April, 2015 | Reciprocal Exchanges Blog

April has come and gone in the blink of an eye. Group projects and exams have taken up my time and I can’t hardly believe that I am more than halfway done with my exchange. This time last year Vienna was just a dream and I can’t believe I’ve already lived here for 3 months.

This month I had to buckle down and put work into the real reason why I am in Europe. With so much going on around me and so many places still to be visited it was difficult to get into the mindset of working. The way I scheduled my classes I spent most of the last few weeks in the classroom all day Tuesday-Friday. I will admit, the courses I selected have been much more difficult than I expected. Thankfully, though, after June 3rd I will be done and ready to keep exploring this beautiful city as well as more of Europe!

From the experience of my friends and myself I have learned that here at WU classes range in difficulty from low-intensive to fairly challenging and fast-paced classes. When studying here, it is incredibly important to keep up with your work especially in group project heavy classes. I got the experience of having a project group in my International Business class with all Austrian members and it was really interesting to work with them and get to know them better!

Of course not all of my time has been spent on school, though. I have put in quite a bit of time to learn German this semester. With my Tandem Language Learning partner and through classes I have gone from knowing absolutely nothing to having a very basic understanding of the language. There is nothing more exciting than, after months of having no idea what is ever going around you, being able to pick up a little bit of the conversation the people on the U-Bahn are having or actually knowing what a sign says. It is a very complex and confusing language with extremely long words but I have learned to appreciate it nonetheless!

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17013751970_c616e02e8c_mAfter the voyage across Europe that was Easter Break, I decided to take a break from traveling outside of Austria. I love going to different countries but I am living in Vienna and I feel like I want to explore as much of this city as possible! Picnics at Museumsquartier, runs around Schönbrunn Palace, hiking to the top of the Vienna mountains, enjoying some delicious Wiener Schnitzel  and exploring a few of the museums this city has to offer just name a few of the cool things I’ve gotten to do. I love the beauty and the culture of Vienna, however, one of my new favorite things about it is the Prater. Prater is an amusement park located right next to the WU Campus. There is nothing like getting out of a stressful class and being able to walk just a couple hundred feet to a rollercoaster to help let go.

April was jam-packed and exciting and I cannot wait to see what May has in store!

 

 

Categories: 2015, Austria, Reciprocal Exchange

I didn’t spend all that much time in Austria this month.  I spent about half the month in Italy and Greece, then two weeks back in Vienna, and now I am in Budapest again.  I am definitely missing my friends at this point in the exchange.  I have made new friends but I am missing my best friends back home.  Luckily, two of them live in Europe already so it’s easy to visit!  I am completely comfortable in Vienna now.  My passport, wallet, and money were stolen while traveling and I had to get everything back when I returned to Vienna.  I think that really helped me get out of my comfort zone.  I wouldn’t normally go to the police office or other ministry offices, so having to do that made me appreciate the country more for their services as well as become more acclimated.  Thankfully, everything is back to normal but it did take awhile.  I am avoiding the thought of leaving.  I never count things down but rather try to live in the moment as much as possible.  I don’t really think about my time ending here because I know I will be back and have the opportunity to live abroad again.

Categories: 2015, Austria, Reciprocal Exchange

Howdy!

March and April flew by for me in Strasbourg! I went with a couple friends to Normandy, Amsterdam, South of France and spent a couple weekends in Strasbourg. I just got back from my spring break trip to Italy with a few friends. Italy was amazing, we stayed in Sorrento (on the southern coast) and took a day trip to Capri. We also stopped in Rome and Florence for a few days. I always get asked which city or country is my favorite, but that question is hard because they are all extremely different! In Italy I ate way too much pizza and gelato but it was definitely worth it. Hands down one of the best trips of my life.

Finals week has quickly approached and I am lucky to only have one presentation and one final.  April was weird because my last class was on the 8th, and then I won’t have anything else until the 21st. For me, all of my classes are over with the exception of some form of assessment that will determine my final grade. I have definitely gotten used to group work and writing papers with other people, something I had not done much of before.  The school system is still the same, the administrators are slow to do anything but I have gotten used to it. I have become friends with a girl that studies and lives in Strasbourg full time and it is interesting to hear her talk about the university. The organizations are very different than the organizations we have at A&M. There is an organization for international students, sports, arts and that is about it. To elect new officers a group of people hold “campaigns”, which basically means lets see who can throw the best party or set up the best afternoon activity at school. One day a group of people running for office brought a moon jump and had a BBQ in the courtyard.

