Student Blogs

The following blog posts are syndicated from recent Speedwell AFS Scholars who are currently studying abroad. These blogs currently include:

christinathepolyglot , GER , 2013
Janae Taft , FRA , 2016
Julia McIntosh , ITA , 2016
Naomi Rohrbaugh , ITA , 2016

New Opportunities

February 20, 2017
Author: 
janae taft

              Mountains, Switzerland, school vacation, more progress in French and wonderful people around me are what continues to tell me life is beautiful.

Study Hard Yet Enjoy the Experience

February 11, 2017
Author: 
janae taft

            If there is one piece of advice that I've clung on to, it's to study hard but to enjoy the experience abroad. In fact, I don't even know if anyone told me that or if I just knew that mindset would be necessary. Most people told me before I left, "Enjoy yourself. You're going to have the time of your life. I am so jealous!" Deep down, I knew that it would be an unforgettable year but a lot of work and it was a choice that came with lots of sacrifices. Sometimes I wonder if people actually realize that studying abroad does not mean going on vacation!

After Five Months

February 6, 2017
Author: 
janae taft

              It is now true that I am practically exactly at the halfway point of my experience abroad. I am five months in and I have only five months to go.  Here's what I've noticed this month.What I am going to say may be similar to this past month but I know it's totally different than what I said  in September or October.

Easy Beginnings

January 31, 2017
Author: 
janae taft

          Not all beginnings have to be hard, and the past week and a half has been a reminder of that. School has never been so enjoyable for me, even in comparison to the US, and I love my host family. That's about all it takes to make me happy in this point of my life.

Chapter 3

January 23, 2017
Author: 
janae taft

           
                My temporary host mom looked at me as we sat in the train station Friday afternoon and said, "You can't keep a bird from flying." Ten minutes later, we said our goodbyes, and I was in the train for a new town and a new chapter of my AFS experience.

And the Stone Rolls Again

January 20, 2017
Author: 
janae taft

               Chapter 2 may have only lasted for eleven days, but there's no doubt in my mind that it was just as important as the other four months, Chapter 1. During this time, I met another family who I now consider as part of my own, which was the most fulfilling part of it all, but that's not even a portion of what else I experienced and learned. I see my very life changing before my eyes, and it's been through the hardest times of my voyage abroad that everything seems to be coming together. Of course, in January, that's a prime time to have that moment where everything clicks.

Being Happy Where You Are

January 15, 2017
Author: 
janae taft

               It's been almost a week now since I said goodbye to my first host family, and things are going pretty well. I guess I have to make them go well. I've found it really helps to keep myself busy and to not contact my family, friends or former host family too much, so I've been putting that to use. My temporary host family has really helped me improve my French accent, and I'm even getting my fair share of cooking in. Also, it really helped to have already explained from where I come from to one family.

Chapter 2: A

January 11, 2017
Author: 
janae taft
Chapter 2: A New Beginning
              First of all, I know I haven't posted anything here in more than six months, but as I am officially declaring a new chapter in my experience, I am going to seriously and try to update my blog these days.

Italy week 11: goodbyes

December 19, 2016
Author: 
naomi rohrbaugh

Italy weeks 9&10:Free hugs

December 7, 2016
Author: 
naomi rohrbaugh

Italy weeks 7&8:Halloween and Tacos

November 7, 2016
Author: 
naomi rohrbaugh

Japanese Bento Boxes

November 3, 2016
Author: 
christinathepolyglot

Japanese bento boxes are packed lunch boxes or takeaway containers that are made out of wood, plastic, or metal. Bento boxes are often filled with cooked rice, meats, fish, pickled and/or cooked vegetables, and egg. They are usually made by parents to give to their children for lunch in school or sold as takeaway foods from restaurants or train stations. These bento boxes are often nicely decorated and look very cute. I’m not exactly sure if I would be able to eat from the bento boxes if they looked this cute!