One of the advantages of studying abroad is visiting other cities and countries besides the one you’re studying in. For example, in Europe, a neighboring country is just a short plane or train ride away! So, over my fall break, I left Paris on a blissfully short flight (under two hours) to meet my parents for a week-long trip in Italy.
Our first stop was Rome, where we spent half of the week. Right away from our first day, I was surprised at how crowded the city was, especially for non-tourist season! To get to our Airbnb from the airport, we took a tram that was so packed there was barely enough room for anybody else to get on, and, later that day while sightseeing, I was surrounded by swarms of people in the streets and squares. The city definitely has a crazy, energetic, boisterous feeling to it, even at night, when you can hear shouts in the streets and scooters whizzing by! Continue reading
Studying abroad in France has been a dream of mine since I was in middle school. French has always been one of my favorite classes, and I distinctly remember the day when my friend’s sister (who had studied abroad) told me that if I could study abroad in the future, it would be the best decision I ever made. Fast forward to my sophomore year of college, and here I am in Paris, thankful and excited to be here after many more years of studying French, with my aspiration to study abroad no less radiant than back then.
The day of my flight, I was extremely excited. I took a plane overnight, landing in Paris in the morning and basically missing a whole night of sleep with the six-hour time difference. Thankfully, I stuck to my goal of staying up that whole day and only going to sleep that evening (which is the best advice for avoiding jet lag – it worked!). The day of my arrival, I was greeted by my really kind and welcoming host mom, who gave me a tour of the neighborhood and plenty of food. She even prepared a special “apéritif” before dinner to celebrate my arrival. Continue reading
As my freshman year comes to a close, I am thankful for an amazing first year at UD! Transitioning from high school to college is a daunting change, but UD has given me the best first year of college I could have asked for, from joining clubs to living in a residence hall to meeting new friends to learning from awesome professors. Although it seems like I was just a high school graduate looking up advice for college, here are some tips about things I’ve learned during the past year – especially for any incoming freshmen!
- Download the UD1743 app and the UDShuttle app
Wondering where your classes are located? Never heard of a building you need to go to? The UD1743 app – while useful during the first couple of days at UD for its schedule of events and more – is also handy beyond the welcome weekend for its detailed map of campus! Also, if you need to make a journey and don’t want to walk – especially if it’s raining or snowing – check out the UDShuttle app to track UD bus routes!
- Get involved
Are you interested in honing your leadership and communication skills? Are you thinking about the Resident Assistant position and want to learn more about it? Do you want to become more involved in your community? Then the RAILE (Resident Assistant Internship and Leadership Exploration) Program might be for you! I first joined RAILE back in September because I knew that I wanted to learn more about the RA position, since I was interested in applying. However, you don’t have to apply to the RA position if you do RAILE, and you don’t have to participate in RAILE to apply to be an RA. Additionally, the program has several levels of certification according to how many components you complete, so you can choose how involved you want to be. Also, each participant is assigned a RAILE mentor (an RA) for guidance who is a great resource for any RA or RAILE-related questions. Here are some of the RAILE components that I took part in that I really enjoyed!
From the time I joined UD Swing Club at the beginning of the year until now, I’ve learned the basics of Lindy Hop, have made many friends, and have had tons of fun! And while Swing Club is great for meeting new people and learning how to dance, I have also realized that many aspects of swing can also be applied to life in general. Here are a few life lessons you can learn from swing dancing!
React to changes in direction.
As a follow, I have learned to think of swing dancing not as a collection of moves, but as reacting to momentum and changes in direction from the lead. (For those unfamiliar with swing dancing, during an unchoreographed dance, a lead chooses what to do during a dance, and the follow responds to the lead’s cues, “following” what the lead is doing.) If a lead turns me to the right and lets go, I follow the direction of the turn until the lead catches me again, or if I feel momentum pushing me slightly backwards, then I do a rock step. In swing dancing, the follow never knows what to expect, but responds to the lead’s momentum and direction to create a cohesive dance. Similarly, in life, sometimes things don’t go as planned, but, as Epicetus said, “It’s not what happens to you but how you react to it that matters.” For example, maybe you discover your major is not for you and that you would be interested in a different field of study, so you react to that change in direction by switching majors and pursuing your passion. Or maybe you apply for a job or other position but are turned down, so you respond by seeking out a different opportunity. No matter the circumstances, life involves resilience and adjusting to changes, whichever direction life may lead you. Continue reading