Chau, Hasta Luego

Spanish word of the day: Chau, hasta luego

Translation: Goodbye, see you later

With finals done and my departure coming up, I’ve been crossing final things off my bucket list and reflecting on my time here. So, for my last blog post, I leave you with this: 10 reasons I recommend Buenos Aires and Argentina for studying abroad, in no particular order.

  • The accent: A common Buenos Aires accent sounds like Italians speaking in Spanish. It took me a minute to get used to, but it’s super fun.
  • Nightlife: People stay up late. And when I say late, I don’t mean until 2 or 3 am. I mean that they leave for bars and clubs around then, party until sunrise, eat breakfast, and then sleep the whole next day. Oof, but lots of fun.
  • Public transportation: It’s…easier than it seems. The metro (known as the subte), buses, bikes and train give plenty of cheap options for getting around the city. When in doubt, use Google Maps and it will tell you exactly how to get where you need to go.
  • Culture of community: People are very curious. Instead of the classic “hey, how are you,” “good, how’s it going?” exchange, Argentinians will ask how you are, follow up, and then ask to hear your whole life story, if there’s time, especially outside of the city. It’s common courtesy to greet every person in the room instead of just walking past them.
  • The speed: Everything is at a much slower pace. Enjoy the view or your company as you walk instead of zooming to your destination. Be ready to wait a while for food and be ready for lots of good conversation.
  • Helado (ICE CREAM): It could be the Italian influence or the process of making it, but the ice cream and gelato here is incredible. There are many amazing flavors (with the classic of dulce de leche), but everything is super thick and creamy.
  • Soccer: It’s…EVERYTHING. Or fútbol, rather. There are a few club teams in Buenos Aires, but be sure to choose wisely which team you root for. People care and if you say something wrong, they will throw a punch.
  • The food: whether it’s carne asado, empanadas or CHORIPAN. I’m going to miss choripan so much.
  • The Nature: Although Buenos Aires isn’t the most “natural” spot (there are a lot of gorgeous parks, though!), there are amazing adventures to be had outside of the city. Tornquist, Iguazu Falls, Esquel, Bariloche, and Mendoza are some of the few incredible places you can visit.
  • The learning: It may be no different than other abroad programs in this regard, but I learned so much about the world, another culture, and myself. It’s difficult to put into words exactly how important this experience has meant to me, but I am so glad that I was able to come here.

The Theatre, the Theatre

Spanish word of the day: la sinfonía

Translation: the symphony

Teatro Colón is one of the most well established theatres in Argentina. It’s also known as one of the best lyrical theatres in the world, as it is renown for it’s operas.

COVID temporarily shut down the guided tours, but luckily, they just opened up again last week. So, my program took us all to the theater to learn more about the history.

The current building was finished in 1908 and took nearly 20 years to build. There was also a long period of time where the general public could not attend shows, it would be by invite (or prestige) only. Luckily, that is not the case anymore, and I was able to attend the symphony with some friends.

It’s a gorgeous building, with a feeling of royalty almost. I recommend a tour at the least if you don’t want to watch a whole opera.

River Deep, Mountain High

Spanish word of the day: montañas

Translation: mountains

El Parque Nacional de Los Alerces is one of the most beautiful places I have been while staying here. It’s in the Patagonia region of Argentina, along the Andes mountains. The national park has many amazing views, snow-covered mountains, glaciers, and crystal clear rivers and lakes. It’s also home to amazing wildlife, including various birds, jabalinas, foxes, and pumas.

The park is also home to some mapuches, a native community in South America. There is a section of the park reserved for them. However, it’s tiny in comparison to the size of the park.

I went on a tour of the park with a guide. He picked us up in his car and drove us to various lookouts and hikes around the area. We actually were very lucky to get a spot, as there’s only a few guides in the national park, and the only way to get in is with a guide. This is due to COVID, but also because the conservation measures of the park are very strict. There is no wiggle room for people to litter or accidentally start a fire (which has happened on more than one occasion).

This is was one of the best trips here for sure.

Welcome to the Jungle

Out of every park or natural view I’ve seen here, Iguazu Falls is by far the most memorable. Although it was pouring rain on one of the days that I was there, it was absolutely breathtaking.

