After two weeks of adding and dropping courses, I was able to finalize my courses (at NUS, they are called modules). Since I am a non-graduating exchange student, there was only a select number of modules I could apply for. I was extremely lucky and ended up with 4 modules, which equates to 16 or so hours at NUS. However, I met people that only had 3, which is the bare minimum number of classes you need to maintain your students pass. It was mentioned at orientation at NUS that there is very good chance that you will not get ALL of your ideal schedule or classes if you have a "popular" major, namely business, economics or psychology, but you may end up with some of them. Additionally, you also have the option to submit an appeal form. As a senior, I have a few remaining GCRs left for my major, so I am focusing on courses that relate to specific cultures. My course list includes: Rice, Spices and Trees: Peasants of Southeast Asia, Gender and Society of South Asia, Introduction to Theatre and Drama, and Pre-modern Japan: History and Culture.
Once in a blue moon, I’ll become a planner. Without notice, my attention to prepatory detail will skyrocket. I’ll memorize dates, addresses, routes of travel, alternate routes of travel, weather plans—you name it. I glide through my planned journeys with a Gabby Douglas-like deftness. That said, the moon is rarely blue and it’s even rarer still that I actually slip into planer-mode. More often than naught, I tend to just…go with the flow.
“Buy your plane ticket a few months in advance!” My study abroad advisor warned. I put it off until about a month before I was to show up in Florence. “Be sure to learn a few key Italian phrases before you go!” My friends suggested. I snapped a few photos from my traveller’s companion as I disembarked from my plane in Rome. “Have a plan!” My mentor urged me. I didn’t. Not really.
You see I tend to err on the side of “pfft, it’ll be fine!” because generally speaking, it’s always fine. Trekking through New York to Jersey to get to Newark International was a joy. I met/fell in love with/considered proposing to a gorgeous customs officer during breezed through my layover in Montreal. Sure, I’d bought my tickets and glanced at them in passing a few weeks before I set out to travel. But I definitely hadn’t poured over and memorized them the way a true planner would have. “This,” I thought. “Is going to be a piece of cake.” And it was.
Until I got to Rome.
Hello everyone! I have been here for a little over three weeks and have experienced so much excitement that I cannot simply express it in words. I arrived to the National University of Singapore (NUS) at the end of July and was greeted by a student that currently attends NUS. She helped me find my way back to the university and aided with my check-in process. NUS provided me with housing in their newest addition to campus called University Town, or UTown for short. UTown hosts academic based programs, such as the University Scholars Program, in these residence halls. Each hall appears to have a theme to it, similar to how Thurston Hall is broken up into floors based on academic interests. I currently reside in the Graduate Residences, which is a large high-rise building that provides an excellent view of some of the many buildings of Singapore. The picture in this post is the view from my room on the eighteenth story. I have three suitemates that share the bathroom and living room area; I was delighted to learn that my suitemates are all from different places in the world. They are all seniors; one is from Sweden, another is from Canada, and the last one is from France. So far, it has been a great joy to learn about their cultures and what daily life is like for each of them back home. We talk about anything from stereotypes to healthcare and education systems in their home states. Another added bonus is that each day, I get a mini-lesson on the Swedish language! ...continue reading "Week One- Hello from Singapore!"
I’m less than a day away from leaving the U.S. and I find myself in a bit of an odd position. I’m writing this laying on the hardwood floor of a friend’s apartment in northern Jersey. Now you might be thinking to yourself “Why’s he laying on a wooden floor? That can’t be comfortable.” And you know, you’re right. It really isn’t. I’m down here, you see, to take inventory of the hoarding extravaganza that is my suitcase.
Months ago, when Italy shifted from a “maybe” to a “definitely”, I began to fantasize about the nomadic lifestyle I’d live while abroad. I’d trek across the globe armed with nothing but a simple rucksack and a hunger for worldly adventure. I’d befriend chic gypsies and schmooze my way into state-sponsored soirees with the consulate. I’d throw myself to the wind and like a leaf I’d dance and glide my way across Europe with whimsy and grace. In short, I was going to be amazing.
Thing is though? All of that amazingness is pretty damn difficult to pull off when you’re lugging 100+ pounds of crap on your back.
Hello! And welcome to my blog about all things Buenos Aires. I arrived here last Friday with 10 other GW students participating in the first ever "International Business in Argentina" program. After a weekend of orientation and a full week of classes we are finally starting to get a hang of the city. Another big leap in the familiarization process is that the Subte, the BA equivalent to the DC Metro, is working again after the 10-day-long strike, which resulted in the million (literally a million people) daily commuters who usually use the underground transit further clogging the city's streets and bus systems on their way to and from work. ...continue reading "Bienvenidos a Buenos Aires!"
September 4th: Discuss what study abroad program you are attending and why, what type of volunteer work/research you plan to do abroad
About eight years ago, on an impulse I hardly even remember anymore, I found myself on a rented surfboard in Maine. While my mother nervously watched from the shore, I floated in whitewater surf giddily trying to recreate what I had seen on posters and movies. Of course, my attempts to surf with ease were in vain and I flopped around in the waves endangering myself far more than I was able to impress any onlookers. I collapsed after several hours when the sun had set with sore limbs and rashes which made it uncomfortable to walk. When my mother approached me to assess the damage I begged for a second day. All damage aside, I was hooked.
Such was my indoctrination into the world of surf. While my passion continued for several summers, a busy high school schedule and lack of car, along with a move to Washington DC for college eventually ended my brief affair with surfing. ...continue reading "Valpo Surf Project"