Tips and Tricks for Costa Rican Transportation

In my previous blog I left off talking about the many fun and culturally informative travels that I did with ICDS. Which I don’t think I ever said what ICDS was, but it stands for International Center for Developmental Studies and is the company that Drexel is partnered with to allow us to study in ...

Last Week – Trip to DC

The last week of Winter term is coming, with some final school work to be done. Though it is a busy season of the year for many students, I decided to give myself some quality time to relax and enjoy the beauty of early spring; a trip to Washington DC! Because it was an impromptu ...

Last week of classes

This week was the final week of classes for my first quarter in Drexel. My first term has flown here and I look forward to getting a week off classes. The terms over here are a lot longer than in my home institution. As Drexel is a quarterly university, college goes all year round consisting ...

A reflection on my past two months in Philly

It is the final week of Winter Term. This is going to be my last blog entry, and I feel like it is a good time to do some review and reflection on my two and a half months in Drexel. As a medical student, I did not have the chance to learn things outside ...

Some of my most FAQ for studying abroad in Costa Rica

¡Hola mi gente! Studying abroad is exciting and confusing, especially for concerned friends and loved ones back home, so there are a lot of questions. Here are some examples of the most commonly asked questions I have gotten from my friends and family at home. This list is in no particular order of frequency or ...

An Overview of my Program Field Trips

The best part about being in a study abroad program is the new friends that I have made. A close second, however, would definitely be the program-sponsored field trips that I have had the opportunity to take. These field trips have been fully sponsored by the International Center for Developmental Studies and I have learned ...

C

Culture, its truly shocking

Buenas todos, today I’m gonna be discussing culture shock and how I’ve experienced it during my time here in Costa Rica. Culture shock is a common and expected concept that an individual will experience when living in a different country for any period of time — especially a three month study abroad trip; it can ...

Weekend Trips in Costa Rica

Now that I only have a week left, I thought I would compile all of the weekend trips that I have taken here in Costa Rica! Monteverde Monteverde was such a gorgeous introduction to all of the biodiversity that Costa Rica offers. I stayed in a hostel room with a couple of other people from ...

Learning about social issues in Philly

One of my goals during my time here is to educate myself on social issues, whether it be local or national. This Monday, I learned about one of the ongoing issues in West Philly. To put it simply, Penn and Drexel are planning to buy up the affordable housing complex University City Townhomes, redevelop the ...

American Fantasy

American Highschool, teenage, and college life movies are pretty popular in South Korea. Some parts of the movies are very culturally unfamiliar to Koreans – such as football, homecoming, prom, fraternities, and sororities. These cultural aspects become a part of an American Fantasy for some people as they are like a “world of the unknown” ...

5 Things to Keep at Home

One of the hardest things about studying abroad is planning what you really need to pack for your trip. Because if you’re anything like me, you’re an over-packer. When you pack you have to make sure you aren’t over weight limit for luggage allowance and of course you want to leave enough space to bring ...

Learning Spanish in Spain

I chose to study abroad in Spain knowing my limited abilities in Spanish. I did not study it in high school either, so I had zero exposure to the language prior to coming to Madrid. A few weeks before the study abroad, I began learning some basic phrases on Duolingo so that I could get ...

Week 9: New York

Last week I spent the weekend in New York. It was my second time visiting since arriving in Philly on international exchange and it definitely won’t be my last. It is an incredible city that has something to offer for everyone. It’s an incredibly vibrant place and the architecture, culture and atmosphere of the place ...

Trying a “God-Life”

In Korea, when we see a diligent person living an exemplary life, we call that lifestyle “a God-life” – as in a lifestyle that a God would have. Having been “playing” too much recently, I thought that I may need to change my everyday routines to live a healthier life. Therefore, I decided that this ...

Week 8

As an international exchange college student living in Philadelphia, one of my favourite things has been the rich history that is embedded in the city’s architecture and museums. Last weekend I visited the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which houses some of the world’s most renowned art collections. At the core of their collection they have ...

We’re in Miami baby!

It has been nothing but freezing cold weather since I came to Philly, and I started to miss summer, beaches, and sunshine. So, my friends and I decided to skip classes for a week (hey we are all exchange students, it’s now or never sorry professors), packed our bags, and went to Florida. It was ...

Vegetarian in Madrid

One of my favorite things to do in Madrid is eating out! I am always on the lookout for good restraunts that serve authentic Spanish food as well as vegetarian options although typical Spanish meals do contain meat. Before the study abroad program, I was skeptical about the food options for vegetarians and was worried ...

Daily Life in San Jose, Costa Rica

Hello folks! I currently have the pleasure of living in the gorgeous country of Costa Rica and the privilege of living in a small community just outside of the capital city San Jose. This little suburb of San Jose is called Sabanilla, where the majority of the study abroad students in the program live, is ...

5 Major Packing Recommendations for Costa Rica

Deciding what to pack for a weekend trip is hard enough, so what do you pack for a three-month study abroad trip? Obviously, you need to bring the really important things like your passport, drivers license/state ID, insurance cards, credit or debit cards, but like, what else do you REALLY need? After living in Costa ...

A slow week…

Week 7 has probably been the slowest paced week in terms of activities I’ve done since arriving here from Dublin. I was focusing a lot on my studies this week after a hectic weekend of visitors. Two friends came up from Canada and we had a fantastic time with them. It was amazing to see ...

An Average Tuesday in San Jose

One of the most pressing questions I had before starting my study abroad experience revolved around what an average day’s schedule would look like. Once I arrived here, I was very quickly put into a comfortable routine that I have been able to follow ever since. Here is what the schedule of an average Tuesday ...