My family is here, so they will be with me in Strasbourg for the next few days and then we will travel to Greece and Sweden and then I will go home. It is definitely a bittersweet feeling. I miss things about home, but I have come to love Strasbourg and the people here more than I ever thought I would. The flowers and trees are now blooming here and it is enjoyable to walk outside. I have started to eat outside more and more.

My advice for anyone even slightly considering studying abroad: do it. I promise you will not regret it. I have made friends here that I know will last a lifetime and I am so sad even thinking about leaving them. It is crazy how close you get to people in such a short time. I have been able to see so much of the world and have probably learned more traveling than in the classroom. Life experiences are something that you cannot put a price on.

Categories: 2015, France, Reciprocal Exchange

For this entry I’ll share some things I’ve learned regarding German culture. First, I think it’s important to refute the misconception that Germans are unfriendly and abrasive. Most that I’ve met just don’t open up right away. But they are just as friendly and enthusiastic (if not more so) than any American once you get to know them! And they get just as crazy about sports, especially their beloved fußball team 😉

Deutschland v. Australia in Kaiserslautern, March 25

Deutschland v. Australia in Kaiserslautern, March 25

 

Oh, the Germans and their beer

Oh, the Germans and their beer

One of the first things I noticed that was a bit different than what I’m used to, is that Germans love to go out drinking together. Beer is so ingrained into the German culture that it is a given at any event. Also, since the legal drinking age is 16 years old, it seems even more ubiquitous as I explored Germany. One example of all-out, don’t-stop, marathon-partying that I experienced was Carnival.

Karneval- Day 1, Düsseldorf!

Karneval- Day 1, Düsseldorf!

Technically beginning on the 11th of November, the Carnival season is a merry, costumed celebration (temporarily suspended during Advent and Christmas) that really picks up momentum before Lent in the spring, after Weiberfastnacht (Fat Thursday). The main events are the parades and partying on Rosenmontag (Rose Monday), two days before Ash Wednesday. So, the German students gathered us Tauschies (exchange students) at the train station at 8am on Monday to make our way to Cologne. We all boarded the train in our costumes (you absolutely MUST wear a costume) for the hour long ride to the Carnival capital of Germany. I might add that the train was already littered with party paraphernalia and bottles…clearly some people were celebrating even earlier…or never went home to sleep!

Karneval- Day 2

Karneval- Day 2

Karneval- Day 3, Cologne!

Karneval- Day 3, Cologne!

It was an exciting day of immense crowds (the entire city was bustling with thousands upon thousands of people), amazing costumes (characters and creatures in every color and variety imaginable—we spotted at least 15 Waldo’s) never ending beer, and a parade that lasted more than four hours!! Those Germans have amazing stamina when it comes to celebrating 😀

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The same goes for smaller festivals! I was fortunate enough to become good friends with a German from a small town in the Sauerland (a rural, hilly region of Germany). He shared his many experiences celebrating during Schützenfest, a summer festival reminiscent of medieval Germany when men would form shooting clubs to protect their towns from groups of bandits. I also got to experience Easter in his hometown and participated in their bonfire tradition and subsequent games and feasting!

Much of this small-town fun reminded me of Texas, which has such a rich German history. I really enjoyed this opportunity to see where some of my own family traditions came from!

Categories: 2015, Germany, Reciprocal Exchange

April has been glorious.

At the beginning of the month we had easter. There is nothing quite like snowboarding in the french alps for easter Sunday. I took a 2 hr bus to the Isola 2000 and it was even snowing when we got to the slopes. That was amazing and I only wish I had gone a few more times earlier because that was probably the last good weekend of snow on those slopes and it was so close to where I live!  11131757_10155440235950204_1542270132_n11134422_10155440269160204_197011482_n

The Monday after easter we had a belated easter lunch at the Australians apartment and everybody brought food(I made sandwiches). I was so sore from snowboarding I couldn’t move a muscle. I had my French final that Wednesday. I can honestly say I did not learn anything from my very sweet yet terrible french teacher. All I remember him saying (more than once) was, “Karlee, French is not accounting, there are not ruuuules when you learn a language you just have to practice” -.- Yes there are rules. There are rules in every language sir and I have to actually learn them in order to speak correctly. So frustrating. He also was not quite understanding what it meant to be in the BEGINNING level french. Because our tests had content on it that not only had we not learned yet, but it was also the same things the intermediate level french class was being tested on.

