The Study Abroad Blog

Please note: This site contains posts from our bloggers prior to June of 2013, and is no longer being updated. The current Study Abroad Blog can be found here.

May 9th, 2013

Nara – Food!

Here are photos of probably the worst meal i have had in japan yet. IES took us to a traditional tea house, where we were treated to a vegetarian monk lunch. The Japanese tour guides who took us here told us that it would be a privilege for even Japanese people to eat this, but knew that we were all like ‘ehhhh’ about it (not just me!) and would have preferred meat. They laughed. I will do my best to explain what you are looking at. mostly, it’s a ton of tofu and mochi. the top left features ferns and […]

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May 8th, 2013

A semester in review

So, how was my semester? I turned 21 Toured so many cathedrals and castles that they have meshed into one Watched sunsets that took my breath away And literally been blown away Surrounded myself with some wonderful people Questioned my values Which sometimes aren’t this clear Stayed out until 7 in the morning And was hungry for adventure I’ve grown up in the most loving, nurturing, and healthy family. I’m obviously biased in this regard, but I would consider my upbringing as close to ideal as one could get. In retrospect, my parents were able to provide me everything I […]

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May 6th, 2013

Spring Break in Spain & Portugal!

Spring break was absolutely amazing–maybe the highlight of my experience so far.  I had never really considered travelling to Spain; I gave up on Spanish back in high school and I always imagined Italy as my first-choice European destination.  I remember in high school I had the chance to go to Spain over spring break on a school trip and just wasn’t interested… I have friends who spent amazing semesters abroad there, but I still just wasn’t feeling any particular draw to Spain.  When my NYU Prague friends suggested Spain and Portugal for spring break, I was slightly disappointed but obliged purely […]

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May 6th, 2013

A Small Assortment of the Weird Foods Japan Has to Offer

The first two photos are from Nara, where a friend of mine found machya (green tea) flavored Oreos and let me have one! Turns out they weren’t real Oreos, and more like moonpie-type things but it was pretty good, especially considering I’m not huge on the green tea flavor, unlike the rest of Japan. Really anything here that’s ever green tea flavored has a very light taste to it. But it’s just okay. I had seen these Doritos in the store, but didn’t get the chance to photograph them. They weren’t exactly totally different from Doritos … they were definitely Doritos chips but the […]

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April 29th, 2013

Wait, I’m here to study too?

Over the course of the past couple of weeks, I have been to Barcelona, Milan, Florence, Rome, the Vatican on Easter Sunday, Dingle (a beautiful beach town in southwest Ireland), and Paris. I have seen some of the most beautiful places in the world, eaten some of the most delicious food, and met some of the nicest people. But while I got caught up in all this, I seemed to forget briefly that I also had quite a significant amount of schoolwork to be completed because after all, I really am here to study, not just go galavanting across Europe. […]

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April 22nd, 2013

Berlin and Vienna

Wow, its been a crazy few weeks!  Maybe you can tell from the gap in my posts that I’ve been really busy lately–making plans, traveling, keeping up with classes, and working on midterms truly took over my life.  Since I last posted I’ve traveled to Berlin, Germany and Vienna, Austria. Berlin Berlin was our first attempt at planning a trip on our own, and, all things considered, I think we did a pretty good job!  We spent a lot of time researching the best/cheapest travel and lodging options and ended up on a comfortable bus and in a nice hostel. […]

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April 22nd, 2013

A smorgasbord of anécdotas graciosas

I’m a post behind, so I thought I’d compensate with a list of humorous anecdotes I’ve been jotting down and meaning to share for some time now. 1) At 4 p.m. everyday while we’re finishing up lunch, the sports section of Channel 5 news comes on with Sara Carbonero, a famous reporter and entertainer who is dating one of the players on the Real Madrid soccer team. My host mom, Carmen, is so blunt about how people look – she’ll say things like, “AY, look how bad Sara looks today! Look at that terrible shirt,” as if she’s on a […]

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April 11th, 2013

はなみ – Cherry Blossom Viewing

When the Cherry Blossom – or さくら “sakura” – trees finally bloom, the whole of Japan gets excited. The dates are announced on the news, and people flock to the more famous parks and areas that have them, setting up vendors and little street fairs in honor of them. The place I went to was called Iwakura, and I was told after by another Japanese student that this is the most famous place in my city to do go see the sakura trees. Sakura are found everywhere, but are particularly noticeable where they line rivers, as usually there’s one planted […]

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April 8th, 2013

Hiroshima 広島 & Miyajima 宮島

On Saturday, March 16, my IES group and I went to Hiroshima, where we stayed for the weekend. We went straight to the museum and stayed around that area for the day. It was kind of horrifying, to be honest. Learning about the effects of a nuclear bomb where it happened was heartbreaking. The A-Dome is the only structure still standing from the blast (the few others that survived were knocked down for safety reasons or to build new buildings in their places.) It now stands as a peace memorial, with general upkeep to make sure it looks the same as […]

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