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Study Abroad Tips: Need to Know Rome

As you walk on roads that were built around 2800 years ago, you see the Coliseum, Palatine Hill, the Roman Forum, and so many other beautiful ruin locations that all have changed not just the city, but nations, empires, cities, and towns all over the world. It is a powerful concept to not just walk in the places of celebrating soldiers, and adorned emperors, but on some of the most walked streets in our time. Over 4 million travelers visit Rome every year, which means you are one of many that are flocking to the city to see its ruins, but for some reason no one talks about the things that … [Read more...]

Study Abroad Tips: Just Do It!

This sounds a lot worse than it is, and I can't believe it took my experience this far before I realized that this is totally a thing. You spend so much money to participate in group travel halfway around the world, and there are all these great places and great things that you get to do, and I know that your whole goal is to save money, but I received a great piece of advice that I couldn't help but take to heart. “Don't go home with regrets” I know it is fairly simplistic; but that is the beauty of it. You are only going to be able to do this vacation once, and you don't want to miss out … [Read more...]

Study Abroad Netherlands: A Weekend in Amsterdam

Overflowing with history and intertwined with canals, Amsterdam is one lively and good-looking city. It’s no surprise that Amsterdam is a hotspot for other travelers like myself. With that being said, hostel prices can be through the roof, yet another reminder to plan and book things in advance. With our wallets in mind, my traveling companions and I opted to stay in a neighboring town. This ended up being a blessing in disguise, because we were able to check out the beautiful town of Utrecht, which is an easy twenty-minute train ride away from Amsterdam. With canals weaving through its … [Read more...]

Group Travel: Making the Most of Portugal

Less than a month ago, in an effort to procrastinate studying for finals, my two friends and I bought plane tickets to Portugal. Wow what a surreal and exciting thing that was. We knew that this adventure was without a doubt going to be great, but what we didn’t know was that six others would accompany us, and that great doesn’t even begin to cover it. Getting to and from Portugal was a learning experience. There were a few hiccups, minor changes in plans, and wow a lot of laughter. Our first destination in Portugal was the coastal city of Lagos. After a bus, a train, another bus, a … [Read more...]

Study Abroad Europe: Orientation in The Netherlands

I've only been in Maastricht for three days and I am already in love with this place. The past two days, we had orientation as official Maastricht University students. It was a jam-packed two days strolling around the town, acquainting ourselves with our surroundings, making this place our home. Day 1 of Orientation: We had a welcoming ceremony at Maastricht University's Center for European Studies (CES), where we take all of our courses taught by Dutch professors. It's about a 10 minute walk from our dormitory. The CES building is also where we received our class schedules and books … [Read more...]

Group Travel Abroad: Guide to Castle Photography

I have visited two castles on my group trip and will probably visit several more before the end of my trip, but I have already realized there are certain pictures you must get of a castle to truly document your time there. This is the list I have created. 1. Overall picture full frame picture. If you don't know that you need this than I can't help you. You have to know what the castle looks like. 2. Up on the mountain top wide shot. Most castles here are on mountaintops or on the lakes and rivers here. Sometimes they are on both. The reason for this is their ability to defend the … [Read more...]

Study Abroad Guide: Tips for Traveling in Small Town Europe

Rothenberg is such an odd Medieval town but has so much to share. I dare you to visit an old town as you travel and look into the history of such timeless, livable villages that scatter most of Western Europe. Rothenberg is an example, but I want to share with you what you should be looking for in a small town in Europe. Small towns usually have some crazy specifically unique dessert that they are known for. Even if you are not sure about it, still try it, because you can never go back and make up for that moment of sweetly hand-crafted (insert type of sweet here). There is always … [Read more...]

Group Travel Highlights: 7 Countries in 5 Days

As I set out on my first Independent travel period, I can wholeheartedly say that I am thankful for an initial group trip. In the past five days, we covered 2,500 kilometers, went through five different countries, and developed great friendships. We were able to experience things that we likely would not have set forth to experience otherwise, and were gradually eased into becoming European travelers. During the trip, we followed a detailed itinerary, and were put up in fancy hotels, during which we reminded one another to soak it in, because our future hostels will likely not be of the same … [Read more...]

Group Travel Netherlands: Getting to Know Maastricht

The honeymoon phase: a period of newness and excitement during which you are in a trance of wonderment and everything is utterly blissful. I have been forewarned that every study abroad student undergoes this phase. After my first few days in Maastricht, I can testify that this is in fact true. How do you know you’re in the honeymoon stage? You have an irresistible urge to take a photo of absolutely everything, you’re impressed with the simplest things, and you’re constantly exclaiming, “I can’t believe I am actually here!” What are the downsides of the honeymoon stage? Euros seem dangerously … [Read more...]

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