Some Things Are Universal

Author: Abbey Little 

Location: Newcastle, Australia

My second semester studying abroad has commenced and I have found a deeper sense of gratitude in my opportunity to study at the University of Newcastle for the entire year.  The first semester truly, and unexpectedly, put my character to the test.  I faced several hardships from 9,205 miles away—some that were anticipated but most that were not.  I knew the education system was different, but I wasn’t aware to what extent.  I knew I would make new friends, but never imagined how difficult it would be to say goodbye to some of them after one semester.  I knew my parents were going to get divorced, but I did not think their court date would be rescheduled three times.  I knew life would go on back home, but I did not prepare for death.  I knew studying abroad would be a life-changing experience, but I was not anticipating it to change my character as much as it has.

The majority of my first semester was spent alongside an irreplaceable group of fellow Americans.  Together, we learned the ropes of a foreign education system—standard 2-hour lectures once a week, along with a 2-hour lab or tutorial and a whole month dedicated to final exams.  We formed a family through supporting one another during individual struggles and embracing Australian culture together.  Saying good-bye to all of them was agonizing, but I am forever thankful for the bond that was formed between us.

One aspect of being half way across the world that I am yet to truly acclimate to the considerable time difference.  As of now, I am 15 hours ahead of the Central Time Zone –(this will change when we experience the next Daylights Savings, where Australia will jump ahead an hour and America will fall back an hour).  Considering this, I must admit that I have not been the best at communicating with family back in America.  Corresponding to my parents’ messages throughout the process of their divorce was tough—they would send a message during their day while I was asleep, and I would respond when they were headed to bed.  I got news of my uncle’s passing in midday while I was studying for an exam I had the following day.  It isn’t that any of this was inconsiderate on behalf of either parties—it is just that communicating from across the world comes with difficulty.

I have had the great privilege of establishing a support system via my Australian friends, whom I never want to leave.  I have created a happier life for myself amidst a foreign culture that I have positively delved in.  I can only imagine what my time here has  prepared me for.

I travelled across the world for a reason—for exceptional reason.  I’ve learned that no matter how far I run though, I cannot escape reality. So much of who we are is where we’ve been.  So much of where we go is who we’ve come to know.  I’ve lived under many different roofs, but I found my favourite home 9,205 miles away from what I’ve always known.  I have an endless love for this remarkable country—Newcastle especially—and for all the people I’ve encountered along the way who make each day the next best.

 

Cheers! xx

Living Your Childhood Dreams

Author: Keith Nagel

Location: Namibia

Childhood dreams are powerful things. From a young age people are encouraged to follow and embrace them, and yet the unfortunate reality is that few of those people ever have an opportunity to do so. Dreams like scaling the great pyramids or the slopes of Everest, catching a glimpse of a rare animal or flying across oceans far above the clouds often get thrown to the wayside. Soon the reality of the world kicks in, and ones realizes that perhaps being a captain of a pirate ship or wielding a sword in a medieval battle isn’t the most practical of occupations. For those lucky enough to live the life a younger self might have imagined, the world can be a wonderfully fulfilling place. I consider myself one of the dreamers lucky enough to pursue some of my childhood ambitions. At Valparaiso University I felt a freedom to pursue these dreams, through studying abroad in Southern Africa.

Growing up I always imagined Africa as a spectacularly beautiful place, full of amazing animals and cultures. And upon landing in South Africa, I knew that the image lived up to my imagination. On an outing to Addo Elephant National Park I saw Kudu, Warthogs, Buffalo, Zebras, Lions, and the amazing African Elephants. When I saw such amazing animals it didn’t even feel real; I was  in a zoo and somehow the animals were as tame as house pets. Luckily, I retained enough common sense to remain in the vehicle. To see these animals in their natural habitat without cages or behind glass was truly an amazing experience and one I will never forget.

It should be noted that there is a much less glamorous side to what I saw as well; gross economic inequality, pockets of extreme poverty, and families torn apart by HIV/AIDS. This is not the utopian image I had crafted as a kid, but never the less it is important that this reality also be shared to understand a true picture of the Southern African region. I’ve learned that to really travel far in Southern Africa you must travel light, and not just in the physical sense either. Especially in Southern Africa you must disregard any preconceived stereotypes, because despite its problems Southern Africa has amazing potential for social and economic growth in the coming decade.

It is truly an honor to begin my studies here in Namibia. I have fallen in love with this program and can’t wait for what adventures will come next.

