End of Semester Abroad, start of vacation!

I have finished my last exam, checked out of the apartment, got on a train and am now in Paris until my honeymoon begins tomorrow!  The semester was an interesting experience to say the least.  While I was different than most of the students here, I didn’t go out or travel anywhere while I was in Rennes.  Instead I saved my money for my vacation now so that I could have more fun now.  The best aspect of ESC-Rennes was possibly the mashing of different cultures together into one school.  There were people from North America, South America, Africa, Middle East, Russia, China, Taiwan, the only continents not represented were Australia and Antarctica.  While many students were treating the semester abroad as one continuous party, there were a lot of very driven and intelligent people in each class.  It was these mashing of cultures that made French Culture an extremely interesting course.  We were able to look at hot button issues from the angles of many different cultures and it was truly an eye opening experience.

If I had one complaint about the entire process, if I had to choose only one, it would be the fact that you don’t know how you did on your exams or in your classes for months after completing them.  I won’t find out anything until February or March, and that is at the earliest.  If I were to of failed any of my exams or classes, I would have to come back to Rennes to resit for the exams.  So for two or three months I won’t know if I will have to come back or not.  While I highly doubt that I would have to do that, I studied and feel comfortable with all of my questions that I answered, it is still a bit unnerving to have to start another semester without having known how I did on the last one.

Of course, the way they have courses lined up is difficult to wrap your head around coming from our system.  Some classes meet only once a month!  I had one course where I had two weekends in the entire semester and that was it.  Ten hours of the same class, Friday and Saturday is quite difficult.  Also, the language course selection process was also quite aggravating, it seemed to be unorganized, but once in the courses the first week of confusion was no longer an issue.  As with every college experience, you truly get out of it what you put in.  If you wish to party and skate by until exams, then you may not get as much from the courses as intended.  However, if you study and do your own research in the topics and truly put forth an effort in each course it is a very beneficial experience, one I highly recommend.  Maybe other people should have a happy medium of studying and partying as opposed to my only studying, but that’s for each to determine on their own.  If you are going to go to ESC-Rennes, I highly recommend taking European Geopolitics.  It is an incredibly difficult course, especially coming from the US without any prior background information into the EU or its history, but also extremely worthwhile especially so for International Business students that would like to work in Europe.  The professor is demanding, but that is how you get the best out of your students.  Just as an example, my final exam for that course I wrote nine pages on three topics.  Almost three pages per topic.  It was tough, but I know much more than I did going in.

I hope more US students find this small business school in Rennes and attend it, it is a nice hidden gem in France.

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Wrapping Up

First and most importantly, wow. The end of term really snuck up on me, and its weird to know that its over now.

Exeter has really become to feel like home, the weird things people say started to become normal, and now knowing that its going to change gives me a weird feeling as I tried really hard to assimilate into the British culture.

Overall, I really feel that the past 4 months have really shaped me and have allowed me to grow as a student, and as an individual. Before leaving, I had always lived on campus, and was still in that campus/school mentality, always on campus. Now that I finally got a flat outside of campus in the middle of town, having to do a lot of grocery shopping, cookings, and walking all the way up the hill that is Exeter to campus really gave me the feeling of being away from it all.

As far as school goes, I really tried to take modules that interested me, as I was free to choose any modules I wanted as all I need to graduate are electives. I decided to take economics electives as it is very interesting, and can be applied to my major coursework. The most interesting module I took was called International Political Economy, where the bulk of the class was discussing why different ideologies were valid and invalid, and was a really interesting course, even though the reading could be dry at times, as reading about the economy of mid 1800s, and the impact it had on different classes based on a plethora of increasingly complex lenses can’t be spiced up too much.

I also took two classes online, so I was pretty busy with work most of the semester. However, I still made sure to make time for walking around town, and my main traveling around Europe.

As for the time between now and the beginning of January, I will be traveling around Europe on my last trip. I will then finish the term properly by going to London for New Years.

I will be in Italy for a week, visiting Rome, Florence, Pisa, Venice & Milan. Then, I’m off to Krakow Poland to go snowboarding, and then off to Berlin. After Berlin, I’ll be finishing the mainland Europe trip in Barcelona before returning to Exeter for a day before New Years. I’m not sure what I’ll do in Exeter on my last day, but I’m sure I’ll think of something. After watching the fireworks in London, I’ll be in London for a day before returning to the magical land of Chipotle.

Returning to my favorite fast food places will be a trip on its own the first week I return. Honestly, the McDonald’s here is a lot better, so I will have less of a desire to eat there once I return.

