March, 2008

Esto sólo se vive una ves (You only live this once)

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

jd.JPGI left for my study abroad experience in Santiago, Chile on July 24, 2007 with hundreds of emotions/thoughts running through my head, seriously considering canceling my trip after my first layover in Dallas. I knew I was going to be gone for a long time and I was going to miss my family. On top of that, it seemed as though EVERYTHING was pointing for me to return home on that 18 hour trip down south. Flight delays, excess baggage weight, lost documents, etc… Although, knowing that upon arrival I still had to find a place to live, I was hoping that my situation would better.

After living in Santiago for two months, with three more to go, who knew that I didn’t want to ever leave?

My name is Josué David Mendoza and I’m a senior at the Foster School of Business double majoring in Business Administration with a focus in Finance, Spanish and also committed to completing the Certificate in International Studies injd-1.JPG Business (CISB). As mentioned above, I’m currently on a direct exchange program at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile taking up economics, finance, and culture courses in Spanish.

Throughout my stay, I’ve tried explaining to many people my experience here in Santiago and have found that the only way has been through an analogy using my first time snowboarding.

In this risky sport, half the battle is deciding to take it up. Once you are up at the top of the mountain, the other half begins. After the first time falling, I convinced myself seconds later that I would never take up this sport again. My decision disappointed me and only motivated me to throw myself back at the top of that mountain to only keep on falling. After about 5 hours, and several ice packs, I had a change of heart.

The next morning I realized that I had muscles in places that I didn’t think even existed. I hurt like no other, but knew that I had conquered that mountain, even though it had literally beaten me up.

jd-2.jpgMy experience getting to and in Santiago has been very similar to this experience I had one day on that mountain. Early on my freshman year at the University of Washington, I took the risk of enrolling in CISB which I knew would “force” me to take upon myself an experience abroad. The trip to Santiago, Chile was hectic and the first month in the country was lonely and literally cold in many respects. At one point, the first month in Chile, I couldn’t wait to return to Seattle in December 2007 until finally I was able to get the “hang” of things.

Seven months later after first stepping foot on the country, I was glad I had extended my stay from December 2007 (when I was supposed to leave) to September 2008. I have seen a lot yes, but most importantly have been able to make best friends who have taught me a lot about myself and continue to learn every day.


Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

This past weekend I attended a one day overnight trip to Seville (North of Granada) with my program. The city was over run with flowers that filled the air with the most amazing smells. We were fortunate the weather was absolutely perfect eliz1.JPGbecause most of the things to do in Seville were outside. I quickly came to the conclusion, that if I had to pick another city to study in it would definitely be Seville.

The first day we had a small bus tour of the city and went to Alcazar and Plaza de España. The Plaza de España is a modern semi-circular building centered around a beautiful fountain. There is a tiled alcove for each province of Spain. The Alcazar is kind of like the Alhambra here in Granada, there are gardens that seem to go on forever. It made me excited to see the eliz2.JPGAlhambra when all the plants are in full bloom. The architecture and history surrounding it is very interesting and our guide really held our attention.

The second day we started with a tour of Real Maestranza, the plaza del toros. It is the oldest bull-fighting ring in Spain. We discuss the traditions of bullfighting in my culture class a lot, so it was interesting to finally see a ring, especially such an important one. It was a beautiful day out so after our tour we had lunch on the river.

We spent the rest of the day wondering the streets. We saw the cathedral and the Girlada, both very intricate buildings, I could have looked at them for hours. We had to catch the bus at 5 to get home, we were all exhausted from walking the entire day so it was perfect timing. Hopefully I will get to go back to Seville, it’s a truly beautiful city, and I have so much more to explore.

Adventures in Singapore and More…

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

Hey everyone! My name is Neal Mulnick and I am an accounting and information systems major in the Foster School of Business studying abroad in Singapore at the National University of Singapore. I have been in Singapore for about two months so far and am having the time of my life.

School has been surprisingly similar to life at UW, with the nice benefit of being located in clean Singapore while being in the proximity to some of the most culturally rich countries in the world. Singapore itself has an interesting mix of developed skyscrapers while remaining green everywhere you look.