I Like the Zoo, I Like the Museum

It’s already been about 2 months since I first moved to Philadelphia. I love hanging out with friends, exploring new places, and discovering delicious restaurants. I feel like I have visited most of the Philadelphia “must visit” locations. But searching Google Maps, I realized that there are a lot of museums that I have not ...

Drexel in Costa Rica: Health Care in Latin America FAQ

My classes have been informative and very interesting. I am currently taking Spanish, Economics of Healthcare, Vulnerable Populations, and Healthcare in Costa Rica. The classes are very participation-based and do not have a lot of work required outside of class. Classes are not held on Fridays, which gives us three-day weekends.  The classes are held ...

Get in loser, we’re going shopping!

As you could tell from the title, yes, I love shopping. Growing up with 2000s chick flicks, Disney Channel, and Nickelodeon cartoons/sitcoms, they would always show the popular kids hanging out in the mall after school. Those shows would always include scenes of girls going dress shopping together, starting catfights with their rivals, running into ...

Philly’s Sports Spirit

On Sunday, I woke up excited about the upcoming game in the evening. I was about to have the biggest night of Philly with the Superbowl game between the Eagles and Kansas City – which, BTW was surprisingly a football team of Missouri, not Kansas..! I wasn’t very interested in football before and don’t know ...

Superbowl Sunday and the 76ers

As we were getting close to Superbowl Sunday, the whole city was buzzing with excitement. The Philly streets were filled with people wearing green, and I had an Eagles cap on too when we were heading to Center City on Saturday. It was an awesome experience as I would yell ‘GO BIRDS!’ in random peoples’ ...

Week 6: Cash Only!

Last weekend I spent time in DC. I was really excited going there to see how it differs from Philly. In terms of the city itself, I felt it was a very corporate atmosphere. I think this might have been a result of visiting on the weekend and DC being very much a working city ...

Spring!

This week I’ve noticed a big change in the weather. I’m not sure how the seasons work in the US, or in Philly in particular but the now warmer temperature has been a huge welcome. I’ve also come to the conclusion that Philly is more beautiful looking when the sun shines. I had a friend ...

Thrift stores, music and more!

I have always loved visiting vintage stores. I adored the feeling of getting into a store and never knowing what to expect. It was like looking through a mystery box, full of unique treasures waiting for you to discover, and every piece had its own story behind it. Back in Hong Kong, I would spend ...

5 New Fruits!

Costa Rica is incredibly biodiverse and is also the home to many different microclimates. These microclimates are home to an array of fresh fruits, vegetables, and livestock that supply the Costa Rican population throughout the year. During my time here, I have tried many different foods, including some fruits that I personally had never had ...

Walking in a Philly Wonderland

I’m Sunny, 21 On Friday morning, at 6 am, I woke up excitedly and got on the lyft to Philadelphia Airport. The plane arrived at 8 from Boston, dropping my dear old friend in my city. Virginia is a friend I met in Oklahoma back in 2012, and we have been looking forward to meeting ...

My Classes and School Life

I’m Sunny! Weeks are flying by here, especially with the term only being 10 weeks long. The quarter system is pretty new to me, and for that matter so are having midterm exams during Week 4 of the term. Not to mention, never have I ever in my life had three exams for one course ...

An NYC and Eagles weekend

Last Saturday, I woke up at 6:30am with groggy eyes. Chowing down an apple and a cup of coffee, me and my friends rushed to the bus station, catching the bus to New York City. Growing up, I watched countless movies and TV shows taking place in the bustling metropolis. As the song goes ‘New ...

Learning about Vulnerable Populations

Apart from all of the fun I have had traveling so far during my time abroad, one of the main aspects of studying abroad is the studying. Currently, I am taking four classes that are the equivalent of 16 credits using Drexel’s system. These classes include Economics of Healthcare, Healthcare in Costa Rica, Spanish, and ...

Week 4: Go Dragons!

While this week hasn’t been my busiest, I’ve now accepted that Philadelphia is a city that truly has it all. As a recent transplant to the city, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by all that it has to offer. While the weather is still a bit chilly, the sunny days are becoming more and more frequent, ...

Week 3: Fly Eagles Fly

This week has all been about the eagles. Coming from Ireland, I have no idea about American Football or how it works, however it’s clear to me the passion there is here in Philly for the Eagles and how the city embraces them in such a strong way. There’s a similar culture to be seen ...

Homecoming: an athletic week

To be frank, when I first heard of homecoming at Drexel, I thought there will be some sort of prom/dance thing that we have to dress up for (yes, I know right?). I was mentally ready to do all the tedious dress hunting, turns out everything was not what I was expecting!  The homecoming week ...

Good life in Philly

I’m Sunny, 21, and Go Eagles! Being an exchange student, I am always looking for chances to really enjoy life in Philly. Back in my home university in Korea, I was a vice president of an exchange student organization where we helped adjust exchange students to life in Korea through various activities and buddy programs. ...

First Week of School!

I’m Sunny, 21, an exchange student at Drexel University. On January 9, 2023 the winter quarter of Drexel University and my first day of school as an exchange student began! A mandatory orientation was scheduled at 10 a.m. at the intercultural center, so I left my apartment near 9. Since I left the house bit ...

Philly: A home away from home

As a new Irish person living in Philadelphia, it has been quite wholesome to be able to immerse myself in the rich cultural heritage of this city while also maintaining my own cultural identity. One of the things I have found to love most about living in Philadelphia so far is the abundance of Irish ...

My classes in Drexel and MLK day

It was officially the second week of classes, and so far, everything has been going great. I have finally recovered from my frustrating jet lag and got the energy to hit the gym for the first time at Drexel! My mood always gets better after a good sweat. One thing that I wanted to talk ...

