Vivre à Paris: Rules, Reasons and History

Paris is a complicated, historic city. There are unwritten rules to just about everything, and if you want to be treated like a local, you better follow them all. Unlike in newer American cities and towns, quick convenience and individual happiness are subject second to the city’s collective needs and functionality. Say au revoir to […]

Karibu Tanzania!

I’m currently sitting in my tiny 3rd floor dorm room on my mosquito net-covered bed as the hot African sunlight streams in through the barred windows onto my face. “Did I put on enough sunscreen today?” A question I’ve been asking myself a lot, along with other questions like: “Is this the right way to take […]

Studying Abroad with Disabilities/Special Needs–Yes, You Can!

So there’s actually not a ton of information about studying abroad when you have needs. I remember spending so much time browsing the internet trying to find literally anything regarding disability abroad. So I guess that makes it my job to break the ice. For a little bit of background, I have been chronically ill […]

Catching Feelings for Philly

And just like that – the official move has happened! Traveling for my first day to Philadelphia, PA, was an absolute whirlwind. It looked a lot like a 4am alarm, a rush to the airport, a hard goodbye, a flight full of anticipation, and a long walk down the sidewalk rolling two overpacked suitcases down […]

As they say in Les Miserables: Who am I?

Who am I, you ask? Well, to make a long story short, my name is Katie Joachim and I am a rising senior at Hope College, studying Theatre and Creative Writing. Some of you may have seen me as the Baker’s Wife in Hope’s production of Into the Woods last fall. Currently, I am an […]

Hasta Luego, Ecuador

Dear Study Abroad Quito, You’ve changed me and my story. Maybe rather than changed, you added to my story. 4.5 months is not a long time, but it is plenty of time to be transformed, renewed, and strengthened. You were a risky choice in my college career because I had to give up a semester […]

The adventure begins…

The Adventure Begins… Before I even left the country, trouble ensued. My mother and I were driving from our home in Grand Rapids to the Chicago O’Hare airport so I could catch my first flight to get to Oman.  Our drive began easily enough, but trust Michigan to throw a weather curveball when you most […]

One Month Left Until Graduation!

Oh my stars have the last several weeks flown by with both joy of the happy and bittersweet kind. Adventures have included exploration of the Chicago Natural History Museum, ’80 & ’90s-themed milkshake bars, the “World’s Best Fried Chicken”, the creamiest of ice creams, the Art Institute, green rivers, the Cheesecake Factory Experience, nostalgia of […]

Language Fluency: How do you know when you have it?

“So, how do you think your Spanish is?” This is a question I’ve been asked recently, as I complete 3 of my 4.5 months abroad, by my host mom, my biological mom, and friends. This is another one of those questions that is hard to answer from my own perspective. Though I am not the […]

The Start of my Journey

People say to trust your instincts because they’re usually right. Instincts, it turns out, aren’t as good when you’ve just arrived in a foreign country, sleep deprived, and in desperate need of food and a shower. I took a flight from Minneapolis to Cincinnati on Sunday, January 6 and from there I took an overnight […]