Meeting a New Friend, Christine!

Author: Rachel Silcox

Location: The Netherlands

Hello friends! Welcome back to the Netherlands and to Utrecht! I’m so excited today to introduce you to one of first people I met here and now one of my good friends, Marie-Christine, so you too can get to know her! Born and raised in the Netherlands, when I first saw Christine, I knew she was a Dutchie, the endearingly colloquial term for someone from the Netherlands. At 6 ft. tall and with blonde hair, she could actually be one of the Dutch milkmaids of yore, or just a really good rower as she has recently joined a local crew team. Olympic dreams can still be alive even in early adulthood! But beyond the obvious, Christine is from a small village outside Maastrich, at the southern tip of the Netherlands sandwiched between Belgium and Germany. She loves international food as she can’t decide between sushi or Italian food! Yum!

But to stop from boring you, or sounding like an online dating profile, I’ll now let Christine just tell you about herself!

Me: “So why did you choose to come to a Liberal Arts and Sciences College and UCU in particular?”

Christine: “First, I really like the international setting at UCU and the small campus! But also, I don’t know what I want to do! The Liberal Arts and Sciences here gives you the chance to keep it broad. Plus I’m interested in a lot of different subjects. Mostly social sciences, politics, law, economics, sociology, and psychology subjects. Also, the humanities and sciences are nice to get different perspectives. Like energy and sustainability, my science course, I can use and connect to politics, which I am more directly interested in.”

Me: “So you like the application of the social sciences to more general life, if you get what I mean? Sorry I’m not a professional interviewer.”

Christine: “Haha! Yeah I think so! I am really excited for human geography. It is so much more interesting to learn about societies and how they interact with their geographical place in an applied manner, rather than the pure science. It’s a cool mixture of the humanities and sciences. I really enjoy sciences that interact with people and the international aspect of social sciences.”

Me: “Ok Cool! So why do you like international affairs?”

Christine: “Well I’ve always enjoyed being in an international setting. I started at international school when I was five years old and I really enjoyed it. Everyone was so cool and different. It’s really nice to know people around the world and see that everyone has their own story. It made me more open to the idea that people are different and that’s ok. But coming back to the Netherlands made me realize how unique that was. In the Netherlands, everyone has same culture. I live in a little village and went to elementary school there. The other students, their world revolved around that village. They all shared the same story. It was weird to go back where so much was taken for granted. People followed each other more, from what they did to what they liked. At international school, everyone did their own thing and nobody really minded you doing your own thing. Back in the Netherlands though, everyone wanted to fit in and it was more important to fit in, where among international school people didn’t have to try to fit in. Everyone was different. Everyone thought each other was cool because everyone was different. There wasn’t a mold. But I came back, and I wanted to fit in again. I didn’t want to be different, or an outcast. But looking back, I didn’t need to do that. I still would have had friends. In the end, it would have been fine.”

Me: “That’s so cool that you got to grow up at least in part at an international school! How has that shaped what you want to do in the future?”

Christine: “Well, I want to work with in an international setting. Maybe with an NGO [known as Non-Profit in U.S.] or the UN or a UNICEF position, but I really don’t know. Overall though, this might sound very cliché and cheesy, but I want to have made a difference, even if it is so small. But I’m not really sure in what way. It’s hard to make a noticeable difference on your own, so I guess I want to find my place in an organization and help them make the world a better place.”

Me: “Awesome! Even if its cheesy, I love it! Finally, so is there anything you would like to say to people in US or Valpo?”

Christine: “I would say more people should do what you did! More people should go on exchange and experience a completely different culture. It really changes your perspective and that open-mindedness is so valuable.”

Me: “Thanks for your help! It’s been so great getting to know you!”

I hope through our little interview, you get to know Christine a bit too! She is so caring and interesting, as she really has a heart for people of all backgrounds. Next time, I’ll introduce you to another friend of mine from the Netherlands, Elise!

 

Sweet Serendipity

Author: Abbey Little

Location: Newcastle, Australia

I have reflected before on the fact that being abroad requires sacrifices—missing people and celebrations/holidays.  Yet part the glory of being abroad includes the opportunity to experience foreign holidays.  April 25th is a public holiday in Australia, known as ANZAC Day—the equivalent in America would be Veteran’s Day.  ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. There is a celebration  to honor when Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula on April 25, 1915. On this day, a dawn service is held beginning at 5 am.  In Newcastle, this takes place just across from the iconic Nobby’s Beach.  This is also the only day of the year that a gambling game called “2UP” is legal in Australia.  Many pubs host events for the game.  