Culture Shock in Costa Rica

When I first entered Costa Rica, there were a couple of cultural changes that I immediately faced. Now that I have spent two weeks in Costa Rica, I feel as though I have finally started to accept some of the norms as parts of my routine.  For starters, as soon as I entered the home ...

Good Bye Seoul, Hello Philadelphia!

I’m Sunny, 21, from Seoul, South Korea to Drexel in Phila, PA On December 29th, 2022 I got on the plane to Philadelphia after teary goodbye to my friends at Incheon International Airport. After about 21 hours of travel, I arrived at my new apartment in Philly. The Uber driver was kind enough to help ...

To the other side of the world!

After a very long and somewhat tedious 22-hour flight, I finally arrived in Philadelphia on a cloudy and chilly Sunday. The first thing I did after landing was to check into Caneris Hall, which is where I will be staying in for the next 5 months. I was immediately greeted with smiles and hugs from ...

Irish in Philly: Week 1

It’s almost one week since I’ve landed in Philly to begin my international exchange. One thing that I noticed early on is the overwhelming friendliness of Philly people and their willingness to stop and talk, and give city recommendations. I had underestimated the actual size and scope of Philadelphia before arriving here. The skyline and ...

5 Things you MUST pack for a Study Abroad in Costa Rica

Hola from Costa Rica! Now that I have officially been here for a week, I have finally settled into my new home with my host family, met some new friends from universities across the United States, and started my classes. In the past week, I have also discovered that I have been using some of ...

Arrivederci Roma!

Najifa Hussain, ’25, is a Management Information Systems major studying at the American University of Rome this Fall 2022. Alas, after four months abroad my study abroad journey has almost come to an end. The week leading up to my flight back home where I am extremely excited to reunite with my friends and family, ...

Saying Goodbye to Dublin!

With the finals rush coming to an end and the countdown to my early morning flight back to the US waning, it is time to say goodbye to Dublin! In this bittersweet moment, I am happy to be heading home for the holidays, yet still longing for more travel experiences. The past three and a ...

World Cup Frenzy!

I am a football fanatic, and, like pretty much the entire world right now, I am obsessed with the Men’s FIFA 2022 World Cup! I’ve been playing soccer (sorry football!) since I was in 2nd grade. Every four years, I have managed to get locked into watching every match and highlights, following all the stages, ...

Favorite Country I’ve Visited Outside of My Host Country

Najifa Hussain, ’25, is a Management Information Systems major studying at the American University of Rome this Fall 2022. The best part about studying abroad in Europe for me has been the easy access when it comes to traveling to other countries outside of Italy. Since Rome is in such a central location in Europe, ...

Reflection: My Study Abroad in the US

Sitting on my bed at midnight, I am reflecting on my time here at Drexel, and in the US generally. This year has been an interesting one for me, in many respects. I have had several opportunities that have helped me experience growth, learning and helped me become – my study abroad at Drexel being ...

Mindset after Studying Abroad

Najifa Hussain, ’25, is a Management Information Systems major studying at the American University of Rome this Fall 2022. I never really understood what people meant when they told me “studying abroad will change your life,” until now, Spending four months away from home in a country you have never visited really does in fact ...

Finals are Approaching… A Typical Day of Studying at TCD

While the December chill brings a warm Christmas glow to high-spirited Dublin, Trinity College students are busy motivating themselves to make it through their last week of classes before finals. Trinity’s course structure includes a Study Week between the last week of classes and before Finals Week. In my case, out of my five courses, ...

5 Best New Foods I’ve Tried in Italy

Najifa Hussain, ’25, is a Management Information Systems major studying at the American University of Rome this Fall 2022. One of the best parts about studying abroad, is obviously as you can tell by the title, food! Studying in Rome, has given me the chance to try endless amounts of traditional Roman dishes that are ...

Global Perspectives in Public Health/Medicine

As a Biological Sciences major on the pre-med track, I knew I was interested in a public health minor to understand more about how social, economic, environmental, and community factors play a role in an individual or community’s health. I decided to minor in Global Public Health during my 2nd year at Drexel University, after ...

Christmas Markets in Germany

It’s officially December, and I’m thrilled that the Christmas market season is here! It’s time to listen to “All I Want for Christmas is You,” “Jingle Bell,” or “Felix Navida” while sipping mule wine, drinking hot chocolate, or eating crepes and sausages. While there are dozens of Christmas Markets worldwide, I can assure you that ...

Reading Week! – An Italian Adventure

During Week 9 of the Fall Semester is Trinity College Dublin’s Reading Week – a well-deserved, break for undergraduate students in the middle of the semester (this year Oct. 24th to Oct 31st, 2022). Most study abroad students take this time to explore and travel. Along with three other friends on study abroad, I spent ...

An Italian in Philly: The Last Days Here

Everything comes to an end and my exchange at Drexel is no exception. During these last days here I’ve been busy juggling between assignments, projects and finals, trying to submit everything in time. Nevertheless, I also had some time to think and reflect on how this quarter abroad went, the ups and downs of my ...

My First Thanksgiving Holiday

Thanksgiving, as a holiday, is not celebrated in Nigeria or Germany- two countries I am mostly affiliated with. Therefore, it was one holiday I was looking forward to experiencing during my time here in the US. Before I go ahead and talk about my first Thanksgiving experience, two things first. One, I have come to ...

Learning Italian Abroad

Najifa Hussain, ’25, is a Management Information Systems major studying at the American University of Rome this Fall 2022. Before coming abroad to Rome, my knowledge of the Italian language was extremely minimal. I did try my hand at daily Duolingo lessons on my phone, but its not easy to learn an entire language when ...

The Big Apple

This week was a busy one. Between classes, quizzes and travel I was kept fairly busy. My classes came and went as usual apart from a philosophy quiz on Tuesday. My brain was fried from trying to remember the difference between disjunctive and hypothetical syllogisms. That night I went to the men’s basketball game against ...

