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09 December 2016

Learning to Chill in China #HogsAbroad #Fulbright

Here are some pics from the culture fest.

On the last pic from left to right: Mwamba (from Zambia), Gaoqi, me, Zhenfan, and Wang Shuang (the others all from China).

Wang Shuang organized the day w/ us leaving from Tianjin on a 6:17am train (got up @ 4:43am 2 his phone call making sure I was awake…yeah he was extra excited).

Back home I’m usually the one doing the planning, but I have a much more chill/go with the flow demeanor in China.

It’s a good thing I think, b/c I’ve learned that some of the most interesting adventures are the ones where I just accept the invitation, and if nothing else, I’ve grown to accept things that are out of my control as part of the norm of my life in China.

I used to resist & try to force things into a plan that makes sense to me, but I’ve long ago tossed that aside.

Life is good :)



About the Author:
Kelicia Hollis is Detroit-born, Arkansas-raised writer, speaker and educator. She completed her B.A. in Creative Writing from Columbia University, her M.A. in Higher Education from the University of Michigan. Hollis, a 2014-2015 Fulbright Scholar, is currently President and CEO of Polyglot International Ventures Inc. in Little Rock, a foreign language services firm. Learn more at www.polyglotnation.com, and connect with her at www.keliciahollis.com
  

Viva la Espa├▒a #HogsAbroad on A Boat

My first day in Spain was amazing! I had a field trip for one of my Marketing classes and let me tell you, there’s nothing like walking down the street of the Los Ramblas and taking in all of the sights and shops. From the architecture to the scenery and everything in between it was so cool to look at. The second half of the day was spent visiting two companies. The first one was Barcelona Turisme, which honestly was pretty boring. We just sat in a conference room and listened to this guy lecture.

But the second place that we went to was called Starlab and it was awesome. They specialize in Neuroscience and Space science and we got to get a glimpse of their global marketing strategies. Having had no prior knowledge of anything in the Sciencesphere that work that they do was actually really interesting! And yes, that’s my professor with a neuron headpiece on. The next morning I flew out at 6:40am to the wonderful Balearic Islands right off the coast of Spain. I spent the next three days here and it was like a vacation within a vacation. Our hostel was right on the beach and it was perfect. 
We spent hours there just relaxing and eating dinner. The next day was one of the best days on this trip to date. There were about 75 other SAS kiddos here and we chartered a groove cruise that came with a private dj who played awesome discotheque music while showing us around to the smaller islands.

We even went to this cove where we went swimming in clear blue water which felt amazing after being in the sun for hours. Afterwards, we took a much needed siesta only to wake up at 11:00 pm to go explore the city. One of my favorite DJs, Martin Solveig, so naturally I had to see him play. What no one told me was that he wasn’t coming on until 3 in the morning. You better believe I stayed up late to see him and he was worth every penny and every second.
Our last day there we spent at the beach again just relaxing until our flight. Speaking of our flight, it ended up getting delayed by 4 hours so we didn’t land back in Barcelona until 10:30 that night.

My last day there I got to visit the infamous La Sagrada Familia. This place was breathtaking. I’ve visited churches in every country that I’ve visited to and this is one of my favorites. And the craziest thing about it is that it’s not even finished! 
All in all, my time here in Spain went by fast, but it was well worth it. I know for a fact that I have to come back because there’s so much to see and do here. 10/10 would recommend.

As always, for more pictures go check out my Facebook! And if you wanna contact me then download the app “WhatsApp” or email me at: andrew.santiago.fa16@semesteratsea.org

Next stop—-> Casablanca, Morocco
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Don't miss the boat!
Read more from Jordan at https://suitelifeofsanti.wordpress.com/
Find your own study abroad program to hone your professional skills and enhance your resume at: http://studyabroad.uark.edu/search
If you need help getting started with study abroad, take a look at this: http://studyabroad.uark.edu/getting-started/index.php

08 December 2016

EATaly #HogsAbroad on A Boat

Bonjourno! This past Monday I arrived in Italy! (I liked it so much more than Greece.) I traveled to 5 different cities in 5 days and there was so much history in all of those cities. We docked at 8am in Civitivecchia and by 8:30 we were already on a bus headed towards Rome. We signed for a Highlights of Rom tour to basically see all of Rome in one day. 