A group of my fellow CIS Abroad friends and I decided that we would take the experience of ANZAC Day and its dawn service to the next level by venturing down to Nobby’s Beach the night before camping there. I was once again watching dreams unfold right in front of me.  The notion of sleeping on the beach just  sounded charming, romantic even.  We even grabbed some goon sacks (I’ll leave that research up to you) and a guitar to take down with us.  Our blankets were scattered just in front of Nobby’s Lighthouse, just before a “Caution: Falling Rocks” sign (but don’t get me wrong—I have no regrets).  

While the sentiment of this overnight beach adventure was dreamy, the reality of sleeping on the beach is bleak and harsh. The bitter breeze skimmed across the Pacific and brushed us with a wave of cool air.  The eight of us huddled in and made our circle of blankets a bit more close-knit.  As 1:00AM was approaching, we collectively agreed on a 3:45AM wake-up time to head back towards the kiosk to grab a coffee before the dawn service began.  I have never seen so many people wide-eyed and bushy-tailed at such an early hour of the morning than I did on ANZAC Day.  As we approached the kiosk –a group of eight foreigners, cloaked in sandy blankets, trudging down the footpath as a flock— you could tell that the significance of this Australian holiday was evident.  Alert, yet silent, locals made their way towards the stage where the service would be held.  Coffees in hand, we all stood together silently awaiting the commencement.  

Australian troops marched down the aisle that was cleared just for them, hundreds of people standing attentively on both sides of them.  Members of the Newcastle community took turns speaking to the crowd from the podium of the historical significance of  April 25, 1915 and the honourable Australian and New Zealand soldiers, both past and present.  Rifles were fired from atop a hill just behind the crowd to conclude the ceremony, grasping the attention of everyone in attendance.  

However, we were greeted by the true luminary just to our right—a breathtaking sunrise, fully equipped with impeccable hues of red and orange.  In that moment, I felt at home.  I felt accepted.  A congregation of Australians surrounded me, yet I did not feel foreign.  A service that is celebrated each year in Australian culture, I had experienced just once.  Yet there I stood, united with all who were present, gazing at the most remarkable sunrise I have had the glory of observing.  It is true that the grass is greener in some places and that some rivers and oceans run bluer than others—but what is so universally unique is the concept that we all look up at the same sky.  Each day, the sun rises and sets on the horizon, regardless of our coordinates.  Living on the east coast of Australia means that I am one of the first people to see the sun rise at the dawn of each day.  On ANZAC Day, the warmth provided by the rising sun gouged much deeper than simply the surface of my skin and that entity is endless. Sweet, sweet serendipity.

Cheers! xx

 

Sometimes Things Don’t Go As Planned…And That’s Okay!

Author: Zoe Henkes

Location: Costa Rica

Warm greetings from Costa Rica!  I have been here for a few days now, but I have already learned so much!  Among already improving my Spanish and learning about Costa Rican culture, I learned a very important lesson (technically) before my trip even started.  My flight was scheduled to leave on Saturday, August 26th, out of Chicago, with a short layover in Houston.  Earlier that week, however, I had learned about Hurricane Harvey and the growing concern about the potential destruction that the storm could produce.  I was a bag of emotions—excited, nervous, energetic, anxious.

As of that Friday, flights through Houston were being cancelled left and right, but somehow, my flight was untouched and was scheduled to depart as planned.  After making several phone calls to the airline, it seemed as though I was clear to fly.  The drive to the airport from home was about 2.5 hours, so my family and I left pretty early Saturday morning.  On the way, however, I found out that my flight had been delayed, and then delayed again.  At this point, the plane into Houston would have arrived too late to make the connecting flight.

I was supposed to be taking the same flight as three of my peers on the trip, so sure enough, messages from our group chat started to blow up my phone.  I was the first of my travel group to arrive at the airport, so it was up to me to get the facts and relay the information back to the group.  A very nice travel agent from the airline listened to our situation and calmly gave me all of the information that she had been given, even talking to her supervisor and checking out other options for our group.  We were reassured by several other travel agents as well that there was no possible way the flight would be moved up to an earlier time. Thus, it was impossible for us to make the connecting flight as it was too dangerous for us to go to Houston.  With that information, we collectively decided to switch the flight to Sunday, the next day.