After moving into my new apartment in Tampa, I’ll have to take my three exams during the first week of classes. I was pretty worried before because UK assessments are different in that they are usually made up of 2-3 essays in a two hour session. But, after getting pretty decent scores on my mid term essays, I feel more confident, and have a better understanding of what the professors are looking for.

There aren’t a lot of things I would change of the past few months. All the awkward moments where I either did not understand the lingo of some Londoner, or completely went full Disney-Tourist and started using hand motions while using native tongue while trying to interact with people in Paris, it was all a learning experience.

Anyone considering to travel abroad, especially study abroad should totally take any opportunity to do so. It may seem daunting and expensive when you plan it all out, but with some scholarships and frugalness, all of the amazing experiences of living abroad and being able to travel to London and Paris in a few hours on train are accessible.

I feel like this entire experience has been for the best, and it has really been the best time of my life.

I feel that now, having travelled for a long time at a young age, I will be able to better focus on school and my career once I get back.

 

For the last time,

Cheers1 2

Last Blog

 

Three More Weeks

Today I attended my last class at Exeter, therefore, signaling the end of my journey here in England. Although I am done with classes, I will not be heading home until December 31st. Please do not ask me what I was thinking when I was purchasing this ticket. But the goal is for me to make it home to my family for the New Year. To celebrate the end of classes, I will be traveling to London on Thursday and from there heading to Paris!!! Although I have been through London more than four times, I have not yet visited. Besides traveling, I will be studying for finals, which I will be taking back home on January 7th.

My Trip Overall

Studying abroad has been one of the best experiences of my life. I had the opportunity to travel, make memories with great friends, and most importantly learn about myself. As I have previously mentioned in my blog, it was a long journey but I am glad I did not give up along the way because it was all worth it. The journey to England has taught me to be persistent, and most importantly to rely on my faith. I will recommend to any college student to study abroad because it is a great opportunity to learn about yourself, travel, and of course study!!!

Outcome:

1) I was never one to believe that distance makes the heart grow fonder but this trip has taught me otherwise. I have never missed my family and friends this much. Therefore, I am looking forward to seeing them.

2) I learned to enjoy my own company. This does not sound as bad as you think. The fact I did not know anyone when I first came to England, I learned to actually enjoy spending time alone.

3) I realized all the things I took for granted at home such as the Bullrunner. I never climbed so many hills in my life.

4) During my exchange program, a lot of students were amazed at the fact that I was from the States. Soon after learning I was from the States, they often asked questions like, “Have you been to LA?” When I told them that I have never been to LA, they were so shocked. Their reaction made me realize that I should visit what is in my own “backyard”. There are many places in the States that I wish to visit upon my return.

 

I Will Be Missing ….

So today I was thinking about the things that I will miss about my trip and it is sad to say that 89.9 percent of my list consist of food names/ restaurants. I will definitely miss touring different countries and the life that I had in the UK. Although I was only here for about 4 months, I started having a routine, which made it start feeling like home. I will also miss the people I have met at Exeter.

 

Thanks for reading my blog :)

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Tokyo!

So my travels to Tokyo were amazing. I went with a group of eight girls so we had an entire hostel room to ourselves and it only cost about 30 dollars per person per night. When going to Tokyo, you cannot get much better than that. It made it even better that we were in the middle of Asakusa, which is an area that has plenty of places to go and is easy to travel to other areas within Tokyo. I would recommend spending more than four days in Tokyo though. We were rushing each day in order to fit everything in and we were still not able to do anything. One thing about Japan is that you can spend months exploring night and day the country and never see everything. There are enough temples, natural beauties, shopping, and food that can keep you occupied for your entire life. However, we were able to do quite a bit!

We arrived to Tokyo later in the evening so we decided to go to the Skytree in Asakusa. This building is one of the largest in the world and makes all the business buildings around it look like children. I did not go into the building because I have a pretty large fear of heights and it was about 2000 yen to go to the middle, an addition 1000 yen to go to the top. One of the girls went though, and the rest of us got Coldstone (finding a Coldstone was an amazing discovery to us all) and took pictures of the surrounding Christmas town. It is fun to see the decorations in Japan for Christmas even though it is not really a big holiday.

