June, 2011

Video: University of Navarra 2011

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

By Rachel Abbott, Foster Undergraduate

 

Join Rachel on this mini tour of the University of Navarra campus.

Traveling with Aladdin

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

By Kelsey Ondrak, UW Foster Undergraduate Business Student

So being in Spain for the past 4 months has been amazing, but I have to say that my favorite trip has been outside of Spain and Europe for that matter. I spent about 3 days in Fez, Morocco with a few people from Boston that are also studying abroad at University of Navarra and had the most amazing cultural experience of my life. We arrived in Fez by plane and seemed slightly confused because I expected this desert area with camels roaming in the background, but instead, I saw lush green fields and cars. The whole idea of going to Morocco was so exciting and yet, totally terrifying all at the same time. I knew that it was a totally different culture than that of Spain and I really didn’t know how to prepare. My time in Fez was short, but truly changed me as a person. I learned about the differences in culture between Europe, America, and Morocco. It was almost inspiring because it made me a more open person. Morocco is definitely somewhere I would travel to again because there is so much I don’t know about it. To anyone interested in going, I would say go when it is safe. That is definitely the only negative part. The world is full of unsafe places, it is just incredibly important to be smart about how a person acts while he or she is there. That is definitely something I have learned while in Europe from my own experiences and my friends’ experiences.

Until next time España

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

By Kelsey Ondrak, UW Foster Undergraduate Business Student

It is unbelievable to think that my five months in Spain are now over. I laughed, cried, and grew up a lot during those months, but the absolute best part of this experience is all the amazing people I have met. Each one is incredibly unique from the other, but for some reason we all end up bonding over the fact that we are miles away from home in a foreign country trying to survive and have a good time while we are doing it. No matter where my new friends have come from, we can all bond over our time spent in Pamplona. Whether we are buying crepes together or hanging out behind the bus station, we will always have those moments.

We all went through phases where we hated Spain and just wanted to get out, but in the end, living in Pamplona has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. If someone had asked me in March when BOTH of my computers broke and I hadn’t backed up my 20 page paper that was due at the end of the week how I was enjoying Spain, I probably would have started screaming about how I just wanted to go home. Looking back, I was a crazy person. Studying abroad, no matter where someone goes or with what program, is a key part of a person’s college education. At no other point in life will I have the opportunity to study in a foreign country for a semester and gain the same experience that I had here in Spain. I know that when I return when I am older, and I will, Pamplona will not be the same, but then again, I won’t either. Until next time España.

Fastest Month of My Life

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

The past month has flown by. In my last post, I said that I would tell you about Queensday in Amsterdam. Well here it is: Queensday was insane. Fourteen hours of sunshine, music, and millions of people dressed in orange. The streets were packed, the sidewalks were lined with food vendors, and families were on their doorsteps selling everything from old video games to jewelry. My friends and I found a spot in the middle main square (Museumplein) by the mainstage, soaking up the much-hyped environment that didn’t disappoint.

But life didn’t slow down from there. The next weekend I was in Munich, where I spent most of the time at their Spring Festival, a carnival located on the Oktoberfest grounds. I was also able to go to Dachau, the first German concentration camp. The day I got back from Germany, I went back to Amsterdam with a friend to do the typical tourist things—the Heineken Experience, Anne Frank House, and Rijksmuseum.

A week and a half after that, five friends and I headed to Italy, seeing Pisa, Florence, and Cinque Terre. The five days spent in Italy have been the highlight of my study abroad experience so far. Florence oozes with culture and seemingly every corner you turn is another beautiful church, monument, or museum. We were also treated to a beautiful firework show on the Arno River and an unforgettable sunset from Piazzala Michaelangelo, which is up on a hill across the river overlooking the city. Florence is an absolutely beautiful city and to be in Cinque Terre the next day was an unbelievable experience. We went on a picturesque (and somewhat dangerous!) seven-hour hike along the coast from the first village to the fifth, culminating in a quick dip in the Mediterranean Sea. The entire trip was almost too good to be true—everything from the views to the pizza, gelato, and panna cotta was heavenly.

That’s the beauty of studying abroad. In no other situation would I even imagine going to Italy for a long weekend. Nothing against Portland, but I probably wouldn’t even go there for a random weekend living in Seattle.

And now I have just completed my final lecture. The quarter has flown by and now I have two weeks to study for exams! …and go to Berlin and Prague.