Old Towns in Yunnan

Let’s talk a bit more about this authenticity thing. This is something I touched on in my last blog post, but the questions authenticity creates have surrounded me daily while studying abroad in China. Take, for example, my most recent trip to Yunnan province. It’s pretty far from Shanghai, bordering a number of Southeast Asian countries and home to a number of minority ethnic groups. Yunnan is a space that profits a lot off of its culture and history. The …

Possessing Language

“No way, I can’t go to the store by myself! My Spanish is not that good…no one will understand me! Please come with me!” I blurted this out to my friend Zaq in my hotel room before heading out to get some more toothpaste. He gave me a rosy smile and said “No, I know you can do it.” I shook my head. I put on my shoes. I made my way towards the door after sucking my teeth. I …

The Jante Law and a Look at Academics at DIS

More than halfway through the semester, my new life in Copenhagen is in full swing. With so many new things happening to me every day—eating new food, trying new types of transportation and activities, and new things to see—it does feel nice to have a set school routine with classes four days a week (and not to mention, classes that I am really enjoying). While I have loved my academic experience at Amherst so far, my academic experience in Copenhagen …

Xi’an and McDonald’s

The study abroad program that I’m currently on has an independent travel week in early October. For the whole week, I was class-free and exploring the country. The only downside to it all was the rest of China, doing the exact same thing. The independent travel week coincided with one of China’s Golden Weeks – a holiday allowing Chinese citizens to take a break from work and meet up with family and relax. There’s also a lot of domestic tourism …

The Lingering “What If”

When I was deciding where to go to college, I had the choice between two schools. One place was my mom and sister’s alma mater; it was a place I had visited multiple times before and it was nearby Boston, a city I had always wanted to live in. The other place was a wildcard: no one in my family had gone there before, and it was in the middle of rural Massachusetts, far from Boston. Even though I was …

A Beautiful Strange Place

Granada is beautiful, yet it is a very strange place to me. I adore the sun that glows bright on Granada, the tall vibrant green trees, and the sandy orange-colored rooftops. Every day has felt like summer and I enjoy every minute of each day. However, as beautiful as Granada is I cannot shake how peculiar the city, people, and customs are to me. There is so much I don’t understand and I realize that this place is more than …

First Impressions

Hello from the very far away town of Wellesley, Massachusetts! It’s my 5th week here at Wellesley, and I can’t believe it’s already Fall! The campus is surrounded by trees, and I’m really excited to see the leaves change color. On first impressions, Wellesley isn’t that different from Amherst. Class sizes are around 600 students. Majority of students live in residence halls. The major difference is that it’s all-women’s. But I don’t notice it as much as I thought I …

Staying Active Abroad

One of the main reasons I chose to go to school at Amherst was because I knew that I would have the opportunity to stick with my love of playing lacrosse while also receiving the opportunity to study abroad for a semester. At Amherst, I would say that studying abroad is encouraged, regardless of what you are involved in on campus. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity that around 47% of the junior class takes advantage of. So far …

The First Nights

It’s weird how often things repeat themselves. A month ago, I experienced the bustle of Shanghai Pudong Airport for the second time. Three years have passed since my first encounter with the place, and the advertisements, people, and weather might be different, but there are always constants. Let’s take scale, for example. If I were to say that Shanghai is “big”, I feel like I’d be falling right into a cliché. It’s a city. It’s big. Duh. Clichés exist for …

Getting to Know København!

Hej from Copenhagen! I’m finally settling in after being here for about two weeks now. I am thoroughly enjoying getting to know this city a little bit more everyday. Somehow it’s cute and small, but also large and historic at the same time. I also hadn’t traveled very much before this so I am really enjoying living in and exploring somewhere I have never been before. We’ve had amazing weather the first few days here! Sunny and around 70 degrees, …

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