Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Weekend in Brussels and Paris

Time September 30th, 2015 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

A few weeks ago my friends and I discussed wanting to go to Paris, but the flights were so expensive we worried we wouldn’t get the chance. However, after looking at flights through Ryanair we realized that we could fly cheaply to Brussels, Belgium, then take a bus to Paris for a day, returning in time for classes on Monday. As much as this was a lot of travelling (and I lost my phone in the process), I can’t stress enough how happy I am that we spent the day in Brussels. It’s not a city many people mention, but it is definitely one I hope to return to. Belgium is mainly known for 3 foods: chocolate, waffles, and beer. However, a little known fact (that I’m about 80% sure is true) is that french fries (or “frites”) were invented in Belgium! I have to tell you, I have never had better fries in my life.

The main hub of Brussels is Le Grand-Place, an area surrounded by breathtaking architecture (see the buildings below). Another symbol of Brussels is the Mannekin-Pis statue (see the small statue of the baby peeing into a fountain). All in all it was an amazing day, and I suggest a visit if you can!


That night we took a bus to Paris (about 4.5 hours) where we met up with a friend of mine from college who is studying abroad there. It was great seeing her, and she was a great guide to Paris (especially because she speaks fluent French!) We had breakfast at Cafe Angelina, a famous Cafe near the Louvre with the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had. Since I was mainly there to visit my friend from college, I split up with my IFSA friends who went to do the main sights of Paris while we took a walk along the Seine and in Le Marais, the Jewish section of Paris and also a big fashion district. Later we went to Les Catacombs, a museum which houses innumerable skeletons underneath the streets of Paris. It definitely made for some interesting pictures!


Orientation, Orientation, Orientation

Time August 13th, 2010 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

The past two weeks have been a blur. Orientation is jam-packed with activities, lectures, excursions, and information. I don’t know how I’ve taken all of this information in…I’m sure I’ve missed some.

We’re approaching the end of our two weeks of orientation, and classes are going to be starting on Monday. I must say that I am deeply grateful to IFSA-Butler for having a structured orientation system. It really helps to become adjusted to the new situations when you are always on the go, always have something to do, and always have people around you.

We have gone to so many places in the past two weeks. From excursions to the Center of Lima, to eating in China Town, to hanging out on the Pacific Coast, I have been afforded the opportunity to take some of the many sights and sounds of Lima.

Last weekend we went to the Center of Lima. We went to the Cathedral of Lima, China Town, the Catacombs, and the Inquisition Museum. The Cathedral of Lima was really interesting. The archbishop lives in the adjacent building, and Fransisco Pizarro is buried in the Cathedral. There are many famous and rich individuals in Lima’s history that are buried in the Cathedral. It was really interesting to learn more about the history of Lima and that of Fransisco Pizarro and the development of the Church in Lima.

We also went to the Catacombs, after eating about 3 pounds of food each in Lima’s Chinatown. There is a very large Chinese population here in Lima, and they have mixed Chinese food with Peruvian food to create Chifa. Chifa is some of the richest food I have ever consumed. I strongly suggest that everyone try it if they have a chance.

In the catacombs we were able to see the remains of over 50,000 individuals. It was kinda creepy, but at the same time really neat to see the devotion that these people in history had to their faith and to preserving history. The catacombs are located in a Catholic Church which was also a monastery.  We got to go into the library that the monks had during the 1600s. The books are still completely in tact, and date back to the 1600s. Only historians are allowed to go through the books, as they are fragile, and most are written in Latin.

I also had the opportunity to go to Miraflores’s famous “Park of Love.” The Park of Love is a park overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The park is named after the massive statue in the middle, which happens to be of two individuals kissing passionately. Miraflores, a neighborhood of Lima, is situated up on a cliff that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Therefore, the sights from the park are breathtaking.

The Catacombs

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Orientation, Fall 2010

Tonight we are going to go on a night tour of Lima, which ends in Central Lima at the Park of Fountains. I guess there are massive fountains that go in time to coordinated music and lights. There is a tradition down here of trying to run to the middle of the fountains and back without getting wet.. I think I’ll try it! I’ll definitely let you know how it goes!