Spring break. The moment we’re all looking forward to pretty much as soon as syllabus week ends. For seniors, this spring break represented the last chance to getaway before graduation – and for everyone else it was a much needed week off from the grind of the semester.
Curry students went all over for break, and Prof. Nina Hofman’s photojournalism class cataloged their springtime adventures for our latest gallery. Whether vacationing in sunny Bermuda, or chilling in the Stu on campus, it’s safe to say each one of these students made the most of their free time.
I am only one month into my study abroad experience, and yet have already learned so much. I have not only seen personal growth within myself, but I have also become a better-rounded individual as a result.
I am currently attending the Richmond International American University in London, which gives me the perfect opportunity to gain a more globalized mindset. This university gives a wide variety of exposure to different cultures, belief systems and languages; I chose to study abroad because I felt I was not getting enough cultural exposure in America.
I plan on pursuing a career in public relations. One of most important aspects of this field is to have an in-depth understanding of diverse audiences. Without this knowledge, it becomes much more difficult to write appealing promotional materials.
Studying abroad has allowed me to learn some valuable life lessons:
Do not take the road that is traveled by many. In other words, go out and test your limits. The world is an ever-changing place. There is so much to do and learn in this world. Do not simply confine yourself to America, because otherwise you are only looking at the world through a narrow glass.
Being in another country, you begin to notice differences between America and the place you are visiting. You may even come to realize that you find that certain characteristics of a country are better than America’s. You might adapt yourself to this new way of thinking and behaving.
You get a better understanding of how others view Americans and it makes you become much more self-conscious about the choices you make. I have become a more globally aware citizen.
Being at an international school where English is not everyone’s primary language, I’ve had to learn how to adapt the language I use. I find myself explaining many phrases that I use on a day-to-day basis. It has made me think more critically about word choice and made me a better communicator.
Ultimately, your time is limited in college, but the opportunities are vast. Why not make the most of your time at Curry and study abroad? You will be amazed by how much you discover not only about yourself, but also the world around you.
So get on up, go to the study abroad office and make an appointment with Ned Bradford or Pat Bonarrigo and they can help you get started into looking into an invaluable experience that you will truly remember for a lifetime.
What I tell students is this: We have no full-time job. We have no mortgages. We have no families to support. We have relatively few financial commitments. What we do have, though, is our youth.
My high school Spanish teach, Thomas Silva, used to say, “Travel when you’re young, it is the best time to do it.”
When living in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, you will be living among the rich and famous. Walking to the “Tube,” London’s public transit system, you will pass men and women who look like they are straight out of a fashion magazine. On the street, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Aston Martins, and Rolls Royces are an everyday thing. Most basic flats, or apartments, in this area cost at least 1 million pounds, which is roughly $1.6 million in U.S. currency.
Just down the road you can find Kate Middleton and Prince William’s residence, Kensington Palace. Located in Hyde Park, you will find a bustling, green park with runners, lovers, and even stoners. Other notable residents in this borough have included names such as David Beckham, Gwyneth Paltrow and Mick Jagger.
If you study abroad at Richmond, you will start to understand the “work hard, play hard” mentality. I had the opportunity to work with MAMA Group, a live music company headquartered in the heart of London. Some of my daily duties consisted of reading artist contracts and uploading them for bank payment. It is cool seeing how much money popular artist like 2 Chainz, Tyga, Mos Def and Snoop Dogg make per show. In addition, I worked with people from England, Poland, Scotland, and my favorite, South Africa.
Then I would catch a flight to any European city of my choice for a weekend filled with clubbing, sightseeing and eating all the delicious food that was within my budget. More on this in my next blog post.
But why travel when there is so much to do in London? England puts a high value on education, which translates into free museums and art galleries. If you fancy football—better known as soccer in the U.S.—there are about seven major teams in London. If theatre and music is your thing, London is also the place to be.
Ultimately, what will truly stick with you are the people you meet. You’ll make new friends from all over the U.S. and Europe. You will always remember the laughs you shared together and the long nights that turned into early mornings.
Curry College students interested in studying abroad at Richmond can contact Liz Deren, associate director of the Center for Career Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are many other study-abroad opportunities as well, and Ms. Deren can help guide you along the application processes.
The world is yours for the experiencing. Do it now…while you’re still young.
Students at Curry have a wide array of interests, from athletics to video games. But with the last week of the spring term ending, I’m sure most of you aren’t looking for daytrip activities. However, maybe that’s what you need more of. Think about it.
With all the stress and concerns you have during a frustrating week of school, there are ways to blow off steam other than eloping romantically, getting drunk and punching each other on Saturday nights.
Laser tag has become one of America’s many hobbies and, in my experience, it has always been a blast. But you have to bring friends! The nearest locations are LazerZone in Randolph, and Laser Quest in West Roxbury. Both locations are approximately 20 to 30 minutes away, so hopefully you know someone with a car. For prices and hours, check out their Web sites.
As with most things in life, practice makes perfect. So if you have any interest in skateboarding, then Boardwalk Skate shop and indoor skate park, located in Woburn, about a 30-minute drive from campus, may be the place for you. (Their Web site even boasts a visit by rap artist Lil Wayne!) If it’s good enough for the stars, then Boardwalk Skate shop should be good enough for the average Curry students.
For people with no skating experience, they do offer instruction programs. But slots fill up due to the 10-person limit per program. BMX bikes are only allowed in the park on Wednesdays.
Whatever your preference, it’s all up to you. Just do what you love. OK, you should also study for that final exam. But $100 says your stats professor doesn’t skate or play laser tag. What they don’t know won’t hurt them!
As finals approach, time seems to be quickly dissipating for the opportunity to travel and have an adventure! Sure, as the workload builds up, longer travel period times do not seem to be an option. But day trips are the way to go to take a break from the books and enjoy the outdoors!
Yes, Boston is in our backyard, but how often are you getting into the city during the day to just explore and wander? Well, through www.boston.com you can find fun activities to do with friends and have a nice day or afternoon trip. All you have to do is get to a T station or drive in.
For those who want to go a little further, and if you’re into more mountainous terrain, the Berkshires are full of outdoor hiking and fun. After an hour-an-a-half drive you have many opportunities, from adventure tourism, hiking, biking, water sports and so much more, right at your fingertips. While all of these are fun outdoor activities, hiking and biking are the more pocket friendly activities. And, when you need a food break, there are so many options for restaurants and wineries, or specialty stores where you can buy the necessary foods to make a picnic. For more information and prices check out the Berkshires website.
For those who want to go even further than that, and have the availability of a car or a friend with a car, why not go to the sea? The weather is getting nicer, which means stores and attractions down on the cape are opening to create that real “Cape Cod feel.” Why not go to Provincetown (“P Town”)? It takes about three hours each way, but keep in mind, it is a very scenic tour. You and your friends can go to the beach, wander around the very vibrant town, shop at shops and then grab some delicious food. “P Town” has become a very big “foodie” destination with a ton of flavor variety. (Fun fact: Chef Anthony Bourdain started his career there.) It is a youthful and vibrant place to go for the day.
This is my last blog and I want to thank those who have read it. I hope there has been valuable information on ways to travel. I want to leave you with a quote: “I don’t know where I am going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” –David Bowie.