Written By: Maggie Neuman
Location: Burgos, Spain
While at Manchester, I took all literature and writing classes. I’ve been taking classes like these since starting college as a Freshman, but the ones at MMU came with a lot of learning curves. Each of the classes were one-part lecture, two-part discussion, creating a mixture of both that I feel is missing in American classes. Too often I feel classes are either one or the other and it was nice to get both.
Sophomore Erkia Larsen reflects on her time abroad at Sunday University in Malaysia. "After having spent time with my family and friends upon my return, I realized something. The things that I experienced and the people that I met while traveling, studying, and living abroad changed me!"
Joy Goldschmidt recounts the group's last day in Bangalore, India. The group had to change their itinerary due to local protests, but was still able to have a fantastic final day in India!
Anna Ryan recounts the trip so far, from her time on the Faculty-Led Sustainability in India trip!
The one thing that has made me a bit nervous about this time of year is knowing it is my first holiday away from home. Even while at WMU, home is only 20 minutes away which means I have shared every holiday of my life with my mom, sisters, grandparents, aunt and newly added uncle. To me, what makes the holidays special is spending time with close friends and family as well as baking on the daily (I’m obsessed)! The way that I decided to cope with missing out on an American Thanksgiving this year was to plan one in Oslo.
Travelling abroad is exciting and sometimes challenging all at the same time. As I’ve been planning weekend trips whilst studying abroad, I couldn’t wait for what I’ll see and do in the new places I’ve chosen. Some places I’ve visited after my solo week long trip included Barcelona and Valencia (Spain), London (UK), Rome (Italy) and Lisbon (Portugal) and day trips to Madrid and Segovia (Spain). Since my solo trip, I’ve built so much confidence in my travelling “skills” such as navigating myself around each city, using public transportation and budgeting my money for food and hostels.
This past Thursday my friend and I went to Takagiya Rōho, a Japanese confectionery shop in order to learn how to make yaki dango and nerikiri. My friend and I were led upstairs to a tatami floor room which was adorned with a hanging scroll and a flower to reflect the theme of winter. Everything in the class was prepared and only required assembly. The dango required the least amount of work. Dango is a dumpling made from sweet rice flour (mochiko). The prepared dango was shaped into spheres, skewered and grilled
As my time studying in Spain is coming to a close, I’ve been doing some serious reflecting on what I have learned from this experience. Part of my job in writing these blog posts is to help encourage other students like me to study abroad by sharing all of the incredible experiences I’ve had. It’s true that if you study abroad, you’ll be able to do amazing things like see a live flamenco show in Granada and window shop in the streets of Milan. But hopefully at this point you already know how much fun you can have if you study abroad. Today I want to tell you about something even more important I gained from studying abroad. Presuming that most of the people reading this are from the United States, I need to first remind you of how much privilege that we have because of that. Though the United States are far from perfect, by being born there, we have many opportunities that many other people in the world don’t have.
I’ve been able to travel quite a bit in and out of Spain while abroad and every time I go to a new place, it’s almost like a test run of if it is somewhere that I would like to live one day. At this point I have figured out that beauty alone doesn’t make places somewhere that I would like to live because fortunately all of the places I’ve traveled to have been breathtakingly gorgeous. I think that the feeling of home has a lot more to do with the people and the general ‘vibe’ or energy of the place.