Iguazu Falls is known as one of the biggest waterfalls in the world. Located on the border of Argentina and Brasil, it’s hidden in the jungle, which is filled with wildlife unlike anything I’ve ever seen. If you think the squirrels at Hope College are bad, you have not seen the way coati, (pictured below), behave at a café. There are also jaguars, capybaras, toucans, and capuchin monkeys, to name a few.

Iguazu Falls is a national park that has a variety of adventures to partake in. There are a dozen trails to hike and miradores (viewpoints) to view the falls. There’s also a little train that can take you from trail to trail through the forest. Or, if you’re up for more of an adventure, sign up for the safari! It takes you on a drive through the jungle to see wildlife, but only before you hop on a boat that takes you directly to one of the main waterfalls. You’ll be drenched afterwards, but it is so worth it.

I highly recommend it to anyone traveling to Argentina. It’s unlike any ecosystem I have ever seen, and it is quite the spectacular view.

Bariloche

Bariloche is one of the main tourist towns in Argentina. It’s a major skiing town with breathtaking hikes and views. Best known for it’s craft beer, chocolate, and architecture, it’s often referred to as the Switzerland of Argentina. However, this claim, while not entirely false, is very misleading.

Bariloche is also home to many communities of mapuche people, one of the many indigenous peoples of South America. They were displaced in the 19th century during a military campaign and many landed around Bariloche.

The main part of the mapuche culture is to connect body, soul, and earth. But, massive oil, factory, and tourist companies have taken control of the land. The companies have the money, and many of the mapuche people have been left in poverty, leaving one side to be heard over the other.

One of my classes had the pleasure of talking with many mapuche people. We discussed traditional music, language and intercultural education. They also mentioned their battles with big businesses, the state, and climate change.

A lot of these issues are very similar to what is occurring to Native Americans. Although they are constantly trying to amplify their voices and fight, very few people are truly listening. And, on top of that, they’re attempting to maintain their culture in a world that dismisses it. So, let this be a sign for you to take a step back, listen, and learn a little bit more about Native American culture in your area.

Cinema, Cinema, Cinema

Play ‘Cinema’ by CIX.

A well-known fact about me: I love to watch foreign TV and film. Bong Joon Ho, the director and writer of many critically-acclaimed films including Parasite (2019), said it best as he accepted the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2020: “Once you overcome the 1-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.” I hopped over that “1-inch-tall barrier” some time back in high school and have been enjoying dramas and films in various languages since. Thus, when my host family offered to take me with them to the cinema, I replied with an immediate “oui!” Only, I wouldn’t have the crutch of English or French subtitles at the cinema in Nantes—  I would have to put my French listening skills to the test.

My host family doesn’t own a TV but they love watching films. Instead of scrolling endlessly through Netflix on a flat screen as my American family often does, my host parents set up a projector against their bedroom wall and spin some DVDs. That, or they drive to the nearby cinema to see pictures on the big screen.

The first time I went to the cinema with my host family, we watched the latest Agatha Christie adaptation, Murder on the Nile, dubbed in French. My host sister and I laughed when the audio didn’t quite match the moving mouths and several times I had to whisper for clarification about why one character was yelling or how another had found a gun. Though many details evaded my comprehension, I understood more than enough to correctly predict the culprits! After only a month of living in France, that felt like a sizeable accomplishment.

My host family and me at the cinema!
My host family and me at the cinema!

After Murder on the Nile, my host mom promised to take me to see a real French film the next time, and she kept her word. A few weeks later, we went to watch a French comedy called Maison de retraite, or Retirement Home. It was a cliché comedy about a man down on his luck who is forced to work at a retirement home in order to avoid jail time. Though he begins the film averse to older generations, he eventually befriends many of the residents and gets his life back on track under their positive influence by the ending credits. My host family wasn’t particularly impressed with the movie but we all agreed that not every film needs to whisk you away to another world. Sometimes all you need is a few light-hearted laughs.

One weekend in April, a bunch of theaters in Nantes ran a promotion where all films would cost only €5, so my host family and I made plans to see a dark mystery titled Maigret, starring famous French actor Gérard Depardieu. I felt as though my listening comprehension had improved as I absorbed the film’s gloomy dialogue (dark and serious conversations tend to be slower, which doesn’t hurt!). But language learning is always an up and down and while one film might make you feel one step closer to fluency, another will remind you how much more there is to learn.