Well enough about that. That weekend we worked on the Final for our International Corporate Finance and Governance course. It was rough. I had to spend the majority of my time trying to figure out how to do a DCF Valuation because on all the other case studies we had only one person in the group knew how to do it and instead of teaching the rest of us he just went ahead and did it while we worked on the conceptual questions. So its safe to say I did not allocate my time as well as I would have liked and my final product wasn’t so great, BUT I did teach two other people how to do the DCF.  Unfortunately I had to use time I could have been working on my questions to help them with theirs and in addition someone specifically told me not to do it in a powerpoint form and it was definitely supposed to be in a powerpoint. So my final copy was subpar but I was proud that I actually figured the valuation part out. Lets just hope I passed.

So the 3rd week in April I had one class on Monday and one lecture on Friday that wasn’t mandatory. This is how the weeks usually go, they were sporadic. I either had a full course load or more often I would have a few scattered classes leaving me four and five day weekends or mid-week breaks where I could travel. This time I wanted to go to florence. All my friends already had plans so Thursday night I book a train ticket and packed my bags. I caught a train at five in the morning and went to Italy for the weekend. I made friends at a hostel and I even went for a morning run in Florence. It was nice to take off on my own for the weekend, It was the best spur of the moment trip I think I’ve ever taken.

When I returned to Nice I had one class Monday, one class Tuesday, and then my elective Mergers and Acquistions from 9:30am to 12:30 and 2 to 6:30 on both Thursday and Friday. Talk about a long day, two days in a row. The other electives I took were three days in a row and about the same hours. Its dreadful but they give you a coffee break about every hour in a half then you break for lunch and come back.

April was amazing and it only gets better because our Spring Break starts at the end of April and is two weeks long!

 

Categories: 2015, France, Reciprocal Exchange

Hej!

The past month has been very busy for me, both with school and traveling. During the middle of March I had my first exam here at CBS. I was very nervous because it was the only grade for the entire course, and it was a 4-hour written Finance exam! I still haven’t received the grade yet, but I put in numerous study hours so I think I passed. My recommendation to anyone studying abroad is that you probably shouldn’t take a hard course like Corporate Finance. I’m not sure why I originally thought it would be easier to take it here, rather than at A&M, but I was wrong. However, I’m thankful for the opportunity though, because it allowed me to learn the material in a different way than I’m used to back home. Also, I made many friends studying for the exam, as we were all nervous about how it would go! The upside about the classes here at CBS, is that once you have the exam, your done! That means that I only have 3 more classes left in the semester, and two of them end in a couple of weeks.

The second exam I have coming up is my Danish exam. This one is also a tad frightening because it is an oral exam that I have to recite in Danish! The professor is really nice though, and made sure to give us lots of material so that we can prepare properly. I will spend the next week reviewing for that.

Finally, I can talk about the traveling! Ah, what a wonderful experience! I had not visited any countries up until March, however within the last 3 weeks, I’ve been to 3 different countries and am leaving for Switzerland tomorrow! The first place I went to was Prague, and boy was it beautiful! Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great, but we still made the most of it by taking the free walking tours and visiting the cathedrals. It was rather special for me because I had the chance to meet up with distant relatives of mine who are actually Czech! They took me out to dinner, and drove my friends and I out to a medieval castle! What an experience! Also, I would highly recommend anyone going to Prague to try out a traditional Czech meal. The food is inexpensive and fills you up for the rest of the day! I will definitely be back there some day.

Next I traveled to Budapest, Hungary. For anyone going to Budapest, you HAVE to check out the ruin bars, they are amazing! The bars are made from old, abandon buildings and they have a very relaxed atmosphere. Oftentimes they have live music come perform, or even and outdoor movie (Szimpla bar was my favorite one). Also, we climbed up to the Citadel and checked out the amazing views of the city. It’s kinda funny how similar Prague and Budapest look, both with a river running through the middle, and the wealthier district lying on the left of the river and the cheaper district on the right. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to go caving in Budapest, but that will definitely be an adventure for another time!

Finally, I just returned from Dublin, Ireland a few days ago. Again, that was an amazing city to visit and it actually surprised me! I went with a travel group called Bus2Alps (great company by the way, I would highly recommend it), and had a wonderful time! I went by myself, so I met up with other people there and made new friends! We toured the local pubs, the Guinness factory, the Cliffs of Moher, and the little town of Galway. I wasn’t expecting a lot from Dublin, but it actually might have been my favorite trip so far. The Cliffs were breathtaking and incredible to encounter. I couldn’t believe how close you can get to the edge, but you do have to be careful as not to fall down the 700ft drop!