The next day me and a couple other girls went to the Square Enix café in Shinjuku (Since I am such a huge fan of Final Fantasy), explored the area and then headed over to Roppongi to shop at the Pokemon center which had a large selection of products and Pokemon fans in it. For people who love Pokemon, this is definitely the place to be. But not if you do not have any money. After that we walked over to see Tokyo Tower which is built to look like the Eifel tower and also a temple that was relatively close to the tower. It was kind of funny since a tree was planted at this particular temple, thanks to a Mr. George Bush…

The third day we got sushi! This was my favorite part because I got to try some top-quality sushi which was amazing! I tried many new types of fish as well such as horse mackerel. My favorite was the different types of tuna though. The fatty tuna is definitely a must try because it quite literally just melts in your mouth. Delicious! After that we went to Shibuya to see the famous crossing, Yoyogi park which is a large park in the middle of busy Tokyo that is quiet and peaceful. It is amazing to walk in there because you would never think you were in a city with all the trees and families playing there. There are plenty of street performances as well. We saw a mime, street artist, and a bunch of greasers dancing. Yes I said greasers… Such as from grease. We also went to Harajuku which has a large area of shops which specializes in Lolita, punk, and “gangster” clothing.

Overall the trip was exhausting but very much worth it! I wish I had more time! Also We were interviewed twice by a Japanese TV show while we were there haha….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 20141130_120119 20141129_190657

日本に住んでいるなら、東京に行かなくてはいけないものですよ!(While you’re living in Japan, it is common knowledge that one must go to Tokyo, you know)

Although I never advise skipping school, especially when your Japanese classes take attendance for a grade, there’s just some places you have to go when the school never gives you holidays off. My friends: Maria, Giada, and I saved up our days for the end of November into the beginning of December. It was the Goldilocks Time for taking time off, since we always seemed to have tests, quizzes, or papers due. There’s no way we were going to leave Japan without visiting this city. Yes. The place we were set on exploring was the capital of the country, Tokyo.

We bought a ticket through the airline Peach, only costing us about $80 round trip. We took the express train to the Kansai Airport (foreshadowing for the next month :( ) to get there. The terminal was extremely small but comfy.

heading off

Getting ready to board the airplane

We arrived in Tokyo around 5 pm but in Japan this time of year means that it already feels like 10 pm. After eating gyoza at a restaurant and checking into our hostel, we headed to the Tokyo Tower. They had a Christmas display going on right below it as well. It’s not that expensive to go up (compared with the Skytree). We even got our picture taken for free in front of the Christmas display in the tower.

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This same night we headed to Odaiba, an artificial island in Tokyo. Maria was set on seeing the FujiTV Buidling (due to the fact that is it destroyed in a Digimon Movie). I actually saw a miniature Statute of Liberty there, for reasons….

odaiba

View from the island

New York?!

New York?!

The next day we headed to Sunshine City (a shopping place) to go to J-World. Here you can experience exhibits, games, and the actual (dressed-up) characters of your favorite shonen manga. This includes the big hitters like Naruto, Bleach, One-Piece, Dragon Ball and Haikyuu. I saw some stuff from the current anime I’m watching, World Trigger, as well.

Cute little display at Sunshine City

Cute little display at Sunshine City

j-world

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After this, it was raining so we looked at some anime shops, ate lunch, and saw Kiseijuu: The Movie at a cinema near us. We have watch parties for this anime back at the Seminar House, because it is so great to watch with friends. Once we left, it got a little darker outside and we headed onto Artnia: The Square Enix Shop.

artnia

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listen

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pancakes

Giada ordered the Caramel Pancakes

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The Chocolate Parfait (with Cloud’s Buster Sword)

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The Chocolate Buster Sword

The next day we all went to Harujuku and Shibuya. We saw the Hachiko statue that commemorates his loyalty. If you don’t know the story of Hachiko, here’s a link: http://www.gojapango.com/tokyo/shibuya_hachiko_statue.htm.

We shopped around a bit before I left the others for my reservation at the Final Fantasy Cafe: Eorzea in Akihabara. I had to reserve a spot early through Lawson, a 7-11 type of chain in Japan, because the spots were filing up fast. I made an account on Lawson and actually got a points card from them and used this to reserve my ticket. The reservation comes up with a drink from the cafe. This cafe is a conjunction between Square-Enix and Pasela Resorts.

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Eorzea

When I came with my reservation I received a menu and my choice of a character-based coaster. I chose Warrior because this class is my favorite. The cool thing about the cafe is that every time you order something though, you get another coaster. These coasters are nice too, not flimsy at all. The cafe only does 4 segments 2 hours each a day and it’s a cross between a tour and a restaurant because of this. I got in the 2:00 pm one and listened to the instructions about the cafe. I could take photos, but no videos for copyright reasons.

