Week 5

As I finish my study abroad experience I am sad to leave and at the same time I am ready to go home. I am done with the school part of my trip and wish I could have visited the city and been a tourist more. I have learned so much here in Mexico. Hopefully some day I can come back and visit.
School was hard last week and the beginning part of this week. Breaking it up has made it better, but I still got super stressed. Being away from home and out of my home country made it harder for me, as well as for my friends. We all felt so stressed, but we did it and survived and are stronger because of it.
This past weekend was a blast. I remembered why I don’t like humidity while visiting the city of Jalpan in Sierra Gorda. It was nice to keep cool while we hiked along, over, and in a river. The hike felt more like being in Oregon with all of the trees and river. The water was so clear, and came right out from the rocks.
While there, we learned about what makes a magical city in Mexico. I don’t remember all of it but, it can’t be super touristy, there are no chain restaurants, and it has to have hotels.
The city also has a mission. The priest who built it also built five others in Mexico. During some part of his project, something happened to his leg, but he continued on anyway. He did all of his traveling on foot.

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Week Three: London

This week has bees crazy. Last Friday I went to Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral. It was amazing seeing the real Stonehenge after visiting the replica in Washington for years. It’s a shame that I could only get a few yards from the stones, but it makes sense not letting people walk through the stones as it would cause the grass to turn to mud and cause erosion. The Salisbury Cathedral was gorgeous. The detail of the tombs and the stain glass was spectacular. And the town is full of history as well by possibly being the oldest settlement in Britain. On Tuesday this week, I went to Bath to attend a World War Two walking tour. It was tiring, but it was interesting seeing where Bath was rebuilt following the bombing and what was preserved. Bath is such a beautiful place and we couldn’t have asked for better weather for it was sunny with a nice cool breeze, a nice change from the London heat wave. Thursday I’m having to leave at 5:45 an to catch the train to Stratford upon Avon to visit the birth place of Shakespeare. It’s going to be a very long day, but it’s worth it to see such a historical place.

~Kallan

Below: Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral, and Bath

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Week 4 in Queretaro!

Week four has come and gone and my trip is coming to an end soon. In some ways, I am looking forward to coming back to Oregon because there are things that I miss. However, I really do love Mexico and my host family, so I’m not quite ready to leave yet.

This week, I went shopping in the biggest mall that I have ever been too! I also spent lots of time in the Centro going shopping as well, buying gifts for both myself and for others.

On Sunday, I went to an amusement park, about half an hour away from my house in Queretaro. The park had both regular rides and water rides. One of the water slides was the fastest one I’ve ever been on! I had a really good time, although I did get sunburned.

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Week 4

Another full week of school and fun! For one of my classes I had to write a 4 page paper (typed and 1.5 spaced) in Spanish so my evenings were filled with research and typing in Spanish on an English keyboard…but I finished it with time to spare and still had tons of fun this weekend!

Saturday some of the other girls and I went to a huge shopping mall. We spent hours there and didn’t even come close to seeing everything! Then on Sunday we spent most of the day at an amusement park/water park. Lots of sun and fun with great people!

My Spanish has most definitely improved since I have been here and I am feeling pretty confident. I only have one more week to go so I am doing my best to make sure I will get to do all of the last minute things I want to do before coming home and still get all of my homework done. I am looking forward to being done with classes but sad that I don’t have more time to explore the city. It will be nice to come home to familiar things though. I know it’s not quite over yet but it has been an amazing experience that I know I will remember for a long time.

Week 4

This week has been pretty crazy because technically it has been dead week but I have survived the week.  Besides doing homework I went out with friends to the centro on Friday and went shopping.  The centro is pretty amazing because all the culture of Queretaro culminates in one place.  I had a great time walking around and had fun with friends.  On Saturday I went to a water park with my host family and got to ride a raft.  In the end this week has been stressful but also fun.  I look forward to my last week as being bittersweet.  I get to go home but I am going to miss my host family and the wonderful city of Queretaro.  Goodbye for now.

Goodbye Argentina.