Typical Day in my Life in Hong Kong

Although my life in Hong Kong has been full of crazy adventures and lots of sightseeing, there have also been a lot of relaxing and work-dedicated days necessary for recharging and completing assignments.  I thought I’d outline one of these typical days in my life as an HKU student. I started my day by walking ...

An Italian in Philly: Basketball games for dummies

It might sound weird to some of you but I’ve never been to a basketball game, like, ever. To be fair, I haven’t been to any sports game at all. Even when I was in Italy, sports games were never on my to-do list. Coming to the US, however, I knew I had to watch ...

Countdown to the Holiday Season

This week saw the last few days of warm weather before the inevitable cold at the tail end of Fall sets in. Although this might be a disappointment for most, I myself love the cold and cannot wait for those days where I can wrap myself up in hoodies and hats. Given my complexion Fall ...

NYC for the Weekend?

One of the perks of having an exchange program in Philadelphia is that it is very close to major US cities like New York, Washington DC, etc. Naturally, as someone who has limited time in the US, I had to visit these cities. So, last weekend, I took a day trip to NYC! New York ...

The Unforgettable Impact of Studying Abroad

Najifa Hussain, ’25, is a Management Information Systems major studying at the American University of Rome this Fall 2022. For as long as I can remember, I have always been extremely interested in studying abroad and finding a college with a great study abroad program was a huge priority of mine. Thankfully, Drexel had exactly ...

5 Best Iconic Hong Kong Foods I’ve Tried

In one of our last send-off seminars with Drexel’s study abroad advisors, we were asked what we were most anticipating in Hong Kong.  My answer, of course, was the food!  Hong Kong is famous for having some amazing and distinct cuisine.  You will come across most of these traditional foods being sold walking down any ...

5 Things to See When You Visit Rome

Najifa Hussain, ’25, is a Management Information Systems major studying at the American University of Rome this Fall 2022. After having had the opportunity to live in Rome for almost three months now, I think I can say that I have a solid list of must see places and especially restaurants that I can recommend ...

A Hong Kong Halloween

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays; I love the fall weather, the costumes, the movies, the haunted houses, and the overall spooky atmosphere.  I didn’t know if or how Halloween was celebrated in Hong Kong, as it is certainly more of a big deal in the US—we even dedicate a whole “Halloweekend” to it.  ...

World Series Week

Throughout this week my main priority was finding somewhere to watch the World Series. Of course I tended to my schoolwork and other duties as any responsible student would, but with the Phillies returning to Citizens Bank Park with a win under their belt, the dream of a World Series looked to be on the ...

An Italian in Philly: the challenges of being an exchange student

I’m writing this article as I’m sitting on the bus, admiring once again the skyline of Philadelphia, that will take me to New York for the second time this month. It’s probably not the most usual time to write about the challenges of being an exchange student, yet a part of me feels a bit ...

Culture Shocks: Germany to Philadelphia II

Continuing from my last blog post here, I will be mentioning a few more culture shocks I have had since moving from Germany to Philadelphia. More Expensive: The cost of living is relatively expensive, at least when compared to Germany, and probably Europe in general. The cost of goods and services, from anything between grocery ...

Phillies for the World Series

The first half of this week primarily consisted of attending my classes during the day and spending time with my parents in Center City at night. Tuesday night we went out to Cleavers, a cheesesteak place in Center City on 18th and Chestnut. There I got ordered myself “The Cleaver” — a cheesesteak with one ...

Halloween in the US

This week marked the beginning of the second half of the Fall quarter here at Drexel. Looking back, my first two months here in the US have really flown by. With six weeks of classes under my belt I think it’s safe to say that I have, or at least really should have, a decent ...

An Italian in Philly: best and worst foods

I don’t think I’ll shock anyone by saying that, as an Italian born and raised in Italy, food is a very sensitive and important topic for me. In this post I’ll list my top three best and worst foods I’ve tried so far in the United States. I’ve only been here for two months so ...

Things I Wish I Knew Before Studying Abroad – Rome, Italy

Najifa Hussain, ’25, is a Management Information Systems major studying at the American University of Rome this Fall 2022. It has officially been about two months since I have started my study abroad journey and I feel as if I have a good amount of knowledge to spread on this topic. In my previous blog ...

Ins and Outs of the Hong Kong Transportation System

After living in Philadelphia for a few years, I’ve become pretty familiar with taking public transportation, but it’s something that I have to use every single day in Hong Kong.  HK has a notoriously sophisticated transportation system that makes every area easily accessible, and I have so many options when it comes to traveling from ...

Culture Shocks: Germany to Philadelphia

In my second month of being in Philadelphia, and by extension the US, I have had certain novel experiences that in some cases were interesting, while in others came as a shock to me. I have outlined some of these culture shocks which I have experienced since moving to the US from Germany. More Vibrant ...

An Italian in Philly: 10 Cultural Shocks – Part 2

To continue where we left with my last article here are five more cultural shocks that I’ve experienced as an Italian living in Philly. #5 Cost of living This point might not exactly fall into the cultural shock category, but it surely was shocking for me. The cost of living in the USA, especially in ...

Must See! – Five Attractions to Visit in Dublin

Now halfway through my time studying abroad here in Dublin, I have been able to explore most of the major tourist attractions in the city. The following is a list of my five favorite must-see attractions, spanning both historical museums and beautiful sites! 1. Dublin Castle and Chester Beatty Library An early Viking settlement and ...

What to Do and See in Philly

Philadelphia is Pennsylvania’s largest city and its collection of museums and historical artifacts, and sites boast of its richness of art, culture, and history. There is, surely, a lot to do in Philly, and here I would like to mention just a few of them. Visit Old City, “America’s most historic neighborhood” and in addition ...