Continuing the take advantage of the cheap movie tickets, my friends and I decided to watch a Knives Out lookalike called Murder Party. It turns out the film was not at all a French spin-off of Knives Out, though it involved a rich family and, of course, murder. It was instead a wildly absurd and comedic mystery with some exciting plot twists, and the funniest part was that we were so confused by its French. Characters spoke very quickly and used lots of vocabulary we didn’t know, making the film’s already chaotic plot even more tumultuous. Rather than be disappointed, though, we just laughed. When learning a language, sometimes you need a good reality check! But it’s not something that should be discouraging. I think if we had had French subtitles to f0llow along with while we listened, we would have understood a lot more. But watching films in the language you are trying to learn without subtitles is still a valuable exercise, one that everyone should practice more. Language Learners: If you ever pass by the cinema while traveling in another country, I recommend trying a film without subtitles. So what if you don’t understand everything? With enough practice, one day you will.

So now I plan to rewatch Murder Party at home— yes, with subtitles this time. Then, maybe I’ll watch it again without them and see how it goes. Practice makes rapid French palpable! If Murder Party ever appears on Netflix, I recommend it. You’ll be in for some laughter for sure.

Farewell Krakow!

Hello friends! Welcome to my last study abroad blog post. Can you believe it?

This last week was definitely full. On Sunday, I spent the day with my parents in Old Town on their last full day in Poland. We went to English Mass at St. Giles in Old Town, and enjoyed shopping and exploring the area. We ended with dinner and good conversation before I went back home to let them sleep before their early flight the next morning. When I was about five minutes from home, I ran into some of my friends who were walking to the movie theater to go see the new Downton Abbey movie, so instead of going home, I spontaneously joined them! (I know this isn’t a movie critic blog, but I absolutely loved the second Downton movie, and highly recommend seeing it if you’re a fan of the Crawley family! Now back to Krakow…)

Monday through Tuesday were our last days of classes, and full of lots of paper writing. We also had our last community night on Monday, which was bittersweet. On Tuesday, we were able to meet with Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, who was John Paul II’s personal secretary from when he became bishop until he died. He was so sweet and kind and asked us how we liked Krakow before giving us each a rosary, and some candy. On Wednesday, we had some fun taking pictures as a group in front of the statue of John Paul II on our campus so that a picture of our group can hang on the wall along with the other groups who have done the John Paul II Project!

Thursday was our last full day as a group since the first of our friends moved out on Friday. We spent a lot of the day packing before heading downtown as a group to get ice cream, and having Mass in John Paul II’s personal chapel when he was bishop. It was a great time to have a Mass as a group one last time, and in such a special place because this was where John Paul II was ordained a priest! We went on a carriage ride after that to take us to our dinner location, where we had one last dinner as a group. After that, we went home, where we had invited some friends for a farewell dinner party. It was definitely a full day!

One last visit to my favorite place to pray
One last visit to my favorite place to pray

On Friday, some of us went to Auschwitz. It was a very real experience. It wasn’t as heavy and hard to handle as I thought it might be, but walking through these places where prisoners lived and died was a real reminder that these horrible things can happen. We need to know our history and know the truth because false ideology can lead to awful things like this if we aren’t fighting at all times for what is right. It was hopeful when we were there, to see the starvation bunker where Maximilian Kolbe died. It was like the Cross in a lot of ways. A place that on the outside means death, yet was the key to victory and entrance into Heaven. After returning home on Friday, we got pizza as a group before heading to bed.

May 13 is the feast of Our Lady of Fatima and also the day JP2 was shot in 1981, but miraculously survived, and this year it was a day of prayer and fasting for the US during this time of violence over protests to Roe v Wade possibly being overturned. The assassination attempt is pictured on the doors to the Shrine, so we took a selfie in front of it on this very important day
May 13 is the feast of Our Lady of Fatima and also the day JP2 was shot in 1981, but miraculously survived, and this year it was a day of prayer and fasting for the US during this time of violence over protests to Roe v Wade possibly being overturned. The assassination attempt is pictured on the doors to the Shrine, so we took a selfie in front of it on this very important day

I woke up really early on Saturday to catch the first of my flights. I flew to Amsterdam and then to Dublin. Unfortunately, I got to Dublin only to find out that my flight that day had been canceled and no one had informed me of this. Of course, I had to end my study abroad with a bang, an easy trip home would be too dull! Fortunately, of all the places to get stuck, I have friends in Ireland who put me up for the night before my flight back to the States the next day.