So far I have had the opportunity to visit Malaysia, the Philippines and in a few hours Thailand. In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia we visited the Petronas Towers and the Hindu Batu Caves, in the Philippines we went scuba diving and snorkeling with whale sharks, and much more! The absolutely amazing thing about Southeast Asia is the drastic change in culture with every border you cross. Not to mention Singapore, the multicultural meritocracy with a Chinese majority, surrounded by a Malaya world.

Well, I have to leave for the airport in twenty minutes for my flight to Bangkok, Thailand…so until next time, I look forward to sharing more adventures.

Class in Bologna and weekend in Venice

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

cec1.JPGEarly Wednesday morning our class left for Bologna pronounced “boloɲa” which is a large University town. As a class we were required to create a lesson plan and do presentations on Bologna while we were there. We had a creative lesson plan, presented some history on the town and planned a field trip to Grom’s gelato shop which is said to have the best gelato in town. We went to lunch at a restaurant that our concierge recommended and were welcomed warmly and directed to the second floor of the restaurant which provided a private atmosphere. We took turns deciding what the restaurant had previously served as because there was an abundance of red and lamps which led some to think it had been an Asian restaurant. At the same time there were some metal handrails around holes in the floor and an eccentric wall texture which alluded to a potential club scene. One of the girls eventually called our waiter over to bring menus to us and he came bearing just two for our group of 15. Though we tried to make the best of the shortage of menus we eventually caved in and requested two more. In the end we had a good first meal in Bologna and looked forward to our next couple of days walking around the University area, visiting Modena, the Ferrari Museum and the Porticos of San Luca which encompassed a 3 mile longcec2.JPG stretch up a hill and over 660 arches.

After our class ended in Bologna, many of us continued on to Venice to spend the weekend. Venice was an even bigger tourist attraction than Florence and many different languages were spoken up and down the streets. We were treated to sunny mornings yet fog started to set in during the afternoon and led to chilly nights which led many of us to seek shelter indoors. The Venetian glass was lovely to look at and though it was abundant in all the shops was not inexpensive by far. I could definitely see how the tourist scene affected the prices of items as a simple cookie could cost 3 euro and tourists menus were advertised everywhere in several different languages through restaurant windows. Over the course of the weekend I visited the Peggy Guggenheim which offered a wide array of paintings and sculptures. After spending six days traveling many of us looked forward to being in Rome again.

Ciao da Milano!

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

My name is Jenepher Schulte, and I’m a finance student in my junior year. For spring semester I am studying at Universita’ Bocconi. So far studying abroad has been an exhilarating experience. I arrived January 8th and took an Italianjen1.jpg course through the university for the first month, at which I made friends with many other exchange students from around the world. Each weekend we took the train from Milan and explored another part of northern Italy. During the week between the language course and the start of the semester I went to Florence with some girls. Florence was beautiful! There was so much history and art to see there! I look forward to traveling more on the upcoming school breaks.

jen2.jpgThis is the second week of the semester and I’m enjoying my classes very much. The majority of my courses are on business topics, and I’m enjoying greatly the experience of being a student in another country.

The weather has been such a treat, at least to me a Seattle native. It’s consistently sunny and around 65 degrees. One thing I miss from Seattle is the coffee, and for that matter, the coffee was the last thing I expected to miss. An espresso and brioche is a delicious breakfast; I’ve embraced it entirely! But during that early morning class a big, warm mocha would be nice.

A presto!

Hola from Spain!

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

Hello from Spain! My name is Elizabeth Whiteman and I am a junior accounting major studying abroad in Granada, Spain. My program started January 7th and ends May 20th. Though I am not studying business while I am here I will be able to finish my Spanish minor. I just finished up my month long Spanish intensive course and have recently begun my regular eliz1.jpgclass schedule. These classes include translation, history of Spain, Grammar, history of Spanish cinema and composition. When I have class it lasts from 10am until 8pm but the plus is that its only Monday and Wednesday leaving lots of time to travel.

Granada is such a beautiful city, I feel so lucky to be here. It is at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains making for a great backdrop and only a 45-minute bus ride from the beach. There is a palace here called the Alhambra, it is the most visited tourist site in all of Spain; its architecture is indescribable. There is so much history surrounding the city and I love learning about a place I get to explore everyday. Just walking to school can be an adventure. I really like the fact that not many people speak English here; it has really helped me improve my Spanish. (more…)