Occupying Spaces: Tradition vs Modernity

posted in: Omar in Kyoto, Japan | 0

Hey guys! This week I’ll be writing a bit about forms of art I’ve encountered so far during my time in Japan. It’s forced me to reflect on gigabytes of pictures and a 6 page bucketlist I’m still working through, so bear with me! My general impression of art in Japan, be it through music/entertainment/performance or more traditional forms such as paintings/architecture/literature, is that works tend to live between two extremes: tradition and extreme modernism. They aren’t necessarily in total …

First Impressions (and the past 5 months)

posted in: Omar in Kyoto, Japan | 0

Hello readers! My name’s Omar and I am currently studying abroad with the Associated Kyoto Program (AKP) at Doshisha University in Japan. I decided that I would be coming to Japan by the Fall of my first year, but I wasn’t completely sure of when, for how long, or which part of the country I wanted to come to. My interest in Japan began because of its language. I self-studied it a bit before coming to Amherst, and it was …

Japanese Cuisine: Innovation and a Hidden Diversity

posted in: Omar in Kyoto, Japan | 0

Amherst’s Japanese department has an annual winter Curry party at Tawa-sensei’s home along with a sushi party in the spring, which I always made sure to take advantage of. Besides that, my experiences with Japanese food before coming here were limited. NYC restaurants can be pretty expensive for one, but finding one that is actually authentic has its own challenges. Amherst and the Northampton have a couple of restaurants too but selections there can be few and oversimplified. I wrote …

The Other in Japan

posted in: Omar in Kyoto, Japan | 0

I started learning Japanese for several reasons but one of my biggest motivations was a desire to learn more about a people that I had few interactions with. Language facilitates cultural exchange, especially in using it to communicate nuances that are otherwise lost in translation. You can learn a lot through language, but there are many things that can only be learned by actually being among its people. There are several phases in accustoming to new surroundings while studying abroad. …

On Language Barriers and Joining a Choir

posted in: Raizel in Madrid, Spain | 0

I came to Spain speaking almost none of the language. I took one semester of Spanish way back at the beginning of Freshman year, but that didn’t stick with me for very long. I figured, why not just go? I’d immerse myself in Spanish and come out, if not fluent, at least able to cobble together a coherent conversation.  I knew there would be a language barrier, but I thought that it would affect me in terms of my ability …

On Cafes and Just Sitting

posted in: Raizel in Madrid, Spain | 2

Back in the States I never drink coffee. Maybe it’s the terrible coffee served in Val, maybe it’s the excessive price of a latte at Rao’s or Starbucks, but coffee has never been my thing. Within three days of getting here though, I was addicted to café con leche. Café con leche is pretty similar to an American latte without the foam – espresso mixed with hot steamed milk. Typically it comes in a small ceramic mug, and the waiter …

Gringo Afroamericano: Reflecting on Race and Study Abroad

posted in: Matt in Chile | 3

Hey, reader! Did you miss me? (¿Me extrañaste?) I just got back from a weekend trip in Valparaíso and Viña del Mar. It was my last chance to relax before I would have to begin attending orientations for the possible universities in which I could study. In Valparaíso, I visited the port, major monuments, and enjoyed some seafood. I also made sure to fit in a trip to Viña del Mar to spend some time on the beach. During my …

Journey to the Corner of the Earth: Arriving in Santiago, Chile

posted in: Matt in Chile | 2

Journey to the Corner of the Earth: Arriving in Santiago, Chile  I honestly felt like an astronaut as I boarded that international flight heading from Atlanta to Santiago. I’m not talking about a contemporary astronaut going on a trip to the moon. I felt more like I was in some kind of time dilation science fiction story where the interstellar space traveler is about to leave Earth for a long journey, traveling faster than the speed of light, only to …

Matt in Santiago, Chile

Hey, everyone! My name’s Matt Randolph (Amherst ’16). I’m a History and Spanish double major and a current junior at Amherst College. I also hope to complete the Five College Certificate in Latin America, Caribbean, and Latino Studies. I’m studying abroad in Santiago, Chile for the 2015 Spring semester through the IFSA-Butler program. Don’t be shy: Check out my blog posts below! 😀

Raizel in Madrid, Spain

  Hi everyone! My name is Raizel. I’m an English major at Amherst, also completing a certificate in Culture, Health and Science. At school I’m a Peer Advocate of Sexual Respect and a member of Women’s Chorus and Mindfulness Club. Currently, I’m studying abroad in Madrid with Syracuse University. Click the links below to read about my trip!

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