Prepared to get up even earlier and make the drive again to the airport, I set my alarm for the ungodly hour of 5:50AM.  Finally relaxed and feeling okay about the situation, I fell asleep early, ready to travel the next day.  Sure enough, however, I woke up to notifications on my phone that the flights that day had been canceled.  Canceled!?  I rubbed my eyes again, blinked a few times, and read it again—canceled.  In fact, the whole airport in Texas had shut down for the next two days due to extreme flooding.  After much more deliberation among the group, we decided to reschedule for a flight on the same airline for Tuesday.  Ironically, all possible flights to Costa Rica offered by this airline were scheduled to stop in Houston—we were kind of in a sticky situation.  Even after changing the flight to Tuesday, we were still very unsure if it was going to be canceled again or not.  Then, after even more deliberation, tears (almost), and searching for new (yet affordable) flights, we decided to switch airlines to avoid traveling through Houston.  While this was not the best option, considering all that had already happened, we were definitely anxious to get this resolved.

Now, it’s been nearly a week since I arrived.  I’ve been able to settle into life with my host family, visited several beautiful sites around San José, and eaten a ton of rice and beans.  I have also had some time to reflect on this adventure already.  Situations such as these really put things into perspective.  While dealing with flight cancellations is extremely stressful, I can’t imagine what it would be like to be living in the Houston area at a time like this—my thoughts and prayers sincerely go out to anyone who has been affected in any way.  Furthermore, on my end, this small bump in the road was miniscule in the grand scheme of things.  Overall, everything worked out in the end, and the view was actually pretty spectacular.

Pura vida.

 

 

Welcome to the Netherlands!

Author: Rachel Silcox

Location: The Netherlands

I hope as you read my blog you will be connected with the places I see and people I meet. I hope that I can transport you to Holland and even further through these words. However, before I begin to show you the world I have started to discover here in Utrecht, I thought I would first tell you my motivation in coming to the Netherlands. Do I just really love bicycles and windmills and tulips? No. I decided to travel to Europe to discover more about the Liberal Arts and Sciences. Through my studies at Valpo and more specifically Christ College, I have learned about the humanities in a way I have never experienced before. By reading texts written by Aristotle, Kant, Bonhoeffer, and Augustine, I discovered a love for examining, questioning, and discussing that I had not experienced before. At Christ College, I was not taught formulas and facts, but instead I was taught to develop my desire to learn. So, when CC emailed me describing a new study abroad opportunity like Christ College itself, I had to participate.

I am a mechanical engineering major at VU, and so normally, I don’t have time to spend exploring and taking Liberal Arts and Sciences courses. Therefore, this was an ideal opportunity to  explore courses, subjects, myself, and Europe. Throughout this exploration, I hope to bring you along with me. So, welcome to the Netherlands!

First, some basics: we are at Universiteit College Utrecht or UCU, the international campus and university college (meaning liberal arts and sciences college) of the much larger and spread out Universiteit Utrecht. Our school is made up of about 800 students from places ranging from Utrecht itself to Zimbabwe. We have a little close knit campus, with green space to lay out and lovely European architecture. Campus even has a cute black cat who will let you pet her! However, the cat can scare you at night when you see the little ninja creeping around in the shadows. Besides that, campus is lovely! We live in Elmarelaan 21, the newest (and smallest) building on campus. Built in short and stocky mid-century modern style, it is in stark contrast to the rest of campus, and because of that people lovingly refer to it as “the Wall.” However, the Wall is great for one reason: indoor parking…for bikes. Yes, we have a tiny little parking garage for our bikes, where they won’t get rained on or stolen, the latter being a bigger fear. Bikes are the main source of transportation here and we all want to keep ours safe! However, since mine only cost 65 euros and is one of the hundreds of lottery bikes the Dutch government gave away 4 years ago, the motive to steal mine is very low. My bike is not the best, but it works and we can even go grocery shopping with the little basket I attached on the back!

Now that you know approximately how life in the Netherlands and UCU goes, I’ll more carefully introduce you to the academic side of UCU. Everyone takes four classes. I am in Mathematical Methods (Partial Differential Equations), World Philosophies, Introduction to Law, and Origins and Crises in the Global Economy. I am excited to take courses on math, economic history, law, and philosophy!

Last, since you know approximately where we are, what life is like, and what we are studying, I now want to introduce you to some of the amazing people from UCU. If there is one thing that makes this new country feel like home, it is the people. Amongst a new language and a different world, these people are caring, funny, and great friends. Some of the first people I met here were my UCU Introweek “Family.” We did everything together from a scavenger hunt around town to playing Ultimate Frisbee at together for the Sportsday of Introweek. Look at the pictures for shots of us having fun together!

