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 ...

Trinity Electives: The Climate Crisis- Why are we stuck?

One of my main objectives in planning my courses at Trinity College Dublin was to expand my academic focus and explore topics of my interest outside of my main field of biology and medicine. An intriguing course I am currently taking is part of the Trinity Elective modules, which are interdisciplinary courses tackling key societal ...

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 ...