Adjusting Back

I’m not afraid to say it; I miss being across the pond. By placing yourself in a foreign country, trying to build up contacts and a support network while cooking and doing other things for yourself, you change. It’s inevitable when you go off to see the beauty and the people that the world has to offer. You get pretty comfortable with introspection–and Citymapper for that matter. How can you not? You are undergoing so much personal growth and learning.

 

What’s the point I’m trying to get at? It’s easy to forget that being back is an adjustment. Yet another lifestyle change, and yes, you can get culture shock being back home. My first day back someone asked me what kind of tea I wanted. I said Earl Grey and she said “No, I meant hot or cold.” After being picked on by my fellow diners, I realized fairly quickly that I wouldn’t slip back into things as easily as I thought.

The college lifestyle is different back here, too. Classes are different and how students interact with each other is different. I think the key word in these phrases is different. Not better or worse, just different. That’s a really big takeaway from being exposed to new cultures that people don’t necessarily take the time to think about. It’s a concept that was mentioned in a communication class I had previously taken, and I always thought I had grasped it, but I truly understood it after my experience.

One thing to be really grateful for is my friends and family. I don’t think I’ve ever had better hugs in my life than those I received when I saw people for the first time in months. They are also what I missed the most, even more than Kraft mac and cheese or American peanut butter. They are what make the adjustment back so worth it.

An Intern Abroad

Imagine a 5’2 American girl lugging 15 lbs worth of equipment on and off the Tube, through places like Trafalgar Square and world famous museums like the Victoria & Albert. That’s my reality every time I go to work.

I’m one of the 3% of American students who intern abroad. I work for a news and entertainment channel called London Live. I get sent all over the city to cover all different kinds of events. My repertoire now includes filming a theatre show designed around accessibility for both deaf and hearing audiences, to covering one of the most famous portraits in the world at the National Gallery.

The Arnolfini portrait is one of the art world’s greatest mysteries. This is a screenshot from one of my pieces I filmed for my job.

Work has also enabled me to attend an exclusive opening at the world famous Saatchi Gallery. After spending a day filming different exhibitions within the gallery, the curator handed me an invitation to attend the members-only opening that night. It was definitely one of the more surreal moments of my life.

A piece by the delightful and talented Daniel Crews Chubb, who I had helped interview earlier that day.

However, that isn’t the only type of things I have covered. My first real day in the office was the bombing at Parsons Green. My train had been cancelled before work so I had to walk/jog to make it. Nobody understood the magnitude of the situation. Even as we covered the scene live, details would trickle out slowly as we learned exactly what happened. I even managed to track down an interview with someone who was on the train. Sure enough, as what happens in big news situations, even reporters from the BBC and other international news companies started trying to record the interview I was getting with the London Live journalist I was sent out with. Talk about an intense and exciting first day!

One of the images I captured at the scene of Parsons Green.

 

Media frenzy at Parsons Green.

My work experience in London has been challenging and immensely rewarding. Finding your footing abroad is no easy feat. I’ve had to adjust to different styles of storytelling, different spellings, navigating a foreign workplace (not to mention an entire city!). However, I truly enjoy all of the change that’s happening in my life. I’ve grown so much in many different ways, both personally and professionally. The tests and challenges keep on coming, but the best way to grow is to keep moving forward and to keep learning.

This is an overlook of–in a broad sense–my office.

10/18 Fall Career Fair

Hello~ How is your semester going so far?

Today, i want to introduce the job fair for SUNY Oswego students that takes place 10/18 4-6pm at Marano Campus Center Gymnasium.

I highly recommended to juniors and seniors who are looking for internships and jobs. Freshmen and Sophomore also can participate and build your networks with about 70 companies.

If you want to participate, here are things you can do before:

  • Prepare your resume!
    • Check the lists of companies and bring enough copies of your resumes to give employers.
  • Business professional wears!
    • Be professional! First Impression!

  • Elevator pitch!
    • Think about how you can introduce yourself for 30 seconds to employers. What is your strength? Fun fact? Related Experiences?

If you need additional information about the job fair, https://www.oswego.edu/career-services/spring-career-fair-2016-students

Here is the link that you can check the list of companies. I hope to see you all!

KOSA in Involvement Fair

Welcome back!!!

How is your new semester going so far? I start my senior year and i am trying to involve in school more.

Every fall semester, students can attend the involvement fair and check which activities they can do. Today (Aug. 30th), we had an involvement fair at MCC. There were clubs, many kinds of student service centers and foods. Since i am an event coordinator of KOSA, i was in the fair to promote my club.

