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The Complete Picture of Adventure

Adventure. We all seek it in our own ways. For some it looks like roughing it in a tent for a weekend, for some sky-diving, and for some trying mysterious foods. Basically, anything involving both adrenaline and the outdoors falls into this category automatically. Adventure is a really attractive concept. Without it, wouldn’t life be pretty bland? The less shiny side of the coin, however, are the mishaps that come with the territory of adventure. The night spent sleeping on the airport floor in Dublin (personal experience) might not have been ideal at the time, but it is a night I’ll never … [Read more...]

Brussels: The Perfect Mix of Ancient and Modern

When we first planned a trip to Belgium, I was not the most excited. It was our first weekend of free travel, and after plans fell through for a visit to Copenhagen and a forecast of rain and clouds for the entirety of the weekend, Belgium was not topping the list of places I was optimistic to see. Arriving in Brussels at 8:30 in the morning on a Friday covered by a slight drizzle, our prospects seemed grey, literally and figuratively. I am so thankful that that is not what they turned out to be. Brussels was certainly not what I had expected in the slightest. I’ll admit, I bought into the … [Read more...]

Hurricane Harvey and Unexpected Friends: Creating Friendships While Facing Adversity

Texas is known for quite a few things – cowboys, horses, barbecue, accents, and an endless sky, to name a few. But, ask any native Texan, and they will tell you the top two factors that describe Texas are its friendly atmosphere and its ever-changing, unpredictable weather. So, when a group of us students started preparing for our flight out of Houston with Millennium Tours to get to The Netherlands, it was no surprise to hear of a potential hurricane. The surprise came once we escaped the hurricane. Our group of 18 had all planned on meeting in one of Texas’s largest cities to fly out on … [Read more...]

Finding Home While Studying Abroad

As I walked down the cobblestone streets of Maastricht, a city in the south of the Netherlands, I would have never expected to end up where I was today. I almost knew every nook and cranny of this city, just from the five spectacular weeks I’ve spent here. My walk to class was on auto-pilot, every step was a step closer to one of the last days of class. Sixteen days of class went by as fast as my trips on the weekends. When I left the United States, I would tell my friends and family that I was “visiting Maastricht,” and that I would be spending five weeks there. Little did I know that … [Read more...]

Study Abroad Tips: Navigating the Differences Between the United States and Europe

On my flight to Amsterdam last week, I tried to dream up how different Europe would be from the United States. I was surprised to find its VERY different. From the landscape, the houses, the people, the mannerisms, even the way they travel, the differences are everywhere. When my advisors said "watch out for culture shock," I never have anticipated that I would be that one student who is shocked wherever she goes. Some differences in culture: There is no Air Conditioning in Europe, maybe you'll find a hotel or hostel with it, but there is none in academic buildings and none in my room. … [Read more...]

Study Abroad: What I’ve Learned Through Experience

When I began to think about applying for a study abroad program, the first step I took was reading all the pamphlets and brochures. While these can be very helpful with the general, practical information, there is so much about a program that just can’t be conveyed until you experience it yourself. Here are a few of the things I have learned so far. You don’t have to have every second of every day planned out before you get here. In fact, I encourage you to arrive to your program with an open mind and minimal expectations. You will meet so many new friends when you arrive so it is best … [Read more...]

Group Travel to Europe: Front Row Seat to Awesome

John Mayer. Amsterdam. Front row. Just let that sink in. This weekend, the sasstastic six of my student group travel program ventured to Amsterdam to see John Mayer in concert. I must admit, ever since he took the stage Friday night, I have been mesmerized and unable to listen to anything but John Mayer—it’s a little extreme but I think I may have found my wedding song. It wasn't just John Mayer being within five feet that made this a day to remember, I was making new friends and learning a few European tricks along the way to use during group travel to Europe. I purchased the … [Read more...]

Group Tours to Europe: Get Cultured

 image source: wikimedia commons After two weeks of constant student group travel, the thought of having classes begin this week sounded slightly heavenly. That sleep-deprived thought was quickly put to rest as “student” duties unfortunately overtook my mind. This semester, I am taking Dutch Art History, History from 1500 to Present, Political Science, and an independent study course for anthropology. Last week, my Dutch Art History course held class at the Basilica of Saint Servatius in Maastricht. At the cathedral, we learned some of the differences between Gothic and Romanesque … [Read more...]

Reflections on Student Group Travel

Student group travel blogger Kandace Little leaves us with her last post of the semester, a realization and reflection. One day during my semester abroad of educational group travel, I was at a bus stop in Maastricht, the Netherlands, loaded down with a backpack and the dreary, early morning fog. I was feeling a bit isolated, despite the group around me. I was on the outskirts, huddled and drawn into my own thoughts.   Just one of those days, I guess. I happened to glance to my left, and my gaze met a woman with closely cropped hair, wearing sensible but scuffed brown … [Read more...]

What Will Student Group Travel Teach You?

Travel is said to be the richest form of education, so what did this student group travel crew learn during their semester abroad? For starters, learning happens in the classroom and across the map. Here are a few more lessons educational group travel taught us with the help of student bloggers Kandace and Danny. There's a lot more to Paris than romance and tourists. History is full of stories of war and famine, but also great acts of bravery and love. Student group travel to Germany proved to teach plenty of that. Study abroad will also teach you about things that … [Read more...]

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