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 …

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 …

From Rio to Chicago

“This is the last time I will be riding this boat in this direction for a while”, I think to myself as I take the ferry across to Niteroi one last time. Golden light seeps into the cabin, as the ocean gently rocks the craft. White collar workers doze off around me like babies in a cradle. Since making a good friend who studies at the Fluminense Federal University a couple months ago, I have gotten used to making this …

Identity Crises

My brown is not Brazilian brown. In fact, my brown is not even brown here. I am considered white with a foreign tan, and every day that tan is fading as fall slips into winter. I realized I was white for the first time while eating dinner with a local friend, when she asked me if I identified as ‘Latina’. I gave her a long-winded response about how I used to identify as ‘Latina’, then came to discover ‘Latinx’, then …

On Learning, Teaching and Goodbyes

           Leaving Berkley for our 22-hour trek to Malawi felt for the most part surreal. Partly because of the extremely immersive and busy schedule we’d had in the Bay Area, I had almost forgotten we wouldn’t be spending the entire semester there. It was difficult to wrap my head around the fact that we would be traveling with only each other to rely on for the next 4 months in such drastically different places. Looking back, it’s hard to fully …

Leaving Prague Feels Weird

When I hear the bubbly friendly smiley Swiss flight attendant and I see the playfulness of him giving out different stickers, coloring books, and trinkets to children on the airplane during pre-departure, I know that I have left Prague and that I have left the Czech Republic before the plane has lifted off the ground. I can’t recall encountering such casual enthusiasm during my stay in the Czech Republic, though this is not a bad thing. So, yeah, my body …

Saying Goodbye and Redefining Home

  As I enter my last two weeks of the semester, I feel a mix of emotions. Even though I’m sure I will still be processing this fact after I leave, I realized the other day that I have lived in Cuba for an entire academic year. That also means I have lived in one of the most restricted countries for U.S. citizens, and spent a year forming roots that might not be easily accessible in the future. Though I …

How to Be a Yuma

After nearly two semesters studying in Cuba, I’ve been fortunate enough to learn about and take part in many amazing aspects of Cuban culture. While two semesters is not nearly enough to fully understand a different space and context, it has given me a more detailed snapshot than I would have had otherwise. One of the most interesting experiences I’ve had this past academic year is having been able to observe the relationship between Cuban nationals and foreign tourists. As …

1 2 3