14 Oct Ah, nothing like Autumn in Prague

“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” --L.M. Montgomery [caption id="attachment_2125" align="aligncenter" width="225"] My favorite season, Autumn, in one of my favorite cities, Prague. -- Photo by Carly Peil[/caption] I got into the great routine of running everyday while I was in Prague. I knew I wanted to spend as much time outside experiencing the city as I could, so I incorporated running into my everyday adventures--and oh what a difference it made. I was in Prague from the end of August to the beginning of December. So, I got to experience my very favorite season amidst castles and cobblestone streets. If there is one thing I know, it's that fall looks great on Prague. During the week, I would normally run after school. I would venture off to my favorite park--Letna. Since Letna was situated on the top of a hill, I would usually run through the city to the closest tram that would take me up the hill. From there I would run a loop that took me through tunnels of trees, past dog clubs and slack liners, amidst skaters and bikers, past the bum who lived under the tree, next to the beer garden, on top of one of the greatest views of the city, and back to my tram stop. It was the perfect little run--not too short or too long, and I could always extend or shorten it if I wanted. Somedays I...

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15 Sep Basic Study Abroad Questions: Answered!

[caption id="attachment_2180" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Have questions about study abroad? Here are some answers![/caption] After and during my study abroad last year, I was bombarded with questions--and I loved it! If helping people understand why and how they can study abroad will help them do it, by all means ask me questions for days. Here are some of your common questions, answered. 1. Why study abroad? Personally, I always knew I wanted to study abroad--it simply seemed appealing to me. Studying abroad allows you as a student to take advantage of being a student! Many things involving travel are cheaper as a student, and there are many, many scholarships exclusively for study abroad! You're also pretty free at this age, you know? Yeah, you have a family and friends and relationships and all that...

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10 Sep Unwinding While Traveling

[caption id="attachment_2183" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Take some time to unwind.[/caption] While many people travel for relaxation, the act of traveling can sometimes get stressful. Catching flights, buses, trains, boats, etc. Trying your best not to forget to pack something. Getting homesick. Getting lost. There are a handful of things that could go wrong...

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23 Jul “Be Where Your Feet Are”

  [gallery ids="2214,2215,2216,2217,2218,2219,2220,2222,2223,2224,2225,2226"] The saying that started it all, for me. If you follow me on Instagram (@chucklesponcho), you may have noticed that in many of my photos the prominent subject is my feet. I take a lot of “from where I stand” style photos. Although I am chastised and teased by a few people for it (“are you taking a picture of your feet again…?”), here’s why I do it: A month or so before my Fall 2014 study abroad semester, I stumbled across the saying “be where your feet are” on Instagram. It intrigued me immediately—the simplicity and ease of saying it and knowing it held so much more than the literal meaning. I latched on to it, to say the least—and it stayed with me. As I prepared for my trip—a big step for me, having not been out of the country or done anything like this before—I held on to my little nugget of encouragement. When I found myself worried about my trip or money or being homesick or the plane ride or any other details, I said to myself : “Hey, you’re not even there yet! Worrying will do you no good. Be where your feet are—here! Enjoy the people and moments around you because things will be very different soon.” I found myself repeating “be where your feet are” over and over almost as a little mantra of encouragement for myself. I said it as I packed, on...

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14 Jul Safe, not sorry—Top 5 Travel Safety Tips

[caption id="attachment_2232" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Safety when traveling is important! Always be aware of your surroundings.[/caption] Safety when traveling should be of utmost importance to all travelers—especially those of you who may be embarking on your first trip or study abroad in the near future. These basic safety tips will help ensure that you have the best time possible while traveling: Know your stuff—read up on where you’ll be traveling to. It is wise to familiarize yourself with the better and not so great areas of town, customs, festivals, food facts, and more. This way, you are less likely to catch yourself in a cultural “oops”—an embarrassment and sometimes big trouble. Write it down—arm yourself with a journal or notebook specifically for writing down addresses of where you’ll be staying, phone numbers, emails, restaurants, etc. It is important to physically write these things somewhere instead of just storing them in a phone or tablet—although having this information in two places is never a bad idea, either. Be aware of your surroundings—my high school health teacher always used to bark this at us during our self defense unit freshman year…and while I found it annoying and unnecessary then, it is so important! Always, always, always be aware of your surroundings. Often times, your intuition is a great sense of danger. This is key in keeping yourself safe on traffic jammed streets, in airports or train stations, and especially when traveling alone. Even if you’re trying to...

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