Final Reflections: Educational Equity at Amherst and Abroad

  Examining educational equality is a difficult endeavor within the United States alone. There is an immense diversity of institutions from liberal arts colleges to vocational schools and more. The lack of uniformity in American higher education is shared in that of England and, as such, it became necessary to examine educational equality at QMUL from the vantage of outward mobility. At the outset of writing for this blog, I didn’t have an exact focus in my goal to highlight …

Study Abroad for FLI Students- A British Perspective

First Generation and low-income (FLI) students are everywhere. That statement is as obvious as it is simple; yet, it is indicative of the diversity of FLI students and their experiences worldwide. More often than not while at QMUL, I have encountered students who are FLI as well as faculty and staff. Despite the prevalence of those that identify as FLI at QMUL, few wanted to discuss their experiences with me for my blog and many explicitly expressed a discomfort with …

Kaiseki Meal: Simple is Best

Anyone who knows me knows I’m chronically indecisive, particularly when it comes to food. I’m the terrible person who, in the middle of making their order at a restaurant, will change their mind and point to something else at the last second after the waitress has already scrawled down my original order. Or worse, I used to tell waiters, “Surprise me,” because I simply couldn’t make the decision myself. (I’ve been told that this is a terrible thing to say …

An Ode to Shiru Cafe

  Amherst and Doshisha are eerily similar in a lot of ways. The founder of Doshisha, Joe Nishijima, built it after being inspired by Amherst, after all, so it makes sense. But some of the similarities hit a little too close to home. For example, there is an alumni building on campus called “Amherst House” that looks identical to Garman House. The style of all of the structures are similar to that of Amherst, and the school color is a …

Finding Institutional Support Systems Abroad

Within these past few weeks, I have gotten some emails from my Amherst peers about QMUL and study abroad generally. For this post, I wanted to depart from looking at educational equality explicitly and provide some perspective on what studying abroad at QMUL has been like for me in terms of institutional support. Within the first week of my arrival on QMUL’s campus, I was tired and in a constant state of stress. Everything felt unfamiliar from not being able …

Adaptation out of Necessity: Grocery Shopping

Adaptation. A fantastic characteristic to have, as well as an esoteric, indie Nicolas Cage movie. The former being a necessary skill to have when abroad, and the latter being a nice thing to have while abroad. This skill becomes especially important while transitioning between cultures, and particularly between America and Japan. I don’t think that many people expect for grocery shopping to be a difficult thing when going abroad. Language, cultural customs, financial difficulties — sure! These are the things …

From Regret to Optimism: Finding Common Ground in a Foreign Institution

The overarching feeling I’ve had since my journey to London has been one of regret. Leading up to my departure, I was on campus working and observing the start of the Fall semester at Amherst as an outsider. I didn’t get to share my excitement or disdain for my upcoming classes with my peers or forge any relationships with the incoming class. I wanted so badly to talk about classes and exchange in the same getting-to-know-you conversations that are so …

Konbini- A Glimpse into Food Culture through Convenience Stores

こびに (Konbini): the convenience store. The holy trinity of Japan: 7-11, Lawson’s, and Family Mart. They’re inescapable, rounding every street corner (sometimes two right across the street from one another) of every city in Japan. Introduced in 1969, they have quickly become a staple of the Japanese diet, serving students, businessmen, and families — all different walks of Japanese life. They’re everywhere. Imagine the popularity and numbers of Starbucks, McDonalds, and CVS combined, and that is the amount of konbini …

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