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The Pasela Resorts where the Eorzea Cafe is

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The beautiful Eorzea Menu

One could actually play Final Fantasy 14 while they ate as well. Here’s some of the decorations below:

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With my complementary drink I  got from my ticket, I ordered the Petrification Drink. This one was great because once you drink it:

 

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You get to this on the bottom:

 

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Here’s some of the other things I ordered:

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The Chocobo Quiche

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High Elixir Drink (had some jello like substance in it)

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The High Potion (was actually really sweet)

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The Cactuar Dessert with Green Tea Mochi and Sherbert

The guys at the bar let my take photos of their food too. One guy literally ordered almost everything off of the menu.

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The Explosion Dessert

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Moogle Honey Toast

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Leviathan Themed Blue Ramen

After my solo adventure I met up with Giada and Maria again and explored Akihabara till we got exhausted and went back to the hostel.

It was another rainy day and our last full one in Tokyo. We headed to the Sensoji Temple and its market. Giada raved about the Taiyaki she tried here a couple of years ago so we ordered some. I got the chocolate one, and it was delicious! Taiyaki is a Japanese fish-shaped cake usually filled with something like azuki beans, custard, or chocolate but it’s not limited to just that. After this we had fun and shopped around a bit more till it was time to head off to the Studio Ghibli Museum.

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We arrived at Studio Ghibli in Mikata (outside of Tokyo) rather easily.  For those of you that don’t know Studio Ghibli makes animated movies, some famous being ones being Spirited Away, Laputa: Castle in the Sky, Totoro, and Princess Monoke. I grew up watching these movies so it was nostalgic for me. Again, I reserved my tickets ahead of time through the Lawson ticket machine. This is a good idea if you plan to go too.  You can’t take any pictures or movies inside the Museum but can outside. Also, we got to see an original 12 minute film by Studio Ghibli about an Egg Princess and her Protector Breadman. It sounds weird, I know, but it was cute. I grabbed myself a pin at the gift store, squeezed my way out of the crowd, and with my friends headed to the Straw Hat Cafe there. It serves all organic food and I decided to get the walnut latte and whole grain bread.

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Well thanks for sticking with my so far. If it was a lot for you, it definitely was for me! Till next time! まってね!

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フクロウ喫茶店や公園や卵焼き (Owl Cafe, a park, and Tamagoyaki)

I heard that there were a couple different owl cafes in Osaka. Yes, you read correctly, owls in a cafe. This doesn’t mean that we eat the owls however, but while we drink (just drink no food) a beverage we can hold and look at some different types of owls. I invited my gang to take a look and have fun. It was relatively cheap to get in (1000 Yen, about a little less than $10) to get a complementary drink for the owl experience. We went to the cafe called Owl Family and made sure to get in early so we could put our name on the list. Once we entered, we ordered our drinks, and explored. After our hour was up, most of us decided to head to Sweets Paradise , a chain of restaurants that for about 1500 Yen can get you unlimited curry, sweets, and pasta for about 2 hours, adjacent to Umeda . I must have gained around 5 pounds.

owl cafe

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My sensei told me one day in class about this huge park called Yamadaike-koen down the road a little ways from Gaidai that also had a lot of cats in it. Once I heard that, I definitely wanted to go. Giada and I actually got out of our class early one day because we had a guest lecturer come, so I asked if she wanted to see the park. It was so beautiful and yes there were many cats. Most of them wanted nothing to do with us, save two little friendly ones once we were leaving. They so cuddly and although my allergies kicked in, it was worth every pet.

park 3

park

park 2

 

The week that I was preparing to go to Tokyo was めっちゃ忙しかった (really busy) not only for having to do the homework ahead of time, but also there were a lot things that I was invited to do with my Japanese friends. One day I ate dinner at the Italian restaurant on campus in the ICC building with my home visit partner and the next day I went with my speaker partner and our friend to make Tamagoyaki (卵焼き) rolls. Tamagoyaki is an egg omelet rolled and often cut into pieces to put into sushi. We watched Cinderella in Japanese (surprisingly audio was in Japanese but the songs were still in English) as we made our Tamagoyaki, rolled them into seaweed,rice, and fish sausage (?) to make Anpanman’s face. Anpanman is basically a famous cartoon hero in Japan whose head is made out of bread. Mine ended up looking obese in the end though…

tamagoyaki 2

tamagoyaki 3

tamagoyaki

My finished product, an obese Anpanman. I have brought dishonor on me, my family, and my cow (Mulan reference if you didn't get it)

My finished product, an obese Anpanman. I have brought dishonor on me, my family, and my cow (Mulan reference if you didn’t get it)

Next time on Shelby’s Adventures: Tokyo

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Exam Week Preparation

I’ve been exercising my writing hand for the upcoming exams here in Rennes.  Unlike many common exams at USF, three of my exams will be essay format.  One of which it is expected to write for about three hours straight.  Followed after a two hour break into another two hours of writing essays.  Five hours in one day of writing essays, whew my hand will have cramps by the time the exams are over!

