The Ultimate Case for Going Abroad

The reason Korea is known as the land of the morning calm is that near the turn of the twentieth century, China’s Ming dynasty’s emperor gave the title “morning freshness” to the little peninsula to its east. It was well suited because of its spellbinding natural beauty of the picturesque high mountains and clear waters and splendid tranquility.

Seoul today has modernized into a mega metropolis with high apartment structures and office buildings as far as the eye can see and commercial success that drives its inhabitants forward into the daily grind, everyone trying to eke out a living in this hyper competitive atmosphere. But among all this still remains a peaceful calm that you awake to every morning.

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Spring is Here, Not Sure I’m Ready

I don’t have crazy much to report on this week, which should be a relief for those of you who read my last blog post! I tried to keep it short and sweet but it’s hard when you have twenty amazing days to cover. Either way, I appreciate those of who you have and continue to read my blog. It has been an incredible experience to share my time here with all of you, and it means the world that so many of you have been supporting me.

I am happy to report that I finished my first course, Sweden: Society and Everyday Life, with an A! I know my dad jokingly doubts that I am studying at all…so this will show him! In all seriousness though, I am so happy that my hard work paid off and hope it does for my next two classes as well.

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HHS 350 in China — Day 4: Factories and Rehabilitation

Our day started at 7:45 am with a 90-minute drive to the Beijing Champion Crown Dental (Ying Guan) company to visit one of three facilities owned by Mr. Dapeng Guo, the general manager and owner.

In 2002, he started a denture-making business and, upon seeing a need to help Beijing community members with disabilities who struggled to find work, he created a campus-like work environment with dorm rooms, cafeterias, recreational areas and professional training/classroom space to learn the necessary techniques for the available jobs.

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HHS 350 in China — Day 3: Great Wall and Olympic Park

Another day of excitement as all the students learned some Chinese on our 90-minute trip to the Great Wall. I think they all know how to say “good morning” and “thank you” now, but Danny and I challenged them further by teaching them how to say “The Great Wall” in Mandarin as well. Family and friends should feel free to test them when we get home.

Everyone was glad that we switched our Saturday trip plans for the Great Wall to today (Tuesday). For me in particular, once I remembered that this coming Saturday is a big holiday in China (Tomb Sweeping Day), I was very relieved. If the students think China is crowded now, they can’t even imagine the full-blown holiday effect, magnified and intensified by weekend status. It would have meant an entirely different experience than the peace we encountered today.

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6 Cities in 20 Days

Hello everyone! Oh my, I don’t even know where to begin. These past two and a half weeks have been so incredible, and there’s honestly not enough words to describe everything I’ve experienced. So, without making this post too long, here is a recap of my backpacking adventures!

After leaving Berlin, Alexa and I made our way to Poland. There, we had an emotionally exhausting but worthwhile time as we visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial. The weather was terrible: it was windy and hailing the entire time, but that made for a realistic experience of the atrocities that took place. We were led through the housing (if you can even call it that), the bathroom facilities, and the gas chambers. It is difficult to compose exactly what I felt walking through, but seeing the piles of shoes, luggage, and women’s hair barely scratched the surface of the suffering that the Jews and other minorities underwent. It was an experience I will never forget.

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Cheers To International Friendships

After an elongated spring break trip to Paris, I am finally back home; I have adjusted to my life in Barcelona, so now I get to call it home! I was supposed to take a week-long trip to Paris, but after a strike occurred with the airline, my trip lasted ten days, which I was upset about at first, but then I realized how lucky I was to be stuck in Paris.

Once again, I fell in love with Paris like I have been falling in love with the other countries and cities that I’ve visited. As soon as I arrived, I took advantage of my day and quickly made my way to the Eiffel Tower. This marks another thing off my list of dreams. I smiled like an idiot as I took a ton of photos, because who really ever gets the opportunity to travel to such beautiful places at a young age? Continue reading “Cheers To International Friendships”

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