Abroad of Abroad

Thomas Gongol
April 30, 2015
Three Bros Climbing a Bell Tower

As a fan of cheap alliteration and the word penultimate, we have sadly come to the penultimate post I will be making. As I've spent the semester focusing on what I've been doing in and around London I thought I could use this post to give a little highlight of my time spent further abroad. As is a big part of any study abroad program, I didn't spend every weekend in London. I also made my way to Barcelona, Prague, and spent a week after the program in Venice, Florence, and Rome. While I literally have over a thousand quality photos from these trips obviously I'll just show you guys some of the best. I'd like to also give you some highlights and insights from traveling while abroad.

Possibly the biggest benefit in my eyes is meeting people from different places, not even just the place you are in. For instance, in Prague, my friends and I went on a booze cruise and I met two people from South Africa, one from Namibia, someone from Peru, someone from Bolivia, three guys from Bristol and a few from India. Being able to meet people from different cultures and with different histories is the best take away from traveling. I'm not normally one for lofty quotes but Mark Twain once said, "Travel is fatal to bigotry, prejudice and narrow-mindedness" and I think that couldn't be more true. I think you can shatter just about any preconceived notion you have of a people or a place by going there or meeting someone from there. 

The world is a big place and even while abroad it is very easy to get into a routine and not explore like you should. I had friends that traveled more then myself and I had friends that traveled less. I think you can't go wrong as long as you go somewhere other than your host country, especially if it is a country as similar to the U.S. as the U.K. is.

Find a tall (if not the tallest) building, landmark, hill, etc. and climb it. The  Nelson Monument or Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh, the Duomo or Bell Tower or, Park Guell in Barcelona, or the Palatine Hill in Rome. There's nothing better than a breathtaking view of a city you're visiting to really get a feel for the city. Specifically in Florence, there's the Piazza Michelangelo in Florence across the Arno that lets you just see the city sprawl out in front of you and buildings like the Duomo rise up out of the city. 

Lastly, tripe is kinda weird and tastes like Campbell's condensed chicken noodle soup, but you should still attempt to try the local cuisine wherever you go.

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Thomas Gongol

<p>Hey everyone! My name is Tommy Gongol, I&#39;m a Junior at Penn State. I&#39;m spending my spring 2015 in London with IES and am going to be documenting my semester with photos and videos. A little about myself, I&#39;m a finance major but am interested in the business side of film and television, I am on the club frisbee team and in a business fraternity while at school. With what little free time I have left I love taking pictures and making videos.</p>

2015 Spring
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