In our pre-departure briefing we were told to figure out how students at the host university prepare for exams.  See what they do in preparation and try to follow their practices.  This is a great tip for those getting ready to travel to a new education system.  The US is filled with multiple choice, scantron, bubble in the correct choice exams.  Every semester at USF you will most likely have at least one exam like that.  The rest of the world does things differently.  Papers, essays, and discussions so far have be the main grading points for all of my classes.  With the final exams being one short answer with an essay, and three essay format exams.  The common approach of answer two of the three questions given is being used.

I hate to say it, but I am only truly concerned about one exam.  I have been, and will continue to focus almost all of my efforts onto studying for my second exam.  Three hours to answer three questions, and it is going to be rough.  One of the more engaged students in class emailed the professor an example answer to one of the example prompts that we were given.  After much research online, effort placed into truly dissecting the question and its ultimate goal of an answer, he provided it to the professor to see what he thought.  The student was extremely proud of his effort, thought it was possibly the best answer he could have come up with for this question, and was dismayed when he was told it was a grade “D” answer because he did not cover one of the key topics for the question.  This of course had the rest of the class dumbstruck wondering how on earth they can pass an exam when even with utilizing the internet and searching for answers he received a “D” and we will have to answer the questions from memory!

Of course afterwards the professor broke down how he could have improved the answer.  He said simply including the key topic and explaining how that works would have bumped him up from a “D” to a “B/A” range.  So, for the next week I will be pouring over my notes and scouring the internet on this topic so that I can have as much information as possible and be as prepared as I can be for this one exam of the four.

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Interviews and Weekend Travels

The last couple of weeks have been pretty stressful, usually filled with long nights and last minute trips to cities around the UK.

So the key thing that I’ve been occupied with for the last few weeks have been interviews for various positions in New York and around Florida. Since I’m abroad, I have had to take all of my interviews over the phone which is new for me, and took some getting used to during my first interview.

So the big question now is where I’m going to for the summer as some of these jobs are in New York. Overall, the whole process has been pretty stressful, as attempting to tell a very well off banker why you’re a good fit for their company can be quite daunting when you’re a college student simulating what they actually do.

A couple of weeks ago, we decided to take a day trip to Oxford to check out the University and walk around the historic city.

Upon arrival on campus, my first question was: Where’s the University? The city of Oxford and the University are basically one in the same once you get to the center of campus. Most colleges are housed within old churches around the city, giving a weird feeling of being within one of the most prestigious universities in the world, while being across from a McDonald’s.

We took a guided foot tour around the various colleges, and learned a lot about what it takes to be admitted to a variety of the colleges. The most daunting of which is the All Souls College where one has to write an entire timed essay based on one word like “Water” or “Faith.”

Getting to tour famous buildings like the Radcliffe Camera was cool because unlike more historical buildings you go to see, this was actually in use by students. The Camera is basically a bid study room for students, making me feel like my frequented library isn’t quite up to par.

Sure being an alumni of Oxford basically assures you’ll be good once you’re out of college, but honestly, the thing that really attracted me to the city in general was the fact that they had a boba store. I was going into boba withdraw since I haven’t had any since London a couple of months ago, so to be able to buy 4 for the trip back was pretty special.

After returning, I dived back into my interview schedule along with preparing for two presentations for some on my classes. Saying that I’ve been quite busy the last few weeks would be an understatement.

Then, last weekend we headed to Cardiff in Wales to check out the Castle and the Christmas market, even though its still November…

We were confused as to where the castle was when we first arrived since there is a very large wall surrounding it, meaning you are unable to spot in until you’re actually in the complex.

After taking a few too pictures, we headed out to the Christmas market where we had some authentic German food even though we’re still in the UK.

Also, there was a Rugby match between Wales and New Zealand that day, so there were thousands of drunk Welsh people being rowdy throughout our stay, which I think gave us a good look into the Welsh way of life.

