Welcome to WOU’s Photoblog for Students Abroad!

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I’m pleased to introduce you to WOU’s photoblog for students who are studying or interning abroad.  I  invite you to follow our students on their journeys from pre-departure preparation through the return home.

Photoblogging is a wonderful way for students to share what they are learning, observing, and discovering in their new environments.  Enjoy the journey with them!

WOU’s photoblog is modeled on the Australian “Bringing the Learning Home” project developed by Jan Gothard, Greg Downey, Tonia Gray, and Linda Butcher, and with their permission, utilizes some of the materials from that project.  http://ozstudentsabroad.com/

My sixth week in London

This was reading week for me so all I did was catch up on reading and essay writing. The classes here are so different but I really like the way they do it here. You only go to each class once a week but for two or three hours, sometimes four. This is so convenient because if I took a week off to travel, I’d only miss each class once. Also, I don’t feel like I am spending all of my time in class. This is nice because I have more time to do the things I like to do here in London. This was especially nice during reading week because I was able to just travel around London and check some sights off my list.image

Late Pre-departure

Hello my name is Daisy Romero I am in Korea right now and the time is 2:39 on a Sunday. I was so caught up on getting all stuff together as well as hanging out with friends in family before I left, that I completely spaced about the blog. However, I do have a journal that I write in so I can tell you exactly what I was feeling before I left to Korea. Here it goes.
It is Wednesday, a day before I leave. I am still in like lala land, I feel like nothing is really going on. I just feel like I am on a mini vacation from work and tomorrow I have to go back. Yesenia (my friend since middle school) keeps telling me, “It’s like we are in High school again. Hanging out with no worries about work and just doing what we want.” I was like this is going to end soon and I am going to be on my way to Korea, but for some reason I don’t feel any different. There is no anxiety attacks, or worries right now. Maybe once I get there I will feel the culture shock and all that, but right now I am just like “meh”. Last week I was worrying about my departure, what am I going to do with no work?, what about the language barrier? will my roommate like me? what if I don’t like her? this is going to be hard. However, as the days went by my worries went away. Daisy you are going to be fine, you will make friends to help you with the language barrier, you can turn on that customer service (i work retail so I can be really customer friendly when it is needed) when you meet your roommate, and you will go into clubs for that extra time you have on your hands or exercise. Let’s do this Daisy! you have been waiting three months for this you are ready.
Yes, even in writing I talk myself, just for motivational purposes. So that was what I was feeling before I left I will post something new on Thursday my time to let you guys know about my experiences this week. Until then Annyong!

Fifth week in London

My fifth week here was spent starting my essays. Here, instead of having assignments throughout the term, you just go to lectures and take notes for ten weeks and then the last week you write an essay that makes up 100% of your grade. So there’s a lot of pressure toward the end of the term. This is why I’ve decided to start now! I also visited the science museum and Hyde park. It was actually sunny this weekend which made London so beautiful! It finally felt like home! image

Fourth week in London

imageThis week I went with a group of international students on a tour of the Hampton Court Palace. We had a great time touring the gardens and apartments of the Tudors. It was a lot of fun but I hope to go back in the spring when the gardens are in bloom. Also it would be much more enjoyable when it’s not freezing outside. It was great to go outside of London and see so much history. Next will be a tour of the North of England and York, which should be really cool.
I’m pretty much completely adjusted to the culture and differences here and just settling in.

Stateside

I’ve been home for a month now and I’m missing Barcelona more with every passing day. I didn’t think I could miss it more than I did when I first left; but sometimes, absence does make the heart grow fonder. It’s weird being home. It wasnt long before I started feeling like it was all just a dream. On the drive home from the airport I felt like I had never left at all. Nothing has changed, at least nothing of any consequence (besides maybe gas prices). People grow a little, cut their hair, have babies, and get married but the town still looks the same. I still take the same road to get home, all the same stores occupy the same corners; yet, in some ways, I feel like my life has been turned upside down.

I have missed Oregon, I’ve missed my family and friends. I’ve missed all the trees and grass, pizza, sushi, and hamburgers. But now, while I’m not missing pizza, I miss pan con tomate and Spanish tortilla. I miss the city sounds and lights, I miss El Prat (even though it took me quite some time to get on its good side), Sant Pau, the Medeteranian sea, and the metro. I miss Catalunya. I miss Barcelona, and I can’t wait to go back!

Life is good… life is great! I am blessed beyond belief to have had this experience and to come home to many more adventures. As much as I miss Barcelona, it doesn’t do well to dwell on the past and forget to enjoy today, and make the most of tomorrow! To all the adventures yet to come, may each be as wonderful as the last… in their own special way.

Cambio y fuera,

Elani

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Goodbye beautiful Barcelona.

Second week in London

imageI’m now in my second week at Roehampton and other than scheduling issues and equivalency questions, I am doing much better. I have settled in quite a bit and am learning to enjoy life here on campus. I was able to visit central London and experience being a tourist in this beautiful city. I have to walk 25 minutes to class which is hugely different from at western Oregon where I’d walk 5 minutes to class. The classes here are much bigger and much more intimidating but I thinknill be alright. Now that I’ve settled, staying here seems much more doable. I’m looking forward to all of the experiences I will have here in the next few months.

First week in London

I’ve been in London for two days now but it feels like I’ve been here for weeks already. The first day was great! I toured around campus and the roehampton area. I was very excited and happy to be here but I didn’t get much sleep. Then today, I had a really hard time dealing with what I’m assuming was culture shock. It’s probably also because I’m very tired, but I was so overwhelmed when trying to pick out groceries it was unreal. Everything is just so dif

Touring Roehampton

Touring Roehampton

ferent and I don’t recognize brands or what is a good deal or not. So I gave up and went to a cafe to grab a bite to eat. I looked on the menu for anything that sounded familiar. I realized that this was me shutting out the other culture. I used to think that I wouldn’t have culture shock in London because it’s not that different from America, but I was so wrong. It’s completely different in so many ways. And when I realized that, I freaked out a bit. So I called my mom, took a nap, and feel much better. I also feel that I’m paranoid about American stereotypes and being treated poorly but so far it hasn’t been a problem. I think by next week I’ll be settled in much better and be coping with the culture shock well.

Pre-departure

Hello, my name is Madelyn Hay and tomorrow I’ll be boarding my flight to London, England. The weeks leading up to my departure have been pretty crazy. One moment, I’m excited and the next I’m crying and wondering why I am doing this. I know that once I get there, that question will be answered and I’ll immediately be glad that I chose to travel abroad but until then, I’ll be somewhere between ecstatic and tearful. I’m mainly nervous about the flight because I’ve never traveled internationally or independently. But both are wonderful experiences that I will be glad to accomplish.  Leaving my hometown of camas, Washington and going in to such a huge city will surely be a bit of a struggle at first but I look forward to this experience as I hope to grow from it and embrace independence.