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Study Abroad Austria: These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

This weekend was filled with lots of horses, crisp apple strudel and schnitzel, lederhosen, beautiful architecture and churches, and oh yeah, lots of singing! Sounds kind of crazy right? Well that's just the kind of experiences that study abroad students get to have on the weekends! This past one, my friends and I took the long 14-hour train from Maastricht to Austria! Austria was so much fun and had lots of history and tradition everywhere we looked. Beautiful architecture of the buildings and palaces, church bells ringing in the background and sunny weather were all surrounding us in … [Read more...]

Study Abroad Luxembourg: A Fairytale City & Country

Here is one fact you need to know about the city/country to get you acquainted with it: Luxembourg city is the capital of Luxembourg Luxembourg has 12 cities Luxembourg is bordered by Germany, Belgium and France. They speak French, German and Luxembourgish I went on a day trip from Maastricht to Luxembourg and overall the round trip journey time took about 6 hours, which isn’t much compared to other train journeys I have been on (Budapest, I am looking at you, 30 hours round trip). Luxembourg is a little fairy tale city with castles, high walls, forts, farms, cobblestone streets, … [Read more...]

Study Abroad Germany: How to Relax on Vacation

Sometimes when we put all of this time and effort into taking these great trips abroad, we can feel guilty about taking some time to relax. However, there is one simple truth about travel: it’s exhausting! At home, I tend to be quite the couch potato. I must admit, I am not an especially active American. I enjoy driving my car, going out to eat, watching TV and going to the movies. When I go to Europe for a month or three, it doesn’t really feel like I am living my own life. I have no access to a car, restaurants are expensive and films are foreign. The one thing that is relatively … [Read more...]

Group Travel: The Do’s and Dont’s of Bled, Slovenia

Slovenia is a small country near Austria that is sometimes overlooked by people visiting Europe. This past weekend I visited Slovenia to check it out and have a low-key trip with my travel friends. We stayed in the quaint little town of Bled, which is nested right next to Lake Bled. Let me start off by saying that Bled was beautiful! White mountains surrounded the most beautiful, naturally made, blue watered lake I have ever seen! Right in the middle of the lake sits the smallest, little island with a bell tower and a church. Overlooking the lake up on a cliff sits a mighty castle that … [Read more...]

Study Abroad Germany: The Americans Are Coming

During the course of my international travels, I have noticed a recurring theme: Europeans can’t hardly stand Americans. This seems such a peculiar idea when you consider that American tourism accounts for a large portion of income for Europe, with our cheesy knickknacks, and our city tours, and even our willingness to pay top dollar for the comforts of luxurious hotels. So you’re thinking, “We’re throwing all this money at them, and they hate us. What’s the deal?!” Just as we have stereotypes for the Europeans, they have stereotypes for us, and most of them are not kind. First, … [Read more...]

Group Travel France: Paris Is Always a Good Idea

Audrey Hepburn once said, “Paris is always a good idea.” Well, I cannot argue with that Audrey! Paris is not only a good idea, it is the best idea! A weekend in Paris, even in the wintertime, can’t be beat. Now after being in Paris for only three days, I would image that you could spend a lifetime in that city and still not see it all. There is just so much to do and so much to see! You can’t do it all but I would say that my travel group and I came pretty close and I was very happy with all that we got to do. Now my number one biggest tip to get in Paris if you are going for just a … [Read more...]

Study Abroad London: An Anglophile in England

With the increased access of Americans to English television programs through cable and the Internet, one could say that there has been a second wave of the British Invasion. Most Americans are now more familiar with British pop culture than ever before, watching programs like Doctor Who and Downtown Abbey. BBC America recently coined a term, describing such people as “Anglophiles,” or people obsessed with England. I considered myself to have been an Anglophile before it was even cool. I grew up reading fat English novels and watching English film and television. It was just what I … [Read more...]

Study Abroad Maastricht: A Weekend in Vienna

Vienna! How to say that? With awe, surprise, respect, and a ton of excitement added in. That was the way I said the name of the city which had surprised me with its plentiful culture and wonderful history. Every corner I turned held a surprise for me; from a person in history I had heard of before, a building, a monument, a street, a wall, and even the people. In Vienna, I stayed for about three days exploring the city and it was such a satisfying experience. I booked an Airbnb in a picturesque neighborhood about 20 minutes from the city center. While I was searching for a place to … [Read more...]

Study Abroad Germany: Not Your Grandpa’s Germany

When I tell people that I major in German at university, I often get a response of surprise, followed by an anecdote regarding WWII or Bavarian Oktoberfest. When I read guide books about Germany, I read suggestions about the best places to purchase cuckoo clocks and Steiff teddy bears. All of the literature makes it seem that a Nazi crime novel is waiting to erupt at every turn. This is not the Germany I know. It seems that when Americans think about Germany, they have associations limited to WWII, the Cold War and Bavarian culture. Exploring sights related to these associations will … [Read more...]

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