History Right Beneath Your Feet (Literally!)

Dublin in Irish is known as Baile Átha Cliath, coming from the old Irish settlement name Áth Cliath – which means ‘Hurdled Fort’. The history of this city dates back to over a millennium ago, and it is crazy to compare the timeline of events in this one city to the timeline of any American ...

Progress Report on Learning Mandarin

As the semester at HKU reaches the halfway point and our midterms wrap up, I thought it’d be an apt time to give a progress report on learning a second language. Throughout middle school and high school, I learned Spanish; however, living on the East Coast in a predominantly white town gave me almost no ...

Mr. Wong Mondays – Our Hong Kong Tradition

One week after arriving in Hong Kong, on a Monday night, I found myself sitting around two old tables, surrounded by unfamiliar faces; a laundry basket filled with drinks was placed next to me, and a steaming hot platter of dumplings was placed in front of me.  At that moment and for the following four ...

Irish Parents Weekend

This week my parents arrived in Philly from Ireland for a week-long visit. Having lived in King of Prussia themselves for a year about two decades ago they were eager to see what has changed. Their first night here on Wednesday I took them to experience the culinary excellence that is Shake Shack. The crinkled ...

An Italian in Philly: 10 Cultural Shocks – Part 1

Week 5 has just come to an end, which means I am basically mid-way through my exchange time abroad. Despite still having many places to see and things to do I’ve already confronted many aspects of the American culture that shocked me, so here’s a short list. #10 Customer Service One of the first culture ...

Reading Week…or a Spontaneous Philippines Trip

When I applied to study abroad, I had never been outside North America.  In my mind, travel was a cool concept, but super stressful.  I had no idea where to even begin in terms of planning and logistics, or what problems to expect.  I wanted to take the chance in Hong Kong to visit other ...

A Small Guide to Studying Abroad at Drexel University

Halfway into the quarter has brought with it mid-term exams and papers, in addition to the weekly dose of assignments, class works and readings. Having been here for a while now, I feel somewhat equipped to share some tips or guide for navigating the system at Drexel as a new [exchange] student. I must mention ...

An Italian in Philly: The Harvest Weekend

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas… They are all amazing holidays, but sometimes you just want to enjoy the arrival of the fall season as it is, watching the trees becoming yellow and orange and the weather becoming more rainy and chilly. If you’re a fan of the fall season then the Harvest Weekend is must-go during your ...

COOP during Study Abroad

It’s the time of the year again when students rush to edit their resumes, practice their elevator pitches and mock interviews, and wish for a successful COOP season. This year marks the first time I’m doing my COOP cycle with lots of nerves and excitement. I have been working with my COOP advisor and attending ...

March Towards Midterms

With two weeks of classes down I was fast approaching my first set of exams. I’m used to the Irish system in which your entire grade rests on your final exams of each semester. Therefore, smaller “bite-sized” exams or quizzes were a welcome change of pace. That is not to say that I find one ...

The Irish Landscapes: Best Day Trips/Weekend Trips to Take while Studying Abroad in Dublin

Though Dublin is full of an extensive number of museums and places to explore, my weekends are full of touristy trips to other popular cities and towns nearby. It’s been a lot of craic (super fun in Irish :)) In the past five weeks, here is a little snapshot of five of the day trips ...

5 Things to See When You Visit Austria

It’s difficult not to fall in love with Vienna and its clean, relaxed atmosphere as one of Europe’s most beautifully historic cities. I planned my trip to Vienna for late September or early October when it isn’t too chilly to enjoy wandering around the streets and the day isn’t too short. Austria is my #1 ...

Fall Arrives in Philly

By my third week in Philly sunny skies were becoming more and more infrequent and there was definitely an emerging chill in the air. Leaves began to gather on the sidewalks as the first indication of Fall. The tail end of Storm Ian made me feel quite at home funnily enough. Weather this time of ...

Philly to Dublin: Things I Wish I Knew Before Studying Abroad

Diaduit! That’s Irish for “hiya!” 🙂 With the one-month mark of my study abroad experience at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) in Dublin, Ireland, I am reflecting on changes I experienced at the start of this study abroad chapter. As expected with a long-term visit to a new place or country, I did experience a culture ...

Visit to The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia

On February 5, 1824, Samuel Vaughan Merrick and William H. Keating founded The Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts; it opened to the public on January 1, 1934. Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Franklin Institute. One of the major attractions to Philadelphia ...

An Italian in Philly: Comparing School Systems

Growing up I’ve always looked at the Italian school system with a critical eye, because I knew that, even if it was reputable, there was definitely room for improvement. One of the main reasons I wanted to go study abroad was precisely to experience a new school system, different than what I’ve been used to ...

Day in My Life as a CS exchange student at Drexel

I usually start my day off with a light breakfast of hot chocolate and some pastry. After going through my emails, planner, and skimming through my class notes, I head out to campus. I have about half of my classes in the CCI (College of Computing and Informatics), which, I believe, is the furthest college ...

5 Best New Foods I’ve Tried and Absolutely Loved

Everyone loves food! It gives me the best comfort when I’m stressed. My go-to is always Vietnamese food, but I also want to try new dishes from other cultures. Individually, we grow up eating the food of our cultures. It becomes a part of who each of us is. But on a larger scale, food ...

An Italian in Philly: dragons, dragons everywhere

You’re home scrolling TikToks on your phone when you suddenly receive a notification from your mailing inbox: a new email from your Drexel advisor telling you not to miss the Welcome Week sessions. You ask yourself, “What is Welcome Week?” and you decide to put it in the bucket of things to google later, which ...