Our first stop was the Vatican City. I didn’t realize that it was its own city-state within Italy. It was set up like airport security to make it through, but once we did it was absolutely beautiful. We got to see some of the coolest pieces of art in St. Peter’s Basilica as well as walk around the Saint Peters Square. We also got to walk into the Sistine chapel which was amazing. There were so many people in there and all the police kept on yelling at us to not take photos, oops. Later that day I went to the ancient Coliseum on the other side of Rome. This is where the gladiators would fight each other for sport to entertain the rich. The coolest part about this was that I got to enter the Coliseum like I was a gladiator and run down the long tunnel towards the middle of the realm. The next day I went to the ancient city of Pompeii, just south of Naples, Italy. Long story short, during the first century a volcano exploded and was covered in 13ft.-20ft. of volcanic ash and pumice. Since it was so tightly compacted together, air and moisture could not penetrate it and so that is how the city was so well preserved. It was way bigger than I thought it was going to be and we were there for hours! We even got to see the casting of one of the people who died during it. 
Our plan after that was to eventually end up in Florence but with the way the train systems were set up we had to stay the night in Rome again and took a train the next morning and let me just say, Florence is my favorite city ever. I honestly could see myself living there. The first thing we did when we got there was go to this pizza place called Gustas. And let me say, me gusta Gustas. Hands down the best pizza I’ve ever had. Aftwards we went back to our Airbnb and then immediately went to walk around in the city. We visited the infamous statue of David and got to see the outside of the Duomo!
 
I had a friend who had been there previously and took us to this lookout spot where we could see the whole city of Florence and it was such a great view! The night life is also really cool! With 550 of my shipmates all in the same place we always run into each other and have a great time! Someone of the Betas on this trip had been to Florence earlier on in the year and hung up a flag, so they brought me back to it and had me sign it! 
Day 4 was definitely one for the books. We ventured out for about an hour into the countryside of central Tuscany and went wine tasting. We went to a family owned vineyard where our guide showed us around and gave us the history behind his wine and Chianti region. And yes, cheese and salami was served. We also sampled his homemade balsamic vinegar and I knew I had to buy a bottle and send it home (you’re welcome mom and dad). Words cannot express how good this stuff was. And along with the delicious view, we ended the tour with a view of his vineyard. 
 My last day I ended up at the leaning tower of Pisa, because if we are being real you didn’t go to Italy if you don’t visit the tower. Getting there was super stressful because some of the the trains went on strike but we made it! Honestly if the town of Pisa didn’t have the tower I don’t think anyone would go visit it, but it’s a neat little city. Also, I think I might have taken the photo wrong. 
Also, for those of you who missed it, SAS was featured on Snapchats live story for a full 24 hours. But more importantly I was featured on it! So you can say you know a celebrity now because 20-30 million saw me. ­čśĆ
 
Overall, Italy was awesome. It was filled with unlimited pizza, pasta, and gelato.  If you haven’t been before you definitely need to go and if you have already been before then definitely go back.

For more pictures go check out my Facebook! And if you wanna contact me then download the app “WhatsApp” or email me at: andrew.santiago.fa16@semesteratsea.org

Next stop—-> Barcelona, Spain­čĺ»

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Don't miss the boat!
Read more from Jordan at https://suitelifeofsanti.wordpress.com/
Find your own study abroad program to hone your professional skills and enhance your resume at: http://studyabroad.uark.edu/search
If you need help getting started with study abroad, take a look at this: http://studyabroad.uark.edu/getting-started/index.php