 

KOSA stands for Korean Oswego Student Association and we share Korean cultures with Oswego students. We are planning to do many events in this Fall such as learning K-pop, K-drama and Korean traditional games, celebrating Korean big holidays, making postcards with paper arts and so on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My friend and I wore Hanbok which is the Korean traditional costume to give more ideas about Korea. After the fair, i enjoyed sun and took pictures to record the moments. I don’t want to imagine winter is coming, but ready for winter at the same time.

By the way, KOSA will have the first meeting on Aug. 31st 8:00pm at the classroom in Hart hall 1F. If you are interested in Korea or you want to share your culture with me, please come and spend your time with us!!

Thank you:)

 

 

 

 

Looking to Save Money Studying Abroad? These Scholarships May Apply To You!

SUNY Oswego offers many international scholarships to its students for various study abroad programs. Many of these scholarships are awarded to multiple students every semester. I personally have applied for the GETGO Scholarship and was awarded $500 towards my quarter course trip. The requirement for this was a 20 minute presentation about my trip abroad. All international scholarships have different requirements but it is worth looking into and applying! Below is the link for all of the international scholarships SUNY Oswego offers:

https://www.oswego.edu/international/scholarships

 

Good luck applying!

Bloggin’ Bonn: Introduction to Studying Abroad in Germany

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Hey everyone! My name is Michael Kaefer and I am a senior currently studying abroad in Bonn, Germany! I am studying a Bachelor’s in German Language and Literature as well as European History. I’ve been shooting video blogs since I’ve arrived here in September and when I found out that SUNY Oswego had a blog page, I knew I just had to share to everyone about my experience abroad. From Oktoberfest to the Christmas Markets, and my adventures throughout Europe, I want to share with you what my life is like living in Germany for a full year. I know I’m late in the game (I come home in August and I just started publishing my blogs here, even though my video blogs are on YouTube) but that doesn’t mean they won’t be relevant to anyone studying abroad in the future. You can view my older vlogs on my YouTube playlist at http://www.blogginbonn.tk or whenever I post a new one, it should be here on Oswego’s blog page. Here are a few of my personal favorites, as well as videos of what show how the past few months have been for me in Bonn.

Bonn is a wonderful city- just the right size, not too big and not too small- and I can easily go to the larger Cologne thirty minutes away (a.k.a. where the fun is) whenever I want. I’ve met tons of wonderful people (and you will see that through my videos) and have learned and gained so much from my experiences. I just got back from Poland last night, and I’ve already been to various cities in Germany, Austria, and I’ve been in Dublin AND met up with some Oswego students there! Pretty cool. Next week I am researching my genealogy in southern Germany for a few days and then my second semester starts here.

I’ll leave my videos to explain a bit more, hopefully by giving you the ability to visualize, see my personality, and see how I’ve changed since I started vlogging in May, four months before I left, and now. Please leave your comments and suggestions in the comment section below! I would love to hear what I can add, make a video of, and just your questions and whatever. I am very willing to hear from you all!

These are some of my favorite videos:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for watching-  I am currently working on my videos for a third trip to Munich, Austria (Vienna and Salzburg), and Poland (Warsaw, Krakow, and Auschwitz). Stay tuned for more!

 

Having Two Names

Hello,

I saw this video and i thought it will be good to add my experience as well as sharing this video. This video is made by Chinese students at Columbia University. Chinese students protest against ‘xenophobia’ which is defined as ‘fear or hatred of foreigners, people from different cultures, or strangers.’ They explained meaning of their Chinese name.

I usually stay in America from September to May and in Korea from June to August. I live in two countries with two names. My Korean name is Ye jin Lee. Ye Jin is first name, Lee is family name. Ye Jin means ‘Be pretty and honest.’ I have three sisters and their names are Ye Seul(Be pretty and wise), Ye Hyeon(Be pretty and sensible) and Ye Ji(Be pretty and intelligent). Like this, Korean name have their own meaning like Chinese. Their names are made by their parents or grandparents.

I also have American name Kelly. When i introduce my American name, people ask me how i picked this name. Honestly, there is not a specific reason. When i was 6 years old, in English language school, i had to make an American name. There was a list of the name and i just picked Kelly. I’ve been Kelly for a long time, which means i get used to be called Kelly. That’s why i keep using my American name in here.

Another frequent question is “why do you use American name, even though you have Korean name?” Personally, I think “Name” is for the other people not for me. Although there is a meaning of my name, it really doesn’t mean to me. Definitely, i try my best to be pretty and honest, because that’s what i think important, not because of my name. I think i am the one who makes meaning of my name. Name does not make who i am. Regardless of my name, i just want to be memorable and easy to be called. It is easier to use American name in America. Just i want to make my life easy. It does not mean i do not like my name, just i don’t put my name at the first place.