The semester is flying by and I can’t believe I have less than 2 months until I return back to The States. I’m going to make the most out of my time here and continue traveling and hanging out with my friends!

Until next time,

Hej-Hej!

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Categories: 2015, Denmark, Reciprocal Exchange

Howdy from Strasbourg!

Well here we are in month four already, and I can’t believe that this semester is coming to a close! It’s the second week of April, the sun is out, flowers are blooming, it’s finally warm, and I’ll be heading back home in a month.

Time really has flown here, but the past month has been wonderful! For one thing, I was able to travel to Rome and Naples in Italy which was so much fun! It’s breathtaking there. Also, a lot of my classes have officially ended which has led to a little bit less stress and additional free time to spend exploring this precious town. There are so many hidden gems here to discover, and it’s finally warm enough to walk around the city for hours on end without feeling like you need to defrost every half hour. I’ve come to realize that Strasbourg has become home to me and that I’ll miss it a lot, BUT for now there’s still a whole month to take everything in!

So back to classes. I’m still trying to process everything that I’ve learned, the different teaching styles, the smaller classes, etc. and how these things have affected me personally and scholastically. I’ve come to realize that there is really something to be said for having those smaller, more interactive classes and the chance to get to know your professor and nearly every person in your classes. It’s great and I’ll miss that while going back to A&M. Everyone is just so open here and eager to get to know other international students. As far as finals go, I only have one left a couple of weeks from now! Crazy, right? I had two a couple of weeks ago and one this past week. I also got to go on a field trip for my Grape and Wine Knowledge class this past Tuesday and it was so fun!

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As the semester comes to a close, I’ve been thinking about the things that I love so much about this experience that I will miss when I get back home. For one thing, THE FOOD. It’s so good here. Like WOW the pastries especially. Then I was thinking about how much I’m just going to miss this city, walking through the narrow cobblestone streets in the center of town, listening to the river flow by, having tiny pink flower petals float down all around me as I walk along said river, listening to everybody around me, young and old, speak in french (one of the prettiest languages there is) all of the time. It’s the cutest when the littles ones speak it. Even their whining is adorable. Most of all, though, I’ll miss the people. It’s been such a gift to get to know such wonderful people while I’ve been here, and I’ll miss them all terribly.

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However, I’ve also been thinking about things that I’m looking forward to when I get back home…. Like seeing my friends there! I cannot wait to see them, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned during this semester, it’s to live in the here and now and let the future be. You will have time to see the people you love when you get back. It’s okay to look forward to seeing them again and being home, but for now, enjoy where you’re at. Grow where you’ve been planted by really investing in this time and these relationships and you’ll be amazed at the fruit that results from this experience. Make it hard to leave. Be intentional and go all in. It’s worth it, I promise. Let’s see another thing is that warm Texas weather. I cannot wait to hit that hot pavement and sweat like there’s no tomorrow. Bring on that humidity, Houston. Oh and bread AND butter. Together. They’re not really a big fan of that combo at restaurants here for some reason. Reese’s. They don’t have those here either. Basically half of this list revolves around food. All in all, it will be nice to get back and hear about everybody’s semester and just catch up on life while I stuff my face with deliciousness that is Texas food.

Ok, I’ll try to get one more post in before I get back and recap everything, so until then, au revoir!

Sam

Categories: 2015, France, Reciprocal Exchange

Where has the time gone! I am wayyyy past the halfway mark in my study abroad experience and this is not okay. I keep telling myself to just enjoy the time that I have left and that I will be ready to return home once it becomes time to go back to the States. In the back of my mind I know that I will not really be ready to leave the city that has captured my heart. I fear how little time I have left but I smile at all of the wonderful memories that I have made and will continue to make!

Here are a few of my favorite memories so far:

  1. Meeting so many new people through the Erasmus Student Network! There are so many friendly faces I have met through various events put on for ESN members. I now have friends from all over the world!

