By Rachel Essel
When I studied abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia, the only way for me to get around besides walking was public transportation. If you’re not familiar with St. Petersburg’s geography, the city consists mostly of two main islands and sections of mainland and I lived on one of the islands with my host family. Due to the nearest metro stop to me being closed for remodeling, I had to take mostly buses and trams everywhere which made things a lot more complicated.
The first day of school my host mom actually took me there, and we left while it was still dark out to get on a tram, to go to the next closest metro stop to meet my fellow students where a bus would take us the rest of the way to school. It was so confusing and took so long and then my host mom drops this bomb on me: I won’t actually be taking that route to school, that was just to meet at the correct metro stop the first day. So at the end of the day my host mom takes me out to where I will catch a bus that will take me all the way to school the next morning.
Continue reading The Triumph of Navigating a New Bus System
By Matthew Payton
Let me start off by saying my title is a partial fabrication. Technically, my roommate Daniel barely falls into the international student category; he was born in America and has lived here for almost half his life. More specifically, Daniel grew up in beautiful Simi Valley, CA, but he moved to Shanghai when he was 9 and stayed there until the ripe age of 18. Daniel is half white and half Japanese, so he already knew the struggles of not looking like everyone else. This was nothing though compared to the culture shock he would receive in Shanghai, a place halfway across the world where absolutely no one looked like him. However, the surprising realization to which he eventually came was that those 9 years in Shanghai were the greatest of his life (besides living with me, of course).
This fall semester he is back in Shanghai, experiencing an amazing internship at the prestigious Deloitte Consulting Firm. Anyone would be ecstatic to be employed at this high-profiled company, but Daniel is more focused on the happiness of being back in a little place he likes to call home. I messaged him during his first week of the internship and he talked my ear off about how much he loves being in Shanghai. Only a couple days in, he had already bought seven knock-off but well-made items and had indulged in endless amounts of Yangchun noodles and Sheng Jian.
“And what about the job??” I asked, expecting more gloating about the amazing life he now has.
Continue reading The Tales of My Partly International Roommate
By Jackie Hernandez
I went to Australia to study abroad but my spirit animal was in Bali. The pictures below will display how my encounters with the erratic and highly volatile macaque monkey species perfectly symbolized my emotional and life altering experience in the land down under. One quick thing before I get started, some of my more idiomatic expressions are linked to definitions of those terms. Click on “idiomatic” to understand what I mean. LET’S BEGIN!
UNANTICIPATED REGRET AND CONFUSION ON THE PLANE.
At first, I was super excited to study abroad, but on the plane from LA to Australia I got a little emotional. I was probably receiving nerve damage to my spine from Fiji Airway’s uncomfortable seats, I was exhausted, and I also had just discovered “Blue” by Beyonce and played it on repeat for the entire flight. Continue reading 11 Moments Monkeys Accurately Represented My Study Abroad Experience