A Day in The Life Studying in Roma

Najifa Hussain, ’25, is a Management Information Systems major studying at the American University of Rome this Fall 2022. Buongiorno! Starting my typical school days off in Rome is usually the same thing every morning. The school I am in places many of their students in a local neighborhood for housing, which means that there ...

Experiencing Culture Shock in Hong Kong

Studying abroad in a country that’s literally across the world is, as expected, an adjustment.  Coming to Hong Kong, I knew that there would be certain aspects of life that would be difficult to navigate; however, there is definitely a big difference in mentally preparing yourself for a life-changing trip and then actually experiencing it! ...

Classes Commence

My second week in Philly marked the beginning of classes. Going into this year I had some concerns about the academic rigor of the US college education system, especially that of Drexel. Not only was I going into a different examination system, that of continuous assessment, but I was also going into a different calendar ...

Progress update on learning German

Learning a new language has never been easy. It has a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to achieve the goal of being fluent like a native speaker. My entire childhood was dedicated to learning English, and it’s been a long journey with ups and downs. There have been times when I’ve wanted to give ...

My First Week in Philly

To start, my name is Conall Gilleran. I am an Irish inbound exchange student studying at Drexel from September until June. I chose Drexel as I have familial connections to Philly and wanted to study on the east coast. I’ve also always enjoyed the Rocky movies. Having flown from Dublin to Boston to DC, I ...

Study Abroad in Philadelphia, USA

It has been roughly 2 weeks since I landed in the US; one week since arriving in Philadelphia, and a couple of my experiences so far have ushered me into some aspects of the US, or more specifically Philly’s, culture. One thing that I have noticed constantly in Philadelphia is the people. Philadelphia is quite ...

An Italian in Philly: my first day

T-shirt, sweater, winter coat, trousers and boots, these were the clothes I decided to wear on the 8th of September, the day I moved to Philadelphia. If you are from Philly, you can probably guess where this is going. Even before leaving the airport I was warned by a security officer that it was going ...

My First Holiday in Hong Kong

On Monday 9/5, the beginning of my first full week of classes, I was more motivated than ever.  I was going to find all my classrooms easily, attend all my lectures on time, and throw myself into my schoolwork.  However, at the end of my very first class, the professor gave an unexpected farewell: “See ...

My Experience at London Centre for Book Arts

In the last five weeks of my study abroad trip, one of my courses is Zine Design! If you are not a graphic design student or interested in art you may be thinking ‘What is a Zine?’ A Zine is a self-published print work that is typically produced in small and limited batches. I was ...

Food Places You MUST Go to When in London

As a foodie, going to a different country I couldn’t wait to explore all of the different restaurants and fast foods that I wasn’t able to acquire in the United States. Tibet Kitchen In Ely’s Yard of Brick Lane in East London there’s a little square of about 6 food trucks. There are a ton ...

My Final Thoughts

A couple of days after landing in the US after my London study abroad program and I’m reflecting on what a great experience it was. I don’t think I could ever express how life-changing and fulfilling it made me feel! Being able to explore to the extent of studying abroad has allowed me to. I’ve ...

My thoughts about the UK before studying in London

Before arriving in London I wrote about any opinions that came to my mind about the UK before my class focused on learning about its cultural history and context: There are multiple elements that can contribute to an English person’s cultural identity. British culture and what it means to be British/English seems to be everchanging ...

On the Road

While Bremen has plenty of attractions to keep visitors occupied for days, you have many options if you want to venture out of town for a day trip to experience different vibes and it’s so hard to make the decision. Hamburg is famous for its nightlife and cultural diversity. Hannover is renowned for its culture ...

Things I Wish I Knew Before Studying Abroad

There are many things that I wish I knew before moving to London to study abroad for the summer. A lot of things that you think are self-explanatory may change when you’re actually at your destination. So in this blog, I’m going to explain a couple of things that surprise me and then I wish ...

Seeing a Shakespeare Show in London

For my British Life and Visual Media course, we took a trip to the Shakespeare Globe Theater and saw Henry VIII! Seeing this show was a great experience of seeing showcasing British culture. My classmates and I arrived early to make sure we got a good spot. The globe theater is made up of sitting ...

The Vintage Scene in London

Almost every city and town I’ve visited in London has had a bountiful of vintage shops and vendors. As someone who was very excited to get new clothes while studying abroad, London became my favorite place ever to consume fashion. Prior to living in London, I had a huge interest in vintage clothing and with ...

Experiencing Culture Shock in Rome

Najifa Hussain, ’25, is a Management Information Systems major studying at the American University of Rome this Fall 2022. Spending this past week in Rome for the very first time, there are various culture shocks that I have experienced. Even from my very first day here, I could easily tell how different of a place ...

A Day In The Life Studying In London

Three weeks down, one to go. Time flew and before I know it, I’ll be back in Philadelphia in no time. Every day in London is both similar and different. Let me take you on a day where there was a good mix of class and after class activities; a mix between similar and different ...

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My Thoughts After Studying Abroad

Was studying abroad worth it? Should you study abroad? After going through the application process and finally being able to experience studying abroad was studying in London it to me? And with confidence I can say to me it was 100% worth it. If I didn’t go to London I would not have grown as ...

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What to Do While in London?

After spending two months in London and having the pleasure of exploring as much as I can in that time I am going to tell you some of the things you MUST do while you are there. 1. South Bank If it is your first time visiting London, you have to get the tourist spots ...

 Onto the next chapter

As I’m sitting in my room, looking out at a gorgeous garden with trees and flowers dancing with the sun in the wind, writing to you, I have been to Bremen for three days. Three days packed with new information. Three days of endless meetings. Three days with happily chaotic. My welcome week, I believe, ...

