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.”
Last weekend I went on my first excursion outside of the Auckland area to a region called as Waitomo. It’s a place with beautiful scenery and much to do and see. I was drawn to this part of New Zealand mainly by the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, a network of underground streams and rock formations home to bio luminescent fly larvae (they produce light and a sticky hanging substance in order to attract insects to eat). I found out about this area while doing my pre-departure research back in the United States, and after learning more about the caves through videos and local tour websites, I was determined to see the glowworms with my own eyes.
I’m sitting in my cozy Rotterdam apartment, coffee in hand, rushing to finish assignments that are due on blackboard in less than an hour. I swear, I’m usually better about not procrastinating, but life as a student-traveler has it’s distractions.
Last semester, registering for classes was intense. It was my first time learning how the system works in Germany and learning about the registration deadlines. But now in my second semester it was better because I’ve already been through it once. At the University of Mannheim, registering for classes is very different than registering for classes at SDSU.
Oh Spain, such a beautiful country that I am still not used to. It’s been over a month since I arrived and even though I am accustomed to being here and honestly didn’t really get home sick, there are some things in Spain I am still having difficulty getting used to. Here are a few of them.
With a little less than half of my time already over here in the Netherlands, there is one thing that I have learned and will take away from my voyage abroad. Note that I say voyage abroad instead of time abroad, because living in another country for half a year is not simply time passing by, but a journey that will stay with me for a life time.
Guten Tag from Marburg! Spring is in full bloom here (for now, as Germany’s weather is completely unpredictable) and with classes starting, a little sunshine is just what we need. Coming from San Diego, I was sure that I’d become homesick for the weather, beaches and Woodstock’s Pizza, to name a few things. However, this hasn’t exactly been the case.