    Picknicking in Retiro

    Picnicking in Retiro Park

  2. Picnicking in Retiro Park. Now that the weather is getting nicer we thought it would be great to soak up some sun on Wednesdays when and most of us don’t have class and are still in town. We make it a potluck picnic, spread out a blanket, and spend practically the entire day in the park with great company!
  3. Traveling all over Spain. I have been able to travel to the historical city of Toledo with ESN by bus, Sevilla and Cadiz in the south of Spain with Jenny and two of our Italian friends from ESN by car, Barcelona with Jenny by flight to visit another Aggie, Abbye Blakeslee (Whoop!!), Tarragona and Sitges with Jenny, Abbye, and a friendly Peruvian family where we enjoyed a traditional Catalonian meal, and lastly, Alicante where I spent spring break relaxing on the beach. All together, that is 7 cities with over 4 different methods of transportation!! That just goes to show how easy is to get out of Madrid and see the rest of Spain.

    My Travel Buddy!

    My Travel Buddy!

  4. Zumba!!! I know, I know… this technically isn’t unique to either Spain or Madrid but let me explain. A close friend of mine, Anna, invited me to zumba and it is just about the coolest thing ever! We have our special studio we go to and even became good friends with the zumba instructor, Grace. We even had a couple of zumba sessions in Retiro Park – it was a great time filled with dancing and plenty of laughing!
  5. Becoming a local and finally knowing my way around the city! People stop me on the street to ask for directions, that’s right, ME! This chica is no longer perdida! Hallelujah!!

With over a month left in my study abroad I know that plenty more memories are to be made.

Until then… hasta luego!

Categories: 2015, Reciprocal Exchange, Spain

Month 3 of studying abroad has definitely been a smoother sailing month. You have finally gotten over the hump of the entire time abroad and you really feel like you know your stuff. You know where to buy your groceries, how to work the public transportation, when and where all your classes are… things like these really do take longer than you would expect to figure out.

For me in Strasbourg I found the “Walmart” of France, Simply Market. To be honest it’s just groceries and a few necessary toiletry items. But it is only a 5 minute walk from my dorm so I am always sure to go on Saturday because everything in Strasbourg is closed on Sunday. I may have had to scavenge for food once or twice after making this rookie mistake. In France you have to bring your own shopping bags, the recyclable kind that we have back home, and bag your own groceries! You also have to weigh and tag your produce BEFORE checkout, they will not do it for you. Took a while to get used to that concept as well. For the first month or so a lot of us did our grocery shopping at a store in the mall, little did we know we were shopping at the HEB (more expensive) of the town instead of the Walmart/Kroger. Lessons learned for sure.

For transportation in Strasbourg I walk or take the tram. Tram C is my best friend and I am surprised I don’t know the drivers by name yet! (joking) The tram is NOT free, even though for the first two weeks we all thought it was. I go to an office at the city center and pay monthly, 25 euros a month to use all the trams and busses in town. One of the busses will even take us to Kehl Germany which is only about 15 minutes away. Some people choose to do their grocery shopping there because they find it to be cheaper, I personally don’t think it’s worth the hassle unless I really feel like getting out of town, just a personal preference. Also some trains are cheaper leaving from Kehl so this bus takes us directly to their train station. Once we were travelling on the weekend when the months changed and I got back, completely forgetting it was a new month, and my tram pass wouldn’t work! Thankfully the “tram police” were not patrolling that evening and I just went the next day to reload. They do randomly check to see if you paid, so it’s not worth the risk or ticket.

My classes became more constant during the month of March. Surprisingly I never had classes on Mondays or Fridays so I was able to take some longer trips towards the end of the month. I spent 5 days in Paris mid-March, 4 days in Amsterdam the end of March and 4 days in Nice at the beginning of April. (If you want details on any of those trips please feel free to send me a message!) Paris was an absolute dream come true trip for me! I was able to meet with an old friend from high school who is studying abroad there and she showed me all around the city, it was magnificent. Many people question if I even go to class, haha, I don’t blame them. But yes, I do. Usually classes are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and they block anywhere from 2-4 hours at a time. We just meet less frequently, but for longer at EM. Classes here are VERY different then Texas A&M. You basically go to class to take notes and that’s it. There are occasionally some in class group assignments, but no quizzes, no homework, no online exercises. It is really odd and a huge change of pace. Majority of our grades are comprised of 10% attendance/participation, 40% group project case study, 50% final exam. That’s all you get. Feedback on your assignments or a quick grade turn around does not exist. I honestly have no idea how my grades are right now, I know I am passing but I don’t know what my specific grades on assignments are. We don’t have eCampus that the professors update with your grades. You just kind of, hope for the best. You can try e-mailing the professor like I did to check in, but they don’t reply until about 1-2 weeks later and they don’t have office hours. You can imagine my frustration in this matter…

