The reality of culture shock

When I attended my first study abroad orientation session in December, I was told that my semester in Madrid would be like a rollercoaster. In my mind, this meant a rollercoaster of mostly exciting times, occasionally accompanied by confusion that’s triggered by the language barrier. A glance at the graph presented to us at orientation, […]

Firenze: First impressions and selfie sticks

  “SELFIE? SELFIE?” were the very first words I heard upon arrival in Florence, Italy — possibly one of the most magical and historic cities in all of Europe. “No grazie,” I replied to the insistent men shoving the ubiquitous, yet ingenious, 12” mechanisms in my face as I struggled to drag my suitcases along […]

New Year’s in Kanazawa

It was winter break; I was sitting with my knees pulled up to my chest in a cramped bedroom in the heart of Tokyo. With New Year’s just around the corner and my family far, far away, a nostalgic yearning was starting to set in. That was when I decided to book my night-bus ticket […]

English-speaking countries still enrich study abroad experience

  Some say that studying abroad in an English-speaking country is a cop-out. And I somewhat thought that too. But then I boarded my flight to London’s Heathrow. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 80,000 American students study abroad each school year. When I became one of those thousands of kids hopping on a […]