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.
Henry Thiry, Management student, tells us about how surprisingly well he adjusted to his experience abroad through the CIMBA program!
Barcelona’s public transportation system is easily one of my favorite parts of living here. After years of school in Kalamazoo, and growing up in the Detroit area, I am not accustomed to much — or any — public transportation at all. When I travel, I always make sure to rely on trains, trams or buses. Public transit saves money, helps the environment and is the best way to explore (or get lost!) in an unfamiliar city.
I am a very independent person. Maybe in some ways that seems obvious if I voluntarily left The States to live in a new country for a semester but regardless this is a point I wish to make. Being independent does not however mean that I struggle with or lack having strong relationships in my life. I LOVE PEOPLE and have been blessed with a personality that makes it easy to connect and build relationships with others.
At grocery stores you can buy simple things like cereal, milk, pasta, e.c.t. However you do not get your produce and meats here. For these things you should go to the fresh market. This doesn’t mean that the grocery store doesn’t sell produce and meats, it just simply means that your not adopted to the culture if you buy those things there. Another example would be shopping for tights. Normally you could go to a khloe's and buy your tights, socks, dresses, shirts, and even a toaster if you wanted.
Ever dreamed of being surrounded by ice and snow in a place with only 5 hours of daylight? I certainly didn’t. Being a warm-loving person, the idea of the freezing cold tundra was the furthest thing from vacation I could imagine but spending a weekend in Tromsø, Norway helped to change my mentality around wintery vacations!
Sydney talks about her experience visiting the Cavern Club, and the differences in the university she is attending as compared to WMU!
Italy is the country of food, so going out to eat is a must do while visiting. However eating out isn’t quite the same as it is in the states. In Italy food isn’t just something you eat, it’s something you experience. At home I’m used to going out, ordering food, eating it, paying for it, and then leaving. Here you order your food and you eat... and eat... and eat.