A Day in the Life at LCF

A typical day at London College of Fashion goes pretty much the same depending on majority of my classes. But due to tube strikes and record breaking heatwaves all throughout London, meant some my class schedule had to be moved around. So while the week to week was pretty much the same, the day to ...

Day Trip To Dover!

There are so many cities that we can visit near London, that it is nearly impossible to choose where to go first. As someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy hiking for pleasure very often, when Dover was brought up as an option, a light lit up in my mind and I knew I wanted to go ...

5 Best New Foods I’ve Tried Abroad!

I would personally call myself a foodie. I enjoy eating pretty much anything and there aren’t many foods that I dislike. Though there are many dishes that I’ve tried throughout my life, there is an unlimited number of dishes and cuisines that I have yet to try. During my time abroad, I have tried some ...

Paris vs. London Culture Shocks

After living in the US for years now, then moving to Paris for a month and getting used to their culture, to coming to London for yet another month, I’ve noticed particularities that each city/country has. Even within Europe, cultures differ and the culture in Paris is different than the one in London. To start ...

Not Ready to Leave

This was the longest I had been away from home. Surprisingly, I was only homesick for maybe one day,  but I think my days were so busy between meeting new people, taking classes, exploring new cities, trying new foods that I didn’t have time to think about what I was missing back on-campus. Maybe because ...

“Graduation”, Jeju Island, and Singapore

At the end of the program, Hanyang had a closing graduation ceremony where we got to put on cap and gowns, see performances from the dance classes, hear speeches from professors, and overall commemorate the last couple of weeks spent together studying. Since I had taken the Korean Traditional Fan Dance class, I missed most ...

Tips Before Studying Abroad

It’s really easy to think about all the fun things and activities you will do while you’re abroad. Because of this, a lot of people overlook some of the logistics and details behind getting ready for your study abroad. After speaking with some people, here is a list of things that you should keep in ...

Must-Try Foods in South Korea

I’ve tried new foods every single day I’ve been here, so it’s hard to pinpoint just a couple, but I will try my best! First up is spicy stir-fried octopus – its Korean name is nakji-bokkeum (낙지볶음). Served with sides (called Banchan) such as Gyeranjjim (Korean Steamed Eggs), rice, bean sprouts and fried beef, spicy ...

Adjusting Back to Normal

The one thing I wish I knew before studying aboard was how hard it was going to be to leave. I did not think it would be this hard for me to leave the friends I have made, the memories and the experiences I have created when I was in London. They prepare the study ...

US vs. British Educational System. Which is Better?

Because I have been studying in the US for a couple years now, I’m used to the rhythm and pace back at Drexel. I already have an overall idea of how professors work, how they assign homework, how the grade papers, what is overall expected of me inside and outside of the classroom, among other ...

Bored in Paris? Check These Out!

There is an endless list of things to see in Paris, that even a whole month is not nearly enough time to see it all. From museums, to parks, to restaurants, to simple performances on the street, there really is something for everyone to enjoy! 1. One of my favorite places I went to, which ...

Day In the Life: Graphic Design Student in London

Starting around 8am, a typical class day in London for me typically starts off with a coffee or café drink of some kind. I’ve always tried my best to make some sort of breakfast, but I usually will just grab a pick me up from my favorite cafes. I usually go to Pret, which is ...

WTF: What The France!

Now that my time in Paris has concluded, I have seen multiple instances where it would make people go “WHAT?!”. In fact, our school ESCE knew and even acknowledged how weird France can be, to the point where they opened a contest called “WTF: What The France!”. For it, we could submit pictures of unusual ...

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Day in the Life of a Stylist and Model

I am attending the program Drexel in England at the London College of Fashion. I am taking 6 classes while I am there for the next 2 months. I have been attending these classes for awhile and while I love all the classes I do have a favorite. One of my favorite class I really ...

So much FOOD!

Since being in both London and Paris, I have been trying my best to eat as many different foods as I possibly can. I did fail the first couple of days by only getting McDonalds. I couldn’t help it, I work at McDonald’s back at home and needed to try out the menu. The McDonalds ...

Brick Lane: Multiculturalism & Street Art

For my British Life & Visual Media course, we often take field trips and guided tours to have a better grasp on British culture. For one of our classes sessions, we took a tour of Brick Lane which is a long street located in East London. Since the first time I went there I was ...

Culture Shock in London: Small Yet Big Differences

Zakiyah Harrison, ’24, is a Graphic Design student studying at the Foundation of International Education in London this Summer 2022 After being for London in two weeks now there are multiple differences in culture that really surprised me! Prior to leaving for this trip, I was extremely excited, I had never been out of the ...

My 21st Birthday

Everyone makes their 21st birthday the most magical thing in the world especially in America. We are officially labeled as an adult. We get to legally drink and buy alcohol. People will literally throw parties, go to clubs, or go to the bar to celebrate their 21st birthday. And I am thankful I did not ...

Learning a Fourth Language Abroad

Learning a new language is never easy. When we are children, we are like sponges, absorbing knowledge all around us. That also happens to include learning the language that we are mostly exposed to, whether that is at home, in school, on the street, through movies, etc. Growing up, I was exposed to different languages, ...

A Day in My Life Studying in Paris!

Having been in Paris for a bit over a week now, I realize how different each day is. From days that are jam-packed with activities, to a resting day where the only thing I do after class is nap; everyday varies. That being said, let me take you on a day full of activities! When ...

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Culture Shock in London

How have I experienced culture shock since being abroad? I have been in London for almost two weeks now and being here has been a wonderful experience. Everything in London has been so beautiful and I am in awe every time I walk around the city. Being in a new country means experiencing culture shock. ...

