Tag Archives: bates study abroad

A Thousand Little Moments…

Hey all. Traveling around Europe was a complete adventure. To sum it all up in one short blog post would be impossible. There are some numbers that are simple enough to add up: 7 countries, 11 international border crossings, 31 days of travel, 1 sighting of a b-list celebrity.  But it’s the things that can’t be quantified, grouped, or counted that made the experience memorable.

It was the food: Grilled sardines in Lisbon, chocolate croissants in Paris, bratwurst sausages in Berlin, pasta in Italy… and I can still smell and taste that Spanish paella. It was the people: A friendly hostel-keeper in France who spoke of his time in America before 9-11, two Australian men on a train between Prague and Munich discussing their travels around the world, crazy soccer hooligans… everywhere. It was the unplanned moments: Getting caught in the rain in Prague, a sleepless night on an overnight train to Rome, broken luggage in Florence. It was touching the Berlin Wall, seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time, swimming with my girlfriend in the Mediterranean Sea in Valencia. It was late night ice cream in Paris, a picnic in Madrid, World Cup madness in Prague. It was a thousand little moments that made the trip what it was.

To be as cliché as possible, it was a trip of a lifetime. One I will never forget. I couldn’t possibly represent the journey in just a few pictures, but hopefully the ones posted below give you some idea of the places that helped make the trip so unforgettable. Until next time…

(Hanging out in Paris)

(Watching the World Cup in Berlin)

(Florence, Italy)

(Old Town Square, Prague, Czech Republic)

(San Sebastian, Spain)

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Europe by Rail…

Hey all. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of traveling + sightseeing throughout Europe. Internet access has not been as easy to come by as I thought it might be so I apologize for the lack of updates.

I am currently checking in from Florence, Italy. In the last 13 days I have traveled through 8 countries, spending at least a night in 6 different countries. The journey has taken me through Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Czech Republic, and Italy. Each has been beautiful in its own special way. Some highlights of the trip: The coast of San Sebastian in the Basque region of Spain, seeing the Eiffel Tower and Mona Lisa in Paris, touching part of the Berlin Wall while in Germany, and watching the World Cup (U.S.A. v. England) on a big screen in a public square in Prague, Czech Republic. In 2 days my girlfriend and I will travel to northern Italy (Milan), then will trek into southern France, before getting back to Spain for the end of our journey.

The trip has been overwhelming at times (coordinating train travel, booking hostels, finding inexpensive food, etc.), but has been an incredible experience. It is difficult to reflect on it all right now since the trip is still going on, but I will be sure to upload some pictures soon to give you all a better visual guide of everything.

It’s hard to think about school while doing such extensive travel, but Bates is never too far out of mind. None of the travel would be possible without Bates and the opportunities that study abroad has created for me. I am grateful that the college emphasizes studying off campus in another country and that it has helped inspire me to see more of Europe and the world.

More to come soon. Until next time…

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All Things Spanish…

Hey all. This week has been all about Spanish for me. The language has had a major impact on my academic life during the past few days.

Earlier last week, I was officially accepted into my study abroad program in Seville, Spain. I am extremely excited about studying in Spain for a number of reasons:

1. I will hopefully be able to achieve a high level of proficiency in the Spanish language. Learning a second language is something that I have wanted to do for a long time.

2. The program is an Advanced Liberal Arts curriculum that will allow me to take classes right alongside Spanish-speaking students directly in the Spanish University System. Hopefully this will provide me with a solid social and cultural introduction to Spain.

3. I will be living with a host family which should only help me learn the language even quicker. Hopefully, I can form a solid relationship with this family that will add to my experience… and this should be a lot nicer than living in a dorm!

4. I will have an opportunity to travel around Europe… I have never been and traveling to new places is high on my list of favorite activities.

One thing that really drew me to Bates was the focus on study abroad. I’m not sure on the exact numbers but I think just about 2/3 of Batesies go abroad. Bates provides the opportunity and the means for students to pursue academic experiences off campus and I’m very excited to be able to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Now that I am accepted into my program, I’ve spent this past week running around and relentlessly filling out forms (student visas, contracts, etc.) so that when it is time to go to Spain, I’ll be ready and able. More info on my study abroad program once I have more details for you…

Coinciding with this past week of study abroad work and excitement has been a lot of work in my Spanish class. I had an analyzation essay about several poems due earlier in the week along with the usual Spanish workload. I always find Spanish essays tricky because I know in my head what to say and how to articulate it but putting the words down on paper (IN SPANISH) can be quite challenging.

As if this wasn’t enough Spanish language, Wednesday of last week I attended a documentary as part of the Latin American Film Series here at Bates, titled: “The Other Side of Immigration”. The film consisted of interviews of rural Mexican farmers and presented the U.S.-Mexican immigration issue from the perspective of these small-town people. The director of the film was on hand and held an informative question and answer session after the documentary was shown. Check out the website for the film.

Here is the trailer to the documentary. If you get a chance to see it, I highly recommend it:

Off to go do some Spanish studying. Until next time… Or, as they say in Spanish: Hasta luego…

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Back to Bates!

