So it’s really happening! Introducing Tasha Irianto!

We’d like to proudly introduce to our readers Tasha Irianto, a fourth-year Liberal Studies major going to BINUS University in Jakarta, Indonesia this fall! Tasha’s first blog post gives you her thoughts on the eve of her departure to Indonesia. 

By the time this is up, I should be across the world starting what (I hope) will be a really exciting, really enlightening, and really really hot, humid semester in Jakarta, Indonesia. To be honest, I’ve been too busy running around my hometown getting last minute tidbits and seeing friends to sit down and really think about what I am expecting out of this trip.

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The distance of 10000 km

Ten-thousand kilometers. That’s the distance from my hometown- Taipei to here- San Diego. To reintroduce myself, my name is Kiki, and I’m from Taiwan. It’s my first time to leave my home city to study, and also my first time to study abroad. The distance from Taipei to here isn’t just literally 10,000 kilometers, but also the large cultural differences between West and East. So it’s a little bit challenging for me to study here. But I’m all ready to take on that challenge. It has been approximately one week since I got here, and just in this one week, I faced many eye-opening experiences that not so usually, or never happened in Taiwan, and I’m gonna share with you guys in the following!

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Arriving in New Zealand and Settling in


I started my study abroad program in July, so I’ve been in Auckland, New Zealand for a bit, but let me start my blog journey from the beginning and share with you what really happened when I started this journey. Leaving the US and arriving in New Zealand for my study abroad program was for the most part easy. It was definitely hard leaving my family behind after a goodbye family dinner and at the airport after walking into the security area. But, besides a couple minor hiccups, it was a smooth and uneventful 13 hour nonstop flight from San Francisco to Auckland. 

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Rugby and Meat Pie

Before coming to New Zealand, I did not know much about the country. I just knew that it was beautiful, the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed there, and that the All Blacks rugby team was there. As a huge fan of sports, going to a game was definitely on my bucket list.



Therefore, I bought a ticket to the biggest, most competitive game of the season, Australia vs. New Zealand. Each year, these countries compete for the Bledisloe Cup, a trophy that is held in very high regard. To give some context, since the 1930s, New Zealand has won 46 times, and Australia only 12. Let’s just say, as a temporary New Zealander, I was excited for the team to bring home the trophy once again. Either way, I was thrilled!

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Expectations vs. Reality

Expectation #1

Finding housing is easy and cheap.

Despite how excited I appear in the opening picture, that’s not exactly how things started out for me… Prior to my departure to Santiago, Chile, I imagined it to be as a fairy tale, easy-breezy, done. Nope!

I was told that housing was best found by arriving early and physically browsing through the cities. However, that wasn’t the case (at least not for me). I was trying to find a place that was near the metro station, grocery stores, and campus. For weeks I searched but everything seemed impossible, apartments were either already taken or too expensive or too far.

In the meantime, I was staying in hotels and Airbnb’s. In the beginning, it seemed like the best option but after a couple of days those expenditures quickly started adding up. I was convinced that I would be able to afford anything here no problem, but it turned out I was actually going broke.  

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Introducing the 2019-2020 Be International Bloggers!

From the Andes to New Zealand and locales in between, the 2019-2020 class of Be International bloggers are scattered across the globe and ready to tell you their stories.

This fall, follow along with nine San Diego State University students scattered across four continents as they complete fall semester and academic year study abroad programs, as well as one international student studying in San Diego.

We’re delighted to introduce the newest Be International bloggers! Let them tell you a little about themselves – in their own words!

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A New Worldview After Two Weeks in Mexico

When I was first told that I would need to complete an International Experience in order to receive my B.A. from SDSU, my initial thought was, “How can I get out of this?” I had never flown on a plane before, never traveled anywhere alone, and never traveled anywhere outside the United States. The thought of doing all of this scared me. I also thought that this trip was going to be a big waste of money. I liked the idea of volunteering, but I have never had the urge to travel and see different parts of the world. I had more negative feelings than excited ones about this trip.

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ISCOR major Ashley McMichael talks Fulbright experience in Belfast

With only two-and-a-half weeks to prepare, Ashley McMichael, a freshman majoring in International Security and Conflict Resolution (ISCOR) took on the daunting task of applying for a UK Fulbright scholarship. She spent “a ridiculous amount of time” writing and reviewing her 1,395-word application and 749-word essay. She passed the rigorous application stage and was invited in for a personal interview. McMichael didn’t feel she performed well during that interview, so when she received the acceptance notice, she had to read it several times before she believed that she, indeed, was selected as one of three scholarship recipients from SDSU. “I was completely overwhelmed and in disbelief.”

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