June 2013 Blog Posts (42)

French toast in China

The egg soaked bread crackled as it hit the hot pan. One of my program mates wanted to share his culinary delights with the volunteers and us. That day we decided to make french toast for dinner. It was a fun gathering. A pure meshing of Volunteers and study abroad students together. There was laughter, chatting, and sharing. Some were watching a musical performance on tele, some were trading contact info, and others were in the kitchen helping. I enjoyed the atmosphere because the energy…


Added by Mike Wong on June 30, 2013 at 8:00pm — No Comments

The battle for feast

The horsemen rode with speed and agility, while acrobating on their horses. Each rider was in their own color, red, orange, purple, green, blue, yellow, white, and even black. My favorite was blue and green. Blue because its my favorite color and green because he had the best death scene. We were at the three kingdoms park. The park was entirely created from a fictional story. Yes, what was described in the story was recreated in real life. If you are looking for an artificial taste of China…


Added by Mike Wong on June 29, 2013 at 9:30pm — No Comments

Out exploring Suwon. (06/29/13)

Today we had our orientation for our class and got to meet some of the Korean students who will be studying the course with us. Most of them can speak English fluently so that's really nice. After, a couple of them took us out to explore the city (Suwon), taking us to places to get things and showed us where to eat and all that. Then we stopped by a cafe and ate patbingsoo, shaved ice with toppings. Which by the way is super delicious!…


Added by Christina Deng on June 29, 2013 at 8:30am — No Comments

Walking Tours of Edinburgh

In addition to starting class this week, we also had fieldtrips as a group planned out on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday that were a lot of fun. This post will highlight this week's excursions!

On Monday we met at Mercat Cross (mercat is the old Scots word for market) for our Secrets of the Royal Mile walking tour with Lizzie. This was a unique tour which covered 350 million years of history for…


Added by Kaleena Bergfors on June 29, 2013 at 5:39am — No Comments

The Loud Drink

My chest shakes as i walk through a pair of curtains. Almost like Alice i felt like i fell down the rabbit hole to a weird place of pulsating music, lights flickering and moving across the room, and expensive drinks. I can smell the smoke in the air, not pleasant, but oddly welcoming. Electronic beats blared in the room. Some people dancing on stage while the rest sitting at tables and standing at counters scoping out the scene. I part take in some refreshments with fellow comrades  at the…


Added by Mike Wong on June 28, 2013 at 9:00pm — No Comments

The STUDY Part of Summer Abroad

I am so sorry for the lack of updates, I have found myself very busy with coursework, fieldtrips, and sightseeing and not really wanting to write about it all. Today's post is going to revolve around the school part of my program, and tomorrow's post will be the first week of sightseeing fieldtrips for class, which will get me caught up!

On Saturday, Janice and I checked out of our hostel and in the evening made our way over to our home for the next four weeks: our flats…


Added by Kaleena Bergfors on June 28, 2013 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Off To Korea~ (06/28/13)

My flight was at 12:40pm, but I came about 2 hours earlier so I (plus other students) sat around and chatted while waiting for the flight. It was nice/helpful how most of use wore our green study abroad shirts, which made it easy to spot each other. We took a group photo, but I don't have it. Maybe will update with one later?

The plane ride was LONG. Though not as long as I expected, 12 hours is still quite a bit of time to pass by. I only slept for a bit (maybe 2 hours) and spent the…


Added by Christina Deng on June 28, 2013 at 9:30am — No Comments

The delicacy

The an assortment of meats sizzle as they touch the coal heated grill. Beef, pork, chicken wings, fish, fish balls, duck gizzard, and other exotic meats. Some mushrooms and chives join the shish kebab meats on their own sticks. My senses are tantalized by the foods of the Wuxi night market. 

At first we walk down the street full of little carts and scope out the possible food selections. Some in the party fear food safety,but we risk it to have the flavors of the food disseminate in…


Added by Mike Wong on June 27, 2013 at 10:30pm — 1 Comment

Food Adventures

Yesterday our group visited the cute town of Ostia Antica as well as another town that I can't actually remember the name of. We had the wonderful morning call time of 7am, which meant breakfast was at 6:30am. The longer all of us stay here, the more we end up napping as soon as we get home or on our buses because of the early mornings and constant activity. When we arrived at Ostia Antica, we took a little trolly up the hill to get into the town instead of walking the 6mile treck (some of…


Added by Katie Moinpour on June 27, 2013 at 2:20pm — No Comments

My Messy, Beautiful Palette and Works in Progress

I studied art at my community college but never got where I wanted to get with it because I was doing so many other things. My major is psychology, and I was volunteering, tutoring, and stressing about straight As, so I worked hard, but only hard enough to get the A. The grade was the goal.