This experience has been so amazing. The Lord has slowly drawn me closer to His heart and helped me get to know Him, myself, those around me, and those heroes in Heaven so much better than I did three months ago. I’m so grateful for these last three months, and I’m excited to go home and share my amazing time with others. Thank you so much for following me along during this journey! Your prayers and support were well received, and I hope you enjoyed learning about my adventures. May God bless you! Czesc!

My time in France!

Hello friends! It’s been a little bit since my last post because life has been busy! Let me share what I’ve been up to…

Crowds at Divine Mercy Shrine on Divine Mercy Sunday
Crowds at Divine Mercy Shrine on Divine Mercy Sunday

Sunday, April 24, was Divine Mercy Sunday, and oh my goodness, it was such a gift to be able to celebrate it here in Krakow. If you don’t know, the devotion of Divine Mercy is simply that – remembering how Christ is always merciful to us and learning to lean into that truth. Christ appeared in visions to a woman named Sr. Faustina who was a nun in Krakow. After her death, devotion to Divine Mercy and praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy spread throughout the whole world, and John Paul II named the second Sunday of Easter to be Divine Mercy Sunday. Across from the John Paul II Shrine where I live is the Divine Mercy Shrine, built right next to the chapel where Faustina lived during these visions. Sunday morning I was able to attend Mass in this chapel in English along with some of my other friends. The campus at the Shrine was full of so many pilgrims that day, it was amazing! We had been to Divine Mercy a few times since they do Mass in English on Sundays, but it had never been this full before. My heart was warmed realizing that the reason there were so many people here was because they all recognized that today was very important, and they wanted to be a part of celebrating it.

Crowds at Divine Mercy Shrine on Divine Mercy Sunday
Crowds at Divine Mercy Shrine on Divine Mercy Sunday

Later that afternoon, we returned to the Shrine for the Hour of Mercy which is the 3 o’clock hour when Christ died. They hosted a holy hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament along with praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet in different languages. It was so full that my friends and I couldn’t even get into the main Basilica where they were hosting the holy hour, so we knelt outside with countless others to pray. After the Hour of Mercy, we decided to attend Mass again since they were hosting it outside! I’m so glad I stayed for that, because it was so amazing getting to be a part of such a large congregation attending Mass that day.

 JP2 watching over us all on Divine Mercy Sunday
JP2 watching over us all on Divine Mercy Sunday
Outdoor Mass!
Outdoor Mass!

The following day we had a field trip out to Wadowice, which is where John Paul II lived until he was 18 and moved to Krakow for university. His house, which they now built into a museum, was right next door to the church his family was a part of, and where he was baptized. We were able to walk through this church and see the baptismal font he was baptized in. We then walked through the museum dedicated to him next door and got to walk through his family’s apartment that was within the museum. I loved getting to see the place where young Karol Wojtyla actually grew up and lived during his childhood. Later that day we drove to Kalwaria, which is an area in Krakow where they made a replica of areas of the Holy Land of Jerusalem. Each year on Good Friday they have live Stations of the Cross throughout the land of Kalwaira. I hope someday I can come back on that day to attend them!

Baptismal font where John Paul II was baptized
Baptismal font where John Paul II was baptized
Bedroom at John Paul II's childhood home
Bedroom at John Paul II’s childhood home

I had normal days of classes on Tuesday and Wednesday before packing my bags to go to France on Thursday! My friend Grazyna and I woke up early Thursday morning to fly to Paris where we met my parents at the Arc de Triumph! We had a great time biking through the city and passing by so many of these major places like the Louvre and Notre Dame. Grazyna and I bought some crepes and sat in front of Notre Dame to eat them after my parents left to grab their train to Nice. Grazyna and I would join them in a few days after our trip to Lisieux! Before that, we stopped at a chapel dedicated to the Miraculous Medal. It was such a simple and beautiful gem in such a huge city. St. Catherine Labour received visions from Mary right here in Paris, and they built a chapel where they occurred, and St. Catherine is now buried there. It was such a perfect little pilgrimage stop before hopping on a train to Lisieux.

