Loire Valley: A Weekend of Castles

One of the cool parts about studying abroad are the class trips. They’re not your typical field trips most of us remember from high school–they’re historical, wonderful, beautiful weekends in places like Loire Valley, Normandy or Versailles. This past weekend, we went to Loire Valley. It’s a stretch on the Loire River in the center […]

Chapter 4: The People

The people here in Sevilla will forever be the most memorable part of my time studying abroad. The culture here in Spain is so different than in the United States. It has taken some time getting used to, but these past weeks, I have finally begun to understand how Spaniards think, and how it effects […]

Balancing Travel

One thing that has been really different being in Europe compared to being in South America is the travel opportunities. In Europe, it is really easy (and pretty cheap) to travel to a variety of countries within a pretty short timespan. For example, I just returned from being in Istanbul for a long weekend. While […]

Halfway Point thoughts

I’m sitting on the train, eating one of Joanne’s Bagged 24-hour Baked Scones (4 for 2 euro, how could I have resisted that?) and staring at my screen. It’s 16:25 and the sun has already disappeared, dark purple flowing over the sky to fill the empty space. Past the reflection of myself and the Irish […]

Ravioli with Claudia and Truco with Pullulo

Alright, folks. It’s honesty time. I have never felt further outside of my comfort zone. I have been in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for 5 days now, yet since my arrival it feels as though I’ve lived 10 lifetimes. This description may be a little graphic, but I have felt as though someone stuck a metal […]

Coffee in the Mountains

This past weekend, my program took us on a weekend retreat to the mountains, and it was one of the most reflective and inspirational weekends I’ve had here in the DR. Communities in the countryside often have some agricultural component that employs some of the people who live there. In Bonao, some of the locals […]

Chapter 3: Morocco

When you think of Morocco, what comes to mind? Everyone has their inclinations. If you’ve seen movies or know a little about the country, you may feel like you have an idea. The three short days that I spent there, I realized two things: that everything I thought before was very wrong, and that I […]

Money Returns, Time Does Not

Here I sit, listening to a video I stumbled across while digging into Joe Henderson, who is growing on me more and more every day. This is a clip from the Aurex Jazz Fest ’80 in Japan with Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Randy and Michael Brecker, and Joe Farrell on Homestretch Blues. These are some […]

Chapter 2: Portugal

On Friday, February 7th, a group of about twenty CIEE students made their way onto a bus. This bus was heading to the infamous Lisbon, Portugal (or Lisboa as they say). We had the Airbnb, round trip tickets and passports ready. I came into the weekend without any expectations or notions as to what this […]

Climbing the Mountain of Culture Shock

I’ve been in the Dominican Republic for 6 weeks now and it’s been nothing short of surprising, stretching, nurturing, and adventurous. The weather is gorgeous, and the hustle and bustle of the city have grown on me. One thing that I am still navigating is my interesting experience with culture shock while here, and I […]