SDSU: Be International

Culture of Tea: How I’m Making a Difference

One of my favorite customs in Turkey is drinking tea, or as it is called here, çay. It is such a simple thing but it really defines a lot of social interactions between people.

Tea culture varies all over the world, from intricate combinations to intensive brewing methods. In Turkey, çay is a simple black tea brewed in a special dual-compartment teapot. It is served plain, but there is always a bowl of sugar cubes nearby to sweeten it a bit. I always take mine with two pieces. 🙂 Read More

Exciting New Adventures… and Many More to Come!

So I’ve been here in Sweden for almost a month now and so much has been going on! My first class started a few weeks ago and has been going really well.

The class I am taking is called Sweden, Society, and Everyday Life. It’s been really interesting learning about Swedes and their customs and I think it has truly given me some insight into studying and living here in Sweden. The education system here is a bit different from what I’m used to. At Stockholm University, students take only one class at a time and classes usually last only 4-6 weeks. In addition, I only have class for about 4 hours a week and am required to do most of my work, readings and research outside the classroom in my own time. Sounds like a great deal, right?

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Madrid, the City that Never Stops

Week three in Madrid and all I can say is that I’m in love with this city! So much has happened since I landed in Madrid that I don’t even know were to begin.

Let me just say how glad I am to be writing this blog from my new apartment because finding a place was by far the most stressful thing I’ve had to do. I love walking out of my apartment and instantly being hit with the culture and beauty of Madrid. From the flower stands in the middle of the plaza to the bakery at the end of the alley, the narrow European streets have such a charm to them that merely walking through them makes me feel like I’m right were I belong.

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And All Falls Down

I never thought my first week, let alone my first night in Barcelona would be traumatizing.

My friend Becky, who is also studying abroad in Barcelona, and myself decided to take the local people’s advice of taking the bus to the center of the city after we had arrived to the airport. We were told that it would be very inexpensive and at the city center it would be easy to take a taxi to our hostel.

Many travelers entered the bus and everyone set their luggage in a large luggage holder. My friend and I had put our money and valuable things in my small carry-on bag because we were afraid to get pick pocketed. We locked my bag and set it on the carrier. We took a seat and kept an eye on our luggage.

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Hello From Turkey: What You Have Missed

Hi guys! My name is Rose and I am currently studying abroad in Istanbul, Turkey. I have already been living here for six months, so I’m going to give you all a little recap on my experiences so far.

I arrived in Turkey at the beginning of August to participate in a research project that consisted of 8 students from San Diego State University and 10 students from Boğaziçi University (my current school in Istanbul). We spent about two weeks all together, traveling around the Black Sea region of Turkey, conducting our research, and in all having a great time.

For me, this was an awesome opportunity to start getting to know people and make new friends. As it so happens, one of the Turkish girls I met on this trip is now one of my best friends. Anyway, within these first two weeks I discovered just how fascinating Turkey is and knew that one semester here would not be enough time to truly appreciate the country, and so I have extended my studies here to a full year. Read More

Getting Lost is the Best Way to Find Things

It’s my fifth day here in Leicester, UK. A lot has happened already.

To begin, I would like to comment on that diagram that the study abroad staff have presented to us. You know the one: the little curve detailing how our emotions will fluctuate, from “honeymoon phase” to “culture-shock and depression” and finally to “adaptation.” Well, until last Friday, I apparently skipped the honeymoon phase and dived straight into depression.

It started off as frustration, frustration with the University bus service being late, administration being completely unorganized and unprepared, and frustration with not getting into one of the modules I desperately wanted. There was too much happening that was out of my control. In San Diego, I know how to handle my schedule, who to contact if I have problems, and how to waitlist or crash a class I really want. Here, I know nothing. That is scary. Read More

See You in 6 Months, San Diego!

Surreal. That’s basically how it feels right now at 32,998 feet in the air and with 4,181 miles to go. After months of planning and endless paperwork I am finally on my way to Madrid, Spain!

I have left so much behind, yet I can’t wait to find out what these next 6 months have in store for me.

A lot of people would tell me to not have any expectations about my semester abroad but I think they’re missing the point. The reason we go abroad is because of those adventure-filled stories we hear and read. The promise of culture, art, adventure and friendships packed into a semester abroad. I am no different; I truly hope this semester changes my perspective on the world and my life.
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Stockholm 101: Surpassed Expectations

Hey everyone! So I’ve been here in Stockholm for three days now and I couldn’t wait to share everything I’ve experienced so far with you.

I arrived this Sunday around 17:00 (5 PM) and met up with a fellow SDSU student at the airport. It was really nice to not be alone while I was figuring out how to settle in. We stayed in a hostel that night which was a new experience for me and it was great! There were young people from all over and the vibe was much different from normal hotels.

That night we took a quick walk around the city and grabbed a quick meal. I, of course, had traditional Swedish meatballs. And they were fantastic! So far my experience with Swedish food has been wonderful. Many of the dishes contain fish as Stockholm is located right on the water. But they also have many hearty dishes meant to keep you warm during the cold, dark winters here. Read More

Aztecs Blogging From Abroad: Meet Noelle

SDSU Be International Blogger Noelle is sharing her experiences from Hungary. She loves the fact that Hungary shares borders with eight other countries, many of them in lesser traveled Eastern Europe. As long as she can fight off homesickness, Noelle is excited to discover places she has never even heard of.

Aztecs Blogging From Abroad: Meet Jessica

SDSU Be International Blogger Jessica is sharing her experiences from Madrid, Spain. She already speaks Spanish and can’t wait to travel independently and extensively. She thinks that living alone in a foreign country will be the biggest adjustment she will face.