The Arc de Triumph
The Arc de Triumph
Reunion with my mom!
Reunion with my mom!
Notre Dame!
Notre Dame!
Chapel of the Miraculous Medal in Paris
Chapel of the Miraculous Medal in Paris

Hands down, Lisieux was my favorite part of France. It was so peaceful and quiet. My confirmation saint, St. Therese of Lisieux was from this city, and both Grazyna and I have a special relationship with her. We took a train to Lisieux at the end of the day on Thursday and spent all of Friday exploring this beautiful town. We started with a stop at the Carmel, where Therese lived when she was a nun and where she is buried. I’m not quite sure how long Grazyna and I stayed in front of her tomb praying, but at some point, a lady stopped to hand us both a rose, a symbol Therese is known for. That was the highlight of my entire weekend! It was such a beautiful time just getting to spend time with my best Heavenly friend and receive a beautiful gift from this woman. After prayer at St. Therese’s tomb and Mass at the Carmel, we walked through the mini museum they had attached that walked through Therese’s 24 years of life on earth. After that, we walked to her childhood home which they have preserved all these years! This was absolutely beautiful and such a peaceful place. After having the tour, Grazyna and I just sat in her backyard for a bit before saying a prayer and heading onto our final destination of the day, the Basilica of St. Therese. Oh my goodness friends, this place was such a testament to what God can do with your yes. When Therese was on her deathbed, some sisters whispered to each other that they didn’t know what they would write for her obituary, because she hadn’t really done much. So much of Therese’s life was a silent witness to Christ, but it paid off. This beautiful and large basilica in her name stood to me as a physical representation of what happens when you give your little yes to God. You might not be able to do much, but when you give Him what you have, He makes great things from it. This basilica was amazing, with little side chapels dedicated to different countries, as well as her parents’ tomb in the basement. They also had a beautiful side chapel dedicated to Poland which was fun to see!

The tomb of St. Therese! Three of her sisters are buried here too
The tomb of St. Therese! Three of her sisters are buried here too
Therese's childhood home, Les Buissants
Therese’s childhood home, Les Buissants
Basilica of St. Therese!
Basilica of St. Therese!
Tea and a beautiful view of the basilica
Tea and a beautiful view of the basilica

Saturday morning we took a train back into Paris and enjoyed another day there. We went first to Sacre Cour. It was amazing to see such a beautiful and old church that has been there for so long. We stopped to say a prayer and were able to listen to the sisters there as they prayed the Liturgy of the Hours. Afterward, we took a bus to the Eiffel Tower! Grazyna and I picked up some simple picnic food on our way to the tower and had a simple little picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower! After taking some pictures, we got in line to go to the top. It took so long, but it was totally worth it. You could see so much from the very top, and it was amazing to get to be at one of the most famous monuments in the world. After enjoying the views for a while, we headed down and to the airport to catch our flight to Nice.

Sacre Cour
Sacre Cour
The beautiful streets of Paris
The beautiful streets of Paris
Great view from the Eiffel Tower!
Great view from the Eiffel Tower!

Nice was so so beautiful. We went to Mass at the Cathedral with my parents the next morning, and then just spent the morning and early afternoon shopping. We just soaked in the beautiful weather on the seashore and in the town for the day before heading back to eat dinner and watch a movie. The next day, we took a train to Monaco and enjoyed ourselves just wandering around. The sea was beautiful, and there were so many fun boats to look at! Monaco is also hosting Formula 1 racing in a few weeks, and my family is a huge fan of F1. We walked around the racetrack that will be full of cars in a few weeks and took lots of pictures for my brothers back home. We also stopped to buy a drink in the Monte Carlo Casino, and we felt so fancy! It was such a fun way to spend the day and our last day of the trip.

Seaside of Nice
Seaside of Nice
Streets of Monaco with my dad walking down the street
Streets of Monaco with my dad walking down the street
Pretty boats!
Pretty boats!
Beautiful ocean and beautiful boats
Beautiful ocean and beautiful boats

Tuesday I spent traveling home and sleeping after a packed long weekend. On Wednesday I was able to meet up with my parents in Krakow after class and show them some of my favorite spots before bringing them back to the shrine for dinner with the whole group I’ve been living with the last few months! It was so fun to give them a taste of my life while I’ve been abroad. Thursday I spent studying and working on papers while my parents visited Auschwitz which I will do in a week or so. We spent Friday together touring different parts of downtown Krakow again, and on Saturday I took them out to Czestochowa. It’s been such an amazing blessing to share this special place with them. They fly back early Monday morning, so tomorrow will be my last day to hang out with them here in Poland before moving home in a week! I can’t believe my time in Poland is almost over, but I am so so grateful for my time here. Tune in next week to hear about my last week. Czesc!