Enjoy your spring break!!

The Flamenco

I have never been more proud to be living in Spain until this moment. On March 8th (International woman’s day) I had the opportunity to see the unbelievable Sara Baras dance Flamenco at the Nuevo Apolo Theater. We stood outside the polished theater, show lights sparkling, wondering what awaited us inside. We sat in red velvet seats surrounded by native Spanish flamenco lovers; our American ignorance was all over us. The lights dimmed and a single spot light appeared on the stage showing the one and only Sara Baras in a beautiful dress, she started off very slowly, taping her feet and swinging her dress. But as the energy and anticipation grew, she got faster and faster and as the music grew stronger our faces brightened. The crowd was silent, except for the occasional Olay, but rightfully so, the performance was breathtaking.

She danced many different types of Flamenco, some with big dresses that she spun around, made shorter or longer and used as if it was part of her. She danced tango with a man, Jose Serrano, that depicted love and hate all at the same time. But what was most interesting to me was the dynamic between the dancers and musicians. They cheered each other on during their individual performances and when Baras did an interpretation (making her dance up on the spot) the musicians were right on cue with what she was going to do next, making sure the music and feet matched. The dancers used the different types of Flamenco in a special way that allows for them to show their own identity and interpretation but also keeping the traditions from generations past. That is one of the most important things about the dance, remembrance. During each dance style change, a recording was played from different famous flamenco dancers expressing their feelings about flamenco and why it is so special.The dance originated from gypsies living in Spain (also has roots from the middle east) to express the oppression they felt at the time. Throughout the dance, you can see the mix between the feelings of romance and desperation to freedom and suffering. The emotions embedded in the dance are what make it so powerful.

Dare I call myself Spanish for living in Spain for 3 months… no. But the feeling I had walking out that theater was nothing less than Spanish patriotism… Olay!

 

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Life of an American in Australia

“You got out of America just in time didn’t ya?” Speculates strangers in a cafe, referring to the recent appointment of President Donald Trump. I was amazed how blunt Aussies can be when discussing politics. In Australia, it is compulsory by law to enroll and vote in federal elections; everyone in Australia has an opinion and wants to know your opinion. At first I was taken aback- but I came to appreciate how much everyone cares about politics, as they are forced to be informed. Whereas in America, an alarming amount of citizens believe politics to be rubbish.

Politics are not all that locals care about; Australians thrive off of a good coffee or dessert. One of my favorite aspects of Australia would have to be the strong and smooth java. Every cup of coffee is specifically pressed to your order – no pots of coffee sitting on a burner all day. I love strong coffee, so a long black (a double-shot of espresso served over hot water) can always suit my taste. However, if I’m craving a something a little sweet I recently discovered the piccolo (an espresso shot topped with warm, silky cream). But, if I have a particularly strong sweet craving I can always find a yummy dessert at any cafe or restaurant on any corner. Many places here use Nutella, the nutty rich dessert spread, in an array of their desserts. A few friends and I recently went to a restaurant, Tella Balls, for a Nutella milkshake topped with a tellaball (donut ball filled with Nutella). I was in my happy place; the chocolatey excursion was well worth the food coma we experienced later in the night. We also found a new love for the scrumptious Australian cookie, Tim Tam. Tim Tams come in many different flavors, ranging from white chocolate, creamy caramel, and mint gelato; my personal favorite are the double coated Tim Tams. We recently heard Tim Tams are coming to The States in select Target retailers, so we wont have to fill our suitcases with our favorite flavors on our way home.

Another aspect of Australian culture I have come to love is the Aussie slang. For some reason, Australians like to abbreviate everything – and when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING. Here are a few abbreviations and slang I’ve picked up on thus far:

  • Brekkie – breakfast
  • Maccas – McDonalds
  • Straya – Australia
  • Tradie – tradesman
  • Heaps – a lot of
  • No worries! – no problem (in response to ‘thank you’)
  • Sheila – a woman

Lastly, my classes and academics are very different from my classes back in Oswego. In Australia, everything is very laid back. My roommates and I joke that we are nervous to go back to class in The States because of the work load we experience back home. Don’t get me wrong, we still have work and exams here but there is a lot less busy work. My classes are composed of weekly discussions that are to be completed online before class, a midterm and a final exam. I was shocked when I found out my midterm and final exam in my international economics class are both online exams. Sometimes I feel as though I am behind on work, even though I am not, just because I am so used to being busy with homework in the Penfield Library every day.

After being immersed in the culture here for about a month, I feel as though I am almost fully adjusted. I am now starting to think about the reverse culture shock I will feel when I come home, and let me tell you – I don’t know if I am ready for it. Next weekend my roommates and I will embark on the most exotic trip of our lifetimes; we are off to Denpasar, Bali for our Spring Break! Stay tuned and thanks for following me along my journey abroad.

