Getting Out of the City

Getting Out of the City

By Katie Ford — Today I was in Helsinki, Finland, but I only saw the city through the windows of a car.  This is super unusual for me because I almost always recommend seeing the city itself before you head outside of it to do other activities.  I think that this happens to be the exception, with no disrespect to Helsinki, which I’m sure is a lovely city.  When traveling, it’s very important to understand the place that you’re visiting,…

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Coming Home and How to Make it Suck Less

Coming Home and How to Make it Suck Less

By Katie Ford — Leaving your study abroad experience may be one of the most difficult things that you have to do whilst studying abroad, and many people don’t realize just how difficult it’s actually going to be until it happens.  If you’ve been abroad for a semester or year, the challenge becomes infinitely greater, as you’ve “set up shop” in your new home for a fairly significant amount of time, and then you’re subsequently forced out of it and…

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What is Culture?

What is Culture?

By Katie Ford — This past weekend I attended a conference in Paris held by the Associate of American Universities in France, and walked away with a handful of fantastic field contacts, and a whole lot of questions that still needed pondering.  The most troublesome, or most interesting, question that I continue to have is the question of culture, and how to best define it. The question, “what is culture?” is one often posed by those working in the field…

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Fighting the Stereotypes

Fighting the Stereotypes

By Katie Ford — I’m traveling between the UK and France today, and as such, I have spent a lot of time sitting on buses and in the airport.  On my journey between Cardiff and Gatwick Airport, I overheard a Welsh man speaking about an “ugly” experience he’d had with several Americans.  The story was one I’ve heard many times before, and went something like this: “They started asking me where I was from.  First they suggested Australia, and I…

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Useful Tools for Language Learning

Useful Tools for Language Learning

By Chelsea Lachman — The ability to speak a language can make traveling and understanding cultures much easier. If you are lucky enough to receive an education involving a foreign language, then most likely you have some basics to whichever language you were taught. But if you never had that opportunity in school and you always wanted to learn, or if you wanted to hone your skills and practice another language, then there are quite a bit of options to pick from. The most…

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A Beginner’s Guide to Becoming an International Student

A Beginner’s Guide to Becoming an International Student

By Katie Ford — Since moving to the UK to do a master’s degree, I find that I’m often asked if I like university in the US or the UK better.  This is one of the hardest questions to answer about my experience in Cardiff because both systems have merit, and there are certainly things that I don’t like about each.  The best way for me to explain the pro’s and con’s of each is to break it down: 1….

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How to Pack for Backpacking

How to Pack for Backpacking

By Katie Ford — I am about to embark on another backpacking trip, this time for 19 days. Whenever I plan these adventures, it never really occurs to me that packing for 19 days with a carry-on bag that will be RyanAir-approved is a lofty task. I seem to have come up with a method that limits the madness, and actually accommodates for my needs while I’m traveling. I’ve looked at other travel gurus’ websites to see what their packing…

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Traveling with Food Limitations

Traveling with Food Limitations

By Chelsea Lachman — Traveling as a young adult is difficult in a few aspects: you have to contend with parents, money, affordability, plus going to a country that speaks a different language adds a whole level of complication to exploring. But no matter how difficult the normal travel scenario may seem, planning and adventuring forth with food sensitivities makes it much more problematic; but don’t be alarmed! It is possible, and will take some extra prep work. Before I…

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