First Week in South Korea: Class Orientation and Exploring

First week is already done! It has definitely been a whirlwind of emotions and experiences. I am very glad the quarantine restrictions have been loosened so I didn’t have to waste time in a room by myself in isolation. So far, I have been able to get out to explore a bit, begin my classes, ...

On a Budget

Was it easy studying aboard with a tight financial situation? Getting a better understanding of me will make answering this question easier. Photos taken by my friend Maggie since my phone died. My name is Kiah Thorne. I am 20 year old Design and Merchandising student. I did not grow up with a lot of ...

Reading the Fine Print: Singapore’s Entry and Public Health Measures

As a public health major, it’s interesting to observe the stark differences in COVID-19 situations between the United States and Singapore, not to mention to live through and actively participate in both countries’ preventative measures. To many Americans, Singapore’s methods may seem a bit over the top, but it suffices to say that I feel ...

Sleepless Nights, Sleepless Flights: The Journey to Singapore

(January 2, written retroactively) With tired shoulders and stiff neck, I arrived in Singapore on January 1, ringing in the New Year on the plane. I’m currently writing from my hotel room in the heart of Singapore’s Chinatown, where I served my brief self-isolation while awaiting my on-arrival COVID test results (thankfully, negative!). New Jersey ...

Tips on Traveling Alone to London

The year 2022 has been a lot of firsts for me when it comes to traveling. This has been the year where I traveled for the first time alone not only to a different state but also out of the country. Here are some tips I have learned to make your solo trip easier when ...

Adjusting Back to Life at Home

It’s been about two weeks since I’ve flown back to Philadelphia from my 10 weeks in Costa Rica. I had terrible flight anxiety before I left back in January, but on the way back I was much more relaxed. My suitcase was still in Miami when I finally landed in Philadelphia, but luckily the AA ...

La Ultima Semana en San José

This past Friday was my last day in Costa Rica. I had to end my program a bit early, so I did my best to take everything in during my last week. I spent most of my time in the library at the University of Costa Rica campus finishing up my final presentations, and between ...

Sleepless Nights, Sleepless Flights: The Trials of Pre-Departure

(December 30, 2021) Although I haven’t yet physically commenced my journey to Singapore, preparing for this trip has been quite the journey in itself. As I lie here in bed at 1AM on Thursday, December 30, the first day of the long 31-hour journey ahead, the reality is beginning to hit me – I’ll be ...

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Bombazar in San José

This past weekend, I was able to go to an annual thrifting event named Bombazar. It was essentially like one big pop-up shop for different vendors and thrift stores to set up- everything ranging from clothes, shoes, accessories, to even old radios and keyboards and general antique items could be found! I was on a ...

Injuries and Frankfurt

October 4 Uh-oh, it looks like there is nothing to highlight for this day! October 5 What do you think of when you think of Swabia? (Schwaben) Swabia is located in the southwestern part of Baden-Württemberg, that’s where you’ll find the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) and the Swabian Alb or Jura (Schwäbische Alb)! Swabian German or ...

Döner Kebabs, Pretzels and Chilly Spirits

September 27 “Do you want to get doner?” Carly asks.“Sure, meet you at Star Döner [& Pizza 2] then?” I replied to Carly’s message.“Yep.” Instead of making my own dinner, Carly and I decided to go have some doner (Döner). The doner [kebab] is a known dish from Turkey and usually consists of meat from ...

¡Pura Vida! ICDS in Costa Rica

¡Buenas! Today marks day 8/90 of my time here in San Jose, Costa Rica. In the last week, I met my host family and settled into our home in Sabanilla, attended the program orientation, visited some of Cartago’s famous (dormant) volcanoes, spent a day in downtown San Jose, and started our courses this past Monday. ...

The Story Begins…

August 24 “Mom, you asked me that seven times already! Of course I have everything!” I reply and in full stress. I was prepared for the day I finally go to Germany. I’ve always wanted to visit ever since I was in middle school, or what it is sometimes called here, ‘Hauptschule.’ I thought my ...

Into Wonderland

Yesterday was our first full day out in London. I started the day bright and early walking around South Kensington, and eventually landed at a coffee shop called Guillam coffee house. One thing I’ve been looking forward to in London is the food. The city is full of authentic restaurants, cafes, and pubs. This may ...

Vegan Gelato in Rome

When I was still back in the United States thinking about my trip to Italy, one of the things that saddened me most was the fact that I thought that the whole time that I was going to be here, I was going to have to watch everyone eating gelato without me. I was prepared ...

Week 6: The One where I went to a Food Market 

I am the type of person who would want to try out coffee shops and food places at every new place I visit. This is something I absolutely love doing and it’s one of those things which brings me joy. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that I absolutely had to try out the Borough ...

Hong Kong University Residential Halls

Hong Kong University has many student halls and residential colleges. There are three different villages with different dorm halls. I am living in Jockey Club Student Village III, which is a residential college. A residential college is a living space for students from a university who also participates in community activities. There are four other ...

Taking A Train to Busan

After finishing all of my in-person midterms for this term in Korea I headed to Busan for a short weekend trip! It was exciting to finally go to a different city in Korea and taking the KTX/bullet train for the first time. I had been looking forward to this trip for a while, especially because ...

Exploring Bukchon Hanok Village

It quickly became apparent to me that I was in a city with a such a long history, especially compared to anywhere in America, and it was fascinating to see some very old palaces and general traditional buildings that have been preserved. I took a day to go to Bukchon Hanok village, a 600 year ...

Quepos and Manuel Antonio

Buenas todos! First, this picture is of Manuel Antonio beach, which is a little more touristy, but still beautiful; I will get into it more a little later. This past weekend, my friends and I finally went to one of the prettiest beaches in all of Costa Rica…Manuel Antonio. Where do I even start? My ...