Reflect

Blogged by: Mollie Attenson

I was asked to write a reflection of my journey and experience studying abroad. I believe I set out to do the program to find myself, discover who I am and what I believe in- by seeing how others live and experiencing different cultures around the world. Throughout my life so far I have traveled around the USA, Canada, Mexico, and the Virgin Islands, but never to Europe. I was so grateful to have this opportunity to  go somewhere different, where I could experience things outside my comfort zone and see how I would react and adapt to them.

Denis Waitley  once said, “A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown.” I have always had a strong vision for my future and I can say after this program my vision has never been more clear. There is always something scary about going into the unknown, but I have learned that once you take that leap into it you come out learning and knowing much more. I have enjoyed seeing a different way of education, teaching, and interacting with others.

Seeing how people are in the UK v the US is interesting. I have definitely seen a difference in people and personalities. In a vague and general statement, I feel that people in the UK can take “banter” and do not overcompensate in complements or stating appreciation, yet they treat everyone and their mother’s -best friend’s – brother-in-law- with respect and care. Whereas Americans can come off as rude and brash yet are not meaning to be, they are just being more to the point. It was interesting adapting to the difference in way people act, but I know it has taught me to take sarcasm in a different light and truly appreciate when a great deed is done.

Studying fashion and business you are told what a true innovator is, what luxury is, fashion, style, grace, elegance, success, etc… but through this experience I have been able to formulate my own opinions and definitions for several things. Being and living in a different culture and society has let me blend ideas and ideologies to become more of an innovator and risk taker in my personal and professional life.

This all went by way too fast. I have really learned to live in the moment and stop worrying about what is next. I know that the only thing I can control is the here and now and I must appreciate every minute of it. I have always been one to think for myself, aloud. As Coco Chanel once said ”The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.” One thing I that has become much more clear to me is that I have a strong personality, that one day will be great in a board room and as a leader of a company. In addition I can really hear and listen to what others are saying without bias, by doing that it allows a successful and progressive conversation to formulate.

I would highly recommend this program for those ready to take on the unknown. In order to do this successfully I believe you need to be strong, independent, determined, and extremely hard working. This program is not easy. It is a lot of independent work and many people trust you will figure it all out on your own. When it is all said and done you discover how to do things and will come out a more mature person, ready to take on whatever life throws at you.

Bellow are some of my favorite moments of the semester and experiences I had…

 

When in Rome, Do As the Romans Do

Blogged by: Mollie Attenson

Recently I went to Rome with my friend Laura. I saw (all the sights), I battled (where to eat), and I conquered (all the shopping). It was such a great experience. I loved being able to see where history was made. Rome is like no other city I have seen before. The buildings and ancient ruins are breathtaking. I had to remember to put my camera down and enjoy the moment. Food in Rome is fresh  and delicious. The language was hard to understand but the people are helpful and are willing to take time to explain things to tourist, like directions. Below is a list of things I recommend on your trip to Rome…


Sleep
Radisson Blu es. Hotel, Rome ✩Via Filippo Turati, 171, 00185 Rome, Italy
Activities
✩Spanish Steps- Piazza di Spagna✩  The Pantheon✩ Piazza Navona✩ Fontana dei Trevi ✩Vatican City ✩ The Piazza Venezia✩ Basilica Uipia (Forum of Trajan)✩Constantinès Basilica✩Forum Romano (Roman Forum)✩ Palatino (Palatine Hill) ✩Colosseum ✩Sinagoga✩Shopping✩
Eat

Meals
Ristorante Mensa di Bacco
Osteria la Quercia
Trattoria Fiammetta
La Bottega Del Caffe
Trattoria Cecio
Osteria Spaghetti

Gelato

Caffe Ciampini
Kosher Gelato
Gelateria Della Palma

PARIS

Blogged by Mollie Attenson

School is winding down and I only have one exam left. I decided to get out of London and travel. My first stop was Paris. It was amazing. I love exploring another city and seeing how others live. It was really interesting to be somewhere where the main language is not English, but it was not to hard to adapt to it. Here are some recommendations…
Yummy Eats in Paris:
La Terrasse du 7ème (by the Tour Eiffel)
  • http://www.laterrassedu7.com/

Angelina (by Musée du Louvre)

  • http://www.angelina-paris.fr/

L’as du Falafel

  • https://plus.google.com/115347975969490413823/about?gl=uk&hl=en

404

  • http://404-resto.com/restaurant/paris/404/menus/

Renoma Cafe (by Arc de Triomphe) 

  • http://www.renoma-cafe-gallery.com/

Laduree (by Arc de Triomphe)