Hey all. Summer has come to it’s end and I am quiet excited to embark on another sure to be excellent year at Bates. I will be driving up on Sunday and will then prepare for classes beginning on Wednesday. It will be nice to have 2 full days to get settled in my new room and then organize and ready myself for the first day of classes. Call me nerdy or old-fashioned, but I am always pumped for the first day of school.

There is certainly a lot to look forward to this year. I am now an upperclassman. Gulp. Not sure where the last two years went… I guess time flies when you are having fun. I will only be on campus for the first semester since I am going abroad in the winter/early spring semester. I suppose that means this year is going to go by even quicker than the last two but I am beyond excited for studying abroad. More details on that as plans get finalized and settled in the near future. 

As for classes this semester, I’m taking courses in Spanish, history, and biology. Specifically, I am signed up for ‘Britain in the Twentieth Century’, a 200-level history class that seems fairly self-explanatory. Sticking with history, I am taking ‘African Slavery in the Americas’, a 390-level history course that I think will be extremely interesting and is taught by one of my favorite professors. My Spanish course is called ‘Gendered Experiences in America’s Borderlands’. This is a 300-level course that will hopefully greatly improve my Spanish speaking abilities. I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to learn but that just makes it all the more exciting. My final class is an introductory biology course titled ‘Emerging and Reemerging Infections Across the Globe’ which seems timely to me. I wonder if we will talk about H1N1? 

The next week promises to be action-packed and a bit stressful but I am ready to take it on. Junior year here I come! I am going to finish packing now…Until next time… 

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Summer away from Bates…

Hey all. The last week of short term flew by and, with it, my sophomore year. I suppose I am now officially an upperclassman, a thought which both scares me (senior thesis continues to creep up on me) and excites me (study abroad, more advanced and focused classes, new opportunities, etc.).

Sophomore year was a big transition year for me. In some ways I still found myself to be a freshman – continuing to learn the ropes of living independently while balancing work, play, and a social setting that doesn’t always allow for much personal space. In other ways I saw myself becoming more of an upperclassmen – picking my minor and major, beginning study abroad applications, and focusing in on ideas for my senior thesis. Overall, I became better connected within the Bates and Lewiston community, maturing personally and academically while also having a good time doing it.

I’m already looking forward to a wonderful fall semester next year and an exciting semester abroad the following semester (details in the blog as the summer progresses). 

As for my summer plans, I will be heading back up to Maine in two weeks to work as a camp counselor at my childhood sleep-away camp (about 45 mins away from Bates). It will be my third summer as a counselor at the camp, 10th summer overall, and potentially my last there for awhile. Camp is a familiar and relaxing place to spend my summer vacation and I’m looking forward to it greatly. Several Batesies, both past and present, work at the camp as well.

Stay tuned to the site, as I will be posting and updating the blog frequently throughout the summer.

Hope you enjoy these pictures I snapped during the last week of short term from the top of Mt. David (on the Bates campus) of Lewiston and the surrounding area. I tried to avoid using the cheesy-metaphoric-sun-setting-on-my-sophomore-year pictures, but I couldn’t help myself. Until next time…

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Midweek Randomness…

Hey all. I don’t have a main focus for this blog but lots of random stuff to fill you in on so, without further adieu, here we go:

I added a link on the right that’s called ‘Bates Web Media’. The page is filled with pictures from Bates so check it out. It is on the Bates website and is presumably updated at least somewhat frequently. 

Also, in terms of links, I encourage you to check out the blogroll on the right and read other Batsie blogs. I recently added ‘Nora Talks Bates’ and I highly recommend checking out ‘Naima’s Nook’ as Naima tells of her current experience studying abroad in South Africa. 

One other bit of randomness… Bates is hosting the NCAA Skiing Championships at Sunday River (Bethel, ME) and Black Mountain (Rumford, ME) March 11-14. Bates last hosted the event 10 years ago. Read more about it here. That link also provides you with a further link to video previews of both the Alpine and Nordic ski courses created by a Bates senior.

Enjoy! Until next time…

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Puddle Jump!

Hey all. Sorry I haven’t blogged in a little while. I have been a bit busy as of late. This past week I was able to hit the slopes for 3 days of solid skiing. My classes don’t meet on Tuesday and Thursday so I have a lot of freedom to go skiing as long as I get a jump on my work (which I was able to do this week). I have also been busy trying to figure out all my study abroad plans. They Bates Study Abroad Application is due this Friday and I still have some serious work to do on it. I won’t bore you with the details.

Instead here are some great photos from the puddle jump. For those of you who don’t know about the puddle jump, read about it here. This was my first year taking part in the Bates tradition and I have to say, it was totally worth doing. Air temperature was hovering around 20 degrees when I jumped in and I think it goes without saying that the water was absolutely freezing. I think the coldest part was running back to the dorm after jumping in. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if there is any photographic evidence that I jumped in but please take my word for it. Here are some photos I snapped out my window of the event. Enjoy. Until next time…

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Check out this video of the jump that I found:

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