Goodbye in Barcelona

At the start of the month, my friends and I made plans to take one last trip together to Barcelona, Spain. Like many of the places I’ve visited this semester, I was taken with it in ways I never anticipated. For Barcelona specifically, the architecture and the atmosphere it created was particularly enchanting.

Of course, it is impossible to talk about Spanish architecture without bringing up Antoni Gaudí, the Catalan architect behind many of Barcelona’s most famous locations. The church La Sagrada Familia was one of the first stops on our bucket list for the city. As soon as we emerged from the metro the church was in front of us, rising like a candy-land sand castle. The spires dripped in detail, some crowned with whimsical fruits and others with etched designs.

My friends had gone earlier in the day to attend a mass service inside the church. Sunday mass is free to all, and offered in 4 languages. For those interested it is a great way to see the interior of the church without buying a tour. The pictures and videos they showed us of the vibrant stained glass windows and the resonant chorales were well worth the early wake up time.

Throughout the day, we were able to find more buildings designed by Gaudí tucked away throughout the city. On our last day, we were also able to visit Park Güell, where Gaudís creations and nature coexist to enhance one another’s beauty even more.

Apart from being pleasing to the eye, the city offered other delights as well. Down almost every street musicians played. The restaurants offered colorful varieties of tapas, sparkling sangria, and Aperol spritz. Beaches were a walk away, and the ocean left us refreshingly coated in salt and sun.

Although my time there with my friends was made bittersweet with the knowledge that it was our last time being together for awhile, Barcelona gave us the perfect ambiance to say goodbye. The whimsical feeling of its buildings, the grounding beauty of its natural surroundings, the sunshine and food couldn’t help but bring comfort and lightness to the end.

Semester recap: Rome edition

This morning I finished the first half of my exams and walked away feeling pretty lucky. The important classes are finished, and the tests seem to have gone well. (Of course, we’ll see in 3 to 6 weeks when I get my final grades back.) As of today, I have eight days before I head home. So, to anticipate saying goodbye, I just wanted to make a short list of some of the things I’m going to miss the most.

1. Italian Cafés 

Oh the joy of sitting in a café eating a Nutella cornetto and sipping a cappuccino (one sugar). I’ve never been a coffee drinker, and wasn’t even sure what a cappuccino was before I came here. But I will certainly miss this cozy experience so much. 

2. Gelato, everywhere you go

Do I even have to explain myself? I miss Dairy Queen and my local ice cream stops just like everybody else (shoutout to Captain Sundae), but there is nothing like a strange, signature flavor of fresh gelato. My favorite is stracciatella which you can get most anywhere, but when it’s done well… Let’s just say my scoop does not last long enough.

3. Incredible Art

I took a couple of different art history classes while I was here and wow… There was a lot I really did not know about art. I am so lucky to have been given so much context for all of the amazing churches, sculptures, and paintings decorating this city. FYI, Bernini over Borromini and Caravaggio over Carracci… But that’s just my opinion.

4. City Life

I won’t lie, the small town girl in my heart is so, deeply ready for the beautiful quietness of the country. Cities never shut up, for lack of a better word. That said, living in a city can be such an incredible experience, one that I’ve never really gotten before. I’m going to miss the air of opportunity and the accessibility of food equally (just kidding). 

5. Casual Beauty

Everywhere you go in Rome, there is something that will force your phone out of your bag so you can snag a quick picture. From the small trucks filled with flowers to the ancient buildings and artworks decorating the city, I will miss it all. 

That’s my tiny list. I’m working on soaking in every last minute of my time here. Thank you for reading my articles this semester. I hope you also had a great semester abroad/I hope this was helpful for you in deciding to go abroad/I hope this was fun to go down abroad memory lane for those of you that have already gone. 🙂 Ciao ciao! See you next semester, Holland.