Here, my goal is much different. I opted to take all 8 of my units as pass/no pass. This is because I wanted to focus on growth not letters. Worrying about the…


Added by Celeste Hackenberg on June 27, 2013 at 1:09pm — No Comments

The Harvest dance

They galloping like they were riding horses. They twirled with bowls like carrying wine. They moved in congruences. When one arm went up the others followed milliseconds apart. they were peacocks in one dance and warriors in the next. We had the opportunity to see the dance department rehearse for their performance at the UCD Modavi center. Their beauty only matched by their skills. Even after the rehearsal i quivered at the knees. Speechless we could only clap to communicate. When the…


Added by Mike Wong on June 26, 2013 at 7:30pm — No Comments

What’s the ingredients name?

We all sat down and listened to the calligraphy teacher’s lecture. The rain outside is poured. The school was bathed in water. Even the smell of wet concrete smells the same in another country. Water drops hit the window seal dampening a few rough draft paintings placed near them. He spoke in madrin so one of the students from the program translated. He talked about why bamboo is such a popular subject to paint. He explains that the bamboo plant is flexible yet really strong. Bamboo…


Added by Mike Wong on June 25, 2013 at 7:00pm — No Comments

French Culture and the Artistic Process

It is 2am right now. We are going to the Picasso museum tomorrow, I forget where. I will be sure to have proper batteries this time around.. maybe... Taking pictures is difficult. There are so many great things to see!

Today we had our first critique, and I wasn't ready. I am still growing as une artiste, and il est tres difficile to get the ego out of the way when I am putting my in-between progress work on display and I am not yet ready, but this all part of the…


Added by Celeste Hackenberg on June 25, 2013 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

The First Week in Rome

I have been lucky enough to come to Italy for the summer and have been given the chance to see so many historical sites and meet so many great people to travel with. This last week since I arrived has been like a dream come true. Since I was about 8 years old I have wanted to come here and I promised myself that as soon as I was old enough to study abroad in Italy, I would. Seems now I'm at that age 12 years later.

Our program is based in Rome and we are learning about the…


Added by Katie Moinpour on June 25, 2013 at 5:27am — No Comments

the missing bamboo dish

“so if we are right here then the pandas are over there! Lets go!” We started to walk through the zoo until our teacher yelled to us “be back at 1:00”. We all look at each other in confirmation and continue our trek to find the pandas. We had about and hour and a half to explore the Zoo. We stopped by and looked at the tigers, monkeys, rhinos, tropical birds, and even ligers(tigers bred with lions). We were in awe until we found out the zoo was a little bit bigger and the map would perceive.…


Added by Mike Wong on June 24, 2013 at 6:00pm — No Comments

From Palace to Chateau, vis-à-vis. Part II: Mandelieu

I shan't recount all of the details about what has happened since we arrived at the beautiful Mediterraneanside chateau because that is almost a week of stuff, and I am incredibly busy. The most important thing I can say is about my overall experience of being in the program so far (accommodations, unusually rapid friendship development), some things I have noticed about local cultural (myths and all), and what has inspired me most so far, but these are all three also large…


Added by Celeste Hackenberg on June 24, 2013 at 1:37pm — No Comments

The first drink

Me and my roommate relaxed in our hotel room. I looked at him and said “I want to go buy my first drink” He looked at me in his calm and tranquil state. “Sure I think they are having a buy one get one free deal at the bar”. So we got ready, cleaned ourselves up and headed out the room. We walked out the room and walked through the lobby. Outside the rain had become a mist as the streets sparkles with the street lights reflection. The air was moist and cool from the night. We walk to the…


Added by Mike Wong on June 23, 2013 at 11:00pm — No Comments

First days in Edingburgh - Part Two!

I did so much in my first few days here in Edinburgh that I wanted to split up my travels into two different posts. This post conveniently enough has the tour info that I went on in it! For the first half, click here!

After spending time both on my own and with a local friend, I met up with Janice - who is also on the same summer abroad program and was staying at the same hostel! We went on a…


Added by Kaleena Bergfors on June 23, 2013 at 2:38pm — No Comments

Tiny Bowl of Noodles

When I think of a temple i think of a serene place for the spiritually intact to go to rejuvenate their belief. To pray to their religion or to make a donation to the organization. Well I went to one of these temples in shanghai with my class mates and found the temple still took donations...kind of. They were more or less a buying and selling. This temple was smack dab in Yuyuan Market. The temple came first and then the market flooded the area after. At first i didn't even know there was a…


Added by Mike Wong on June 23, 2013 at 1:30pm — No Comments

First Days in SA

I can't believe I'm finally in South Africa! We've been here for about a day now and everyone is attempting to catch up on sleep and become acclimated with the surroundings. It is so beautiful here at the University of Cape Town, I can see Table Mountain from my bedroom window! Right now, I'm at an Internet cafe taking advantage of the free wifi and enjoying a cafe mocha. Later today we are going to take a tour of the Upper campus of the University and then have dinner together later…


Added by Emily Smith on June 23, 2013 at 5:35am — 2 Comments

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