  • http://www.laduree.fr/

A few Activities:  

Musée d’Orsay  Tour Eiffel ✩Champs-Elysees Avenue✩Arc de Triomphe✩Musée du Louvre ✩Pont des Arts- Love Locks ✩1st Chanel Store- 31 rue Cambon✩Rue Saint-Honoré✩Cathédrale de Notre-Dame✩Rue Rosiers (jewish quarter)✩Center Pompidou✩Palace of Versailles✩

Greece

So two weeks ago was my spring break and I went to Mykonos! I went with five of my friends and we all fell completely in love with Greece. It was my first time there and it was one of the places I absolutely had to go to during my time in Europe. The trip exceeded all of my expectations and I could have not asked for a better spring break. Planning it was pretty hard but it was all worth it at the end. We stayed at a family owned bed and breakfast called Mina Studios, which is around 10 minutes from the city center and right next to the beach.

We went right before the tourist season so we were able to experience Mykonos when its not overflowing with people. The city center looked like a movie set. The streets were very narrow and you could only walk on foot through them. Everything was white with blue shutters and there were little balconies with chairs and tables sprinkled everywhere. It’s a maze of adorable little restaurants and shops. There is also a water front with restaurants there, probably on one of my favorite places in the city.

We were lucky to be blessed with good weather and we managed to go to the beach a couple of days. The water was crystal clear and the sand super light. It looked like something out of a dream or the typical beach picture you see in pamphlets.

On our way back to Italy we stayed in Athens for one night. We ended up seeing a famous Greek singer called Giorgios Mazonakis. It was the perfect Greek experience! I have honestly never met such nicer and open-hearted people such as the Greeks. Where ever we went we were welcomed with a smile and everyone was willing to help us with whatever we needed. I recommend for everyone to visit Greece at least once in their life. My friends and I could not get enough of Greece so we are going to Crete next weekend, I cant wait!

 

Two Steps Forward One Step Back!

China has been WONDEEERFUL! Which is why, I have so much to share with you all! So let’s take a step back to recap.
Living in a different country overseas offer several life changing experiences, yet eye opening at the same time. When I first arrived in China I was greeted by one of the R.A’s from the University, whose name was Sing. She was very sweet and along the way she briefly explained some important facts about the city, like watching your purse well riding the bus or taking the subway (which was something that I already knew…lol.) But by the time I arrived at my apartment I was so tried that I took a shower and crashed immediately.
Our apartment is very small and resembles nothing like that photos that were shown prior to our arrival, but we have managed to make it like home. The enlightening thing about study abroad is that, we are able to realize how spoiled and how blessed we are to live in the United States.
In China, they pay for everything and spare nothing. The cold water in our apartment is free, but we pay for the hot water which has 380 liters placed on a card. There is a box located inside of the shower where you place the card and when turned on hot the liters decline by the amount of time you’ve have spent.
The other interesting thing about living in China are the restrooms, most of places that you’ll visit have the toilets built into floor where you have to squat over to use. The majority of the restrooms lack toilet paper, which is why I always bring some just in case of emergency. They also charge for plastic bags at the grocery and convenient store. We’ve bought reusable shopping bags, to cut down on future cost.
I am really trying to get adjusted and adapted to the food as well, which seems to be one of my biggest challenges, yet to overcome. I’ve been eating or fasten on fruits and vegetables. I was able to locate a pizza hut in one of the malls, but the Chinese food here in Shanghai, is nothing like the sweet and sour chicken that we order in the states. But I’m trying to embrace it as it comes. I tried to broaden my mindset and prepare it as best as I could before I left but, the mind over what is seen and smelt on a daily bases is quite difficult to task.. lol.
Now that we have recapped about a few prior events, let’s take two steps forward! I recently found a non-profit organization called BEAN. That hosts several activities varying from volunteering at the local food bank to playing softball. Members are able to devote their time to two over-arching annual initiatives: Think Global Act Local (TGAL) and the Scholarship campaign.
They want to bring young people together—young people who care about making a positive difference in the world. So that they can give them an easy and fun way to enact positive change through local volunteering and global charity initiatives.
I had been dying to put my hands to work since I arrived, mainly because I understand that I have so much to offer. So I started volunteering at a homeless shelter, an elder’s care home. But last week there was an event where I had intended to knit quilts together for children in South Africa who have AIDS, until I woke up and we didn’t have any water…lol.
I strongly encourage everyone to lend a helping hand, wherever needed. It is more than just our social responsibility, it is our obligation! Until next time loves, but in the meantime enjoy a few of these photos!! Smooches!