Hei Hei,

Hello friends, I’m sorry I haven’t posted for the month of April until now but April is a very busy month in Norway as exams are beginning, and we have spring break and travels and what-not. Those of us living in Norway were actually quite fortunate this April as it was much warmer on many days than what is normal. There were still a few snow days here and there, and some rain, but there were also quite a few beautiful days as well. For those of you who will travel here or exchange in Norway, I have to say April is a actually a difficult time to travel as everyone is travelling for spring break and Easter at this time. A lot of my time was actually spent at home in April due to spring break and some other needs. My exams for my courses began on the 13th of April (which was a 2 week process of research and presentation), so travelling home and studying were my go to activities. Something I would like to mention that I’m not sure I have mentioned before are the coffee shops here in Norway. You can literally find one on every corner and I have yet to be disappointed by any of them. (There are 3 really close to the school too) As much of my April has been stuck in a library or at my desk, I have tended to frequent these precious establishments. Another pro-tip for my future exchange comrades, there are these magical little cardboard packages called “IsKaffe” and they are a lot like Starbucks’s bottled frappucinos but I think they’re a bit less sweet and even tastier. I always get the Mocca, I can’t help getting my chocolate where I can. It’s the perfect pick-me-up after a few hours of intensely staring at a computer screen or a text book. I advise those exchanging at BI to read as you go, many of the textbooks are quite large and it is a lot easier to understand the concepts and the professor if you read as you go. Also, some of your professors may have a difficult accent in which case, having read the material will help you understand them better. Please also plan something fun for your Spring break, there are tons of adventures to be sought out, even taking a trip back home would be nice. Well I’m off to begin my last project before heading home. I wish you all the best of luck with finals and everything!



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Categories: 2015, Norway, Reciprocal Exchange

“Le temps passe vite” means “time flies” and it most definitely has. I can’t believe that my time in Strasbourg is winding down. This semester has gone by so incredibly fast and it’s crazy to think that I’ve already been here 3 months.
As Leah and Cat said, the weather has been incredible. It is so sunny, even hot during the afternoon, and the trees and flowers are in full bloom. People are out and about everywhere, and the city is so full and beautiful.

As far as school, I’m done! My classes have ended and I just have a few assignments to finish up. Classes were pretty intense in March, as many of my one-week classes happened during this month. These classes usually consisted of 8 hours of class for 2 days, and 4 hours on the final day. Those days are long and sleep-deprived, but then you’re done with that course, which is pretty great.

During March, I was able to travel to Paris and the south of France, both of which were absolutely gorgeous. Now that school is done, I’m excited to try some new places and travel for another month or so before heading home.

It’s a very weird, bittersweet feeling realizing that time is almost up. I am so excited to see my friends and family again and finally have TEX-MEX but I also can’t imagine leaving.

This has been such an amazing experience from start to finish and I am so thankful that I was able to experience everything that I did. All Mays students: Study abroad!!!!

Categories: 2015, France, Reciprocal Exchange

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!


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


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 😀





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


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,


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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!


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.


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!


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