Prague, Party of 30

After traveling all this way to Germany, I have just had my first trip out of the country. Along with a group of about 30 other exchange students from all over the world; I traveled to Prague (Praha) for an absolutely wonderful weekend.

Prague is absolutely stunning. The way the dark cobblestone roads wind around the Gothic buildings makes it feel like a whole different world.

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Ready, Set, Go!

Sometimes, the scary things in life are the most rewarding. The thought of studying abroad, for example, can seem frightening. Further, actually studying abroad is down right terrifying at times, and traveling alone has the power to turn you into a statue if you let it.

However, making the decision to study abroad, actually following through with it and embarking on travels alone are some of the best decisions that I have ever made — no matter how terrifying they seemed or even were.

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The Camaraderie I’ve Found Abroad

Many things have come to mind as I’ve considered the differences between traveling and going to school in Europe, versus back home in the United States. What I have found to be one of the best parts is the sense of community you find when you meet other international students or like-minded travelers. Something about the shared experience of being in another country brings people together in a humbling way.

At my university in Prague, I take classes with students from so many different backgrounds. I have flatmates from France. I have classmates from Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Korea, Germany, Ireland, Croatia, Turkey, India, Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, to name a few. The class discussions are fascinating to me because there are so many more opinions and interpretations that come from having such a culturally diverse representation of students.

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My UK Adventures

Glasgow, where I’m studying abroad, is an amazing city and I think it is the best place to stay in Scotland. But I’d like to share some of my adventures from outside of the city.

The first trip I made outside of Glasgow was to the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. I went on a tour that’s tailored for international students who want to see the sights of Scotland. Edinburgh is the more “touristy” of the two bigger cities of Scotland, first off because it is the capital and secondly because it’s the birthplace of Harry Potter!

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My German Holiday Experience in Spain

Since returning to Germany from my visit back to the United States in April, I have been busy every week with school. I came back from break on April 10, with my classes starting less than a week later on the 16th. If you have read my earlier blog posts regarding my classes, school has been very stressful for me this semester — but it’s also been an opportunity for growth.

I had not had a break from school since it started, and the stress was actually affecting my health and well being. I decided a vacation away from school for a weekend was what I needed to get myself motivated again.

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Lessons From a Samurai

If you had told me four months ago that I would have the chance to be able to swing a real katana, I probably would’ve laughed in your face. I would respond with something like, “No way, I’m way too clumsy for that.” However, a few weeks ago I got to do just that, and I learned quite a bit from it too.

Some friends and I had been planning a trip to Japan for some time. One of the reasons we went was that one of my friends was from Japan and was about to start a summer internship in Tokyo. So, jumping at the opportunity, we decided to have a last hurrah before the end of the semester and the four of us proceeded to book our tickets and accommodations.

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My Truth on Solo Traveling

“If I cry the whole flight home, don’t mind me,” I said to my middle-seat partner during takeoff from Paris to Dallas.

It was finally time to return home to the land of big trucks and country music, and I was feeling bittersweet. My seatmate, Nancy, continued the conversation and we began to trade stories; hers about living the life of a flight attendant for 30 years and mine about the lessons, successes and failures of five months abroad in France. Ten hours later as we deplaned, we exchanged emails, promised to stay in touch, and wished each other luck in making our layover flights.

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Remembering Akko

Studying abroad has provided me an amazing immersion into different cultures, people, languages, foods and so much more. Not only have I had the wonderful opportunity to study and learn the ways of the Israeli people, but I have had the chance to visit so many other places that I probably never would have had the chance to see otherwise.

Recently — not too long after being diagnosed with pneumonia, and with the condition still lingering for some unknown reason — I was invited to take a boat cruise to Akko, Israel (also known as Acre). The boat ride was lovely. It was more like taking a relaxing cruise ship into the unknown and coming upon an historic walled city rising from the sea.

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One Last Trip to Cap Off a Year in Asia

Hello again, San Diego State! This is my last blog since I will soon return to San Diego after a full academic year of living in Singapore. In this post I will show you my last trip before heading home to conclude the great year abroad I’ve had.

The reason I chose Asia as my study abroad destination in the first place was to visit Japan. It was one of those bucket list destinations that I had to fulfill. I waited until my spring break in Singapore so I could see the famous East Asian cherry blossom trees in full bloom. Well, the wait was worth it because this past spring I got to visit Japan for a whole week.

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