 

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The Best of Brussels and Ghent

Brussels is a city that is extremely underrated! I mean how can you go wrong with a city thriving off of beer, waffles and fry’s! A statue of a peeing baby is their most famous tourist attraction and it has over 300 outfits… what’s not to love?

To know before you go!

  • Euros are used here (YAY!)
  • You will never feel like a foreigner, the city is made up of foreigners (half the people are Dutch and half are French!)
  • Everyone speaks either French or Dutch, English is a little harder to find!
  • **WARNING** don’t call the fries French fries! Just don’t do it, very sensitive topic.
  • 2go4 hostel has a free walking tour I totally recommend. We saw all of Brussels in 3 hours then we got to go back and explore what we wanted!
  • There is a legend for everything!
  • Never try the same beer twice!
  • Waffles are meant to be eaten plain! Maybe with sugar, but everyone will know you’re a tourist if you get the one with 10000 toppings (though they are tempting.)
  • There is a certain type of glass for every beer. All the tourist tries and steal them (I wish I did) but you will get in trouble if caught.

Hostel

2go4- Very nice! I stayed in a room with 3 twin beds and our own bathroom, which is perfect! The location was walking distance from the Grand palace and also the train station. The lobby was very vintage looking and included free coffee in the morning! Again free walking tour that I recommend!

The Sites

Grand palace

  • Beautiful old buildings in a square with city hall towering over you is deff a site to see! Each street has it original market name for example cheese street, coal street, meat street. One of the buildings is where Karl Marx lived and wrote the communist manifesto during his exile. This is a quick thing can be done in 30 mins or so.

Manneken Pis

  • Biggest (and lamest) tourist attraction in Brussels. It literally is a little baby peeing into the fountain. Legend has it that when Brussels was under attack a baby saw a piece of dynamite in the city, so he peed on it so it would not explode. Thus the manneken pis was born. In the 80s two college students stole it and the city went into chaos! Eventually the police located the statue and thieves and as a punishment they had to make hand-sewn outfits for the baby. There’s a schedule of when the baby is wearing an outfit and everything.

The Atomium

  • Think giant steel balls in the sky. Literally that’s all this is. They say its brussels version of the Effile tower, not as grand in my opinion. We went at night and saw them lit up which was pretty cool but did not do a tour or anything. Type of attraction you take a pic and then call it a day.

St Michael’s Church

  • Beautiful from the outside but I wish we did a tour of the inside.

Museum row

  • Really cool buildings from the outside but each building was a different museum. There was the modern museum and the fin-de-siècle which we went to for 3 euros… these were pretty boring to be honest but if you’re a fan of fine art this is the place for you! There is the museum of music which I was told was really cool plus there is a restaurant at the top that had a view of all of Brussels!

Jeanneke pis

  • Manneken pis sister… or girlfriends, depends who you ask. This is located right near the Delirium café and was put there to simply attract tourists to that area…. Smart.

Ghent or Bruggs

  • Both these city’s are close to Brussels and are a must if you are staying in Brussels for long. We went to Ghent and it was awesome, filed with young people and a beautiful river that went through the city. We took a boat ride (not worth it) but the streets are so cute and old! You can get to these cities from the north station for cheap!

To Eat/ Drink

Tonton Garby

  • MUST GO! I cannot rave about this place enough. At first glance it is a little hole in the wall deli-looking store with a big display counter and 2 tables. But the second you get to talk to Garby you’ll see that place is a gem. They serve sandwiches specializing in cheese! Don’t be afraid to order wrong because Garby will explain the whole menu to you, if you like sweet, salty ,or spicy he will come up with a sandwich that will blow you away. He was the warmest most genuine person I have met so far in Europe… definitely what we all needed from being away from home for so long. You will miss out if you don’t give this place a try, it is truly spectacular.

Delirium café

  • Guinness world record for having the best and most variety (over 3000) of beers. Such a tourist attraction but worth it! My friends and I shared 3 different types of beer that were all very different and amazing! If you don’t like beer you have never tried a strawberry flavored one before.

Flores Bar

  • Absinth bar…. I repeat,  Absinth BAR! Deadly…. Worth a try… but deadly (right across the street from Delirium.)

Dulle Griet (Ghent)

  • This bar is so much fun. When you go you have to get a Kwak, which is a giant glass that is held in a wooden stand. They make you pay the price (your shoe) so that you can’t steal the cup! The boot goes in a bucket that’s attached to the ceiling and a bell is rung once you get your boot back! So much fun!!!img_7385