Spring Break Part 2: Croatia at Last!

As I mentioned in my previous blog, Croatia was the last stop on my spring break travel itinerary. What started as an average morning soon turned into a reminder about personal realms of control and the importance of perseverance.  The day started at 4am. My friends and I were staying in Rotterdam and had a …

Tour de Europe: Spring Break

We are here! The last month of study abroad, the last two weeks before I’m back for graduation, and the last moments with my friends here at IES and my host family. The time has been flying just as I anticipated it would this April, but I have so many new things to write about. …

Conquering grocery shopping abroad

Something I never realized I was privileged to love is abundant, humongous American grocery stores. Oh, the glory of a Target! (Glory I have never basked in.) The joys of getting everything you need––ground beef, foot scrub, those smiley face fries from elementary school, and a puffer jacket––all in one place!  All of that American …

Financial Aid: Making Off-Campus Study Possible

Thinking about off-campus study can be stressful, especially with regards to finance. I often hear students worry about whether they can afford to study off campus. Sometimes they discount the possibility entirely because they think it will be too expensive. I had similar worries when I was considering studying off campus! Friends from other universities …

Housing Options for Off-Campus Study

When I studied abroad for a semester in France a year ago, I had the incredible opportunity to live with a host family. Even though I had no language experience, the homestay option was still my top choice because I desired a more immersive experience, as well as an inside view on French life and …

Academics: Making Study Abroad Work for You!

The process of finding a program that meshes well with your academic needs can seem overwhelming. I often hear people say, “I’m interested in study abroad, but I have too many course requirements”, or, “I just don’t have space in my schedule.” I’m living proof that it can happen! I’m a Global Studies, Philosophy, and …

On Trials, Tribulations, and Change

I am writing on a significant day. Today is the day I would have been home had I stayed in Thailand for the length of my program. In August, I flew bright-eyed and bushy-tailed into a completely different world. I wanted to launch myself into an entirely new and unfamiliar culture… and I got exactly …

A Weekend in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is lovely because it can be touristy in some areas, but those touristy areas are easy to get away from. Finding transport to fun places on the weekend in Chiang Mai almost always starts with hopping into the back of a red truck. These trucks are one of my favorite modes of transportation …

Getting to Class: CMU Style

If the 5 AM sunrise or the screeching birds don’t wake me up before my alarm at 7:30 AM, I consider myself lucky! Once I am able to sit up and open my eyes, I hobble out of my little bedroom and into my dorm’s main room to grab breakfast. Every Monday-Thursday (the days I …

Guide to Street Food

Ask anyone who has been to Southeast Asia and one of the first things they will probably say is how amazing the food is. In some cases, the food is quite amazing, but one has to be careful in the realm of street food. The standards for health and sanitation are extremely low; every once …