Category: In the World (page 1 of 15)

Stories about traveling regionally, nationally, or globally!

My Virtual International Internship by Lauren Mottel

By the end of last fall semester, I knew I needed a serious recharge. It started fairly well and carried on as well as semesters can go, but after retrospect (which most realizations are apt to stem from), I had a delayed realization as to why that post-finals, drained feeling was hanging a bit heavier over my shoulders. 

After the collective last-minute struggle of abruptly adapting and transitioning to virtual learning last spring, as well as my choice to take a class over the summer, I realized that this past fall was the first fully virtual semester, stacked credits and all. Sure, it may have been a not-so-sharp realization, but knowledge is power, and this definitely had an impact on me. Last fall was neither the hybrid mix of the spring nor a single class over June. It was a set of core courses, heavy with foundational curriculum, and for some of them, the additional rigorous standards and expectations of my Honors sections—all of which were taken while I wrapped myself in a blanket at my desk at home. 

So yes, suffice it to say that the build-up of Zoom fatigue from last fall more than definitely garnered some much needed R&R and winter break was a welcome reprieve. However, I knew I shouldn’t stay idle for too long, lest I mentally regress and sink into the Lauren-shaped mold in my couch for the next four weeks. Despite the extremely valid need for rest, I knew I wanted to be productive over winter session, especially considering I didn’t do very much during this time the previous year. (Hindsight at its finest once again.)

Therefore, this past January I was fortunate enough to participate in a virtual international engineering internship, which not only kept me from withdrawing into a weighted blanket-induced hibernation but more significantly helped me gain great work experience in a really unique way. I was placed in a group with other UD engineers and paired off with the medical device company Renerve Ltd. based in Melbourne, Australia. Our task was to design and formulate a surgical implant product that met a desired function and applications and to provide a full-scale proposal for the product rationale, research and development, regulatory pathways, manufacturing, and marketing strategies—all within four weeks.  Continue reading

“A Trip to the Big Apple” by Lauren Wrightstone

My friends in Redding and I had been wanting to take a trip to the “Big Apple,” or New York City, for a while now. It was originally just timing and money holding us back—buses are expensive!—so when we found out that the English Language Institute was sponsoring a bus ride there and back for only twenty dollars, we hopped on it.  Continue reading

“An Early Taste of Fall at Milburn” by Lauren Wrightstone

As I pulled myself out of bed at nine o’clock AM on a Saturday, I knew my roommate was asking herself the same thing I was: is this worth it? One look at the busy but adorable orchards we were visiting was all it took to know it was. 

We met the Honors Planning Board in front of Perkins and piled fourteen people into three University of Delaware vans. We were off. It was a shorter drive than expected.

Milburn Orchards has a large wagon to transport you from the parking lot (I use that in the loosest sense of the word; it was a field) to their apple orchards. These were our first stop when we finally got there around ten thirty. They had three different kinds of apples to choose from. I stuck with my golden delicious, but my friends branched out a bit, plucking red delicious and mutsu off the trees, all of which are dwarfs, to make it easier for visitors to pick fruit. 

The red delicious is known to be juicy but fairly tasteless, while the golden delicious is much sweeter. Personally, I like my fruit to be sweeter, which is why I stuck with the golden delicious. The mutsu, on the other hand, is also sweet, supposedly with a bit of spice. I had never tried that type before, so I didn’t get a lot of them. The one I’ve eaten did taste good, though.

Once we’d exhausted our apple-picking energy, we headed for the “Big Backyard,” otherwise known as the petting zoo, where they keep all the animals. Inside, we made a beeline for the baby goats.

As my friends and I squealed over the cuteness overload, a goose squawked because there were three geese in a pen on the other side of the baby goats. I have yet to figure out why. The brave people surrounding that pen probably appreciated their presence, though. 

There were also pigs, rabbits, quail, a horse, a donkey, and a Scottish Highland cow. The minute my friend, Abbie, saw the horse, we lost her. Soon enough she was patiently teaching small children how to safely interact with the large animal while we joked that she should be getting paid. The parents surrounding us certainly thought she was. 

