wondering what the heck was just said to me. The accent and slang used by the natives here makes things a bit confusing for both of us. I have accepted the fact that my coworkers think I have a hearing problem due the insane amount of times I ask “what?” when they speak to me. Though I have gotten used to it, I sometimes still find myself getting tripped up by the slang they use.

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in canyoning gear in water
As I mentioned last week, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Interlaken, Switzerland last weekend, and it was truly the most beautiful place I have ever seen. I don’t know how anything will ever top the views of the mountains, bright blue lakes, and of course views of the town from the top of a mountain!

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woman with painted face selling goats
Since I have been living and working in the city it has been easy to overlook the fact that I’m living in a nation that is still very much developing. I can see implications of poverty by the amount of homeless around the city but still not enough to make me really understand the destitution many face living here today. It wasn't until this past weekend when I visited a township called Langa that I really got it.

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Well, scratch whatever I have said before about being in panic mode, because now I am actually panicking. About everything possible. Money, trips, sights to see, things to do and see around Florence, so many restaurants I still want to try, literally everything; you name it, I’m panicking about it. I can’t believe that I only have fifteen days to do ALL of these things.

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Cape Town is a huge urban center of South Africa, however, it also boasts a plethora of activities for those who love the great outdoors. Because of the surprisingly beautiful winter South Africa has been having, I have been fortunate enough to experience most of these exhilarating experiences firsthand!

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Living in another country is definitely an experience that plummets you into the unknown. Everything you’re used to is completely turned upside down. It’s a scary, yet freeing feeling that creates independence at a whole new level. Nevertheless, adapting can sometimes be overwhelming when everywhere you look is unfamiliar. Here is my take on a few of the biggest challenges of living abroad from my experiences this summer.

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Well, I’ve passed the halfway mark and I am officially in panic mode. I finished my first class, took the final, got to spend ten days with my mom while she visited, have started class #2, and now only have 23 days left of this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. I feel like a broken record… but WHERE is the time going? Cheesy, but time really does fly when you’re having fun. Here's a summary of my trip through Florence, Rome, and the beautiful landscapes of Tuscany.

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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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