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 …

Swingin’ by the Carnaval de Nantes

A few weeks ago the wide gravel path beside the Cathédral Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul de Nantes was filled with colorful swings and churros smothered in whipped cream for the Carnaval de Nantes, one of the oldest and largest festivals in France.  Carnival lights outline the sharp edges of the cathedral in blues, reds, and greens every night …

The Last Weekend

Well, this will be my last blog physically in Chicago, and my second to last blog for the semester. It really does not feel like it is coming to an end, but I am excited to see what the next chapter of my life will bring for me. This week has focused on further wrapping …

Best Part of the Day

Spanish word of the day: merienda Translation: snack…but that doesn’t do it justice. Merienda is one of the best parts of the day. While it’s not an “official” meal, it is common practice to have a snack and a drink around four or five in the afternoon. Sweets are definitely the most popular during merienda. …

An Eventful Week

I am currently writing this blog in my bedroom at home in Holland, and it feels so strange. This is the last time that I will be sitting here until I’m officially moved back home in three short weeks, but I think I’m ready for it. Chicago has provided me with so much insight into …

Family Time

It was a good week. My family came to visit me over the weekend on their spring break, and it was the first time I got to see them in awhile. One of the hardest things for me to adjust to since moving to the city has been not seeing my family everyday, so it …

The biggest takeaways from a weekend getaway in Barcelona

The highlight of this month has been that my lovely friend, Manna Sakon, a Hope alumni who is now a middle school ELS teacher, came to visit me in Ireland during her spring break. We took a short weekend trip to Barcelona, Spain, and two takeaways from this trip were: 1. show up to the …

Chicago Myths

I thought that I would dedicate one of my weekly blog posts to debunking common Chicago myths, so I’m just going to dive right into it.  Myth #1: The City is dangerous. Answer: Yes and no. When you have almost 3 million people within a small area, you are going to see more conflict and …

Don’t Sink: Visiting Saint-Malo and Mont-Saint-Michel

Though France is beginning to blossom and warm, on Saturday morning I wrapped my fuzzy pastel scarf securely around my neck in preparation for the cooler coastal winds of Saint-Malo and Mont-Saint-Michel. For the third IES field trip of the semester, we headed back to Brittany, the northwestern region of France known for its cider, …

Friends and Farmers Markets

This month my friend and I made a pact: each day we would visit a new place in Nantes. Whether that be a store or café, a study spot or garden, we wanted to push ourselves to keep exploring our city during the second half of our time here. On Wednesday, the new place we …