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Showing posts from October, 2016

Kirstin Rinke: Living in Vienna

Michael Dekur: Final Thoughts

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Jinan University, Main Campus 
Studying and living abroad in China was a completely different experience then I am used to. I have previously travelled throughout Europe, lived in SE Asia for a couple years and even been to China 4 times before. This time was different because it was the first time I wasn’t with people who spoke the local language. The average person in China doesn’t know a single word of English. All of a sudden I am being thrown into a city of 18 million not really knowing anyone and not being able to communicate with many of the locals.
Living in this situation really allows for yourself to grow as a person. It has challenged me to learn how to communicate with people using partial mandarin (I know just the basic single words) and non-verbal communication. On my first day in China, I went to restaurant by myself for lunch. I had to figure out how to order food from the menu. I must say I did a lot of finger pointing and I actually got what I ordered! Eventually doin…

Gregory Dechant: Where do I fit?

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Since coming home, I don’t know where I belong.My friends have all moved on in their lives and my new friends are thousands of kilometers away.My social support network is very important to me so reintegration has been extremely difficult.I am waiting for classes to start, renegotiating the terms of my employment and catching up on all of my doctors’ appointments, course advisors etc etc etc. The time has been both crazy busy and super slow! I am a person that needs structure and currently none exists! But I don’t want this to all sound negative. My friends and I are reconnecting (some faster than others). Work begins again soon, and classes start back up with me entering my 4th and final year at Cap. I have maintained contact with my new friends and we are already making plans to meet again somewhere in the world! I got to visit over 20 cities in Europe, and those are just the ones I stayed overnight in, there were so many more than I was able to make short stops at or day trips to!

I…

Gregory Dechant: Please Stop Yelling At Me

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My Uncle likes to quip that there is “friendly” and then there is “German friendly” and you’ll KNOW when they are being rude.This is very true. People want to get stuff done. There is no small talk, they just want to get stuff done and move on. If you ask someone in a store if they speak English, they will either say “a little” which really means yes they can, or just say no, point at a coworker and walk away. They got shit to do and holding your hand while you both puzzle the exchange out is not in their job description. And don’t bring your half learned German into their life either, they don’t have time to teach you German, either speak at a quality and speed they are comfortable at, or talk to someone who knows English.A stark contrast from my first person in Madrid: little English but with a big smile he was happy to give a game of charades with massive arm gestures in a tiny store where I am surprised nothing got knocked over. I’m pretty sure he had more English than claimed and…

Gabriella Mendonca: Summary of Adulting by Myself in Orlando, Florida

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Michelle Santos: The Magic of Disney

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Favourite Star in Downtown LA
So far my Disney experience has been amazing. I had so many fears about coming here for 6 months away from my family and friends. But it has proven already to be well worth it. I have met so many great people and have gotten to experience many different things.
The two weeks at UCR really helped get the program started off on the right foot. In just two weeks, I was able to bond with so many people and become great friends with 15 people. I still hang out with them often and we all chat with each other everyday. UCR was also a great opportunity for me to transition to working with different people in a group setting.
At the end of the Warner Brothers studio… at central perk
While at UCR their wasn't to much to do as we didn’t have cars to get around, but my friends and I did manage to take a day trip to LA and we did a tour of the Warner Brothers studios. We spent the whole day away from Riverside, and it was a blast. The studio tour was very fun and it …