Our next stop was the market, where the many local products Milburn carries are sold. It was almost entirely delicious-smelling food (especially pastries). There were even special apple cider donuts that they made right there in the store. 

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to try my apple cider donut due to a mishap while warming it up later that day. I won’t get into it now (I could have sworn the instructions said to warm it for one minute), but I was disappointed. My roommate thoroughly enjoyed hers and did not share. Portia (my roommate) is actually the one pictured above. I think her giant apple find clearly emphasizes the enjoyment we experienced throughout the trip.

I wouldn’t have even known Milburn existed if not for the Honors Planning Board organizing this event, which I found out about through the weekly Honors newsletter. Overall, the trip was very well organized and fun, and I would definitely go on another trip with the group.

“Are Parisian Stereotypes True?” by Hayley Whiting

After spending my fall semester in Paris on a UD study abroad program, I definitely feel that I was able to become part of the city, rather than a tourist, which was a rewarding and fun experience. Thanks to spending three months there, I came away with a better understanding of the people, culture, and day-to-day life of the city. Below, I affirm some Parisian stereotypes, challenge others, and offer more observations from my time in Paris! (Disclaimer: I refer to Parisians specifically instead of French people because I only lived in Paris, but it is possible that these observations could be true for other parts of France as well! All of these views are also based on my own opinions.)

 

Stereotype: Parisians are arrogant and rude

In my experience, Parisians have been very helpful, respectful, and kind. Even when I traveled to Paris with my family four years ago, while we were walking around on the street with our luggage looking for our Airbnb, a lady stopped to ask if we needed help and gave us directions. That same trip, a man helped my sister carry her suitcase up the metro stairs. During my time studying abroad, I always had positive interactions with people. For example, an older lady in my apartment building always stopped to talk with me, and restaurant servers, museum employees, and retail workers were always polite. Continue reading

“Networking from Coast-to-Coast (and then some)” by Jenna Newman

Flashback to three years ago when a wide-eyed freshman walked into her first activity night. There were so many different options of clubs or organizations to join and they all made a strong case for recruitment. Update: that freshman was me. One of the organizations I ended up joining was the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). From the very beginning they pitched themselves as, “not a club, but a pre-professional organization,” which attracted me to their Monday night meetings. Since then, I have been able to fully realize all of the benefits this organization has given me.

By the end of my freshman year, I had the opportunity for leadership experience. I applied for the executive board and became the organization’s Public Relations Director. This meant that I was responsible for managing all of our social media accounts and generating strong and consistent content for our blog. This was invaluable experience to gain for the PR field and going into Junior year I was excited to continue to grow. That brings me to this past month (April), when I was able to be our chapter representative at the PRSSA National Assembly.

National Assembly represented the gathering of members from all PRSSA chapters internationally in Portland, Oregon. There we would vote on the next PRSSA national committee that would oversee all chapters for the 2019-2020 year. This gave me the opportunity to go to a new city and literally network from coast-to-coast! The assembly consisted of a variety of different keynote speakers and breakout sessions. We had the opportunity to talk to various chapters about what worked (and what didn’t), while simultaneously having a bigger conversation about diversity. Then, I was able to bring all of these ideas and thoughts back to the University of Delaware.

Beyond the information, I left Portland with new friendships that I would cherish. Because of the nature of the gathering, each chapter usually only sent one student. This meant that we were all in Portland alone… together. This actually made it incredibly easy to make friends. For example, I was in the elevator going to the lobby (to meet up with some other people I had met) and the guy in the elevator with me asked if I had plans with anyone yet and if I wanted to join his group.

I am sure that these relationships will extend beyond this conference both personally and professionally. Personally, we formed bonds that you can only form when traveling and exploring someplace new. Professionally, we are the future of the public relations field, so one day we will all be colleagues or competitors. Personally and professionally, we’ll get to continue building on these relationships and future conferences.

All of these relationships and experiences came from a wide-eyed freshman walking into Gore Hall for an information meeting.

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