After returning, I’ve been working on some projects for my online classes that I’m taking while I’m here, and preparing for more interviews. One of which was via Skype which was nice, since its a lot easier to connect with someone when you can read their body language throughout.

Schools is over in two weeks, meaning that the cramming will commence once I finish these projects in the next couple of days. It’s pretty crazy that we’ve been here such a long time already, and honestly, I’m getting a bit upset that its almost over.

Anyway, we’re currently planning our winter break trip to Italy, Austria, Germany, Spain, and possibly Portugal. I’m still holding out hope for Greece, but it would prove to be a bit expensive since its not in Western Europe.

Fun thing about UK universities is that finals are after the break, so guess what I’ll be worrying about while on vacation…

 

Until next time,

CheersIMG_5817 IMG_2693 IMG_5721 IMG_5783

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Winter is Coming… to South Korea

I hope you all appreciate my Game of Thrones quote; I thought it was quite clever. Anyways, the end of November is here and in South Korea that means that Winter is quickly approaching, as well as the cold winter temperatures. Before leaving Florida I was informed of South Korea’s cold temperatures but feel that I was misinformed. I’ve learned that winter in South Korea begins in December; however, the temperature begins to change in the middle of October. I came to South Korea knowing that I would experience summer, fall, and brief winter temperatures, but seeing that it began to grow much, much colder in the middle of October I realized that I would not have enough clothes to combat the cold. So, I have been picking up random articles of clothing for winter that catch my eye or that I feel I will need to be able to survive in relative warmth until the end of December.

One thing that I love about Korea is that you can buy almost anything on the street or subway. There are street shops everywhere and the owners of the shops are very willing to sell you their products. In most places you can find clothing for all seasons for cheap prices. Last week I bought a beanie for 5 dollars; one that looked similar in color, shape, and quality to a beanie I saw in a department store (that was also triple the price). You can find beanies, gloves, scarves, winter shorts/skirts, pajamas, hoodies, and occasionally coats for as cheap as 5, 10, 15, or 20 dollars. I have noticed though that the clothes bought on the street, though they are cheap in price they are relatively good quality, do not hold up as well as clothes I have bought in actual stores. (I washed a shirt I bought from a street vendor and after three wears the seam started to unravel). You get what you pay for I suppose but I think it is still worth it since it is so cheap, and I’m only here for four months time.

If shopping among the street vendors is not your thing, the clothing doesn’t match your style, or you want something of a higher quality that won’t tear down as easily then be happy to know that there are department stores all over Seoul. There are department stores such as Hyundai close to Yonsei Campus and the clothing there is priced much as it would be back home for name brand clothing. South Korea also has several foreign brand name stores around Seoul such as: Forever21, H&M, and Dickies (as well as a few others). The clothing in the American brand stores are also reasonably priced and similar to ones you would find back home.

I’ve shopped in some of the American brand clothing stores here as I find the American style more appealing than Korean fashion style for women. The Korean womens’ fashion style often features lace, tights, polka-dots, fake fur, and generally a very, very feminine styles, which I do not feel fits my particular style. I have observed Korean women walking to school in 5 or 6 inch heels, fancy dresses, and the works and while I like the more feminine style I just don’t feel it is appropriate for a student (maybe it is the American mindset to need an event or some reason to get THAT dressed up). As for styles, you will see many people who are all expressing a sense of collectivism in that they will wear the same styles that are dignified as ‘in’, the hip-hop style is also very popular here, but overall there are many funky and uniquely styled clothing that one can find to express ones’ own personality or style.

So, if you are coming to Korea you have two choices: either pack enough clothing for the entire time you are here or just buy clothing once you arrive. I will give one warning though, finding clothing that fits can be a problem if you are too tall or over weight. (I am 5’2” and 117 pounds and still had a hard time finding pants or shorts to wear). You may want to be selective and bring your own pants or shorts or skirts but purchase shirts here if you having a liking for the Korean fashion style.

 

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Fall in Japan

Last weekend me and some friends went to Kyoto to view the leaves. They were absolutely beautiful but the area we went to was packed! We were stuck in a huge group of people, all moving slowly together through narrow streets. We were able to do lots of shopping though and I got some high quality tea and some Attack on Titan merchandise. This weekend me and a group of friends are going to Tokyo which is super exciting! Here are some pictures! :) 20141122_130430 20141122_130400 20141122_165718 20141122_165721 20141122_165832 20141122_165849 20141122_180019 20141122_180048 20141122_180230 20141122_181652 20141122_180726

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