Early Learning and Immersion

I’ve been in Glasgow for roughly two weeks now and I wanted to share some of my experiences and some things I’ve learned. Hopefully this will give you an idea of what to expect if you were to come study abroad with the amazing people of Scotland.

When I arrived in Scotland I needed a phone service because your phone is the most important thing, right? No, not really but it is useful; the first couple days I went without data, and I wasn’t able to add anyone I met on Facebook or Snapchat.

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I am Finally International!

Greetings from Hungary!!!

Wow, I am finally here and it has in every single way exceeded all expectations that I held for this wondrous journey to Pécs, Hungary.  Immediately on my arrival to Budapest and traveling to Pécs, I met other international students studying in the same city as me. I asked them how it was in Pécs and they gave me descriptions of a beautiful city with rich history, a great ambience and lovely people. They were not wrong at all.

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Campus Culture Comparison: Murdoch and SDSU

Around this time of the year in California, classes are just beginning to kick into full swing. A new semester brings on new routines and for some — myself included — the cafe-hopping habit makes its return.

Now in Perth, Australia, it’s the end of Week 7 and mid-semester exams are here. My last two weeks consisted of writing a literature review for my abnormal psychology class as well as studying for a biomechanics midterm. Most of my days were spent in either the campus library or my bedroom. It seems my studying routine has not been so cafe friendly this semester (the weekend brunches are entirely their own thing, of course).

Coming to that realization, I began to rack my brain for some differences I’ve picked up on as a student here in Western Australia.

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Overcoming Pre-Departure Hurdles

Well, I have made it ! I arrived in France 6:55 a.m., August 26.

The flight itself was fairly lengthy — about 14 hours total — however, this moment itself has been a long time in the making. I have dreamed about this for almost a lifetime and made it my goal about three years ago; to not just study abroad but to extend my stay for as long as possible, which to date is about 10 months.

I battled through classes, homework, financial stresses and personal loss. I have overcome many challenges in my life and have surmounted the odds … truly. I am very, very fortunate and privileged to be where I am now, not only in France about to embark on the experience of a lifetime, but probably one of my most important experiences in life.

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Living Dreams and Nightmares at the Cape Coast Castle

My life story is filled to the brim with pivotal points. Many losses, gains, transfers and complete rebirths within my path have made me feel more than prepared for any change that will inevitably come. And yet the entire week before touring the Cape Coast slave castle, I felt an utter hopelessness in finding any way to prepare myself. How do you look your people’s enslavement in the face, and keep your own straight?

You don’t. You can’t.

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Preparing for Prague

I think the first time it really hit me that I am going abroad for a semester was when I received my Czech visa in the mail. The second time was when I finally sat down and actually opened my suitcase to start packing.

My last couple of days in San Diego have been a whirlwind. It’s been a lot of running errands, doing neglected loads of laundry and just making sure that everything is ready for my trip. And because I clearly have a pack-crastination problem, I seem to have left things until the last minute.

I’ve found myself sitting on my floor in a caffeine-fueled frenzy, the soothing sound of my Czech language app playing in the background, while I try to figure out what items from my Southern California wardrobe should make the trip to central Europe.

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The Beauty in the Struggle: Experiences as an Exchange Student in Stockholm

If you’re someone who feels like they haven’t experienced living a life full of constant emotions (the good and the bad kinds), spontaneity and adventure, and new people and surroundings, you just might want to choose to travel outside of your comfort zone.

This may sound daring and make you feel a bit anxious, but believe me, this decision is worth it. It can not only teach you more about the world around you, but also so much more about yourself.

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Ciao Italia! Dealing with Culture Shock while Studying Abroad

I have been in Italy for about a week so far, and have found myself in a constant state of wonder.

From making my way to Verona by train with my limited Italian skills, to understanding the bus system, to learning the differences in their grocery stores, my whole time abroad has been a wonderful (though frightening) cultural experience.

However, though of course Italy has been generally wonderful so far, it has been far from easy to adjust to the Italian ways and the distance from home. Commonly, this is referred to as culture shock.

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Moving Across the World and Making Myself at Home at SDSU

When I landed in LAX two weeks ago, my mind and body had not yet fully understood the crazy adventure I was about to embark on. The car ride to San Diego on Aug. 19 was a moment of realizing this transition. I had officially left my home country Brazil and all of my friends and family to pursue higher education on the other side of the world.

I could not be more excited.

Arriving at the front desk of the Zura Residence Hall was a moment I had been looking forward to for months. Getting the key to my room and my official SDSU RED ID was the first confirmation that I was now a part of a bigger community of brilliant young adults.

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