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

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Time January 4th, 2017 in 2016 Fall, Australia | No Comments by

As of today, I have officially been home from Australia for a month. And to be honest, I have some mixed feelings about being home for such a long period of time before going down to my home uni again in another week. I do love being home, especially because I was blessed to have a beautiful white Christmas with my family in my hometown with plenty of cheer (and not to mention, lots and lots of food). I still have friends that stuck around in Straya a few weeks after I did, and seeing their photos or videos online definitely makes my heart squeeze a little because I miss the sunshine and the Australian accent. I try to use the Aussie lingo sometimes just to keep it alive in my heart, but I have definitely been given a few odd looks after asking “hey, how ya goin’ today?” even in the most casual setting. I won’t let that stop me from throwing out “heaps” whenever I can, though!

Sometimes I feel like I forget that I even was gone in a foregin country for 5 months. Then, I’ll get a message from an Australian friend, or I’ll see a photo that I took on one of our adventures, and everything comes rushing back all at once how much I’ve learned and been lucky enough to see. Thankfully, I have plenty of reminders of my travels and really enjoyed creating a photo album with all of my photos, ticket stubs, postcards, and little things I collected along the way that remind me that nothing was a dream, but it makes it all still tangible to me no matter where I’ll be in the future. There are so many memories that I never want to forget, and I feel like the only way to make sure I never do is to solidify them in pictures and journals, so I can look back on them whenever I want to feel nostalgic. Australia will always have a very special place in my heart now, and I take every opportunity I can to tell people about my travels and how incredible the Aussies are. I’ve noticed many things that are very different in America vs Australia, as I knew I would notice when I came home, and some of them are very familiar and others make me question why we Americans are so different and how we can improve many things to be more efficient with our country in comparison.

Overall, I’ve adjusted to being back home very well because I’ve been around my family and two of my closest friends as much as possible, and been able to work at the job I have during the summer to earn back a little of the money I spent abroad (which, to be honest, was a lot). The strangest thing to get used to the first few days was not hearing the Aussie accent around me, but now I can hardly remember when that was all I heard (and I’m too horrible at accents to try and recreate it for others, sadly enough). I feel that I’m the same person I’ve always been, but I have so much more knowledge and confidence in my abilities overall now that I’ve survived on my own for months in a foreign country, making me feel worldly and traveled with a lot more cultural balance beneath my belt. I would never, ever trade my experiences in Australia for anything, and I feel like I studying abroad was the best decision I could have ever made for myself during my college experience, because I have learned more about people, myself, and the world than I ever could have in a classroom.

Cheers, for the last time,

Rachel

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Christmas Markets

Time December 5th, 2016 in 2016 Fall, College Study Abroad, Ireland, Scotland | No Comments by

Since Scotland does not have the Thanksgiving marker to kickstart the holiday season, Christmas markets started in Edinburgh on November 18th. The markets are full of amusement park rides, Christmas music, festive beverages, and crafty shops. My Colgate friends, Sarah and Liz, visited me that weekend and kicked off the Christmas season with me. Liz and I had an incredible view of the city on the Ferris wheel. Sarah and I shared donuts covered in chocolate sauce.When my cousins visited, Madelyn and I braved the most intimidating ride of the markets. The “Flying-Star” were swings that went as high as the top of the Walter Scott Monument, or about 200 feet high. It was terrifying but we prevailed and celebrated this feat with Bailey’s hot chocolate and mulled cider. The Christmas markets are paradoxical in the sense that they induce a sense of homeyness and homesickness at the same time. I enjoy them but they also make me look forward to Christmas with my family.

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I see the light.

Time January 3rd, 2013 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Hello!

So I am officially getting ready to leave Europe. I have been here 3 months and 8 days…It has been quite the journey.

During this vacation I have seen some of the most beautiful parts of Europe. Munich was great, very laid back, and there is a Texan there that makes the best burrito’s at and good conversation haha (so go to Pure Burrito you wont regret it)! Paris was well…Paris. Paris and I have a love hate relationship. It is a little dirty and smells kind of funny, but it does have some beautiful parts to it as well though I’ve seen it 3 times now. Christmas just did not feel like Christmas there. And out of all the places and trips I have taken never have I walked so much in my life as I did in those 2 weeks.

Back to England!! Liverpool was so cool. It reminded me of Manchester which is another English city to add to my love list. Albert Dock is really pretty and the nightlife was some of the best I been in. Only downfall was my hotel mix up…that cost me $200…not a fan of Hampton by Hilton…just so expensive!!

I am currently in London. I spent New Years at the London Eye! The fireworks were epic and I will never forget that moment as the clock struck 12 in London…I never though I would get to be there and if I knew the aftermath I probably never would have went out. Too many crazy people!!

I do have a good feeling about this year though. No resolutions because I do not think those ever come true but I feel like this is going to be my year just because of how these last couple of days have played out. I met Daley today!! For those of you who do not know who that is hers a British R&B singer and I was devastated that I could not see his show in London in November. This morning I was having breakfast in SoHo with my friends and he walked in and I swear my heart stopped. My friend got his autograph for me because I was star struck but I eventually got a picture…talk about the start to a good year! Well I hope everyone’s holiday season was as good as mine! I will let you know how it feels to be back in the states in a couple of days!!

See you soon America!!

Dominique

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