The months really do seem to fly by when you are abroad, which is crazy because when I first arrived it felt like each day dragged on and on. It is important to try to have patience and remember that things are hard in the beginning but really do get easier with time. I can’t remember when the “switch” flipped but all of a sudden I just knew what I was doing everywhere I went. It is a really great feeling! I am writing this third blog on my train ride back to Strasbourg from Nice. So I personally have about 25 days left in Europe. On April 30th I will be taking a train to Frankfurt to meet with my Aunt and then we will fly back to Houston that same afternoon. It is unreal to look back and think about all the amazing places I have been so fortunate enough to visit and learn about during my time abroad. I can honestly say I learned just as much if not more outside of the classroom than I did within. Now that the weather has finally turned to Spring I really do enjoy being here SO much more and leaving will be very, very hard. Strasbourg and Europe has officially become another “home away from home”. I do admit that having friends and family messaging me how much they miss me and can’t wait till I come home adds to my desire to return to the states. It’s hard to go through so many different experiences so far away from your loved ones, and sometimes skype just isn’t enough. Most of the other students all had family or a close friend come visit them, but that wasn’t an option for me because coming to Europe is ridiculously expensive and I could barely afford to get myself over here. With that being said, I am most looking forward to the airport hugs from my parents!  We already have plans to stop at the first Whataburger we see for dinner on the way home and then we are getting Mexican food for lunch the next day and some good ole Texas BBQ after that!  My list of “Food I Miss Back Home” is embarrassingly long!

Hope this helps those who are reading see what my daily life is really like in Europe! My next blog will be about ending the semester here and the “culture shock” of returning to the states in mid-May. Miss and love everyone back home! Can’t wait to be back and see everyone! <3

 

 

Categories: 2015, France, Reciprocal Exchange

February flew by. Maybe because I was having fun or maybe because the last week and a half was our winter break, either way its scary how quickly it went. I discovered a beautiful running route at the beginning of February that goes up into the hills and gives me the most breathtaking view of the city. As beautiful as the promenade along the beach is to look at every day(trust me it doesn’t get old) it is a little to crowded for my tastes to run there especially from my flat in the city center. So instead I go up. and up. and up. I go to a quaint little park next to the Museum Matisse and some gorgeous archaeological ruins and then i finish my run from my favorite spot in Nice. Its jaw dropping.

Classes here are almost all 3 hours long with a break in between at about the 1.5hr mark. most people go grab a smoke on the terrace or a coffee to stay awake in class. Some dare to goo next door to the grocery store Dia and grab a snack. I tend to get a coffee but I also discovered a tiny little Boulangerie/Bakery a bit past Dia with these yummy little quiche. So on occasion I make that my use of the break. Classes have gotten more challenging and are still spastic with almost no pattern except that certain courses will come in clusters. you won’t have it for  2 weeks and then you will have it two or threes days in a row. Mostly though if its three days in a row its because the class had a lecture and then a tutorial or because its an elective.

I’ve learned that one thing they could benefit from here is a Sweet Eugene’s Coffee shop or a Muldoon’s or maybe even a West Campus Library for Pete’s sake theres no good study spot after hours. Well…. theres no anything after hours. Everything closes so early here! Its nuts. Oh and trying to find anything on a Sunday is just out of the question. I’m just lucky that I live right next to the 24 hr Pharmacy. Oh yes and they don’t have big grocery store heavens with everything you could ever need like our HEB or Walmart. They have a bunch of specialized smaller stores. Its quite the pain. The closest thing would be a large Monoprix or Carrefour Store if you can find the closest big one in the city….but even those don’t have medicine. Everything to do with health, even over the counter or things like plain eye drops, they are all at the pharmacies. Frustrating I know.

I ended my second month with a trip to Marrakech and Barcelona. We flew from Milan so I saw that for a day but it was raining and deserted on the walk to the apartment, and it poured all night so we stayed in and I can’t really say I saw Milan..just a delicious super super SUPER cheap pizza parlor, they were very nice and helped me with my Italian. Then Morocco was AMAZING I can’t even begin to tell about that or this blog will never end. Flew to Madrid and drove to Barcelona to meet up with the rest of our friends. Barcelona. Wow. Just wow. Thought I was in love. Tapas everywhere!!

All in all it was a pretty good month if i do say so myself.IMG_5835 IMG_5770 IMG_5759 IMG_5645 IMG_5621 IMG_5532 IMG_5860

Categories: 2015, France, Reciprocal Exchange