Through this blog, I will be introducing you to some of my new family members and some of the other cool people I have met at UCU! I hope that by introducing you to them, I can make you feel at home here too. While they still may be strangers to you, I hope that you will grow to care for these strangers, and all people that are different from you. While many people may rush to judgement in these times, I hope to show you that any stranger can become family, and every stranger should be treated as such. In my next blog, I will introduce you to Marie-Christine! But till then, once again, welcome to the Netherlands!

Fins Aviat!

Author: Angelys Torres

Location: Barcelona, Spain

If you are reading this I hope it is because you are considering a study abroad experience. I’ll start by saying, DO IT. Of course it is scary but it is also really exciting. And if you are one of those people who think you can’t do it, explore your options because you can. I knew that I don’t like being away from home for long periods of time and that I was going to need substantial financial assistance, but I didn’t let those things stop me from having my experience. And neither should you.

I am writing this final message because unfortunately, my experience has come to an end, but this could be just the beginning for you. So here is some “study abroad” advice that I picked up over the last month.

  1. Be prepared. From the moment that airline ticket is confirmed, the countdown begins. Preparations and orientations are well underway. In this time, it becomes easy to panic. Barcelona is the number one city in the world for pick-pocketing. I had learned this during orientation and immediately thought the worst. Rather than letting myself drown in worry, I packed bags with single zippers that would be easier to watch. I am happy to report that I made it through the month without being pick-pocketed. So don’t panic, be prepared.

 

  1. Don’t expect too much. Students often find themselves waiting for some grand life-changing moment the minute they step off the airplane and become disappointed when that doesn’t happen. Personally, that was me. I walked down onto the tarmac with a huge smile on my face ready to soak in the Barcelona sun. I found myself disappointed for the first few days because my reality did not match my expectation. Fewer expectations equals fewer possibilities for disappointment.

 

  1. Embrace change. This shouldn’t be a surprise, but studying abroad means being in a new place and a new culture. When we vacation, we only see little parts of that new culture. We often stick to tourist areas, stay in hotels, and only visit for a short time. Study abroad is not a vacation, and this distinction is actually incredibly important to make. In my short time, I changed from tourist to “local.” I explored residential areas, made friends with locals, and even began to feel annoyed by other tourists.

 

  1. Be open to new experiences. New culture means new lifestyles. Since study abroad is more of a “living away” experience rather than visiting, a lifestyle change is often necessary. Be open to those differences. You may be surprised and find something you really like. Barcelona, although a very populated city, is very laid back and slower paced. At first, this drove me insane but, over time I found that I loved taking my time and enjoying the small things.

 

  1. Remember who you are but find someone new. Being in a new place can be exciting and all encompassing. At times, it is easy to get lost in the daily motions. The secret is: there is no right or wrong way to have your experience. You know your likes, dislikes, limits and desires more than anyone else. Only you can bring those to life. So don’t be afraid to express yourself, take risks, go out on your own, or stand your ground. During my time in Barcelona, I was faced with more challenges than I could have ever anticipated. Each and every one taught me something new about myself. I was always me, but I was always growing, and that’s the real grand life-changing moment I was waiting for all along.

 

 

Introducing the Bloggers: Skylar

Blogger: Skye Schoedel

Location: La Rochelle, France

Major: Marketing with a French Minor

One of the biggest regrets college students have is not going abroad. Going abroad and living in a foreign country after college is something that is typically incredibly expensive, but doing so while you’re in school allows for SO much money to be saved – you pay the same tuition as you would at Valpo and the cost of housing is typically similar. I knew I wanted to study abroad since I was in high school, because it’s an amazing opportunity for me to get out there and explore the world – pushing myself out of my comfort zone and taking my language skills and putting them to use, it’s an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up.

I’m incredibly excited to travel around Europe – I’ve never been to Europe and I am beyond excited to go and see all of the different cultures and people, their ways of life, the food, just everything that will be different. I cannot wait!!

 

Beaches, Boats, and Bush Dancing

Author: Jessica Hanson

Location: Newcastle, Australia

Well, I’ve officially survived three weeks here in Australia! It’s been crazy getting into the swing of things, but I’ve found fun friends and activities to keep me busy and figured out how to shop and cook for myself! It’s definitely weird getting adjusted to a new country, but the experience already has been absolutely amazing!