So this is it. This last Friday was the last day of the program and we had our goodbye dinner. It was sad and exciting. It was a little sad because I’ve made new friends that I will not get to see often. But it was also exciting because it was the conclusion of a wonderful experience. Although I would have loved to do ten weeks instead of five, I am excited to go home. I am also excited to be done with classes. This last week has been stressful with finals and getting ready to leave. I also made enchildas for my host family, which was very interesting because people here in Argentina do not eat chile. Now i’m staying in Buenos Aires for a little over a day before my flight leaves

I am incredibly glad that I chose Argentina as my study abroad destination. The stereotypes that I had encountered of Argentinians turned out to be wrong. I have met very nice people. I have learned of some social norms that I otherwise would not have learned and a different dialect of spanish. I have loved this experience and hope to some day return to Argentina.photo 4 (2) photo 3 (1) photo 2 (3) photo 1 (3)

Week Two: London

This week has been much better than the last and I’ve finally begun to enjoy London. Probably what was the turning point was after talking to my parents on Sunday, I made a list of what I wanted to see and I’ve already crossed two things off of the list! On Monday evening, my friends and I headed to Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens so I could finally see the Peter Pan statue in person. It was worth the trip! After 15 years of wanting to see it and it was wonderful! Following the statue, we found the Princess Diana’s Memorial and soaked our tired feet in it.
The field trips this week were to Hampton Court Palace and The Tempest (Shakespeare) and the Imperial War Museum to see the World War I exhibit (history). Both were good trips, the Palace was absolutely beautiful and full of so much history and the War Museum was very informative. The Tempest, however, was bad. Some of the characters were puppets and others were masks. It was too out there for me and left me more confused as ever.
Today I went out on my own for the second time and was finally able to master the tube! I went to the Twining’s Tea Shop and Museum and bought a rather cool gift for my big brother and then I wandered down to the main campus of King’s College, found the shop and bought a shirt to remember the school.
Tomorrow I head to Stonehenge and then Salisbury. It’s going to be great finally seeing the real Stonehenge after visiting the replica in Washington for many years.

~Kallan

Below in order: The Peter Pan Statue, Hampton Court Palace, and a Spitfire Airplane at the Imperial War Museum.

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Week 3

I know it is technically week 4 but I have been really busy doing homework so I will talk about week 3.  Last week was busy because of homework and  a lot of different events.  I had a lot of homework that took a lot of time to do but I also had a great week.  I went out with friends on Friday and on Saturday my friends and I went to San Miguel Allende all day.  I had a great time shopping in the tiny stores and going to the hot springs.  They were not what I expected because I thought they would be more open and under a waterfall.  I was a little sad at first but I had a blast swimming in the hot and cool water there.  All in all last week might have been stressful but I also had a great time spending time with friends.

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Week One: London

My first week in London was alright, though I spent the majority of the time wanting to go home. It wasn’t that I disliked London or was having homesickness, it was the heat and jet lag. The first weekend was crazy. With too much stuff happening at one time, I was glad when classes started Monday. It was something normal in a sea of chaos. I really like my classes and my professors are nice. Last week also marked the beginning of field trips, both class related and not. For history, we visited the Churchill War Rooms and it was amazing being in such an important place and knowing that during the war, no one knew that Churchill and his team were working only a few feet under London. In English, we visited Shakespeare’s Globe, the Rose theatre, and Richard III with Martin Freeman. It was a really busy day, but a dream come true to a English major. On Friday, I went on the weekend excursion to Edinburgh, Scotland. On my gosh, Scotland is so beautiful and the weather was so nice, (it reminded me of Oregon). On Saturday it was raining and foggy, making everything more magical. I’d go back to Scotland any day.

~Kallan

Below in order: Winston Churchill, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and foggy Scotland

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Week 3 in Mexico

Another busy week has passed and I am now on week four out of five, which is crazy to think about! School has been crazy busy and it has been a challenge to keep up on it all the time, but I still find time for fun things. This week, some friends and I saw “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Transformers 4″ at the movie theater by my house. We watched “Dragon” in Spanish and the other in English. Together, both movies were only two bucks, which was exciting!

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This weekend we went to a nearby city called San Miguel Allende. There, we saw a beautiful church, ate some delicious Italian food, and went swimming in a natural hot springs. Overall, I had a really great time in the city!

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The next day at a study party, Nicolette I found some delicious Chinese food at the mall. It goes to show how diverse it is here in Mexico and you can find just about any kind of food! I also learned this week that I love nopales salad, also known as cactus salad. WP_20140720_011WP_20140720_004