Putting the ‘study’ in study abroad

by Lauren Tennant, University of New South Wales, Australia

Most my posts have been about settling-in and the travelling experiences on offer in Sydney, however I thought it was important to touch on the studying itself!

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Top 3 Trips of the Year

By Millie Elwell, University of Maryland College Park, USA

Living in the USA for a year is perfect for travelling the country and sometimes it’s good to have a break from a college town. I’ve had quite a few adventures this year, and I encourage you to do the same. Here’s my top 3:

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What I wish I knew before my year abroad 

by Jasmine Angus, University of Bergen, Norway

Looking back after the most fantastic year I thought I would write a cheat sheet of things I wish I knew before my year abroad. Some of it will be generic and others will be specific to Bergen, but I hope it helps anyway!

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South of Spain

By Aleksandra Budd, Madrid, Spain

Valencia

If you’re dreaming of sun, sand, food, and architecture, then Valencia is your place. From beach bars playing Reggaeton to pools and a vibrant party scene, they’re full of summer fun and relaxation. The popular Malvarrosa Beach and El Saler Beach offers a beautiful and serene backdrops. Known for its iconic dish, paella, Valencia boasts the authentic flavours of this rice-based delicacy, made with fresh seafood or tender meats, and infused with aromatic saffron. Head over to the The city of Arts and Sciences and get a feel for one of Spains 12 treasures.

Almería

Almería is a city that embraces its close proximity to Morocco, infusing its streets with a delightful blend of Islamic and Moroccan influences. Wandering through the vibrant alleyways, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a whole new world. The architecture reflects the rich Islamic heritage that has shaped the city’s identity.

During my stay in Almeria, I stumbled upon a Moroccan cafe just a stone’s throw away from our accommodation, and it DELICIOUS. From tagines to fluffy couscous and delectable pastries, every bite transported me to the streets of Marrakech. But it wasn’t just the food that made the experience unforgettable. The ladies at the restaurant were the epitome of warmth and hospitality. They greeted us with genuine smiles and treated us like family.

Granada

Granada is a city that truly knows how to party. From sun sets to sun rise, the streets are full of energy and people. Granada’s nightlife scene offers something for everyone. Get ready to dance the night away, mingle with locals and fellow travelers, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

As you navigate the hilly terrain, prepare to be rewarded with awe-inspiring vistas at every turn. From the iconic Alhambra, a stunning fortress that seems to have sprung from a fairy tale, to the picturesque viewpoints of Mirador de San Nicolás and Mirador de San Cristóbal, you’ll be treated to panoramic vistas that will take your breath away. And let’s not forget about the enchanting botanical gardens. Nestled in the heart of the city, these lush green havens provide a serene escape from the hustle and bustle. Lose yourself in the maze of exotic plants, fragrant blossoms, and tranquil ponds. It’s a peaceful oasis where you can relax, unwind, and connect with nature.

Seville

Take a leisurely stroll along the riverbank and you’ll stumble upon lively bars and cafes lining the river, where locals and visitors alike gather to sip refreshing drinks, dance flamenco, and revel in the infectious energy of the city. Sevilla combines the two seamlessly. The Maria Luisa Park, an oasis in the heart of the city, is a must-visit. Take a leisurely stroll amidst the lush gardens, marvel at the stunning fountains, and find a cozy spot to relax.

And let’s not forget the Royal Gardens, nestled within the breathtaking Alcazar. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a true masterpiece, with its intricately designed gardens, elegant courtyards, and stunning architecture. Game of Thrones fans, the Royal Gardens of the Alcazar in Sevilla is the filming location for the world of Dorne.

Córdoba

The river that gently flows through Cordoba. Take a leisurely stroll along its banks, and you’ll find yourself enveloped in a sense of tranquility. The river provides a serene escape from the bustle of the city, offering a peaceful spot to relax, enjoy a picnic, or simply soak up the natural beauty that surrounds you.

Cordoba is a place where history and culture mix. One of its most iconic landmarks is the Mezquita-Catedral, a breathtaking fusion of a Christian cathedral and an Islamic mosque. It’s a testament to the city’s rich past and the cultural exchange that flourished here.

The city comes alive in June with the Cordoba Flamenco Festival. Several stages are erected across the city with dozens of artists and dancers performing throughout the festivities.

Insights into Student Life in New Zealand

By Emma Colson, University of Auckland, New Zealand  

For me, one of the hardest parts of the application to study abroad was choosing the 10 countries/ universities to put down and even harder, to choose a top 3. The University of Auckland was my third choice, but having been here for over 3 months, I couldn’t be happier that I was allocated here. Having said that, before coming, I had little to no knowledge about the university or the country, so for those interested in what New Zealand has to offer I hope my experience will help you.

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The Festival of San Isidro

by Aleksandra Budd, Madrid, Spain

The Festival of San Isidro is a week-long celebration in Madrid honouring the city’s patron saint, San Isidro Labrador. The festival occurs between the 6th -15th (the 15th being the official feast day) and includes numerous and varied events and activities such as: concerts, music, procession and parades.

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Ending the year abroad in California!

By Christevie Ngoma, University of Toronto, Canada

Pre Holiday

In January, me and my best friend (Danielle) from London (who did an exchange at McGill in Montreal) decided we needed one more holiday after New York to celebrate the end of our exchange! So we picked California, I have a close uncle in San Diego and my best friend has a close Aunt in Los Angeles. This meant we had free accommodation so we were saving over £1,000 not paying for a hotel.

My flight from Toronto to San Diego with a return from LAX costs £374 with Air Canada, me and Danielle planned to meet in Chicago during a stop over! We didn’t have to pay for a ESTA since we got one in December for when we went to New York so that was sorted! All we had to do was plan our trip!

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A Solo Traveller’s Guide to Sydney

By Amani Bates, University of Western Australia, Australia

So.

You want to go to Sydney. But other than the Opera house, you have no idea what to do, where to go, or who you’ll meet. Well, I was in your exact position, so let’s see if I can help you out. 

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What I wish I’d known about Australia

By Amani Bates, University of Western Australia, Australia

UWA Campus

G’day from down under!

I’ve sadly done more than half my time here in Perth and I must say I’ve absolutely loved it. The weather’s great, the people are friendly, and I’ve made some really cool friends and some amazing memories. I’d highly recommend it as a destination for your study abroad.

That said, there are a few things I wished I’d known before I got here, so here’s my list of tips!

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Hidden Gems of Amsterdam

by Aimee Kinniburgh, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Netherlands

Having lived in Amsterdam now for nearly 9 months, I think I’ve finally earnt the right to talk about some of my favourite, lesser-known places in Amsterdam to go for a coffee, study or for a pint in the all be in very limited, sun. So if you happen to find yourself in Amsterdam feel free to use this list to get away from some of the tourist, and TikTok, traps.

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