Over the last three weeks, I have done everything from checking out new places to Australian dancing to beach clean ups or just hanging out at the beach and so much more! Before starting the semester, I was really nervous that I would get here and not find anyone to hang out with or activities to keep me busy, but I promised myself I would get involved so that my limited time here in Australia would not go to waste! This last week was a bit less exciting as I’ve been battling off a cold for a week now, but I didn’t let it totally stop me from exploring and doing stuff around Australia. It’s definitely paid off to put myself out there- everyone here is so nice and welcoming, and, of course, they do love the American accent!

So here’s just a sneak peek into everything I’ve accomplished while I’ve been here so far. I haven’t done much traveling yet as I am at the mercy of the public bus and train system, but those adventures are coming very soon, so stay tuned! 🙂

Recreational Activities:

Perhaps the weirdest thing I’ve done so far is decide to join my building’s Girls Touch Rugby Team! I figured it was a great way to meet some girls in my building while getting some physical activity in at the same time. I had no idea what I was doing, but the girls were heaps helpful and at least I get the rules now (I think!) We lost our first game last Monday but at least it was fun!

I’ve been looking for some dance opportunities here in Australia since I miss my beloved Valpo Ballroom Team so much… While they don’t have much ballroom dancing in the area, I have thankfully found a few opportunities! One was a classic Australian Bush Dancing night, which I can’t describe as anything other than the kind of choreographed dancing you always see at Old English Balls- but country style! And the other is a place called Club Jive over in the city that teaches Modern Jive (not to be confused with ballroom Jive). It was great to get dancing again and, like all other social dancing I’ve been to, I was by far the youngest in the room!

Although their mild winter of 60-70 degrees is nothing like the cold Wisconsin winter I’m used to, it still is a bit chilly to go to the beach. However, we did have a lovely day hanging out with other international students at Glenrock beach playing cards, ultimate frisbee, and sand volleyball!

My lovely friend Rosie was nice enough to take me with her to the Newcastle Farmer’s Market last weekend for my weekly supply of fresh fruits and veggies! Cool to see, but nothing extraordinary here- it was a pretty big spread of lovely local produce and handmade food items typical of an American farmer’s market.

Last but not least, I was feeling lazy and needed a day to hit the city and explore. Original plans to do a Memorial Walk along the cliff were derailed by rainy weather, so me and my friend Jade improvised and hit two of the museums in the city- the art gallery and the steel workers museum. Pro Tip- if you have the chance, always go to museums with someone who knows the culture- Jade was by far much more informational at answering some of my questions and giving me insights into Australia than simple exhibit descriptions could ever be!

Environmental Involvement:

One of my hopes choosing to study in Australia was that I would learn heaps of interesting things about the environment and ways that the Aussie culture promotes its upkeep and preservation. In addition to the wonderful things I am learning in my Sustainable Society class, I am part of the Newcastle University Student Environmental Club (NUSEC) on campus which keeps me updated on all the environmental activities going on during the semester. So far, I have participated in two beach clean ups and gone to three different environmental info/speaker events focusing on climate change and sustainable practice. It’s been fun to get involved and learn about the policies and practices of a new country!

And the crowd favorite- Parties!:

First- Autonomy Day! Autonomy Day is a huge deal here at University of Newcastle! It happens during second semester every year during the first week in August and commemorates when University of Newcastle became an independent campus from University of New South Wales. Apparently their autonomy is a huge deal since they’ve been celebrating it for over 50 years!

  Second- The Sydney Harbor Boat Party! Now THIS was another once-in-a-lifetime experience that could not have happened on a more beautiful day! The Exchange Student Network here on campus organized an event for any University student to come hang out for a lovely evening on a 3.5-hour cruise around the Sydney Harbor! We went under the famous Sydney Harbor Bridge and passed by the Sydney Opera house. The coast and skyline was beautiful during sunset and it was a perfect night to meet new people and hang out without a care in the world. If you ever get this opportunity, 10/10 recommend!

Well that’s all I have for you today mates! Sorry I’m a little light on specific pictures, I guess I didn’t take as many during my fun outings as I would have liked! Thanks for reading and I’ll see you in a couple weeks 🙂

Jessica

2017 Photo Contest Winners: Grand Prize

Grand Prize

Name: Peaceful Request
Photographer: Ian Olive
Location: Venice, Italy
Program: Germany Study Center
Description: A calm protest and request

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