My study abroad program at Auckland University of Technology is coming to an abrupt end. I left for New Zealand just about four and a half months ago, and time has gone by seemingly in the blink of an eye. While there have been instances where it felt that time was moving slower than molasses — especially right before my departures for trips and during exam weeks — it’s hard to believe that I will be boarding a plane to the United States within the week.
After the Chinese New Year, my cousin and I had planned to travel to Taiwan. It was so cool to know that traveling in Asia, while in Asia, is extremely cheap and is a must if you’re planning to stay for a long period of time. This was the first time I’ve traveled without older adults in a foreign place. At least by now I am a pro at packing.
After a grueling three weeks of testing, writing papers and putting together presentations, I’ve finally reached the the promised land that is the two week mid-semester break. Similar to SDSU, at my university in New Zealand the due dates of exams and other large assignments are in quick succession of each other within a two to three week stretch. Consequently, the time before the beginning of the mid-semester break was stressful to say the least.
It has always been traditional for me to be at home on New Year’s. This year, I was in two homes for two New Year’s. When I came to China, I did not know that the Lunar New Year was fast approaching (just letting you know beforehand, Chinese New Year started in early February, not January 1).
There’s so much to love about Madrid. Everything from partaking in the late nightlife to the mid-day siesta immerses you in the Spanish culture every day. But being the foodie that I am, my favorite thing about this city is the vast amounts of food right outside my doorstep. So here are, in my opinion, 5 food places in Madrid you can’t miss!
I am known to be a loud and very smiley extrovert who loves to always see the positive side of things and make the best out of life for others and myself. I am Mexican-Iranian-American in America, but here in China, I am American. But that does not mean I forget who I truly am and what my heritage is while I study in Shanghai, China.
I started writing this on a United Airlines airplane, slowly realizing that I was heading to a new home with only five recognizable faces for the next six months. Things will be difficult – getting adjusted, learning the language, and figuring out Chinese culture. I did not know what to think, except to think about the faces of my loved ones back home. As I arrived in Shanghai, 14 hours later, I was immediately anxious to see China and my Chinese brothers and sisters.
Calling all pyromaniacs in the world! Yes, you read that right: There’s a full week in Spain dedicated to FIRE! Before you watch the video of my short 12-hour day in Valencia to see the festivities, let me give you just a little background of the craziness that is “Las Fallas de Valencia.”
In Thailand, the year is 2560. Although it technically is the same year here as anywhere else in the world, because Thais go by the Buddhist calendar, everyone refers to this year as 2560. The planners, calendars and online websites all declare boldly that it is now the year 2560. Odd? No. In every way this actually seems to make sense.