July 2013 Blog Posts (26)

Doune Castle - Where Monty Python and the Holy Grail was filmed!

Guys, if you ever go to Scotland GO TO DOUNE CASTLE! First of all, it is a pretty badass 14th century courtyard castle ruins. Secondly, it is only 5 pounds. Thirdly, the audio guide is narrated by Monty Python's Terry Jones and is amazing. Fourthly, it is just awesome to go somewhere where a film you love has been shot! It was well worth the fiver.…


Added by Kaleena Bergfors on July 30, 2013 at 6:00am — No Comments

Adventures in Being Attacked by Nature

This blog post will cover the next couple of days of my adventures with Awena, both days involved being attacked by birds in some way. I don't even know.

Tuesday, 23 July What we intended to see were puffins, but what we actually saw on our boat ride around the Firth of Forth and time…


Added by Kaleena Bergfors on July 29, 2013 at 2:03pm — No Comments

Being Black Abroad


So this is for those of you who are interested in studying abroad and are members of the African Diaspora. Before embarking on any journey, it is important to realize that you will stand out in most any country, except MAYBE Africa. Nevertheless, I encourage everyone to not be limited by such information- you, more than anything, are built to survive (FACT). Being Black in Italy is alot like being Black in the United States: you will have people stare at you and be forced to wonder…


Added by Jerrie Lowe on July 29, 2013 at 4:12am — No Comments

Goodbye Edinburgh, Hello Comrie!

I am so sorry that I haven't posted in some time, things have been pretty crazy and I have not had the time nor the inclination to write. But I am still in Scotland, and will be for another seven days, yay! So here is what I have been up to, somewhat condensed for the less-exciting things.

Thursday, 18 July The last day of class and related goodbyes! I cannot believe that our four weeks has already come to a close as it went by so quickly! Today we watched Braveheart…


Added by Kaleena Bergfors on July 28, 2013 at 3:37am — No Comments

Jerrie meets Europe: Amsterdam for a day

Hey Everyone,

Its Sunday morning here in Italy and fortunately my lack of sleep for the past 2 days (due to travelling) have placed me on schedule with Italian time! Besides a taxi ride and a beautiful view from my apartment rooftop, I have not experienced Italy. But my 11 hour layover in Amsterdam has definitely given me things to talk about! One, Amsterdam is beautiful and I am so happy that my friend and I chose to take advantage of our layover as a free trip to see Holland. Here…


Added by Jerrie Lowe on July 21, 2013 at 2:12am — 1 Comment

Woodland Cemetery (Skogskyrykogarden), in Stockholm. Designed by Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz (1915-1940). The poetry of Woodland's landscape "evokes a Nordic philosophy on nature, life and de…

Woodland Cemetery (Skogskyrykogarden), in Stockholm. Designed by Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz (1915-1940). The poetry of Woodland's landscape "evokes a Nordic philosophy on nature, life and death"(Skogskyrykogarden).  The Way of the Cross leads to the first three of five chapels, The Chapel of Faith, Hope and the Holy Cross, all built in the…


Added by Tanya Eggers on July 19, 2013 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Arthur's Seat... FINALLY!

The rest of the class hiked Arthur's Seat at 6am on 3 July, but I was sick and forbidden by the professor to go (despite my willingness to!). I was devastated to say he least because every single person that I spoke to from Edinburgh told me tat I had to climb Arthur's Seat! Since we have been so busy with the trip to the Highlands and then a weekend in Dublin, at this point I had come to terms with the fact that I was not going to do it.

But that is not what the world had in…


Added by Kaleena Bergfors on July 17, 2013 at 6:37am — No Comments

Weekend Getaway to Dublin, Ireland

The first few days of the program in Edinburgh, Ellen brought up possibly going to Dublin for a weekend because airfare was really cheap. Laura and I decided it would be awesome to go, because we are so close and it easily would cost $200 for airfare, hostel, and food. So we booked our accommodations and invited other classmates to join us - which Basia and Mackenzie did.

So, this past weekend the five of us went to Dublin for a nice little getaway. We flew Ryanair and the flight was…


Added by Kaleena Bergfors on July 17, 2013 at 5:14am — No Comments

Scottish Highlands Adventure, Part Deux

A week ago, I was riding around the Highlands in a yellow "Wild and Sexy" bus in awe of my life and so happy that I made the decision. So much has happened in the past week that I can hardly comprehend that we left for the Highlands a week ago today! This post will be the remainder of the Scottish Highlands trip!

