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Hike to the top of Huashan

14 Apr 2018

Last weekend I went to Xi’an with ten other students on my program for spring break. Early Friday morning, a few of us journeyed to Huashan Mountain (华山, Huà shān, shān meaning mountain in Mandarin). Huashan is located in the Shaanxi province of Xi’an and is considered to be one of the Five Great Mountains of China. Huashan has five different peaks that overlook various surrounding mountains and cityscapes.

The Tourist Becomes the Tour Guide

10 Apr 2018

Over the past few weeks I had the pleasure of hosting two guests as they visited Amsterdam for the very first time. Before my guests arrived in Amsterdam, I couldn't help but feel extremely nervous about my ability to show them all of the incredible aspects of Amsterdam I have grown so attached to and love so very much. I felt as if the fate of their visits and their lasting impressions of Amsterdam were entirely on my shoulders. I did not want to come off as a tourist in the city I've been living in for the past two months and just show them a weekend's worth of tourist traps.

Berlin - Walking the Grounds of German History

8 Apr 2018

Hey again!

IES Abroad Freiburg LAS (Language and Area Studies) provides two student trips in the semester and this trip to Berlin was one of them. It is not a mandatory trip; however, since we would be learning so much about Germany in our classes, I thought it would be a great opportunity to go see the capital and walk the grounds of German history.

I learned a lot during this trip and thoroughly enjoyed my time there! Here are a few highlights:

Roman Holiday

5 Apr 2018

The One With Easter Weekend, The Pope, and Too Much Gelato

Observations from a Student at Uni

28 Mar 2018

A post dedicated to the differences between life at the University of Canterbury and to my home school in the US.

The Parents Take Paris

24 Mar 2018

The One With Spring Break, My Parents, And Way Too Much Walking

Work or Play? Learning how to dive as a scientist

17 Mar 2018

Even being a marine science major at my home university, I’ve never had the opportunity to scuba dive with a class before. Here, I’ve already had the opportunity to go on three dives with my classes already with more to come. Through these experiences, I’ve learned to dive scientifically rather than simply recreationally. Instead of of simply observing the general splendor of the underwater world, we set an objective beforehand and keep this in mind throughout the dive. While some might think this compromises the enjoyment of the dive, I’ve come to the opposite conclusion.

Accepting Imperfection

15 Mar 2018

After being fined on the metro in Budapest for having the wrong ticket, and handing over practically all of my cash intended for the weekend, I felt as if my entire trip had been ruined just three hours after arriving in Hungary. Traveling to a foreign country comes with culture shock. And it’s easy to be overwhelmed with this shock after dealing with a not so ideal situation. At the time, handing over my money on the metro made me feel as if I should have never attempted to leave Amsterdam in the first place.

On the Scene in Shanghai - Reflecting on my First Few Days

14 Mar 2018

After arriving in Shanghai one week ago, I already feel like we’ve been here for months – in the best way possible. Our language partners and the staff here have been incredibly helpful in assisting us with getting our bearings and becoming acquainted with both the Shanghai Jiao Tong University campus as well as the Fudan University campus. On our first weekend, they took us to both campuses and we got to walk around and learn how to get from the 地铁 (subway) to our classrooms and back to the apartment.

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