We made our way to Fort Augustus where we would be staying for the next two nights at …


Added by Kaleena Bergfors on July 15, 2013 at 9:30am — No Comments

Chengde, China

Visited the Bishu Shanzhuang (AKA Imperial Summer Villa) in Chengde.  It's an incredibly wonderful place.  There are numerous mountains in its vast expanse, and it's filled with nice lakes and traditional buildings.  It really shows the luxurious lifestyle of the emperors in the past.  What's the most surprising to me is how well the wilderness is preserved within the boundaries of the villa.  The natural landscape is mostly in its original state, and there were deers, racoons, and all sorts…


Added by Jeffrey Wang on July 13, 2013 at 11:00pm — No Comments

Depth and Breadth and Breath and Death

Give me the highs and the lows over dull and mundane any day. I would rather be in the depths of despair than in the confines of comfort. Stability or misery and the opposite of each. The opposite of stability is instability. The opposite of misery is happiness. The opposite of mundane, excitement. The opposite of “okay”? Not okay? Just a little bit less than okay, maybe?

So many of us in our daily lives are searching for a soft place to fall. And sometimes we might actually need to…


Added by Celeste Hackenberg on July 12, 2013 at 8:00am — No Comments

Cultural Excursion #1 (07/04/13)

Today we visited Gyeongbok Palace, Insadong, Bongeunsa Temple, and Coex Aquarium.

Gyeongbok Palace was built around the Joseon Dynasty and remains as as a major tourist attraction today. At the main entrance gate there was a performance of the changing of the guards and after we took pictures with them. Our tour guide took us around and introduced different places to us such as the King/ Queen's residence and the variety of halls. …


Added by Christina Deng on July 11, 2013 at 8:46am — No Comments

Namdaemun Market and Namsan Park (07/03/13)

First we visited Namdaemun Market, which has a bunch of stalls that sell a variety of things. I bought a couple of cute souvenirs at some stalls.

This is Namdaemun Gate. 

Namdaemun Market.

After strolling around for a bit we decided to get…


Added by Christina Deng on July 11, 2013 at 7:55am — No Comments

Scottish Highlands Adventures - Day One

Our class just spent the last three days in the Highlands of Scotland on an adventure that was larger than life on a bright yellow tour bus that read "Haggis Wild and Sexy" while I uttered the words "This is not real life" at least one hundred times. It will be tough to try to find the words to describe this adventure, but I will do my best! We do so much in 72 hours that in the effort of brevity I will break it up because we did SO MUCH on the first day!

We left…


Added by Kaleena Bergfors on July 11, 2013 at 7:30am — No Comments

A Moveable Feast

Time is so fickle! Something that is inevitable in a month-long trip is that you have a lot of activities packed in and you get a little rundown. You also find yourself so wrapped up in the moment and so busy that when you stop to think, you realize all of the wonderful moments that are now in your past. The trouble with time is that we only have so much of it, and it seems we are either racing against it or racing past it. I have been looking back at the pictures in La Napoule and thinking…


Added by Celeste Hackenberg on July 10, 2013 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Seafood Dinner (07/01/13)

One of our Korean classmates suggested we have a traditional Korean seafood dinner so we did. There were a variety of different seafoods like fish, octopus, sea urchin, sea cucumber, and shellfish. I (and many others) disliked the sea urchin because there was a slight bitter taste to it and the texture was slimy and weird. The sea cucumber was interesting, there wasn't much taste to it, but it was chewy and it tasted good with the gochujang (red pepper paste). When I was told we would be…


Added by Christina Deng on July 8, 2013 at 8:00am — 1 Comment

First week in Beijing

After all the prep work and the excruciatingly long flight, I have finally arrived in Beijing.  When I got off the plane and headed along with the stream of people to the customs, I didn't really know what to expect.  The last time I was in China was when I was 12, it's been too long.  

I can't believe it's already been a week, time sure flies here.  The school dorms here are a lot nicer than I expected, It;s rather roomy and even has a cleaning lady who comes every other day.  Didn't…


Added by Jeffrey Wang on July 7, 2013 at 10:30am — No Comments

Defining Excellence in the World's Greatest City

Is Paris beautiful or dingy? Is it the ideal city we imagine it to be or is it dirty and disgusting? This is an argument I had with a classmate last night. One that got so heated that I ended up walking home alone at 4 in the morning. But, if there is anything I have learned on this trip, it is that each interaction is an opportunity—to further your understanding of…


Added by Celeste Hackenberg on July 7, 2013 at 1:42am — 2 Comments

Mirth, Myth, Mystery

Paris is amazing. More amazing than I can begin to tell you. It is so lively! People are out every day and night actively engaging with one another. There are so many different neighborhoods (called arondissements). It feels gigantic and so alive. This program has really taken us to two sort of extremes in France. In Mandelieu, a town of around 30,000 people, I shopped at the same market every day, there was one ATM, and we got to know the owner of the wine bar we frequented personally.…


Added by Celeste Hackenberg on July 5, 2013 at 9:35am — 1 Comment

Underground Vaults

This evening my class went on a walking Ghost Tour of the Edinburgh Vaults under South Bridge. Again with Mercat Tours, our professor designed a custom private tour for us with our tour guide Ruth. 

I have always been interested in the supernatural (one of the reasons that I chose this particular program!), and interestingly enough…


Added by Kaleena Bergfors on July 5, 2013 at 3:21am — 1 Comment

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